Political Science 1 Study Guide

Topics: First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Supreme Court of the United States, Politics of the United States Pages: 12 (3498 words) Published: November 18, 2013
Political Science 001 Final Review

Chapter 4

Clear and present danger test is a test to determine whether speech is protected or unprotected, based on its capacity to present a clear and present danger to society. Post WWI people were convicted under the federal espionage act of 1917 for opposing US involvement in the war. The Supreme Court upheld the espionage act and ruled against the people. This test led to the formation of the 1st Amendment.

The first amendment clause that defines the separation between church and state is known as the establishment clause. The government is prohibited from establishing an official state church. Court is strict in cases of school prayer, striking down such practices as Bible reading, nondenominational prayer, moment of silence for meditation, and pregame prayer at public sporting events.

The first amendment clause that protects a citizen’s right to believe and practice whatever religion he or she chooses is known as the free exercise clause. It also protects the right to be a nonbeliever. West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette allowed a Jehovah’s Witness student to not salute and pledge of allegiance to the flag because his religious faith did not permit it. Previously, a student would have been expelled for this. They changed their viewpoint due to the war to defend democracy in 1943.

The US applying the Bill of Rights to the states is called incorporation. Before this, it only applied to the federal government. State law was regulated by the individual state bills of rights, found in each state constitution, but the federal court system's power to strike down oppressive state laws was almost nonexistent. The US Supreme Court cases Quincy Railroad v. Chicago (1897), and again in Gitlow v. New York (1925), that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Bill of Rights applicable to state law as well as federal law.

Prior restraint is the effort by the US government to censor material from publication deemed to be libelous or harmful in some way. The Court forbids this except under the most extreme circumstances. The case of New York Times v. US the Court ruled that the government could not block publication of secret defense documents during the Vietnam War. Cases, such as this, showcase that freedom of speech implies and includes freedom of press as well.

The first amendment protects the expression an idea, known as symbolic speech. The case of Hague v. Committee for Industrial Organization declared that the government may not prohibit speech related activities such as demonstrating or leafleting in public areas but may impose rules. Burning flags is an example of symbolic speech that is protected.

Writ of Habeas Corpus is court order demanding that an individual in custody be brought into court and shown the cause for detention. This includes idea that a person is innocent until proven guilty in the US court of law. It further makes the constitutional justice system unique from other governments.

Chapter 5

Ascriptivism is a commonly held view that people are responsible for their own actions, which are made at their own free will. This counters determinism, which claims that the actions of everyone are preordained. Ascriptivism serves a popular political viewpoint helping to explain how America came to be.

Affirmative Action is a special type of government program that seeks to benefit those who were once oppressed. African-Americans are beneficiaries of this type of policy as a result of their history in slavery. For example, many colleges will be more generous in their criteria for acceptance to African-Americans than their Caucasian counterparts.

By fact, or de facto, is a term applied to rules that have no legal enforcement behind them. The United States does not have an official language, but it does have a de facto language: English. De jure, on the other hand, means by law. An example of this would be school...
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