Civil Liberties and Civil Rights Rapid Review for AP U.S. Government
For a more thorough review of the terminologies below, refer to the following study guide:
- Civil liberties are those rights that belong to everyone and are guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill of Rights, Fourteenth Amendment, legislative actions, and court decisions.
- The establishment clause of the First Amendment has been interpreted to mean that there is a separation between church and state, preventing the government from supporting religion or one religion over another.
- The Lemon Test established standards for measuring separation of church and state.
- The free exercise clause guarantees the right to practice any religion or no religion at all.
- There are three classifications of speech: pure speech, symbolic speech, and speech plus.
- The right to free speech is not absolute. Speech may be regulated if national security is at stake; fighting words and obscenity are not protected forms of free speech. The Internet has not been regulated.
- Freedom of the press is often protected because it is closely related to free speech. Press includes newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet.
- The First Amendment also guarantees freedom of assembly and petition.
- The due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments provide for the protection of private property.
- The Constitution makes no mention of the right to privacy; however, the Supreme Court ruled that such a right exists under the Constitution.
- Several amendments of the Bill of Rights address the rights of those accused of crimes, including the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments. The Fourteenth Amendment extends those protections to apply to the states.
- Civil rights are the positive acts of government designed to prevent discrimination and provide equality before the law.
- The civil rights movement began after the Civil War, with African Americans striving to gain political, social, and economic equality.
- Discriminatory practices were used by the states to prevent political participation by African Americans. These practices included black codes and Jim Crow laws.
- A positive step for African Americans came with the Brown v. Board of Education ruling in which the Supreme Court overturned the Plessy "separate but equal" ruling.
- The successes of the African American civil rights movement have encouraged other minorities, such as Hispanics, Native Americans, and Asian Americans, to call for an end to discrimination.
- Women have also worked to end discrimination. Their successes include gaining the right to vote and protections against employment discrimination.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 forbids discrimination against people with disabilities.
- Affirmative action is a controversial policy designed to correct the effects of past discrimination.
From 5 Steps to a 5 AP US Givernment & Politics. Copyright © 2010 by The McGraw-Hill Companies. All Rights Reserved.
Next Study Guide: Politics and Public Policymaking for AP U.S. Government
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