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End of Course Examination Review Session. Part III: The American Citizen. Civil Liberties Constitution mentions specific rights, fundamental to founding fathers. Writ of Habeas Corpus – Must be informed of the charges being brought against you.

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end of course examination review session
End of Course ExaminationReview Session

Part III: The

American Citizen


Civil Liberties

Constitution mentions specific rights, fundamental to founding fathers.

Writ of Habeas Corpus – Must be informed of the charges being brought against you.

No Bills of Attainder – Cannot be punished without a trial.

No Ex Post Facto – Cannot be punished for committing a crime before it was a law.

Bill of Rights were added in 1791 to provide specific guarantees by the Constitution.

Fourteenth Amendment held expansion of individual rights with due process.


First Amendment freedoms

These rights are fundamental because they provide for the basis of other freedoms.

Freedom of Religion:

Establishment Clause – Congress cannot establish a state religion.

Free Exercise Clause – Free to practice or not practice a religion of choice.

Freedom of Speech:

Pure Speech – Verbal speech that is given the most protection by the courts (most common).

Symbolic Speech – Using actions and symbols to convey an idea w/o using words (burning draft card, flag burning, wearing armbands).


May be subject to government restrictions if it endangers public.

Limitations exist in providing public security:

Alien and Seditions Act (1798) – Made it illegal to say anything false, scandalous and malicious against the government.

Sedition Act (1918) – Congress passes more sedition laws forbidding verbal attacks against the government for World War I.


Freedom of Press:

Often protected because it is closely related to free speech.

Form of expression.

Includes newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and Internet.

Freedom of Assembly and Petition:

Right to PEACEABLY assemble and protest government grievances.

Applies to public and private places.

Through letters, petitions, picketing, demonstrations, parades, and marches.


Property Rights

Due Process clause of Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment provides for protection of property (Government can’t deprive someone of life, liberty, or property without due process of law).

The Fifth Amendment offers Eminent domain, which allows government to take property for public use but also requires government pay just compensation.


Rights of the Accused

Fourteenth Amendment extends protections to apply to states.

Many Bill of Rights Amendments address rights of the accused.

Fourth Amendment – Search and Seizure: Any evidence obtained w/o a search warrant excluded from trials in state courts and created Exclusionary Rule – bars evidence obtained illegally in court (Mapp v. Ohio).

Fifth Amendment – Self-Incrimination: Suspects in police custody have certain rights and they also must be informed of those rights (Miranda v. Arizona).

Sixth Amendment – Right to an Attorney: In state trials, those who cannot afford an attorney can be provided one (Gideon v. Wainright).

Eighth Amendment – Cruel and Unusual Punishment.


Civil Rights

Guaranteed by Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Some discrimination is valid (drinking age) because for a rational basis.

If discrimination reflects prejudice then states have to provide compelling evidence.

Incorporation allows Bill of Rights to be adopted by state and local government.


Civil Rights Movement

Civil War amendments were during Reconstruction to prevent states from discrimination against former slaves.

Thirteenth Amendment - abolished slavery.

Fourteenth Amendment - defined citizenship to include former slaves, provide due process, and equal protection.

Fifteenth Amendment - cannot be denied the right to vote on the basis of race.


Until 1950s and 60s states continued to use discriminatory practices to prevent Blacks from participating in govt

Black Codes – State laws- literacy tests, poll taxes, registration laws, white primaries.

Jim Crow laws – Designed to segregate races in schools, public transportation and hotels.

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)- Supreme Court upheld LA state law and created Separate but Equal Doctrine

FDR and Truman worked to ban discrimination in government and military.


Brown v. Board of Education (1954) - Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson by ruling separate is NOT Equal.

Brown v. Board of EducationII (1956) - Ordered desegregation of public schools with all deliberate speed.

Civil Rights Act of 1957 – Created Civil Rights Division in Justice Depratment and made it a crime to prevent someone from voting in federal elections.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Prohibited discrimination in employment, and in public places. Created Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Twenty-Fourth Amendment – Outlawed poll taxes .

Voting Rights Act of 1965 – Outlawed literacy tests and other discriminatory tests in voting.

