Constitutional Law

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Constitutional Law: Chapters 1-5


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    After a proposed Constitution was written, it was submitted to the states for ratification. This ratification was opposed by some states because:

    • A.

      The Constitution contained no bill of rights

    • B.

      Excessive power was concentrated in the state governments

    • C.

      Congress had no power to tax

    • D.

      Small states were not given fair representation in the Senate of the United States

    Correct Answer
    A. The Constitution contained no bill of rights
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that the Constitution contained no bill of rights. This means that the proposed Constitution did not include a specific list of individual rights and freedoms that would be protected by the government. Some states opposed the ratification of the Constitution because they believed it was necessary to include a bill of rights to ensure the protection of individual liberties. They feared that without a bill of rights, the government would have too much power and could potentially infringe upon the rights of citizens.

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  • 2. 

    Under the terms of the proposed Constitution, the new government was to become operative if a certain number of states ratified. This number was:

    • A.

      9

    • B.

      10 10

    • C.

      11

    • D.

      All 13 states

    Correct Answer
    A. 9
    Explanation
    The correct answer is 9. According to the proposed Constitution, the new government would become operative if 9 states ratified it. This means that once 9 states agreed to the terms of the Constitution, the new government would be established and put into action.

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  • 3. 

    The ratification process was completed and the Constitution went into effect:

    • A.

      1787

    • B.

      1788

    • C.

      1791

    • D.

      1776

    Correct Answer
    B. 1788
    Explanation
    The ratification process for the Constitution was completed in 1788, which means that all the necessary approvals and acceptance from the states had been obtained. This signifies that the Constitution was officially recognized and put into effect, establishing it as the supreme law of the land.

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  • 4. 

    The United States Constitution, as originally adopted:

    • A.

      Prohibited the federal government from depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law

    • B.

      Was a very long, drawn out document that expressly dealt with all problems that might conceivably arise in the future

    • C.

      Was divided into seven major portions or articles

    • D.

      Neglected to include any provision for the method of amendment

    Correct Answer
    C. Was divided into seven major portions or articles
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that the United States Constitution, as originally adopted, was divided into seven major portions or articles. This means that the Constitution was organized into different sections or categories, each addressing a specific aspect of the government and its powers. This division allowed for a clear and structured framework for the functioning of the government and the protection of individual rights.

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  • 5. 

    Article I of the United States Constitution:

    • A.

      Grants Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

    • B.

      Contains the supremacy clause

    • C.

      Protects freedom of speech

    • D.

      Delegates to the President the power to declare war

    Correct Answer
    A. Grants Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.
    Explanation
    Article I of the United States Constitution grants Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. This means that Congress has the authority to pass laws and regulations that govern trade and business activities between states and with other countries. This power is important for maintaining a fair and consistent economic system across the nation and for promoting international trade relationships.

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  • 6. 

    Article II of the United States Constitution:

    • A.

      Establishes the powers of the President

    • B.

      Vests judicial power of the United States in the Supreme Court

    • C.

      Guarantees the right to bear arms

    • D.

      Guarantees that the federal government will not quarter troops in private homes

    Correct Answer
    A. Establishes the powers of the President
    Explanation
    Article II of the United States Constitution establishes the powers of the President. This article outlines the qualifications, term of office, and authority of the President, including the power to appoint and remove executive officers, the power to negotiate treaties, and the power to serve as Commander in Chief of the military. It also outlines the process for electing the President and the responsibilities of the executive branch. This article is crucial in defining the role and scope of the President's powers within the federal government.

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  • 7. 

    The first three articles of the Constitution are commonly referred to as the:

    • A.

      Delegation of powers articles

    • B.

      Supremacy clauses

    • C.

      Separation of powers articles

    • D.

      Necessary and proper provisions

    Correct Answer
    C. Separation of powers articles
    Explanation
    The first three articles of the Constitution are commonly referred to as the separation of powers articles because they outline the three branches of government and their respective powers. Article I establishes the legislative branch, Article II establishes the executive branch, and Article III establishes the judicial branch. These articles ensure a system of checks and balances, where each branch has its own powers and responsibilities, preventing any one branch from becoming too powerful. This separation of powers is a fundamental principle of the U.S. Constitution and helps to maintain a balanced government.

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  • 8. 

    Suppose the Supreme Court hands down a decision declaring the death penalty unconstitutional. Congress and the American people are outraged by this decision and want to restore the death penalty. Under our Constitution, what, if anything, can be done to get rid of an unpopular Supreme Court decision interpreting the Constitution?

