American Government 1

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Articles of Confederation
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the first constitution of the new states. established a weak central government
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Shay’s Rebellion
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rebellion against high taxes and interest rates; national government nor any individual state had enough power to protect property clear indicator of weak government
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Filtration (indirect elections)
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representation developed during the constitutional convention the public would vote for men who would in turn vote for public officials
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Virginia Plan
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larger states: strengthened the national government relative to state governments; congress would be bicameral with representation based on state populations
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New Jersey Plan
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smaller states: left most government authority with state governments; congress would be unicameral, each state with one vote
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Connecticut Compromise
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the house would have representatives based on population, the senate would have two representatives from each state
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Three-Fifths Compromise
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solution of how to count slaves when allocating seats in the house the total number of slaves counted as 3/5ths of the free people of the state
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the six goals of the Constitution (As stated in the Preamble)
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Form a strong union Establish equal justice for all Insure domestic tranquility (peace at home) Provide for the common defense (homeland security) Promote the general welfare Secure liberty for ourselves and posterity
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Habeas Corpus
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the government cannot hold prisoners without formally charging them with a crime
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Process for amending the Constitution
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approval from 2/3rds of both the house adn senate 3/4ths of the states must ratify–either through the state legislature or through state conventions
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two parts of the Constitution that were made unamendable
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-slave trade could not be stopped before 1808 -No state can be denied equal suffrage in the Senate (two seats) without its approval
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Anti-Federalists
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Opponents of the Constitution believed republics should be small and local, direct democracy Four major criticisms: -stripped political control away from citizens -president looks too much like a king -standing armies and navies were a threat to peace; should rely on citizen militias -missing bill of rights
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Federalists
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supporters of the Constitution
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Bill Of Rights
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First ten amendments: 1. Congress may not establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise of religion; it may not abide freedom of speech or of the press or of the people’s right to assemble and to petition government 2. Citizens have the right to bear arms 3. No soldier may be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner 4. There must be no unreasonable search or sizures. Government authorities may not break into your house without a search warrant 5. No one may be forced to testify against themselves; no one may be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The government may not take private property without just compensation 6. Certain rights are guaranteed in criminal trials 7. Accused personas are guaranteed the right to trial by jury 8. The government may not force citizens to pay excessive bails or impose cruel and unusual punishments 9. Enumerating these rights does not diminish the other rights retained by the people 10. Any powers not given to the federal government are reserved for the states and the people o Originally applied only to the federal government
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Unitary government
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a national polity governed as a single unit, with the central government exercising all or most political authority -Most nations in the 1780s and to this day. Local government is an administrative extension of national government
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Confederation
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a group of independent states or nations that yield some of their powers to a national government, although each state retains a degree of sovereign authority -national government is a weak central authority to provide common defense or economic benefits
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Federal systems
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power is divided and shared between national and state government -hybrid of unitary government and confederation devised at the consitutional convention
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Granted (express or enumerated) powers
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national government powers set out explicitly in the Constitution
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Necessary and proper clause
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defines congress’s constitutional authority to exercise the “necessary and proper” powers to carry out its designated functions
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inherent (implied) powers
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national government powers implied by, bot not specifically named in, the constitution
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supremacy clause
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the constitutional declaration that the national government’s authority prevails over any conflicting state or local government’s claims
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Tenth amendment
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Guarantees state’s authority “reserves” states all powers not expressly granted tot he national branches in Washington
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Reserved powers
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the constitutional guarantee (tenth amendment) that the states retain government authority not explicitly granted to the national government
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Concurrent powers
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Governmental authority shared by national and state governments, such as the power to tax residents
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Full faith and credit clause
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the constitutional requirement that each state recognize and uphold laws passed by other states
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Devolution
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the transfer of authority from national to state or local government level (new federalism)
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MuCullock v. Madison
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Supreme court case in which the national government’s powers were protected from state incursions Maryland’s attempted task on the national bank
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dual federalism
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clear division of governing authority between national and state governments, early US government layer cake
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Cooperative federalism
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mingled government authority, with functions overlapping across national and state governments, new deal government marble cake
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New Federalism
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a version of cooperative federalism, but with stronger emphasis on state and local government activity, vs. national government reagan, 1980s
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Civil Liberties
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the limits on government so that people can freely exercise their rights
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fourteenth amendment
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applies the bill of rights to state governments
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Barron v. Baltimore
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revisited after the fourteenth amendment court ruled that the government of Maryland had taken Barron’s property without compensation (wharf draining)
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Griswold v. Connecticut
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Supreme court declares right to privacy Planned parenthood defied birthcontrol ban
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Roe v. Wade
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supreme court used right to privacy to strike down a texas law banning abortion first major abortion case
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planned parenthood v. casey
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court upheld a womens right to terminate her pregnancy as a “component of liberty” rejected roe v. wade’s trimester framework which forbade any state regulation in the first trimester
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Engel v. Vitale
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freedom of religion court ruled that new york’s practice of starting the school day with a prayer violated the establishment clause rejected any school prayer even if it was optional and nondenominational
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Employment division v. Smith
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established the neutrlaity test court ruled against men fired from their jobs for smoking peyote in a religious ritual, laws against the drug were applied in a neutral manner
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Bradenburg v. Ohio
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court re wrote the clear and present dangers test -state may not interfere with speech unless the speech incites imminent lawless action and is likely to actually produce such action KKK rallies
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Near v. Minnesota
