POLS 155:American Political Institutions

28 Mar

14 Civil Liberties

  1. The __________ allows for the trial of enemy combatants before military commissions.
  2. Sixth Amendment b. Fourth Amendment c. USA PATRIOT Act                          d. Military Commissions Act


  1. What was the Supreme Court’s main purpose in adopting the exclusionary rule?
  2. to allow for regulation of content on the Internet b. to allow journalists to withhold information from grand juries
  3. to protect individuals against self-incrimination d. to remove any incentive for police misconduct


  1. Under the “undue burden” test, the Supreme Court has allowed __________.
  2. government funding of religious charities
  3. states to require women to wait 24 hours before having an abortion
  4. evidence contrary to the Miranda guidelines to be used in criminal cases
  5. the federal government to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely


  1. In Miller v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court held that material must have a deficit of meaningful artistic, literary, political, or scientific worth to be considered __________.
  2. obscene b. hate speech c. fighting words                   d. a prior restraint                                e. unseen


  1. Selective incorporation makes the protections of the Bill of Rights applicable to the states through which of the following amendments?
  2. Fourth b. Fifth c. Sixth                   d. Fourteenth                        e. Seventeenth


  1. Which of the following is a consequence of selective incorporation?
  2. It has led to restrictions on the right to bear arms. b. It has given greater power to state governments.
  3. It has given greater power to the national government. d. It has led to restrictions on freedom of speech.


  1. A false written statement is considered to be __________, while utterances that have the power to provoke individuals to acts of violence are considered __________.
  2. defamation; slander b. slander; libel c. libel; defamation                              d. libel; fighting words


  1. A Christmas tree and nativity scene is displayed at the statehouse. Which Supreme Court justice would most likely object to this as a violation of the establishment clause?
  2. Justice Thomas b. Justice Scalia c. former Chief Justice Rehnquist                    d. former Justice O’Connor


  1. Obscenity and fighting words are examples of which of the following?
  2. hate speech b. slander c. unprotected speech                        d. protected speech


  1. Over the course of the early 2000s, the Supreme Court ruled that detainees have a right to which of the following?
  2. due process b. the assistance of counsel c. equal protection                               d. habeas corpus


  1. In Employment Division v. Smith, the Supreme Court altered the interpretation of which of the following?
  2. the exclusionary rule b. the due process clause
  3. the free exercise clause d. the incorporation doctrine


  1. Miranda rights include the right to which of the following?
  2. due process b. a jury trial c. freedom from search and seizure                                d. counsel
  3. equal protection


  1. The USA PATRIOT Act enhances the government’s ability to do which of the following?
  2. examine private records b. take personal property
  3. imprison citizens without trial d. indict foreign enemies


  1. The Supreme Court has ruled that states can limit abortions if the regulations do not pose which of the following?
  2. a bar to equal protection b. a due process violation
  3. a prior restraint d. an undue burden


  1. The Supreme Court briefly outlawed which of the following in the 1970s due to concerns that it might violate the Eighth Amendment?
  2. capital punishment b. access to court-appointed counsel
  3. symbolic speech protection d. the exclusionary rule


  1. What type of due process protects citizens from arbitrary or unjust state or federal laws?
  2. procedural b. constitutional c. substantive                       d. individual


  1. The Supreme Court has used selective incorporation to __________ the rights of states.
  2. protect b. limit c. expand                              d. enforce


  1. The right of the individual to contract, to acquire useful knowledge, and to marry are liberties that are expressly protected by which type of due process?
  2. civil b. substantive c. criminal                              d. procedural


  1. Before 1990, the Supreme Court allowed government infringement on religious practices if __________.
  2. such infringement reinforced the “wall of separation” between church and state
  3. the law was not targeted at particular religious groups
  4. the government had a compelling interest in doing so d. the religious practices in question were widely condemned


  1. The “right to remain silent” is a citizen’s protection against which of the following?
  2. governmental intrusion b. search and seizure c. religious establishment                  d. self-incrimination


  1. The double jeopardy clause keeps an individual who is acquitted of a crime from which of the following?
  2. media coverage b. being tried again c. asserting innocence
  3. seeking the assistance of an attorney


  1. Procedural due process limits __________, while substantive due process limits __________.
  2. what the law is; how the law is applied b. how the law is applied; what the law is
  3. regulation of speech; regulation of action d. infringement on civil liberties; infringement on civil rights


  1. A four-letter profanity worn on a sweatshirt would be considered __________.
  2. hate speech b. fighting words c. obscenity                           d. protected speech


  1. In the most recent case of selective incorporation in 2010, the Supreme Court applied the __________ to the states.
  2. First Amendment right to free speech b. First Amendment right to religious freedom
  3. Fifth Amendment rights of the accused d. Second Amendment right to bear arms