    • A.

      Is immutable and cannot be changed

    • B.

      Can be nullified only by a three-fourths vote of both houses of Congress

    • C.

      Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution can be annulled by a constitutional amendment proposed by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.

    • D.

      Can be nullified only if the legislatures of 26 states propose the calling of a constitutional convention

    Correct Answer
    C. Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution can be annulled by a constitutional amendment proposed by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
    Explanation
    The correct answer states that Supreme Court decisions interpreting the Constitution can be annulled by a constitutional amendment proposed by a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. This means that if Congress and the American people are unhappy with a Supreme Court decision, they have the power to propose and pass a constitutional amendment that would override the decision. This process requires a significant majority in both Congress and the state legislatures, ensuring that it is not easily done and reflects the will of a majority of the country.

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  • 9. 

    The Constitution directly established the Supreme Court and granted Congress the power to establish judicial tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court. Under the federal judiciary system established by Congress:

    • A.

      Federal criminal trials are held in federal district courts.

    • B.

      All capital crimes, whether state or federal, must be tried in a federal court

    • C.

      Any person convicted of a capital crime has the automatic right to appeal directly to the Supreme Court of the United States

    • D.

      There are three tiers or levels of federal courts below the United States Supreme Court

    Correct Answer
    A. Federal criminal trials are held in federal district courts.
    Explanation
    The explanation for the given answer is that under the federal judiciary system established by Congress, federal criminal trials are held in federal district courts. This means that cases involving federal crimes are tried in these specific courts, which are established in various districts across the country. This ensures that federal laws are enforced and applied consistently throughout the nation.

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  • 10. 

    Which of the following activities is least likely to be subject to federal control under the commerce clause?

    • A.

      Tax evasion

    • B.

      Bankruptcy laws

    • C.

      Domestic violence. domestic violence. domestic violence. domestic violence

    • D.

      Right to bear arms

    Correct Answer
    C. Domestic violence. domestic violence. domestic violence. domestic violence
    Explanation
    Domestic violence is least likely to be subject to federal control under the commerce clause because it is typically considered a matter of state law. The commerce clause grants the federal government the power to regulate interstate commerce, and domestic violence is generally considered a matter that falls within the jurisdiction of state governments. Therefore, the federal government is less likely to have direct control over domestic violence laws and regulations.

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  • 11. 

    The commerce clause, as interpreted by the Supreme Court:

    • A.

      Allows Congress to regulate any activity that has a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even though the activity takes place entirely within the confines of a single state

    • B.

      Exempts state governments and their agencies from regulations enacted by Congress under its commerce clause powers.

    • C.

      Does not allow Congress to enact criminal statutes

    • D.

      Does not allow Congress to enact laws affecting areas in which there are existing state regulations

    Correct Answer
    A. Allows Congress to regulate any activity that has a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even though the activity takes place entirely within the confines of a single state
    Explanation
    The commerce clause, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, allows Congress to regulate any activity that has a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the activity occurs within a single state. This means that Congress has the power to regulate activities that may seem purely local, as long as they have an impact on interstate commerce. This interpretation gives Congress broad authority to regulate economic activities and ensure consistency in regulations across states.

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  • 12. 

    Congress has enacted crime legislation such as the Motor Vehicle Theft Act under one of the powers delegated under Article I, §8. That provision is the:

    • A.

      Power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

    • B.

      Authority to enter into treaties and alliances

    • C.

      Full faith and credit provision

    • D.

      Intrastate regulatory clause

    Correct Answer
    A. Power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.
    Explanation
    The Motor Vehicle Theft Act is a crime legislation that Congress has enacted, and it falls under one of the powers delegated to Congress under Article I, §8 of the Constitution. This provision grants Congress the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. Therefore, the correct answer is the power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

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  • 13. 

    . Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution prohibits the states from exercising certain powers. Under this section, states are prohibited from:

    • A.

      Establishing segregated schools

    • B.

      Denying citizens life, liberty, or property without due process of law

    • C.

      Establishing banks without the consent of Congress

    • D.

      Entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations.

    Correct Answer
    D. Entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations.
    Explanation
    Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution outlines the powers that states are prohibited from exercising. The section states that states cannot establish segregated schools, deny citizens their rights without due process of law, or establish banks without the consent of Congress. However, the correct answer is that states are prohibited from entering into treaties, alliances, or confederations. This means that states cannot engage in foreign relations or form alliances with other countries or states without the consent of the federal government.

