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AP U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
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AP GOVERNMENT
REVIEWFORRELIEF.ORG
REVIEW FOR RELIEF

AP Government & Politics
TESTABLE UNITS

UNIT 1 UNIT 2 UNIT 3
Foundations of American Democracy Interactions Among Branches of Government Civil Liberties and Civil Rights

*Some general notes: – in addition to the amendments listed within the terms and definitions, you should be comfortable with the entirety of the United States Constitution and the entirety of the United States Bill of Rights. – As for specific clauses, you only need to know those listed in terms and definitions. -As for the Constitutional Amendments outside of the Bill of Rights, you only need to know those listed. – The Supreme Court cases that you are required to know by the College Board can be found in each unit under “Supreme Court cases.” Any other cases found under “Terms and definitions” are not required “materials” but are good to know, provide useful context for the unit, and you should still be familiar with the general facts of these cases. – The foundational documents that you are required to know by the College Board can be found in each unit under “foundational documents.” Any other documents found under “terms and definitions” are not “required” materials, but are good to know, provide useful context for the unit, and you should still be familiar with the general concepts covered in these documents.

It has been confirmed that the AP U.S. Government and Politics will consist of one
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ARGUMENTATIVE ESSAY question and one CONCEPT APPLICATION question. You will have 25 minutes for the essay and 15 minutes for the concept application. The essay will be scored out of seven and worth 60% of your total score. The concept application will be scored out of 3, one point for part A, one for part B, and one for part C, and will be worth 40% of your total score.
Tips for a great argumentative essay:
1.
2.
Start with your thesis. For the AP scoring guide, you don’t get any points for an introduction, so just dive into your thesis statement. Establish an essay roadmap in your thesis statement. Listing your evidence is a good strategy, but it doesn’t help you if you don’t describe how that evidence supports your argument. Your thesis needs to state your position and preview exactly how you’ re going to prove it. Your thesis is only worth one point, but it is still super important as it’s the foundation of your argument.
a.
b.
0-point thesis: “The Brady Act is constitutional because of the Constitution and the Supreme Court’s previous decisions.” This thesis states the general argument, but itis too broad, and doesn’t state why the Brady Act was questioned in the first place. The evidence isn’t specific enough and doesn’t give the reader a clear preview of the contents of the essay. 1-point thesis: “Due to the interstate commerce clause and the court’s holding in US v. Lopez, the background check provision of the Brady Act did not fall outside of Congressional jurisdiction and was therefore constitutional.” Notice how this thesis specifically states the evidence used and how it connects to a clear line of reasoning. The reader is able to tell the exact argument and structure of the essay from this thesis.
Include three paragraphs. Your first paragraph should be just your thesis, with maybe extra context if you have time. Don’t be afraid to make your thesis longer than the example above; it is just there to give you a general idea of the ideal thesis structure, you re welcome to make it more detailed or multiple sentences. Your second paragraph should cover your first piece of evidence, and your third paragraph could cover your second piece of evidence. Remember to make sure to explain how the evidence connects to your thesis and supports your argument. Define terms. You don’t get points for this on its own, but defining terms often helps you connect your evidence to your argument which will help get you reasoning points. If you don’t know how to answer the question, still attempt a thesis and describe your evidence. If you don’t get the thesis point, you can still get one point for each piece of evidence relevant to the topic and described accurately. Always try to establish a line of reasoning even if you don’t entirely know what you’re talking about. Know the scoring system. Your thesis is worth one point. You need to have two pieces of evidence, and one piece must be from one of the documents that the prompt specifies. You get one point if that evidence is accurately linked to the topic of the question, one point for that evidence supporting your argument, and one point for explaining how the evidence supports your thesis. The second piece of evidence can come from one of the prompt’s documents or from your general knowledge of U.S. government, and is scored the same way for a total of seven points. The reader needs to find that your essay meets these exact criteria in order to give you points. No one expects you to write a perfect essay in 25 minutes, you just need to check all the boxes.
Tips for a great concept application:
1.
Know the general structure. The concept application consists ofa part A, part B, anda part C. Each part is one point for a total of a three-point question. You will be given a quote or short passage relating to U.S. government from pretty much any time period and will be asked to analyze this quote and relate it to another aspect of government throughout the questions. Generally, part A will ask you to describe a political institution, behavior, or process connected with the scenario. Part B will ask you to explain how the response in part A affects or is affected by a political process, government entity, or citizen behavior as related to the scenario. Part C will ask you to explain how the scenario relates to a political institution, behavior, or process you learned about over the course of AP Gov.
Understand the passage. Remember, you only have fifteen minutes for the whole concept application, but understanding the passage is vital to accurately answering the question. Especially if the passage is from before the twentieth century, take some extra time to make sure you understand the central argument. Make note of the central arguments of the passage and how it connects to the
3.