  1. Convicted criminals whose sentences increase during their prison term due to a change in the law have been illegally subjected to what kind of law?
  2. cruel and unusual b. habeas corpus c. ex post facto                     d. bill of attainder


  1. Under the bad tendency test, which of the following would be prohibited?
  2. withholding of information from grand juries b. speech advocating the use of illegal drugs
  3. published defamation or false statements d. government entanglement with religion



  1. What was Justice Potter Stewart referring to when he said, “I know it when I see it”?
  2. regulatory taking b. slander c. obscenity                           d. prior restraint


  1. What was the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v. California?
  2. The Court developed the exclusionary rule.
  3. The Court resolved debate over interpretation of the establishment clause.
  4. The Court broadened the power of eminent domain.
  5. The Court agreed to a constitutional definition of obscenity.


  1. Journalists generally support a right to withhold information from grand juries or legislative committees. What is their main argument?
  2. This right is essential to protect reporters from self-incrimination.
  3. This right is essential to maintain the independence of the press.
  4. Without this right, reporters will not be able to get the information they need to keep the public informed.
  5. Without this right, journalists will have no ability to shape the content of news stories.


  1. When the government exercises the power of eminent domain, it must __________.
  2. first get congressional approval b. fairly compensate the property owner
  3. demonstrate a compelling government interest d. first pursue other policy alternatives


  1. Under what circumstance is a law regulating speech most likely to be upheld?
  2. if the law targets profane language b. if the law is viewpoint neutral
  3. if the law does not require prior restraint d. if the law avoids excessive government entanglement


True-False Questions

  1. The preferred position doctrine holds that First Amendment freedoms should only be abridged with great reluctance.


  1. Commercial speech is constitutionally protected.


  1. The Fourteenth Amendment suggests that the protections in the Bill of Rights could be interpreted as applying to the states.


  1. State restrictions on handguns and other arms are now subject to strict constitutional review.


  1. Writs of habeas corpus are laws declaring an act illegal without a judicial trial.


  1. A petit jury decides if a defendant is found guilty in a civil or criminal action.


  1. The Constitution explicitly protects the right to privacy.


  1. The Supreme Court has held that any restrictions on access to abortion are unconstitutional.



15 Civil Rights

  1. In striking down Colorado’s constitutional amendment barring sexual orientation as a protected category in antidiscrimination lawsuits, the Supreme Court used the __________ test.
  2. reasonable basis b. heightened scrutiny c. rational basis                    d. strict scrutiny


  1. The Fifteenth Amendment guarantees citizens the right to vote regardless of __________.
  2. race b. gender c. age                     d. property ownership                         e. sexual orientation



  1. Federal Courts have applied the 1964 Civil Rights Act in which of the following contexts?
  2. reducing racial segregation in housing b. workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians
  3. sexual harassment in the workplace d. use of race as a factor in university admissions


  1. In what two ways does the Constitution protect civil rights?
  2. by declaring that all people are created equal and stating that all are equally entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
  3. by ensuring that government officials do not discriminate against citizens and by granting federal and state governments power to protect citizens against discrimination by private individuals
  4. by granting the states the power to ignore any federal laws that the states find are discriminatory against the particular people living in that state
  5. by declaring that all people, men and women, black and white, are created equal, and that all forms of discrimination are wrong, whether political, social, or religious


  1. Which of the following occurred during the period including both world wars that facilitated employment and social gains for African Americans?
  2. entry into the military by African Americans to serve their country
  3. dissolution of segregation in war factories to recruit more African Americans to work in them
  4. migration of African Americans to northern cities to seek jobs in war factories
  5. greater need for African Americans to work in agricultural production in the South


  1. Presidents __________ used their executive authority to fight racial discrimination, despite congressional resistance.
  2. Hoover and Roosevelt b. Truman and Eisenhower
  3. Clinton and George W. Bush e. Johnson and Grant


  1. Romer v. Evans (1996) was a victory for __________.
  2. voting rights activists b. gay rights activists c. disabled rights activists                  d. Asian Americans


  1. What provision of the Fourteenth Amendment serves as a cornerstone of our understanding of civil rights?
  2. the all men are created equal clause b. the equal protection clause
  3. the privileges and immunities clause d. the grandfather clause


  1. What strategy did the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) use most effectively to advance civil rights for African Americans?
  2. boycotts b. litigation c. nonviolent direct action                  d. marches and rallies


  1. What was the basis for the Supreme Court’s decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that upheld the constitutionality of a state law requiring segregated railroad facilities?
  2. Former slaves are not entitled to full citizenship rights because they did not immigrate to the United States willingly.
  3. The Constitution does not prohibit segregation; it only mandates equal protection under the law.
  4. Railroad transportation involves interstate commerce, which is regulated by Congress; there is no provision in federal law that prohibits segregation.
  5. Each state has the right to interpret the Constitution as it sees fit, as long as the interpretation is “reasonable and without malice.”


