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Flashcards in GOVT 422 FINAL Deck (62):

Roth v. US

Prurient Interest Test
Obscenity has no legal redeeming social importance and receives no 1st amendment protection.


Tinker v. Des Moines

Student wore armbands to protest war.
Court considered this action "pure speech" which is protected by the 1st amendment.


NY Times v. Sullivan

Actual Malice
Public official may not recover damages unless he/she proves the statement was made with actual malice.


NY Times v. US

Pentagon Papers Case
Government tried to prevent NY Times from publishing excerpts from study on Vietnam policy
Court held that government’s attempt to block material was unconstitutional prior restraint


Miller v. California

Obscenity Test


Abrams v. US

Bad Tendency Test
Court affirmed Abrams’ conviction (a Socialist) for distributing leaflets urging workers to resist American involvement in Russia


US v. O'Brian

Draft-Card Case
Court Reject 1st Amendment claim of war protestor who burned draft card.
Govt's card, does not belong to O'Brian.


Texas v. Johnson

Court said Johnson’s conduct did not threaten to disturb the peace
Johnson’s conduct was of an expressive, overtly political nature
Dissenting, Rehnquist stated that flag burning was not expressing any particular idea, but designed to antagonize others


US v. Eichmann

Congress passed Federal Flag Protection Act of 1989 making flag burning a federal crime
Court struck down this Act as applied to flag burning as political protest


VA v. Black

Court upheld Va law banning cross burning with intent to intimidate b/c burning a cross is a particularly violent form of intimidation.


Coates v. Cincinnatti

Court struck down ordinance making it unlawful for persons to conduct themselves in an annoying manner


US v. Stevens

Court found alarming videos of animals being crushed, protected.


Lochner v. NY

Supreme Court struck down law about working hours as an unjustified interference with right to labor
Unjustified interference with “right to labor” and "Liberty of Contract”


Cantwell v. Conn

Applied the Free Exercise Clause to the states.
State may not require prior approval to solicit for religious purposes door to door


Plessy v. Ferguson

"Separate but equal”
“Colorblind Constitution”


Dred Scott

First Supreme Court decision (after Marbury v. Madison) to declare an act of Congress ‘unconstitutional.’
- Extreme example of Judicial Activism.
Court held that blacks were not citizens of the state.
Nullified by the 13th and 14th amendments.


Ex Parte McCardle

Reconstruction Acts of the South allowed soldiers to arrest anybody who interfered. Congress changed the supreme courts appellate jurisdiction during the argument and therefore they were forced to drop the case.


DC v. Heller

Recognized that the 2nd amendment granted individuals to bear arms.


Chicago v. McDonald

2nd amendment rights are protected against state government by 14th amendment.


Hammer v. Daggenheart

Congress could not reach child labor because its not manufacturer. Therefore not regulated by commerce.


Gibbons v. Ogden

Commerce Clause. Constitution empowers congress to regulate commerce, Congress could not regulate trade solely with one state but instead “between” states, 1793 congressional licensing act took precedence over the state act.


Buckley v. Valeo

Congress placed a limit on contributions to candidates.
Does this abridge citizen’s first amendment rights? Yes.


National League of Cities v. Usery

Congress amended the Fair Labor Standard Act in order to control minimum wage/overtime for government employees.
These amendments were considered unconstitutional because congress’ commerce power is limited and is protected by the tenth amendment.


Swift and Co. v. US

Challenged activities (buying and selling cattle) were local, but court found them to be in ‘current of commerce” among states.
Permits federal regulation of commerce that is no longer of an interstate nature.


US v. Comstock

Federal Statute that permits sex offenders to remain confined even after their time is served.
Challenged: Congress lacks authority to legislate in this area.
Supreme court held that Congress has the authority to enact his law.
Statutes narrow scope does not grant a general police power.


Lock v. Davey

Scholarship can be denied students who select religious major in college


Wisconsin v. Yoder

Court holds that Amish may refuse to educate children beyond 8th grade because Amish as a group educate children in home to include practical living skills and moral and religious values


Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire

Provides Fighting Words Doctrine
Court said “fighting words,” profane speech, libel are considered unconstitutional
Speech could be punished if it inflicted injury or created danger that the person addressed would resort to violence


Cohen v. California

Court narrowed exception and refused to classify as fighting words the message “____ the Draft” on back of Cohen’s jacket
Ruled that no individual could reasonably regard those words as a direct personal insult


Gonzales v. Reich

Congress may criminalize medicinal use of marijuana
Justice Thomas in his dissent said Congress had encroached on States’ traditional police powers
Would convert Necessary and Proper Clause into pretext for accomplishment of objects not entrusted to government


Gonzales v. Carheart

Court upholds Federal ban on Abortion.


Schenk v. US

Clear and Present Danger


Dennis v. US

Clear and Probable Danger


Everson v. Board of Education

Applied the Establishment Clause to the states


Bowers v. Hardwick

Court upheld GA law and refused to recognize fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy
Overturned on grounds that Due Process Clause prohibits states from making private consensual sex of adults a crime


What are the Distributive Articles?

Articles 1, 2, and 3.


Article 1

Deals with Congress, specifies qualifications for house (435 member) and congress, House members serve 2 years, Senators serve 6, most of the enumerated powers are located here.


Article 2

Gives Senate the power to participate in treaty making and to approve presidential appointments of ambassadors and federal judges.


Article 3

Authorizes Congress to define jurisdiction of lower federal courts and appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.
Grants SC 'original jurisdiction' and District courts 'concurrent jurisdiction.'


Habeus Corpus

An ancient common law device that persons can use to challenge legality of arrest or imprisonment.
Can be suspended by section 9 by congress (but not limited to congress) during a national emergency.


11th Amendment

Cannot sue another state


13th Amendment

Abolished Slavery


14th Amendment

Due Process and Equal Protection


15th Amendment

Protects the right to vote without prejudice


16th Amendment

Congress' power to lay and collect taxes


17th Amendment

Senate rules: 2 Senators for each state
Elected by the people of that state
Serve for 6 years, each has one vote.


9th Amendment

Enumeration of Right not to be abridged.


Article 1 Section 8

Enumerated Powers


Spending Power of Congress is grounded in which clause?

Necessary and Proper


Which clause of the Constitution does the SC often associate with property rights?

Contracts clause which morphed into Substantive Due Process.


Substantive Due Process is tied in with which clause?

Contracts Clause


War Powers Act

Name of the act that was passed by congress after the Vietnam war in an effort to commit the president’s military authority


What SC case would we look to for the implied powers doctrine?

McCullough v. MD


What kinds of speech are NOT protected by the first Amendment?

Fighting words, Obscenity, Defamation


Clear and Present Danger

Will words used create clear and present danger that Congress has the right to prevent?


Clear and Probable Danger

Asks whether gravity of evil, discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid danger.


Bad Tendancy

Essence is that a state may punish those who abuse freedom of speech and press with utterances tending to corrupt public morals or disturb the peace.
Much broader test.


Overbreadth Doctrine

First Amendment doctrine that holds that a law is invalid if it can be applied to punish people for engaging in constitutionally protected expression.



Legislation that fails to clearly inform the person what is required.


Pierce v. Society of Sisters

Right to Educate


When was the Supreme Court created?

1789 with the passage of the Judiciary Act.


Clinton v. City of NY

Did President Clinton have the authority, under the Line item veto act, to selectively cancel portions of a bill?
No, Legislation must either be ENTIRELY approved or ENTIRELY rejected.