We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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Unit 3 Terms

abolitionists

Opponents of slavery who wished to put an end to the institution.    [ audio ]

adversary system

A system of justice in which court trials are essentially contests between accuser and accused that take place before an impartial judge or jury.    [ audio ]

amendment

A change in or addition to a legal document.    [ audio ]

delegated powers

According to the natural rights philosophy, people always retain their basic rights, but provisionally entrust or assign certain powers to their government for certain, limited purposes. The powers of government are therefore "delegated powers" in that they are granted by the people, and the people can take them back if government fails to fulfill its purposes.    [ audio ]

due process of law

A requirement stated in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that treatment by state and federal governments in matters of life, liberty, or property of individuals be reasonable, fair, and follow known rules and procedures. See procedural due process and substantive due process    [ audio ]

enfranchisement

Giving the right to vote to a person or category of persons.    [ audio ]

equality of condition

Equality in all aspects of life, such as wealth, standards of living, medical care, and working conditions.    [ audio ]

equality of opportunity

A right guaranteed by both federal and many state laws against discrimination in employment, education, housing, or credit rights due to a person's race, color, sex and sometimes sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, or handicap.    [ audio ]

franchise

A right or privilege. In the context of American politics, it means the right to vote.    [ audio ]

fundamental rights

See basic rights    [ audio ]

grandfather clause

Provisions of laws passed in the South after the Civil War stating that citizens could vote only if their grandfathers had been allowed to vote. The law made it impossible for African Americans to vote because their grandfathers had been excluded from voting.    [ audio ]

incorporation

The process through which the U.S. Supreme Court has applied the due process clause of the fourteenth Amendment to extend the reach of the Bill of Rights to include protection from interference by states.    [ audio ]

inquisitorial system

A trial system in which a judicial official or set of officials acts as both prosecutor and judge, questioning witnesses, examining evidence, and reaching a verdict.    [ audio ]

intermediate scrutiny

In U.S. constitutional law, the middle level of scrutiny applied by courts deciding constitutional issues through judicial review.    [ audio ]

judicial review

The power of the courts to declare laws and actions of the local and state governments or the national government invalid if they are found to contradict the U.S. Constitution.    [ audio ]

literacy test

A test to prove a person's abilities to read and write. Until 1964, such tests were used in various states to prevent minorities from voting.    [ audio ]

party system

A concept in political science that political parties control government.    [ audio ]

platform

List of the policies and priorities of a political party; also known as a manifesto.    [ audio ]

political party

An organization seeking to achieve political power by electing members to public office so that its political philosophy is reflected in public policy.    [ audio ]

poll tax

A tax that voters in many states were required to pay in order to exercise their right to vote. These barriers were used until 1964 to prevent African Americans from voting.    [ audio ]

procedural due process

The principle that government must respect all, not some, of a person's legal rights. Government must not subject individuals to unreasonable, unfair, or arbitrary treatment.    [ audio ]

rational basis

In U.S. constitutional law, the lowest level of scrutiny applied by courts deciding constitutional issues through judicial review.    [ audio ]

secession

In U.S. history, the act of states leaving the Union in 1861 following the election of President Abraham Lincoln; precipitated the Civil War.    [ audio ]

sedition

Incitement to rebellion.    [ audio ]

separate but equal

The argument, upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) but later reversed, that racially segregated public facilities are constitutional if those facilities are of equal quality.    [ audio ]

strict scrutiny

Under U.S. constitutional law, the second highest level of scrutiny used by courts reviewing federal law for constitutional legitimacy. "Super strict scrutiny" is the highest level.    [ audio ]

substantive due process

Judicial interpretations of the due process clauses of the U.S. Constitution requiring the content of law to be fair and reasonable.    [ audio ]

ticket

The choice of candidates of a political party for president and vice president.    [ audio ]
Unit 3      Terms
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