  1. In striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, the Supreme Court ruled that __________.
  2. the federal government is responsible for defining marriage b. states are responsible for defining marriage
  3. marriage is defined as a union between one man and one woman d. same-sex marriage is a fundamental right


  1. What provision of the Constitution did Congress use to justify laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants?
  2. the First Amendment b. the full faith and credit clause c. the commerce clause
  3. the supremacy clause


  1. When a law is subject to the __________ test, the burden of proof is on government to justify the classification based on a “compelling government interest.”
  2. heightened scrutiny b. strict scrutiny c. rational basis                    d. suspect classification


  1. Which of the following accommodations would an employer most likely have to make to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act?
  2. hiring a disabled person instead of a better qualified person without a disability
  3. providing better medical insurance for employees who have a disability
  4. lowering expectations for the quality of work performed by employees with disabilities
  5. installing a ramp and other physical accommodations for someone who uses a wheelchair


  1. Tests given to African Americans with questions that are far more difficult than those asked on comparable tests given to whites have been used to discriminate against African Americans in what area?
  2. employment b. serving on juries c. admission to college                       d. voting e. joining the military


  1. Why did the Supreme Court rule against the 2011 class action suit alleging sex discrimination against Wal-Mart?
  2. The Court ruled that the plaintiffs had not established that their cases were similar enough to proceed as a class.
  3. The Court did not find sufficient evidence of sex discrimination.
  4. The Court found that the classification based on sex passed the heightened scrutiny test.
  5. The Court found that the classification based on sex passed the rational basis test.


  1. Why have some politicians and civil rights leaders begun to focus attention on the concept of equality between groups rather than equality of individual opportunity?
  2. because there are large disparities in wealth and advantage between groups that lead to social and economic disadvantages for most of the individuals within certain groups
  3. because there is far more power in group protest against discrimination and inequality than in individual actions
  4. because the courts are more willing to review accusations of discrimination when they are submitted by large groups of people than when they come from a single person
  5. because there are large disparities in political access between groups, and so people from those groups with access need to reach across the aisle and help people from the others


  1. How has the Equal Rights Amendment affected women’s civil rights?
  2. It has ensured that men and women are treated equally in the workplace.
  3. It has ensured that the courts evaluate gender discrimination using the strict scrutiny test.
  4. It solidified the civil rights women had earlier won through legal victories.
  5. It has had little effect because it was not formally adopted.


  1. How might the Supreme Court decisions in Korematsu v. United States (1944), involving the Japanese internment, and in Boumediene v. Bush (2008), involving the detention of citizens and foreign nationals who were declared to be “enemy combatants,” be viewed in retrospect?
  2. Both decisions might be viewed as upholding important constitutional principles.
  3. The first might be viewed as a step toward protecting civil rights of citizens, and the second as a step backward in the struggle for civil rights protection.
  4. Both decisions might be viewed as hindering the civil rights of citizens.
  5. The first might be viewed as a missed opportunity for the Supreme Court to protect civil rights, and the second as a step toward protecting civil rights.


  1. Why did Congress pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965?
  2. because it was clear that the South had no intention of living up to the spirit of the Fifteenth Amendment
  3. because Congress was afraid the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. would lead a boycott of white businesses if the legislation was not passed
  4. to prevent the race riots from spreading from African American neighborhoods into traditionally white neighborhoods
  5. because the Supreme Court had determined that only the national government could regulate elections


  1. How are the Fourteenth Amendment and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 similar?
  2. They both were enacted quickly and easily.
  3. They both passed the strict scrutiny test administered by the Supreme Court.
  4. They were both based on Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
  5. They both sought equal rights for African Americans.


  1. How do the rational basis and the quasi-suspect or heightened scrutiny standards of review differ?
  2. The rational basis standard requires an important governmental objective for classification; the quasi-suspect standard requires a compelling governmental interest.
  3. The rational basis standard applies only to racial classifications; the quasi-suspect standard applies to age and sexual orientation classifications.
  4. The quasi-suspect standard of review is applied to a broader array of classifications than the rational basis standard.
  5. It is easier for the government to demonstrate that there is a rational basis for a law than to meet the requirements of the quasi-suspect standard.


  1. What was the Supreme Court’s justification for overturning the separate-but-equal doctrine?
  2. The Supreme Court did not have all of the facts when it adopted the separate-but-equal doctrine.
  3. The quality of life for African Americans in the South had deteriorated considerably since the adoption of the separate-but-equal doctrine.
  4. The Supreme Court needed to step in because the South had been unwilling to segregate educational facilities as required by Plessy v. Ferguson.
  5. Segregated schools stigmatize minority children and are inherently unequal.