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supreme court announced restrictions on prior restraint court ruled that the state could not suppress a paper known for being racist
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Miller v. California
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obscenity case, devised the miller test and official court definition of obscenity
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McDonald v. Chicago
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court incorporated the second amendment
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Mapp v. Ohio
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supreme court devised exclusionary rule police arrested a woman based on evidence found illegally
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Miranda v. Arizona
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established miranda warnings court ruled that evidence acquired before the warning could not be used in court
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Gideon v. Wainwright
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right to council in felony trials, sixth amendment applied to states Florida rejected a demand for a lawyer in a theft trial
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Selective incorporation
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extending protections from the bill of rights to the state governments, one right at a time
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penumbras
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“shadows” shadows of the first amendment create zones of privacy
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emanations
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extensions the third amendment ban on quartering soldiers in private homes was designed to protect privacy
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right to privacy
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right that allows people to make their own choices not officially stated in the consitution
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the lemon test
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test for governments involvement in religion, not very accurate 1-the law must have a secular purpose 2-its principle effect must neither advance nor inhibit religion 3-it must not excessively entangle government in religion
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strict separation
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the strict principles articulated in the Lemon test for judging whether a law established a religion
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Accomidation
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the principle that government does not violate the establishment clause as long as it does not confer an advantage to some religions over others
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Sherbert/Balancing test
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1-was the government imposing a “significant burden” on the ability to exercise faith 2-did the government have a “compelling interest” for proposing the burden
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neutrality test
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employment division v. smith asks only weather the same law applies to everyone in a neutral manner
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preferred position
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the first amendment is given a preferred position among all the amendments to the constitution and free speech holds preferred position among the rights in the first amendment
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clear and present danger
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court doctrine that permits restrictions of free speech if officials believe that the speech will lead to prohibited action like violence or terrorism
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symbolic expression
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an act, rather than actual speech, used to demonstrate a point of view covered under freedom of speech
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prior restraint
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legal effort to stop speech before it occurs–ineffect, censorship only allowed for reasons of national security
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supreme court definition of “obscenity”
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1-the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest” (meaning that it is meant to be sexually stimulating) 2-depicts sexual conduct in a “patently offensive way” 3-the work lacks “serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value”
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exclusionary rule
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the ruling that evidence obtained in an illegal serch may not be introduced in a trial
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double jeopardy
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the principle that an individual cannot be tried twice for the same offense
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Suspect categories
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any legislation involving race, ethnicity, or legal aliens faces strict scrutiny. Court must ack if the government has a compelling government interest in singling out a race or ethnicity
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Quasi-suspect categories
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a legal category that requires governments to have an important state purpose for any legislation that singles out sex or gender
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Nonsuspect categories
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legislation based on age, sexual orientation, or physical handicaps simply has to have some rational connection between the legistlation and a legitimate government purpose
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Strict scrutiny
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the tendency to strike down as unconstitutional any legislation that singles out race or ethnicity, nless the government has a compelling interest in such legislation
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Dred Scott v. Sandford
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a landmark supreme court decision holding that black men could not be citizens under the Constiution of the United States ruled missouri compromise and popular sovereignty were both unconstitutional
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thirteenth amendment
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ratified 1865, abolished slavery
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fourteeht amendment (civil rights)
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protected former slaves and their freedom, anyone born in the united states was now a citizen and guaranteed equal protection under laws
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fifteenth amendment
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guarantees the right to vote, rights will not be denied ‘on account of race, color, or previous conditional servitude’
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grandfather clause
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forbabe people from voting if their grandfathers didnt vote limiting black vote
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poll taxes
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fees required to vote which most black people could not afford
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literacy tests
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required voters to read and interpret any passage in the state Constitution limiting black vote
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jim crow
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system of segregation built by the white majority in the US south that lasted from 1890 to 1965
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Plessy v. Ferguson
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supreme court case that permitted racial segregation
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de jure discrimination
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discrimination established by laws laws which specifically denied civil rights
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de facto discrimination
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more subtle forms of discrimination that exist without a legal basis
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brown v. board of education
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the landmark court case that struck down segregated schools as unconsitutional violated equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment
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civil rights act of 1964
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landmark legislation that forbade discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin
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voting rights act of 1965
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protected the right to vote, struck down voter-suppression tactics like the literacy test
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Affirmative action
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direct, positive steps to recruit members of previously underrepresented groups into schools, colleges, and jobs; sometimes involves setting aside positions (known as quotas)
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Disproportionate impact
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the effect some policies have of discriminating, even if discrimination is not consciously intended used to prove discrimination in any one hiring decision when implementing affirmative actions
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new jim crow
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the idea that penal policy (especially the war on drugs) unjustly targets black men and creates disadvantages for the black community by stripping members of full citizenship rights
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laws of coverature
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an outmoded legal tradition holding that a woman’s rights and duties all operate through her husband
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title VI and title IX of civil rights act of 1964
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denied federal funds for programs that discriminated aginst women (title VI) and required equal athletic opportunities for men and women (title IX)
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heightened scrutiny
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gender category in courts; not as rigorous as the scrutiny courts give racial classification, but a more rigorous test than that applies to other social groups

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