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government institutions you’re familiar with. As you read the passage, remember what sticks out and start thinking about scenarios that you can connect to those central concepts. Don’t be afraid to reach when necessary. Get creative with your answers if you need to. If you get an anti-federalist paper and the only think you can think of for an answer 1s something about the modern bureaucracy, that’s ok! When they give harder passages, they’re looking for creative answers. You have to reach sometimes, so don’t let that throw you off track. Don’t be afraid if the answer feels simple. Sometimes, the answer feels obvious, and that’s ok. Ifthe answer to the first question is only a sentence, that’s ok. Don’t reach for a far-off answer if you don’t need to.
4.
n w
6. Keep it concise. Remember you only have 15 minutes for this question. You don’t need
a paragraph for every single part. Commonly, part A only needs a sentence response. B and C are often longer, but don’t add fluff. All you need to do is answer the question, so avoid adding unnecessary fluff. Still write in full sentences. For part A, you will likely be tempted to answer with just the name of a government institution. However, you won’t get full points if you don’t answer in full sentences, so keep that in mind.
7.

UNIT ONE: FOUNDATIONS OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
Essential Questions:
1. How did the founders of the U.S. Constitution attempt to protect individual liberty while
also promoting public order and safety?
2. How have theory, debate, and compromise influence the U.S. constitutional system? 3. How does the development and interpretation of the Constitution influence policies that
impact citizens and residents of the U.S?
Terms and definitions: Republic: A government with power in the people and elected representatives, with an elected or nominated president. Democracy: Where citizens exercise power through voting. Monarchy: Government led by monarch (could be symbolic or totally autocratic). Confederation: Government with several independent states united in one “states are supreme” type. Federalism; Government where power 1s split between central government and other states. Habeas Corpus: A writ requiring someone to be brought before a judge or court. Bill of Attainder: Legislation declaring one guilty (often without trial) and deciding pumshment. Natural nghts: Concept of fundamental rights men have in a state of nature. Factions: A group of citizens united for one cause or belief (majority or minority).
Shay’s rebellion: Massachusetts was taxing small farmers and they revolted. Massachusetts wanted the federal government to send armed reinforcements, but they couldn’t under the Articles of Confederation. Showed the flaws of the Articles of Confederation. Individualism: Social theory favoring individual rights and actions over collective good. Popular sovere sovereignty: The concept that a government’s authority is created by its citizens. Federalists: Political party supporting federalism and the US constitution. Anti-federalists: Political party that opposed federalism and the US constitution. Veto: President overriding a congressionally passed bill to prevent it from coming a law. New Jersey plan: Proposed by the small states at the constitutional convention that:
e e e e
Made a unicameral legislature Had the president as an executive committee Gave the national government the power to tax the states Gave extra power to the executive branch
Vungua plan: Proposal by the big states at the constitutional convention that:
Made a bicameral legislature Had House of Representatives based off of population and the house voted for members of the senate Hada congressionally elected president National courts with lifetime appointments Congress could legislate for the states if necessary
e
e e e
Great compromise/Connecticut compromise: Combo of Virgimia/New Jersey plans that:
e
Established bicameral legislature with the house based on population and the senate equal for every state
3/5s compromise: Article one, section two. Stating 3/5s ofa states slave population were to be counted for taxation and representation purposes. Separation of powers: Originally designed by Baron de Montesquieu, the concept of separate
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branches of government handling legislative, executive, and judicial powers. Equality of opportunity: All citizens have the same access to rights, protection and opportunities. Free enterprise: Economic system, where the private business sector operates largely free of state control. Social contract: Discussed by Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, social agreement to cooperate for social benefits. Reserved powers: Any powers not delegated to the federal government goes to the states. Necessary and proper clause: Article one, section eight, also known as the elastic clause. Congress can make all laws required for the exercise of its other powers. Supremacy clause: Article six. States that the Constitution and federal laws are the “supreme law of the land” and are to be considered above state laws. Fugitive slave clause: Article four, section two. Slaves and indentured servants who run away to other states must be returned to the state they came from. Interstate commerce clause: Article one, section eight. Congress regulates commerce between states.