  1. Which of the following arguments would most likely be made by an opponent of affirmative action policies?
  2. Affirmative action helps to compensate for past discrimination. b. Discrimination is a natural part of the human experience.
  3. Affirmative action discriminates on the basis of race. d. Diversity helps Americans better understand each other.


  1. What factors have prevented Hispanics from translating their numbers into comparable political clout?
  2. political differences among them, and the fact that many are not citizens or registered to vote
  3. programs like “Operation Wetback” and the “show me your papers” provision in Arizona
  4. the facts that many of them are not citizens or registered to vote, and many are illiterate
  5. their recent arrival in the United States, and the fact that many have not learned to speak English


  1. Which of the following situations would most likely be a violation of Title IX?
  2. an election jurisdiction that does not provide bilingual ballots when there is a large bilingual community
  3. a college that spends significantly more on sports programs for men than for women
  4. job applications that are not made accessible to the blind
  5. an employer who systematically pays women less than men for doing comparable work



True-False Questions


  1. Under the Civil Rights Act, religious institutions such as parochial schools may not consider religion in employment decisions.


  1. In Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court overturned the separate-but-equal doctrine that the Court had established in Brown v. Board of Education.


  1. Racial segregation in housing persists in the United States due to lower income levels of African Americans and Hispanics.


  1. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that states have the authority to end affirmative action in university admissions.


  1. The Supreme Court has held that poverty does not constitute a suspect classification.


  1. Gender classifications are evaluated by the Supreme Court using the strict scrutiny standard.


  1. The Supreme Court has held that states cannot exclude children of illegal immigrants from public schools.






15 Civil Rights


Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

  1. The __________ Amendment guarantees African Americans the right to vote.


  1. Brown v. Board of Education overturned the __________ doctrine.


  1. The __________ was enacted in 1990 and is designed to protect the civil rights of disabled Americans.


  1. Although they are guaranteed certain rights like free speech and freedom of religion, __________ can be denied welfare and many other benefits in the United States and can be barred from employment in certain professions.


  1. Passed in 1830, the __________ required all Native American tribes to be moved from the East and Southeast.


  1. Jim Crow laws required __________ of African Americans and whites.


  1. The Supreme Court upheld a provision of a recent Arizona law that permits police officers to confirm the __________ of those they stop or detain.


  1. __________ rights are defined as those that are explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution.


  1. In 1964, Congress passed the __________ to help keep the promise of the Fourteenth Amendment.


  1. __________ programs are designed to help remedy continued inequality by giving special treatment to members of previously discriminated-against groups.


  1. To make it hard for poor blacks to vote without falling afoul of the Fifteenth Amendment, many southern states required citizens to pay __________, which disproportionately disenfranchised African Americans.


  1. Critics argue that the Supreme Court’s decision in Korematsu v. United States infringed on the civil rights of __________.


  1. The constitutionality of a law establishing a public elementary school open only to African American students from poor neighborhoods would be determined by the Supreme Court’s application of the __________ standard of review.


  1. Because of the Supreme Court’s decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, an affirmative action program that uses racial __________ would likely be deemed unconstitutional.


  1. Another name for __________ is human rights, since they are the rights that belong to all people regardless of citizenship.












14 Civil Liberties


Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

  1. One prong of the __________ test is that the law has a legitimate secular purpose.


  1. In Terry v. Ohio (1968), the Supreme Court upheld a(n) __________ exception to the warrant requirement when officers believe someone is armed and dangerous.


  1. Though the Supreme Court has resisted striking down the __________, critics wonder why alleged criminals should be freed simply due to police misconduct or error.


  1. There are two kinds of due process that serve as restraints on government’s exercise of power: procedural and __________.


  1. __________ speech includes libel, obscenity, and fighting words.


  1. After a 10-year moratorium in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the __________ does not inherently violate the Eighth Amendment.


  1. __________ words are words that by their very nature inflict injury on those to whom they are addressed.


  1. __________ rights include the right to remain silent.


  1. The Supreme Court has upheld the government’s taking of private property if it is for __________.


  1. Prior restraint is a constitutional doctrine that prevents the government from prohibiting speech or publication __________ the fact.


  1. In its 2010 decision in McDonald v. Chicago, the Supreme Court incorporated the __________ Amendment to the states.

87.Passed in 2001, the __________ expanded the size of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and lowered requirements to approve search warrants in cases involving terrorism.


  1. Yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater is a classic example of speech that creates a __________.


  1. An article falsely accusing Barack Obama of being a drug addict is an example of __________.


  1. Under Roe v. Wade, a woman could legally seek an abortion freely during her __________ trimester.





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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in academic writing, Academic Writing



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