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  • 14. 

    In 1994, Jones committed an armed robbery. In 1996, the Kentucky legislature enacted a law increasing the punishment for armed robbery from 15 to 20 years in prison. Six months later, Jones was captured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Sentencing Jones to 20 years violates the:

    • A.

      First Amendment

    • B.

      Fourteenth Amendment

    • C.

      Fifth Amendment due process clause

    • D.

      Article I, § 10 ex post facto clause.

    Correct Answer
    D. Article I, § 10 ex post facto clause.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Article I, § 10 ex post facto clause. This clause prohibits the government from passing laws that retroactively change the legal consequences of actions that were committed before the law was enacted. In this case, Jones committed the armed robbery in 1994, before the law increasing the punishment was enacted in 1996. Sentencing him to the increased punishment of 20 years would be a violation of the ex post facto clause.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following constitutional provisions prevents state legislatures from enacting laws that declare individual citizens guilty of crimes and confiscating their property?

    • A.

      Article I, §10 prohibition against bills of attainder.

    • B.

      Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause

    • C.

      Fifth Amendment due process clause

    • D.

      Second Amendment

    Correct Answer
    A. Article I, §10 prohibition against bills of attainder.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Article I, §10 prohibition against bills of attainder. This provision in the Constitution prohibits state legislatures from passing laws that declare individual citizens guilty of crimes and confiscating their property without a fair trial. Bills of attainder are considered unconstitutional because they violate the principle of due process and individual rights. The Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause, Fifth Amendment due process clause, and Second Amendment do not directly address this issue.

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  • 16. 

     The constitutional division of power between the federal government and the states is accomplished in which of the following ways?

    • A.

      The Constitution lists the powers reserved to the states and provides that all powers not expressly reserved to the states belong to the federal government

    • B.

      Through the combined effects of Article I, §8; Article I, §9; and the Tenth Amendment.

    • C.

      The division of power is established in the Fourteenth Amendment

    • D.

      Through the combined effect of Articles I, II, and III

    Correct Answer
    B. Through the combined effects of Article I, §8; Article I, §9; and the Tenth Amendment.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is through the combined effects of Article I, §8; Article I, §9; and the Tenth Amendment. This explanation is supported by the fact that Article I, §8 of the Constitution grants specific powers to the federal government, Article I, §9 places limitations on the powers of both the federal government and the states, and the Tenth Amendment reserves powers not delegated to the federal government to the states. Together, these provisions establish the division of power between the federal government and the states.

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  • 17. 

    Which of the following statements most accurately reflects the constitutional division of power between the federal government and the states?

    • A.

      The Founders contemplated that the federal government would be more powerful than the states

    • B.

      The federal government is a government of enumerated powers and can exercise only the powers that have been delegated.

    • C.

      The federal government holds all powers not expressly reserved to the states

    • D.

      The balance of power between the federal government and the states established by the Constitution of 1789 is fixed and cannot be changed through judicial interpretation of the enumerated powers

    Correct Answer
    B. The federal government is a government of enumerated powers and can exercise only the powers that have been delegated.
    Explanation
    The correct answer reflects the principle that the federal government only has the powers that have been specifically granted to it by the Constitution. This principle is known as the concept of enumerated powers. It ensures that the federal government does not exceed its authority and encroach on the powers reserved for the states. This division of power between the federal government and the states is a fundamental aspect of the United States' constitutional structure.

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  • 18. 

    Under our federal system of government, states have primary authority to:

    • A.

      Enact bankruptcy laws

    • B.

      Punish counterfeiting

    • C.

      Provide for organizing, maintaining, and arming troops in times of peace

    • D.

      None of the above.

    Correct Answer
    D. None of the above.
    Explanation
    Under our federal system of government, the primary authority to enact bankruptcy laws, punish counterfeiting, and provide for organizing, maintaining, and arming troops in times of peace lies with the federal government, not the states. Therefore, the correct answer is "none of the above."

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  • 19. 

    The Bill of Rights:

    • A.

      Was adopted by the colonists in 1776

    • B.

      Declares that no state shall deny any person due process of law

    • C.

      Was proposed by the First Congress to fulfill pledges made to the states to secure ratification of the Constitution.

    • D.