Foundational documents: Declaration of Independence:
e
Main points:
o
Man’s inalienable rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
e
e
o o o
All men are created equal Man has a civic duty to protect his inalienable nghts England as robbed their colonies of these liberties
Influence:
o o
Emphasized the importance of democracy to the founders and framers Symbolic of American value of democracy
Topics of relevance:
o o o
Inalienable rights Foundations of a free republic Founders intent for the country vs. how it has ended up
Articles of Confederation:
e
Main points:
o
o
o
Gave too much power to state government (ex. Gave states the power to tax and hold a standing militia) States were essentially their own sovereign governments completely independent from the federal government Federal government was too weak to actually support the states or to legislate effectively
e
Influence:
o
0 0 0 0
Our first constitution Provided the framers a base to build off of Its failure proved why the country needed federalism Proved the necessity of a strong central government Proved the drawbacks of a small republic
e
Topics of relevance:
o o o Federalist 10:
Necessity of federalism Importance of a strong central government State’s rights
e
Main points:
o ©
o o
Factions are inevitable Youcan either remove the causes (causes being free thought) or control the effects (through a large republic) Asmall republic leads to a few big factions and ultimately tyranny of the majority A large republic leads to lots of smaller factions, and makes it less likely for there to be a singular overwhelming majority, avoiding tyranny
e
Topics of relevance:
o o o Federalist 5]
Federalism Large v. small republic Tyranny of the majority
e
Main points
o o
Ideological majorities threaten the nghts of ideological minorities Government must be held accountable by other officials, as well as their constituents
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©
Itis inevitable that those in governmental positions will have strong ideas, so they need to be checked to protect liberty of the people
e
Topics of relevance:
o o o
Necessity of checks and balances Individual rights Balance of power
Supreme court cases: McCulloch vy. Maryland (1819)
e
Facts of the case:
o o
o
Congress charted The Second Bank of the United States Maryland tried to tax the bank, but the cashier of the Baltimore branch refused to pay Congress’s power to create the bank was challenged because the Constitution did not directly provide Congress the nght to charter a bank.
Constitutional issues:
o o
Did congress have the constitutional authority to establish the bank? Did the Maryland tax law unconstitutionally interfere with congressional powers?
Conclusion:
e
e
o
o o
Congress had the power incorporate the bank because it fell under their powers outlined in the Necessary and Proper Clause (A188) Maryland could not tax instruments of the national government States retained the power of taxation, laws made under Congress’s constitutional rights are supreme and cannot be controlled by the states
e
Why does it matter?
o
Took some power and redistributed it to the federal government
United States v. Lopez (1995)
e
Facts of the case:
o o
Student in Texas carried a gun on campus of his high school He was convicted under the Gun-Free School Zones Act, a federal statute prohibiting guns on school campuses
Constitutional issues:
o
Is the 1990 Gun-Free School Zones Act unconstitutional because it exceeds the power of Congress to legislate under the Commerce Clause?
Conclusion:
e
e
o
The act was unconstitutional as it wasn’t based on legislating substantial economic activity, so the statute extended Congress’s power to legislate under the commerce clause
e
Why does it matter?
o
Gave alot more power to the states in allowing them to individually regulate gun control laws.

UNIT TWO: INTERACTIONS AMONG BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT
Essential Questions:
1. How do the branches of national government compete and cooperate in order to govern? 2. To what extent have changes in the powers of each branch affected how responsive and accountable the national government is in the 21*’ century?
Terms and definitions: Trustee system: A system of representation where representatives go into Congress and vote for what they think is best for their constituents, whether or not its what their constituent actually want. Delegate system: A system of representation where representatives go into Congress and vote exactly based on what their constituents want. Politico system: A system of representation that states that no representative 1s truly a delegate or a trustee and is a combination of a trustee and a delegate system. Pocket veto: When the president doesn’t sign a bill within the end of the legislative session and the session ends before the ten days to sign the bill are up and the bill doesn’t pass. Congressional committee: Legislative group to debate and take charge of specific classes of bills (transportation, education, etc.). Floor leader: Leader of a legislative party in assembly. Minority leader: Leader of minority party in legislative assembly.
