The national government created in the Constitution operates according to three general principles: the concept of federalism, the doctrine of separation of powers, and the right of judicial review.
What is "separation of powers"?
The federal government operates separately from the state governments.
The constitutional doctrine that each of the three branches of government has separate and distinct powers.
The president has separate powers from those of the vice-president.
States can separate from the union if they wish to do so.
Checks and balances were established by case law and allow the president to check on Congress and balance the budget.
What is judicial review?
The court can review the presidents decisions.
This power gives the courts the right to review legislative enactments and to determine if any law is inconsistent with the Constitution.
The courts have the power to review the laws of the land and they can determine if any specific law is inconsistent with public opinion.
Judges are allowed to review the vice-president's actions.
In the case of Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court decided that it did have the power to interpret the Constitution and invalidate laws that conflict with the interpretation.
Check all that apply to the Bill of Rights.
The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
Ratification of the Constitution occurred only with guarantees that a list of basic rights or freedoms would be added.
Were added in 1976.
Limits the power of government to interfere with certain rights and freedoms.
In various cases interpreting the Fourteenth Amendment, especially the Due Process Clause, the Supreme Court held that the phrase “due process” includes or incorporates most of the rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights. This is known as the incorporation doctrine.
The First Amendment protects the following rights from governmental interference (check all that apply):
freedom of religion
freedom of speech
freedom of press
freedom of assembly
freedom of petition
right to bear arms
right to speedy jury trial
The Establishment Clause limits the right of government to interfere in a person’s practice of his or her religion. The Free Exercise Clause limits the government’s power to create or support religious institutions and led to the philosophy of separation of church and state.
Freedom of speech applies to the following (check all that apply):
Allows citizens to speak out freely about important issues and political leaders.
Extends to artistic and literary works.
Extends to conduct that expresses ideas.
extends to criminal conduct if a political view is being expressed.
is not limited by either the Constitution or Supreme Court.
What are some examples of "injurious speech"? Check all that apply.
Yelling fire in a crowded building.
Saying, "I hate you" to your mother.
Speaking or printing untrue statements about a person.
Telling a best friend that their spouse cheated on them.
Burning a flag.
Publishing trade secret information.
Laws that prohibit obscenity or punish individuals for making defamatory statements or statements that incite violence are not unconstitutional.
Criminal defendants also have rights--check all of the amendments below that provide the basis for these rights.
The Civil War led to the abolition of slavery and resulted in three constitutional amendments providing for certain civil rights. Please check the three rights that were established.
The Twelfth Amendment provided for the right to bear arms by any man or woman, no matter the race.
The Thirteenth Amendment expressly abolished slavery or involuntary servitude.
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibited any state from denying a person the right to vote based on their skin color.
The Fifteenth Amendment provided that the right to vote should not be denied to anyone because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
The Fourteenth Amendment prohibited any state from denying a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denying any person within the state the equal protection of the law.
One of the first cases requiring the Supreme Court to interpret the Equal Protection Clause was Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 case dealing with the constitutionality of a Louisiana state law mandating separate railroad cars for different races. The Court upheld the law and the doctrine of separate but equal resulted from this case and remained the law for more than 50 years until the Supreme Court's case of Brown v. Board of Education.
Affirmative action policies could consider race, but any policy considering race must be “narrowly tailored.”
Congress enacted several laws prohibiting discrimination by businesses or individuals who are involved in interstate commerce, using the power given to it by the Interstate Commerce Clause,
Prohibited discrimination includes discrimination based on (Check all that apply):
Which Amendments protect the right to vote?
What is the one man-one vote rule?
Everyone’s vote carries the same weight.
Only men can vote.
Men can vote once, but businesses can have two votes.
Gave the right to vote to women.
Procedural due process governs substantive laws enacted by government. Substantive due process governs the procedures or ways in which individuals are deprived of life, liberty, or property.
A test used by the courts when examining the constitutionality of a law; requires that the law have a reasonable connection to a legitimate state purpose.
Rational Basis Test
Substantial factor test
A separate opinion written by one or more justices in a case; this opinion disagrees with the decision of the majority of the court.