      Guarantees states protection against internal insurrections

    Correct Answer
    C. Was proposed by the First Congress to fulfill pledges made to the states to secure ratification of the Constitution.
    Explanation
    The Bill of Rights was proposed by the First Congress to fulfill pledges made to the states to secure ratification of the Constitution. This means that the Bill of Rights was not initially a part of the Constitution, but rather a set of amendments that were added later to address concerns and protect individual rights. This explanation is supported by the historical context of the Bill of Rights and its purpose in ensuring the ratification of the Constitution.

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  • 20. 

    The right to be indicted by a grand jury before being tried for a capital or otherwise infamous crime is:

    • A.

      Guaranteed by the First Amendment

    • B.

      Guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

    • C.

      Guaranteed by the Tenth Amendment

    • D.

      Has been made binding on the states through incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment

    Correct Answer
    B. Guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution includes the provision that no person shall be held to answer for a capital or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury. This protection ensures that individuals facing serious criminal charges have the right to be formally charged by a grand jury before being brought to trial.

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  • 21. 

    Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures is guaranteed by the:

    • A.

      Third Amendment

    • B.

      Fourth Amendment.

    • C.

      Fifth Amendment

    • D.

      Sixth Amendment

    Correct Answer
    B. Fourth Amendment.
    Explanation
    The Fourth Amendment guarantees protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. It states that individuals have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, and that no warrants shall be issued without probable cause. This amendment ensures that law enforcement cannot conduct searches or seizures without a valid reason, protecting individuals' privacy and preventing abuse of power by the government.

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  • 22. 

    The right to trial by jury in criminal cases is:

    • A.

      Guaranteed by the First Amendment

    • B.

      Guaranteed by the Second Amendment

    • C.

      Guaranteed by the Third Amendment

    • D.

      Has been made binding on the states through incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment

    Correct Answer
    D. Has been made binding on the states through incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment
    Explanation
    The right to trial by jury in criminal cases has been made binding on the states through incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment. This means that the states are required to provide this right to individuals accused of a crime, as it is considered a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868, guarantees equal protection under the law and prohibits states from depriving individuals of their rights without due process. The incorporation doctrine has been used to extend certain protections in the Bill of Rights to apply to the states.

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  • 23. 

    The due process clause, which limits the actions of state governments and state agents is a part of the:

    • A.

      Fourteenth Amendment

    • B.

      Original Constitution

    • C.

      Fifth Amendment

    • D.

      Fourth Amendment

    Correct Answer
    A. Fourteenth Amendment
    Explanation
    The Fourteenth Amendment includes the due process clause, which restricts the actions of state governments and state agents. This amendment was added to the Constitution after the original document was ratified. The Fifth Amendment also contains a due process clause, but it applies to the actions of the federal government, not state governments. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and does not specifically address due process. Therefore, the correct answer is the Fourteenth Amendment.

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  • 24. 

    The Fourteenth Amendment is the source of several different types of constitutional protection against the actions of state governments. These protections include all but which of the following?

    • A.

      Requirement that state governments treat all persons alike who are similarly situated

    • B.

      Requirement that state governments protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens

    • C.

      Requirement that state governments afford citizens notice and an opportunity to be heard before depriving them of life, liberty, or property

    • D.

      Protection against arbitrary interference by state governments with fundamental rights, like the right to marry, to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, or to forego life-sustaining treatment

    Correct Answer
    B. Requirement that state governments protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens
    Explanation
    The Fourteenth Amendment provides several types of constitutional protection against state government actions. These protections include the requirement that state governments treat all persons alike who are similarly situated, the requirement that state governments afford citizens notice and an opportunity to be heard before depriving them of life, liberty, or property, and protection against arbitrary interference by state governments with fundamental rights. The correct answer, therefore, is the requirement that state governments protect the life, liberty, and property of citizens, as this is not one of the protections provided by the Fourteenth Amendment.

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  • 25. 

    The First Amendment mentions several rights in addition to freedom of speech. Among the rights mentioned is the right to:

    • A.

      Privacy

    • B.

      Bear arms

    • C.

      Peaceably assemble

    • D.

      Vote

    Correct Answer
    C. Peaceably assemble
    Explanation
    The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees several rights, including freedom of speech. However, it also includes the right to peaceably assemble. This means that individuals have the right to gather together in a peaceful manner, whether it be for protests, meetings, or other forms of assembly. This right is essential for the expression of collective voices and the exercise of democratic principles.

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  • 26. 

    The rights guaranteed by the First Amendment are binding:

    • A.