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12° Amendment: Vice President and President run on the same ticket. 16’* Amendment: Establishes national income tax. 17 Amendment: Senators elected by the state population, Legislative hold: Only in the Senate, a member can put legislative hold on a bill to push it to the back of the docket. Interstate commerce clause: Congress controls all interstate commerce. Veto: Presidential power to strike down a bill. Discharge petition: Bringing a bill to the floor without report from committee. Pork Barrel: Use of government funds for projects designed to please voters or legislators and win votes. Whip: Assistants to floor leaders responsible for mobilizing voters within their parties. Speaker of the House: Leader of the house and house majority party. Gerrymandering: manipulate the boundaries of a congressional district to favor one party or class. Cloture: 2/3s votes to end debate on a bill (just 60) in the senate. Filibuster: In the senate, senator attempts to delay or block vote on a bill by extending debate. Advise and consent: Senate can be consulted on and approve treaties or appointments by the president. Necessary and proper clause: Congress can make all laws that enable them to do their duties. Unanimous consent: All senators must consent to debate on a bill (necessary for bills to go to the floor). Logrolling: Quid pro quo among legislative members to get what they want politically. Majority leader: Leader of majority party. Cabinet: Composed of presidential-appointed officers that advise the president and run the executive departments Geirymanderng: To manipulate the boundaries of a congressional district to favor one party or class

Executive order: Order issued by the president to an executive department that has the power of the law Ambassador: Diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country. Budget deficit: Government budgeting more money than there actually is Executive privilege: Presidential ability to withhold information for the public interest Implied powers: Not explicitly stated in the constitution but presidential powers derived from the necessary and proper clause Expressed powers: Executive powers outlined in article two Inherent powers: Powers assumed to belong to congress. Enumerated powers: Congressional powers outlined in article one War powers act: A federal law intended to check the presidential power to commit to war without congressional consent. Electoral college: 538 electors, based on population for state, in charge of electing the president. Signing statement: Issued by president upon signing a bill. State of the Union: Delivered each January by president to congress on the administration’s view of the state of the country and their plans for the next year. Executive agreement: Agreement between the US and a foreign nation that’s less formal than a treaty and not subject to congressional approval. NSC and NSC Advisor: Brings together powerful advisors involved in national security Office of Management and Budget (OMB): Clearing house for budgetary requests and management improvements for government agencies. Discretionary spending: Spending implemented through an appropriations bill Mandatory spending: Government spending on programs where spending is mandated by law Invisible primary: Period in presidential election between 1*’ well known candidates showing interest in running and the beginning of primaries and caucuses Amicus curiae brief: Filed by someone who is not a party but 1s related to a case. Usually filed when a case 1s in appeals. Appellate jurisdiction: Power of a higher court to review and revise a lower court’s decision. Treason; Attempting to overthrow the government. Plea bargain: Where the defendant pleads guilty in exchange for a more lenient sentence. Diversity of citizenship: when opposing parties in a lawsuit are citizens of different states or countries. Sovereign immunity: The government must consent to being sued. Circuit court of appeals: 12 federally, directly below the SCOTUS. Writ of certiorari: Orders a lower court to deliver its records in a case so a higher court can review it. Common law: Body of legal rules created by rulings in judicial cases. Persuasive precedent: Precedent set in court that is of importance but is not necessary for a judge to follow. Nissentins oninion’ Oninion that soes asainst the maioritv oninion
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SA
A LR ee Ue Be
Rule of four’ On the Supreme Court, four justices must agree to hear a case in order for it to be presented to the court. Senatorial Courtesy: Custom of Senate to refuse to confirm presidential appointment for an official of a state when the appointment is opposed from senators from that state. Solicitor General: Officer directly below the attorney general, responsible for arguing cases before SCOTUS representing the federal government.
Judicial implementation: The process by which a court’s decision 1s enforced. Onginal jurisdiction: A court’s authority to try a case for the first time. Plaintiff: The party that brings a case against another party. Attorney General: Director of the Department of Justice, the principal legal officer who represents a country or a state in legal proceedings and gives legal advice to the government. Class action lawsuit: One of the parties is a group of people represented collectively by one member. Special legislative court: Courts set up by congress whose judges are appointed for life by the president; US Court of International Trade, US Court of Federal Claims. Supreme court: Highest judicial court in the united states. Petitioner: A person who makes a formal application for a writ/judicial action, etc. Precedent: Legal case that establishes a principle or rule. Majority Opinion: The majority side of a decision. Per curium opinion: A court opinion issued in the name of the court rather than by a specific justice. Jn forma pauperis, Someone without the funds to proceed with a regular lawsuit or appeal, so they get the finds wavered. Blue slip: When a presidential nominates a federal official, both senators from that nominee’s state get to submit a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the nominee. Nuclear option: Parliamentary procedure that allows the US senate to override the 60-vote rule to end debate and change it to 51 vote simple majority. Often used when confirming SCOTUS nominees. Advise and consent: Power of the senate to confirm presidential federal appointees. Petition for certiorari; Documents filed by losing party to SCOTUS asking for SCOTUS to review decision of a lower court. Constitutional courts: High court that deals primarily with constitutional issues, SCOTUS in the united states. Defendant: Party that is sued by the plaintiff. Injunction: A court order stating a party must stop doing or must do a certain action. District court: Federal general tral courts (civil and criminal), 13, directly below SCOTUS Certioran: Writ by which a higher court reviews the decision of a lower court. Respondent: Defendant in a lawsuit. Binding precedent: Precedent or existing law that courts are bound to follow. Impeachment: When the House of representatives considers a government official unfit for office. Department of justice: A federal executive department of the United States government, responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice in the United States, equivalent to the justice or interior ministries of other countries. Bureaucracy: A particular government unit established to accomplish a specific set of goals and objectives as authorized by a legislative body. Pendleton Civil Service Act: (1883) Landmark U.S. legislation establishing the tradition and mechanism of permanent federal employment based on merit rather than on political party affiliation. Spoils system: Before Pendleton Civil Service Act, hiring into federal employment based on political party affiliation.
