Vocabulary List #1 Term Definition Paraphrase Example Affirmative

Vocabulary List #1
1. Affirmative action
A policy in hiring that
gives consideration or
compensatory treatment
to traditionally
disadvantaged groups in
an effort to overcome the
present effects of past
Strict scrutiny
A test used by the
(Supreme Court)
Supreme Court for issues
such as affirmative
action. Legislation in
these areas is highly
suspect and will be
closely watched and
allowed to stand only if
it serves a "compelling
government interest."
Miranda warnings
The warning given to
criminal suspects prior to
Exclusionary rule
A restriction imposed at
trial that disallows
admission by the
government (prosecutor)
of evidence it seized
Ex post facto law
Law that makes an act
punishable as a crime
even if the action was
legal at the time it was
Bill of attainder
A law declaring an act
illegal without a judicial
Writ of habeas corpus Habeas corpus literally
means "you have the
body." It's a court order
that requires a jailer to
bring a person to a court
or judge and explain the
charges on which the
person is being held. If
sufficient cause for
imprisonment is not
produced, the prisoner
must be released
Clear and present
The test proposed by
danger test
Justice Holmes for
determining under what
9. Free exercise clause
10. Establishment clause
11. Selective
12. Civil rights
13. Civil liberties
government may restrict
free speech. Under this
test, restrictions are
permissible when speech
provokes a "clear and
present danger" to the
public order
The 1st Amendment
provision guaranteeing
freedom of worship and
religious practice.
Government cannot take
official action to support
any religion; used to
restrict government
efforts to aid religious
organizations and
schools, require prayers
in public schools, or
require teaching
fundamentalist theories
of creation in public
The process in which
Supreme Court
selectively applies
provisions of the Bill of
Rights to the states
through the 14th
Those powers or
privileges guaranteed to
individuals or protected
groups by government,
which are protected from
arbitrary removal by
government or by private
individuals. In the U.S.,
they include the right to
vote, equal treatment
before the law, and equal
access to and benefits
from public facilities.
Those personal freedoms
possessed by all
individuals and protected
from arbitrary
interference by
government. They
include the protection of
14. Office of
management and
15. Entitlement program
16. Judicial activism
17. Judicial restraint
18. Stare decisis
19. Amicus curiae brief
20. Solicitor general
persons, opinions, and
A division of the
Executive Office of the
President charged with
running the government
efficiently and
economically, helping to
prepare the annual
A benefit provided by
the government to which
recipients have a legally
enforceable right.
A doctrine holding that
judges should take an
active role in making
decisions that lead to
socially desirable ends,
primarily by exercising
the power of judicial
A doctrine holding that
judges should not take
an active role in making
decisions that lead to
socially desirable ends.
Instead, judges should
restrain their own
opinions and desires and
defer policy decisions to
legislators and the
executive branch—
elected officials who are
accountable to voters.
Court policy to follow
precedents established in
past cases; to stand on
decided cases.
A "friend of the court."
brief is a document filed
with a court containing a
legal argument
supporting a desired
outcome in a particular
case. It is filed by a party
not directly involved in
the litigation but with an
interest in the outcome
of the case.
Responsible for handling
appeals on behalf of the
US government to the
Supreme Court