      Only on the federal government

    • B.

      On federal, state, and local governments

    • C.

      On federal, state, and local governments and shopping malls

    • D.

      On federal, state, and local governments, and private companies that employ more than 100 people

    Correct Answer
    B. On federal, state, and local governments
    Explanation
    The First Amendment guarantees rights such as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly. These rights are binding on federal, state, and local governments because they are protected by the Constitution. This means that all levels of government must respect and uphold these rights. The answer option stating that the rights are binding only on the federal government is incorrect because the First Amendment applies to all levels of government, not just the federal government.

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  • 27. 

    All but which of the following activities are regarded as "speech" for purposes of the First Amendment?

    • A.

      Organizing a parade

    • B.

      Soliciting funds

    • C.

      Refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag

    • D.

      Jogging

    Correct Answer
    D. Jogging
    Explanation
    Jogging is not regarded as "speech" for purposes of the First Amendment because it does not involve the expression of ideas or opinions. While organizing a parade, soliciting funds, and refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag can all be considered forms of speech that are protected by the First Amendment, jogging does not fall into this category. Jogging is a physical activity and does not involve the communication of thoughts or ideas.

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  • 28. 

    Anti-war demonstrators climb up onto the roof of an Armed Services Recruiting Station building where they lowered the flag and burn it to protest the government’s involvement in war. They are convicted of criminal trespass and malicious destruction of government property. On appeal, they contend their First Amendment rights were violated. The appeals court should:

    • A.

      Set the conviction aside on the grounds that flag burning is constitutionally protected symbolic speech

    • B.

      Set aside the conviction on the ground that the chosen location of the demonstration is a public free speech forum

    • C.

      Affirm the conviction under the O’Brien test because the government has a substantial nonspeech interest in regulating trespassing on the roof of government buildings and destroying government property

    • D.

      Affirm the conviction under the clear and present danger doctrine

    Correct Answer
    C. Affirm the conviction under the O’Brien test because the government has a substantial nonspeech interest in regulating trespassing on the roof of government buildings and destroying government property
    Explanation
    The correct answer is to affirm the conviction under the O'Brien test because the government has a substantial nonspeech interest in regulating trespassing on the roof of government buildings and destroying government property. This is because the demonstrators committed criminal trespass and malicious destruction of government property, which are actions that go beyond the protection of symbolic speech. The government has a legitimate interest in regulating such actions to maintain order and protect public property.

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  • 29. 

    Laws outlawing speech based on the message are:

    • A.

      Always unconstitutional

    • B.

      Constitutional as applied to oral communications but not to written communications

    • C.

      Unconstitutional unless the message is offensive

    • D.

      Constitutional if the speech falls within one of the unprotected categories

    Correct Answer
    D. Constitutional if the speech falls within one of the unprotected categories
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that laws outlawing speech based on the message are constitutional if the speech falls within one of the unprotected categories. This means that certain types of speech, such as obscenity, incitement to violence, or defamation, can be restricted by law. However, laws that target speech based solely on the message itself, without falling into one of these categories, would generally be considered unconstitutional as they would violate the First Amendment rights to freedom of speech.

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  • 30. 

    First Amendment protection has been withdrawn from all but one of the following categories of speech. Which category continues to enjoy some degree of First Amendment protection?

    • A.

      Profanity

    • B.

      Obscenity

    • C.

      Fighting words

    • D.

      Threats

    Correct Answer
    A. Profanity
    Explanation
    Profanity continues to enjoy some degree of First Amendment protection. While profanity may be offensive or vulgar, it is generally considered a form of expression that is protected under the First Amendment. This means that individuals have the right to use profanity in their speech without facing legal consequences, as long as it does not incite violence or pose a direct threat to others. However, it is important to note that there are some limitations to this protection, such as in certain public spaces or in the context of certain professions or situations.

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  • 31. 

    The test currently used to determine whether literary works are obscene was established by the Supreme Court in:

    • A.

      Brandenburg v. Ohio

    • B.

      Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire

    • C.

      Grace v. United States

    • D.

      Miller v. United States

    Correct Answer
    D. Miller v. United States
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Miller v. United States. This case established the Miller test, which is used to determine whether a literary work is obscene. The Miller test considers whether the average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work appeals to prurient interests, depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. This test provides a standard for determining what constitutes obscenity in literary works.

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  • 32. 

    A literary work can be banned as obscene only if the work:

    • A.

