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The American Government Assignment

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Introduction and GuifeThe following questions are based on assigned textbook readings. Answer each question as completely as possible. Be sure to proofread your work carefully for correct spelling, grammar, and usage.

Creative thinking and your own wording are important aspects of an effective answer. Do not merely copy sentences or paragraphs from the readings. However, you should use ideas from the readings if they support your answer. When you do, be sure to acknowledge the source of the quotation or paraphrase.

  1. The Constitution lists the powers of and limits on the federal government, but the Bill of Rights lists the guaranteed freedoms of the people. List four rights, each from a different amendment, and explain each. Are the rights you have chosen absolute? What is the Lemon test? Explain. [MO2.1, MO2.3] 
  2. Consider the Brandenburg v. Ohio case (1969). What is the current test limiting free speech, what is symbolic speech, and is any speech protected? [MO2.1, MO2.3] 
  3. The due process clause has wide application. Explain procedural due process and its relationship to the exclusionary rule, unreasonable searches and seizure, the plain view exception, good faith exceptions, and other rights of the accused. [MO2.1, MO2.3] 
  4. Is there a right to privacy specifically listed in the Constitution? Explain. Discuss the importance of the Griswold v. Connecticut case (1965). How did the court define a right that didn’t exist prior to the case? Which amendment was interpreted to include this right? How did this right expand in subsequent years? [MO2.1, MO2.2, MO2.3] 
  5. Explain the difference between civil liberties and equal rights (civil rights). What do “classes within society” have to do with equal rights? Discuss changes over time in the interpretation of the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. [MO2.1, MO2.2, MO2.3, MO2.4] 
  6. With regard to equal protection of various classes of people, the Court applies the rational basis test or the strict-scrutiny test. Explain rational basis and strict-scrutiny as well as what it means to say that race and national origin are suspect classifications. [MO2.2, MO2.3, MO2.4]
  7. Explain de jure discrimination and de facto discrimination. How did affirmative action programs attempt to end both? Summarize Bakke v. California (1978). What impact did it have on affirmative action programs? [MO2.2, MO2.4] 
  8. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968 are milestones in the continuing struggle to promote equality within American society. Describe both pieces of legislation and their significance. [MO2.2, MO2.4]
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