Merit system: A merit system is a system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage. Hatch act: (1939) The Hatch Act restricts federal employee participation in certain partisan political activities. The political activity restrictions apply during the entire time of an employee’s federal service. Universalistic policies: Proposes that all citizens of a nation receive the same publicly provided benefits. Bureaucratic discretion: The ability of an appointed official, or bureaucrat, to make a rule within their sphere of appointed authority. Office of Management and Budget: The business division of the Executive Office of the President of the United States that administers the United States federal budget and oversees the performance of federal agencies.

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Rulemaking: A quasi-legislative administrative process that has the characteristics of a legislative act. Regulations are the rules that govern the operation of all government programs and have the force of law. Bureaucratic pathologies: The five major problems with bureaucracies: rote (failure to adjust to new standards), imperialism (competing like private companies), turf war (agencies fighting with other agencies with overlapping jobs, like the CIA and FBI, for responsibilities), lack of coordination (lacking mechanisms for cooperating with other agencies), and clientelism (agency routines favoring some constituents over others). Proposed rule: A federal regulation drafted by a bureaucratic agency sent to the OMB. Final rule: The final draft of the proposed rule. The federal agency will review all comments in the federal registrar and create impact analysis before submitting final rule back to the OMB. Street level bureaucrats: Public service workers who interact directly with citizens in the course of their jobs, and who have substantial discretion in the execution of their work Independent regulatory commission: Federal agencies created by an act of Congress that are independent of the executive departments. Though they are considered part of the executive branch, these agencies are meant to impose and enforce regulations free of political influence. Regulatory capture: An economic theory that says regulatory agencies may come to be dominated by the industries or interests they are charged with regulating. The result is that an agency, charged with acting in the public interest instead acts in ways that benefit the industry it 1s supposed to be regulating. Deregulation: The reduction or elimination of government power in a particular industry, usually enacted to create more competition within the industry. Delegated powers: The transfer of a specific authority by one of the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) to another branch or to an independent agency. (eg. War powers) Issue network: Alliance of various interest groups and individuals who unite in order to promote a common cause or agenda in a way that influences government policy Iron triangle: Comprises the policy-making relationship among the congressional committees, the bureaucracy, and interest groups, coined in 1981. Overhead democracy: Method of controlling a bureaucracy, making bureaucrats subordinate to the will of elected public officials. Congressional oversight: Oversight by the United States Congress over the Executive Branch, including the numerous U.S. federal agencies. Congressional oversight includes the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation.
Principal-agent theory: In political science and economics (also known as agency dilemma or the agency problem) occurs when one person or entity (the “agent”), 1s able to make decisions and/or take actions on behalf of, or that impact, another person or entity: the “principal”. In this case, the congress 1s the principle and hires the agent, or the bureaucracy. Whistleblower: A person who exposes secretive information or activity that 1s deemed illegal, unethical, or not correct within the government or a federal agency. Some third-party groups even offer protection to whistleblowers, but that protection can only go so far. Freedom of information act: (1967) Legislation that grants public access to documents or other data in the possession of a government agency or public authority, unless the information falls into a category that is specifically excluded from the terms of the legislation. Privatization: The transfer of ownership, property or business from the government to the private sector. Department of Homeland Security: A federal agency designed to protect the United States against threats. Its wide-ranging duties include aviation security, border control, emergency response and cybersecurity. Department of Transportation: Agency of the federal government responsible for helping maintain and develop the nation’s transportation systems and infrastructure. Department of Education: The agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the president in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. Department of Veterans Affairs: An agency of the federal government that provides benefits, health care and cemetery services to military Veterans. Environmental Protection Agency: It is an agency of the Umited States federal government whose mission is to protect human and environmental health. Food and Drug Administration: An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that oversees the manufacturing and distribution of food, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, tobacco and other consumer products and veterinary medicine. Federal Elections Commission: An independent regulatory agency whose purpose is to enforce campaign finance law in United States federal elections. Securities and Exchange Commission: Federal agency with the purpose of protecting investors from dangerous or illegal financial practices or fraud, by requiring full and accurate financial disclosure by companies offering stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities to the public.
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Foundational documents: Federalist 70
e
Main points:
o
o o
The executive is necessary to protect against foreign attack, maintain a steady adiministration of legislation, and to protect individual property and libert Multiple executives are easier to corrupt and harder to check Asingle executive can be held accountable
e
Topics of relevance:
o o o Federalist 78
Importance of a strong executive and central government Founder’s intent Federalism
e
Main points:
o o o
o
o
Judiciary is the weakest branch Non-partisanship of justices is essential to “guard the constitution” Lifelong appointments keep justices independent; they help avoid corruption from re-election The supreme court is to act as an intermediate body between the people and congress Discusses the importance of judicial review
e
Topics of relevance:
o o o
Founder’s intent The power and importance of the judiciary Judicial review
Supreme court cases: Baker v. Carr (1962)
e
Facts of the case:
o
o o
Tennessee citizens (Baker) claimed 1901 law to reapportion general assembly seats was ignored The law hadn’t been altered since 1901 The claim was that the state ignored significant economic growth as well as population shifts
Constitutional issue:
o
Didthe supreme court have jurisdiction over issues of legislative apportionment?