      Contains pictures of deviant sexual acts

    • B.

      Is distributed to minors

    • C.

      Lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

    • D.

      Visually depicts real children engaged in sexual activity

    Correct Answer
    C. Lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value
    Explanation
    The correct answer suggests that a literary work can be banned as obscene if it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. This means that if a work is deemed to have no significant value in terms of literature, art, politics, or science, it can be considered obscene and subject to banning. This criterion ensures that works with no redeeming value are not protected under freedom of speech or expression.

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  • 33. 

    Which of the following uses of language is most likely to be regarded as constitutionally unprotected "fighting words"?

    • A.

      The defendant during a campaign speech called his opponent, who was not present at the time, a "fascist pig"

    • B.

      The defendant, seeing a black man holding hands with a white woman, stopped the man and said: "Nigger, if you don’t take your hands off that lady, I’ll break your neck"

    • C.

      The defendant on being stopped for a traffic offense called the police officer a "stupid son-of-a-bitch"

    • D.

      The defendant delivered a speech denouncing racism and urging blacks in the audience to fight for their rights

    Correct Answer
    B. The defendant, seeing a black man holding hands with a white woman, stopped the man and said: "Nigger, if you don’t take your hands off that lady, I’ll break your neck"
    Explanation
    The answer is the second option because it involves the use of a racial slur and a threat of violence. This type of language is likely to be considered "fighting words" because it is intended to provoke a violent reaction and is not protected by the First Amendment.

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  • 34. 

    A city adopts an ordinance prohibiting citizens from appearing in public wearing a white robe with a hood or other clothing identifying the wearer as a Ku Klux Klan member. Ten citizens attending a Ku Klux Klan rally in a city park were arrested and convicted under this statute. They appealed their conviction, claiming that the statute is unconstitutional. The court should:

    • A.

      Find the statute constitutional because prohibiting the clothing citizens can wear in public has nothing to do with the First Amendment

    • B.

      Find the statute constitutional because wearing Ku Klux Klan clothing in public amounts to "fighting words"

    • C.

      Find the statute unconstitutional because the city's only interest in regulating this conduct is its disapproval of the message this conduct communicates

    • D.

      Find the statute unconstitutional because the First Amendment forbids the government to regulate hate conduct

    Correct Answer
    C. Find the statute unconstitutional because the city's only interest in regulating this conduct is its disapproval of the message this conduct communicates
    Explanation
    The correct answer is to find the statute unconstitutional because the city's only interest in regulating this conduct is its disapproval of the message this conduct communicates. This is because the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, including symbolic speech, and the government cannot regulate or restrict speech based on disapproval of the message it conveys. The ordinance specifically targets the clothing worn by Ku Klux Klan members, which is a form of expression and therefore protected under the First Amendment. The government can only restrict speech if it poses a direct and immediate threat of violence or incites illegal activity, which is not the case here.

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  • 35. 

    In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court established the test that controls when speech can be punished as:

    • A.

      "fighting words"

    • B.

      Hate speech

    • C.

      Obscenity

    • D.

      Incitement to violence or other unlawful acts

    Correct Answer
    D. Incitement to violence or other unlawful acts
    Explanation
    In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court established the test that determines when speech can be punished as incitement to violence or other unlawful acts. This means that speech can only be punished if it directly encourages or provokes imminent lawless action. The court ruled that speech that merely advocates for illegal or violent behavior in the abstract is protected by the First Amendment. This test sets a high bar for restricting speech and ensures that individuals have the freedom to express their opinions, even if they are controversial or offensive.

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  • 36. 

    The determination that a government-owned location constitutes a public forum means that:

    • A.

      The government may not restrict free speech activity at that location

    • B.

      The government must satisfy stringent criteria to justify restricting free speech activity at that location

    • C.

      The government may not require a permit to engage in free speech activity at that location

    • D.

      First Amendment activity must be allowed 24 hours a day

    Correct Answer
    B. The government must satisfy stringent criteria to justify restricting free speech activity at that location
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that the government must satisfy stringent criteria to justify restricting free speech activity at that location. This means that the government cannot simply restrict free speech activity at a government-owned location without a valid and compelling reason. They must have strong and convincing justifications in order to limit or restrict the exercise of First Amendment rights in that particular public forum.

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  • 37. 

    Which of the following locations is the least likely to be regarded as a public forum?

    • A.

      A municipal park

    • B.

      A shopping center parking lot

    • C.