Civil Rights Act of 1991 – Made it easier for employees to bring suit against employers with discriminatory hiring practices.


Women’s Movement

Nineteenth Amendment (1920) – Gave women the right to vote.

Equal Pay Act-1963 – It is illegal to base an employees pay on race, gender, or religion

Civil Rights Act of 1964 – Banned job discrimination based on gender

Reed v. Reed – A law that discriminated against women violated equal protection of Fourteenth Amendment.

Equal Employment Opportunity Act – prohibited gender discrimination in hiring, firing, promotions, pay and work conditions

The Omnibus Education Act 1972 – required boys and girls and equal opportunity to participate in school sports- Title 9.


Party Systems

One-Party System- (Theocracy) one party exists that has a change of winning the election- result is dictatorship

Two party system- there may be several political parties but only to major parties compete for power . Enhances government stability – avoids extremes

Single member districts- promotes two party system. Voters have to make a choice and only one wins

Multi-Party System -Several major parties and minor parties compete in elections- leads to coalitions and instability


Functions of Parties

Recruit candidates.

Nominate and support candidates for office.

Educate the electorate.

Organize the government: Congress is organized on political party controls (Majority and Minority party leaders).

Most people join a party based on the shared views on issues or role of government (ideology, education, income, gender, occupation, race, family, or region).


Roles of the Media

Inform public.

Shape public opinion.

Link people to government.

Watch dog to investigate government.

Helps to set agenda for policy- influence what subjects become national political issues.

Interest Groups- Functions

Raise awareness and stimulate interest in public affairs.

Representing membership serving as a link between members and government.

Provide data and testimony to government in making policy.

Provide a channel for political participation so citizens can work together to achieve a goal.


Types of Interest Groups

Economic Interest Groups.

Labor Unions – AFL-CIO

Business – National Association of Manufacturers

Professional – National Education Association (NEA)

Agriculture – National Grange

Groups promoting causes.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

National Rifle Association (NRA).

American Assoc. of Retired Persons (AARP).

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Public Cause – Environment, crime, civil rights, etc.

Common Cause.

Mothers against Drunk Driving (MADD).

League of Women Voters


Strategies of Interest Groups

Influence Elections – Encourage members to vote for a candidate who represents their cause and contribute money through PACs.

Political Action Committees (PACs) – Committees that raise money for interest groups.

Lobbying – Attempting to influence lawmakers by supplying data and information to government officials and staff to convince policy makers that their ideas are deserving.

Grassroots Lobbying – Interest group members and others outside organization write letters, call, and email to influence policy makers.

Litigation – Taking an issue to court.

Going Public – Appealing to public for support.


Domestic Policy

Social welfare began during New Deal Era under the guidance of the Democratic Party.

Great Depression led citizens to want more government help against economic downturns and poverty.

Social Security Act of 1935 – Old age insurance, disability, and unemployment compensation.

Great Society – Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty programs that created Medicare, school aid and job training.

Welfare Reform Act of 1996 – Gave state government more power in administering welfare programs.


Economic Policy

President and Congress responsible for economic health of nation.

Raising Revenue

Collection of Taxes - Federal income tax is the largest, social insurance taxes, excise, estate, corporate, and customs duties.

Borrowing – Selling bonds.

Fiscal Policy

Government using taxation and spending to influence the economy.

Used through the creation and implementation of the federal budget.


Monetary Policy

When the Federal Reserve influences interest rates and money supply.

Uses three tools:

Discount rate – Interest rate at which the Fed charges member banks for loans: the lower it is the more money banks can borrow.

Reserve Requirements – Amount of money member banks are required to keep in reserve to back loans.

Open Market Operations – Buying and selling of bonds- if Fed buys bonds it inflates economy, if they sell bonds they deflate or take money out of the economy.


Economic Systems

Market Economy – Buyers and sellers act as individual interests determining what, how and for whom goods are produced.

Protects property rights, maintains competition, promotes growth and justice, and stabilizes prices.

Command Economy – Central authority, usually government making decisions- communism, socialism.

Capitalism – Based on private ownership of the means of production.

Laissez Faire – “let alone or let be”- government keeps its hands off of economy or policies.