Conclusion:
o o o
Ruled for the Tennessee citizens Legislative apportionment is a justiciable issue Equal protection clause concerns merited judicial evaluation
e
e
e
Why does it matter?
o
Allows federal courts to address constitutional issues within state legislative redistricting plans.
Shaw v. Reno (1993)
e
Facts of the case:
o
Attorney General rejected NC plan to redistrict because of really odd shaped black-majority district (odd shape implied the state was attempting for just black voters in the district)
o New plan proposed two black-majority districts o
Residents claimed only purpose of the redistricting was to elect more black representatives
e
e
e
Constitutional issue:
o
Did the districts violate the equal protection clause?
Conclusion:
o o
The district did violate the equal protection clause Exceeded what was necessary to ensure diversity
Why does it matter?
o
Congressional districts cannot be determined based on race
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
e
Facts of the case:
o o
o
Thomas Jefferson beat John Adams in the election of 1800 Before leaving office, Adams created a bunch of new federal positions and got them confirmed These positions weren’t actually valid until commissions granted by Secretary of
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State Secretary of State James Madison refused to give over commissions Marbury petitioned for Wnt of Mandamus
o o
e
Constitutional questions:
o o o
Does the plaintiff have the rights to their commissions? Can they sue for their commission 1n court? Can the Supreme Court order the commissions?
e
Conclusions:
o o o
Refusal was illegal Did not issue Mandamus Declared judicial act of 1789 unconstitutional
e
Why does it matter?
o o
Established judicial review Expanded the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction

UNIT THREE: CIVIL LIBERTIES AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Essential Questions:
1.
To what extent do the U.S. Constitution and its amendments protect against undue government infringement on essential liberties and from invidious discrimination?
2. How have the U.S. Supreme Court rulings defined civil liberties and civil rights?
Terms and definitions: Selective incorporation: the process of the Supreme Court deciding which of the protections found in the Bill of Rights apply to the states. Today, the first, second, fourth, and eighth amendments have been fully incorporated to the states. The fifth and sixth amendments have been partially incorporated. The third, seventh, ninth, and tenth amendments have not been incorporate d. Search and seizure: The process where police or law enforcement officers commence a search of a person’s property and confiscate any relevant evidence found in connection to the crime. The fourth amendment states that law enforcement must have a warrant to do so. Barron v. Baltimore: 1833. The court ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to state governments and established this precedent which lasted until the ratification of the fourteenth amendment. Strict scrutiny: A form of judicial review that courts use to determine the constitutionality of certain laws. The law in question must have been passed to further a “compelling government interest” and the court must determine that the law achieves that interest to pass struct scrutiny. Strict scrutiny is the highest standard of review which a court can use. It is applied to cases surrounding racial discrimination or surrounding the obstruction of fundamental rights.
Heightened/intermediate scrutiny: A test courts will use to determine a statute’s constitutionality. To pass the test, the challenged law must further an important government interest and must do so by means that are substantially related to that interest. It is the second highest standard of review which a court can used. It is used in equal protection challenges to gender classifications, as Well as in some first amendment cases. Rational basis review: A test courts will use to determine the constitutionality of a statute or ordinance, It is the least stringent of all of the judicial review tests, the others being heightened/intermediate and strict scrutiny. It is used in cases where no fundamental nghts or suspect classifications are at issue. Due process: The general concept of fair treatment through the normal judicial system. Substantive and procedural are the two types of due process. Substantive due process: The notion that due process not only protects certain legal procedures, but also protects certain rights unrelated to procedure. Procedural due process: The constitutional requirement that when the federal government acts in such a way that denies a citizen ofa life, liberty, or property interest, the person must be given notice, the opportunity to be heard, and a decision by a neutral decisionmaker. Mapp v. Ohio: 1961. Established that the exclusionary rule applies to the states as well as the federal government. See below for definition of the exclusionary rule. Exclusionary rule: States that prosecutors cannot use evidence in court which was obtained illegally by violating the fourth amendment. Prior Restraint: Government action that prohibits speech or other free expression. Self-incrimination: The act of implicating oneself in a crime or exposing oneself to criminal prosecution. Clear and present danger test; A doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court in 1919 in Schenck v. United States to determine which free speech was protected by the Constitution and was used
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they present a clear and present danger to others or to the United States government. Imminent lawless action test; Also known as the Brandenburg Test. Standard currently used by the Supreme Court to determine what qualifies as protected speech, established in Brandenburg v. Ohio 1n 1969, It holds that speech is not protected by the first amended if the speaker intends to incite a violation of the law that is both imminent and likely. Griswold v. Connecticut. 1965. The court overruled a Connecticut law that prohibited any person from using contraception for any reason. It established a basis for the right to privacy surrounding pregnancy and reproductive rights and served as a basis for other important women’s rights cases, such as Obergefell v. Hodges and Roe v. Wade. Obergefell v. Hodges: 2015. Legalized same-sex marriage in the United States. Miranda rights: Also known as the Miranda Warning. This warning is the notification given by police or law enforcement to criminal suspects upon their arrest, or in any custodial interrogation. The warning advises the suspect of their right to silence and their right to counsel. They were implemented in 1966 after the Supreme Court case Miranda y, Arizona. The case decided that a suspect being arrested without being aware of these nghts was a violation of their fifth and sixth amendment nghts. Establishment clause: First amendment. The clause that prohibits the establishment of religion of any kind by Congress. Constitutional ight to privacy: Established in Roe v. Wade in 1973 and derived from the fourteenth amendiment’s due process clause.