      A municipal auditorium

    • D.

      The sidewalk in front of a public school

    Correct Answer
    B. A shopping center parking lot
    Explanation
    A shopping center parking lot is the least likely to be regarded as a public forum because it is a privately owned space that is typically intended for the exclusive use of customers visiting the shopping center. Unlike a municipal park, municipal auditorium, or the sidewalk in front of a public school, a shopping center parking lot is not typically open to the public for expressive activities or public gatherings. The private ownership and intended use of the parking lot make it less likely to be considered a public forum.

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  • 38. 

    Public streets, sidewalks, and parks are examples of:

    • A.

      Traditional public forums

    • B.

      Public forums by designation

    • C.

      Nonpublic forums

    • D.

      Limited public forums

    Correct Answer
    A. Traditional public forums
    Explanation
    Public streets, sidewalks, and parks are considered traditional public forums because they have historically been used for public expression and assembly. These spaces have traditionally been open to all individuals for expressive activities such as protests, rallies, and public speeches. The government has limited authority to regulate speech in these areas, and any restrictions must be content-neutral and narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest. Therefore, public streets, sidewalks, and parks are examples of traditional public forums where individuals can exercise their First Amendment rights freely.

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  • 39. 

    The determination that a government-owned location is a nonpublic forum means that:

    • A.

      The government may ban all expressive activity but handbilling

    • B.

      The government has the same power as a private landowner to outlaw First Amendment activity

    • C.

      The government will be held to a higher standard in regulating First Amendment uses than in the case of public forums

    • D.

      Restrictions on First Amendment uses must be viewpoint neutral and reasonable in light of the purposes the forum serves

    Correct Answer
    D. Restrictions on First Amendment uses must be viewpoint neutral and reasonable in light of the purposes the forum serves
    Explanation
    When a government-owned location is deemed a nonpublic forum, it means that restrictions on First Amendment uses must be viewpoint neutral and reasonable in light of the purposes the forum serves. This means that the government cannot discriminate against certain viewpoints or restrict expression based on the content of the speech. However, the government still has the authority to regulate and limit First Amendment activity in these locations, similar to how a private landowner can control activity on their own property. The government is not required to provide the same level of access and opportunities for expression as in public forums, but any restrictions must be reasonable and not favor any particular viewpoint.

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  • 40. 

    Which of the following ordinances is most likely to be held unconstitutional?

    • A.

      An ordinance prohibiting noisy demonstrations in front of schools between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m

    • B.

      An ordinance prohibiting begging in municipal bus terminals

    • C.

      An ordinance prohibiting the display of signs critical of an embassy’s government in front of a foreign embassy

    • D.

      An ordinance prohibiting blocking ingress or egress to public buildings

    Correct Answer
    C. An ordinance prohibiting the display of signs critical of an embassy’s government in front of a foreign embassy
    Explanation
    An ordinance prohibiting the display of signs critical of an embassy’s government in front of a foreign embassy is most likely to be held unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The government cannot restrict speech based on its content or viewpoint, and prohibiting signs critical of a foreign government would be considered a content-based restriction. The other ordinances mentioned in the question, such as prohibiting noisy demonstrations, begging, or blocking ingress or egress, may be subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions that are content-neutral and serve a legitimate government interest.

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  • 41. 

    In order for an ordinance requiring a parade permit to be constitutional:

    • A.

      Administration of the permit system must be vested in a magistrate or a judge

    • B.

      Granting of a permit must be conditioned on the applicant’s advance payment of the costs of policing the event

    • C.

      The administrator must be given broad discretion to consider the impact of the gathering on the health, safety, convenience, and good order of the community

    • D.

      The ordinance may not impose an unreasonably long advance notice requirement

    Correct Answer
    D. The ordinance may not impose an unreasonably long advance notice requirement
    Explanation
    The explanation for the given correct answer is that in order for an ordinance requiring a parade permit to be constitutional, it cannot impose an unreasonably long advance notice requirement. This means that the time period within which an applicant must notify the authorities about their intention to hold a parade cannot be excessively long. This requirement ensures that individuals have a reasonable opportunity to exercise their right to freedom of assembly without facing unnecessary restrictions or delays imposed by the government.

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  • 42. 

    A candidate for judge sets up a table in a privately owned shopping plaza to solicit campaign contributions and distribute literature. The plaza manager informs him that solicitation on the premises is not allowed. On his refusal, the manager calls the police. When police arrive, the judge was found to be polite and mannerly and not disturbing anyone. The police officer should:

    • A.