Undue burden standard regarding fundamental rights: First developed in the early 19″ century, the undue burden standard is a test used in American constitutional law that states that a legislature cannot make a law that is too burdensome or restrictive of one’s fundamental rights. Undue burden standard regarding abortion: Established in P/anned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, states that a state cannot introduce any abortion regulation that places an undue burden on the person seeking an abortion. Free exercise clause: First amendment. The clause that prohibits the government from interfering with one’s freedom to exercise any religion. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania y. Casey, 1992. Upheld a person’s constitutional right to abortion establish in Roe v. Wade but altered the standards states must meet when crafting abortion regulations. The case established that a state can regulate abortion however they want as long as they don’t place a “substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.” Lemon Test: A three-prong test established in 1971 in the Supreme Court case Lemon v. Kurtzman that details the standards for legislation regarding the establishment of religion. The prongs are as follows:
1. 2.
3.
The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. The principle or primary effect of the statute must neither advance nor inhibit religion. The statute must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.
Capital punishment: The practice of executing those convicted as capital crimes, such as murder, It is highly controversial and not commonly used in the United States today, as many states have outlawed the practice. Equal protection clause: Fourteenth amendment. Establishes that no state can “deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” First Amendment: Establishes freedom of religion, press, speech, petition and assembly. Second Amendment: Establishes the nght to bear arms. Third Amendment: Prohibits non-consensual quartering of soldiers. Fourth Amendment: Protects the people from “unreasonable search and seizures,” and declares that warrants cannot be issued without probable cause. Fifth Amendment: Guarantees that no citizen has to testify against themselves, prohibits the government from depriving anyone of life, liberty or property without due process, and establishes that private property cannot be taken by the government for public use without just compensation. Sixth Amendment: Guarantees the right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury in all criminal cases and guarantees a lawyer in all such cases. Eighth Amendment: Prohibits cruel and unusual punishment and excessive fines or bail. Ninth Amendment: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights cannot be used to take nghts away from anyone. Fourteenth Amendment: Establishes natural born citizenship, guarantees due process to all citizens, and guarantees equal protection under the law to all citizens. Miller test: Established by Miller v. California in 1973. It is a three-prong test to determine if speech or expression can be labeled obscene and therefore not protected by the first amendment. The work must pass all three prongs as follows:
1. Whether the “average person” would find the work sexual or obscene.
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2. Whether the work depicts or describes sexual conduct specifically defined by
state law.
3. Whether the work lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
Legal realism: A judicial philosophy that states law should be based on judicial decisions in the interest of larger society, taking into account the real-world impacts of the decisions. Strict constructivism: A judicial philosophy that interprets the constitution/legal doctrine based on a literal or narrow definition of the language. Loose constructivism: A judicial philosophy that promotes a flexible and liberal interpretation of the constitution, takes into account the modern-day factor and views the constitution as a living document. Onginalism: A judicial philosophy which interprets the constitution based off founder’s intent. Textualism: A judicial philosophy which interprets the constitution based only on text. Judicial activism: A judicial philosophy which makes decisions that create policy and often further a party agenda. Judicial restraint: A judicial philosophy where judges limit the exercise of their power and only strike down laws that are absolutely unconstitutional. Stare decisis: A judicial philosophy which rules strictly based on precedent. Separate but equal doctrine: A legal doctrine that stated racial segregation did not violate the fourteenth amendment as long as the facilities provided to each race were technically equal. Civil Rights Act of 1964: Outlawed discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, or national origin. It also prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and also prohibited racial segregation in schools, employment, or public accommodations. Voting Rights Act of 1965: Prohibited racial discrimination in voting. Title Ix: A federal civil rights law passed in 1972 which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive financial assistance from the federal government.
Foundational documents: Letter from Birmingham Jail
e
Main points:
o o © o
Defends the strategy of nonviolent protest as a response to racial injustice People of color were done waiting for their constitutional rights Power of an uprising of the oppressed Bystanders are the movements biggest obstacle, and the “white moderate” that agree with the agree with the notion of racial equality but fight against the methods work against the cause
e
8
Topics of relevance: Racial justice Power of the minority Social movements Power of social movements on policy
0
O ©
O o
Supreme court cases: Schenck v. United States (1919)
e
Facts of the case:
o
o
Schenck was a socialist handing out pamphlets during World War One telling citizens to disobey the draft Convicted of violating the espionage act and attempting to harm the United States government
e
e
Constitutional question:
o
Did the conviction violate Schenck’s freedom of speech?
Conclusion:
o o
o
No, it did not violate his free speech Schenck’s actions presented a clear and present danger to the wellbeing of the United States government The courts decided to allow a greater defense to the government during wartime
e
Why does it matter?
o
Introduced the “clear and present danger” test
Brown vy. Board of Education (1954)
e
e
What happened:
o
A combination of multiple lower court cases, dozens of black students had been denied entry to multiple public schools based solely on race
Constitutional question:
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o
Was the denial unconstitutional?
e
Conclusion:
o o o
Yes, the denial was unconstitutional Violated the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment Evenif the schools were legally “equal,” the court ruled that segregation had serious detrimental effects on the mental development and learning of black students
e
Why does it matter?
o
Ended legal segregation in American public schools
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
e
e
e
e
Facts of the case:
o New York Public schools authorized short, voluntary prayer at the beginning of
the school day and got sued
Constitutional question:
o
Did this violate the establishment clause of the first amendment?
Conclusion:
o
It did violate the first amendment, the government cannot draft any formal prayer whatsoever
Why does it matter?
o
Emphasized the importance of the establishment clause in schools
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
e
Facts of the case:
e
e
e
°
e
e
o
o
Gideon was charged in Florida of a non-capital crime and couldn’t afford an attomey Florida law stated that lawyers weren’t provided by the state in non-capital cases
Constitutional question:
o
Does the sixth amendment apply to the states?
Conclusion:
o
Yes, it does, the fight to an attorney is a fundamental and essential nght
Why does it matter?
O pee eres the a RETR to the states
Facts of the case:
o
o
A group of students wore black armbands to school in order to protest the Vietnam War They got expelled for their protest
Constitutional question:
o
Did this violate their freedom of speech?
Conclusion:
o
o
Yes, it did, the protest did not “materially and substantially” interfere with the school environment or the learning of other students Therefore, their protest was still protected by the first amendment
e
Why does it matter?
o
Established that the first amendment applied in schools
New York Times v. United States (1971)
e
Facts of the case:
o
Nixon administration tried to prevent the New York Times and the Washington Post from publishing classified materials surrounding the Vietnam War
o New York Times obtained the information illegally; the case 1s informally
e
e
referred to as the Pentagon Papers
Constitutional question:
o
Did the efforts of the Nixon administration violate first amendment freedom of the press?
Conclusion:
o o
They did violate the first amendment Publication of the materials would not directly endanger American troops so prior restraint by Nixon was unjustified
e
Why does it matter?
o
Protected freedom of the press
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
e
Facts of the case:
o
o
Wisconsin hada statute that all kids had to go to school until 16, but the Amish religion prohibits schooling past 8″ grade The state still tried to force some Amish kids to go to high school
e
Constitutional question:
©
Did Wisconsin violate the kids’ freedom of relision?

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e
e
Conclusion:
o
Yes, states can still legally introduce compulsory education requirements but still must allow exceptions to protect freedom of religion
Why does it matter?
o
Protected freedom of religion and made established that it applied to schools
Roe v. Wade (1973)
e
Facts of the case:
o
A Texas law banned abortion; the state was sued by an anonymous woman known as Jane Roe
e
e
e
Constitutional question:
o
Does the constitution recognize a woman’s right to abortion?
Conclusion:
Yes, the fourteenth amendment recognizes the nght to privacy
o o Awoman’s nght to abortion falls under her right to privacy
Why does it matter?
o o
Legalized abortion in the United States Established the constitutional right to privacy
McDonald v. Chicago (2010)
e
e
e
e
Facts of the case:
o o
MeDonald challenged multiple gun bans that were introduced in Chicago Claimed that the bans violated the second amendment
Constitutional question:
o
Dosecond amendment rights apply to the states?
Conclusion
o
Yes, the second amendment applies to the state through the fourteenth amendment’s due process clause
Why does it matter?
o
Incorporated the second amendment to the states

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