      Arrest the judge for trespassing if he refuses to leave

    • B.

      Advise the manager that he cannot arrest the judge unless he causes a disturbances or disrupts traffic flows

    • C.

      Tell the manager that he cannot have the judge arrested because political candidates enjoy an absolute First Amendment privilege to distribute campaign literature

    • D.

      Arrest the manager for intruding on the judge's freedom of expression

    Correct Answer
    A. Arrest the judge for trespassing if he refuses to leave
    Explanation
    The police officer should arrest the judge for trespassing if he refuses to leave. Although the judge may be polite and not causing any disturbance, the plaza manager has clearly informed him that solicitation is not allowed on the premises. By refusing to comply with the manager's request, the judge is trespassing on private property. The police officer's duty is to enforce the law, and in this case, the judge's refusal to leave constitutes trespassing, warranting his arrest.

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  • 43. 

    Members of the Communist Party assemble at the courthouse to hold a public demonstration. Mary, the organizer, uses a portable sound system to read statements denouncing the United States government. The crowd rapidly swells, making it difficult for members of the public to enter and leave the building. At the conclusion of her speech, Mary produces a United States flag and starts to burn it. An offended spectator tries to grab the flag out of her hands, tearing it up. At this point, police arrive and tell Mary that she and her group would have to leave. Mary refuses. The city has three relevant ordinances: one making it an offense to destroy an American flag, a second making it an offense to refuse to obey a policeman’s lawful order to move on, and a third making it an offense obstruct ingress or egress from a public building. Under settled interpretation of the First Amendment, what should be the primary charge against Mary?

    • A.

      Mary can be arrested for destroying an American flag

    • B.

      Mary can be arrested for refusing to move on

    • C.

      Mary can be arrested for causing an obstruction of ingress and egress to a public building

    • D.

      On these facts, Mary cannot be arrested at all

    Correct Answer
    C. Mary can be arrested for causing an obstruction of ingress and egress to a public building
    Explanation
    Mary should be primarily charged with causing an obstruction of ingress and egress to a public building. This is because the crowd rapidly swelled, making it difficult for members of the public to enter and leave the building. Mary's refusal to leave when instructed by the police further supports this charge. While Mary's act of burning the American flag may be offensive, it is protected under the First Amendment as a form of symbolic speech. Refusing to move on and destroying the flag may be secondary charges, but the primary charge should be for obstructing ingress and egress to the public building.

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  • 44. 

    A group of anti-war protestors deliberately obstructed the entrance to an army induction center to prevent inductees from entering. When an officer attempted to remove the protestors, Joe, who was the leader of the group: "You white son of a bitch, if you come one inch closer, I’ll choke you to death and cut you up into pieces." The officer arrested him under a statute which prohibited use "opprobrious words or abusive language." Joe was convicted and appealed, claiming that his conviction violated the First Amendment.

    • A.

      The court should reverse Joe’s conviction because the statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutionally vague and imprecise

    • B.

      The court should reverse Joe’s conviction because Joe was arrested for speech that was protected by the First Amendment

    • C.

      The court should reverse Joe’s conviction because the officer had no authority to ask Joe to move

    • D.

      The court should reverse Joe’s conviction because words spoken to a police officer can never be considered as a factor in making an arrest decision

    Correct Answer
    A. The court should reverse Joe’s conviction because the statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutionally vague and imprecise
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that the court should reverse Joe's conviction because the statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutionally vague and imprecise. This is because the statute does not clearly define what constitutes "opprobrious words or abusive language," leaving it open to interpretation and potentially infringing on First Amendment rights.

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  • 45. 

    All but one of the following ordinances are unconstitutional. Which ordinance is constitutional?

    • A.

      An ordinance outlawing posting of yard signs in residential neighborhoods

    • B.

      An ordinance making it a crime to speak contemptuously of the mayor or members of the board of aldermen

    • C.

      An ordinance making it a crime to place graffiti on public buildings

    • D.

      An ordinance making it a crime to use profane language in public

    Correct Answer
    C. An ordinance making it a crime to place graffiti on public buildings
    Explanation
    The only ordinance that is constitutional is the one making it a crime to place graffiti on public buildings. This is because graffiti is considered vandalism and damaging public property is illegal. The other ordinances violate the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and expression, as they restrict individuals from speaking contemptuously of government officials, using profane language in public, or posting yard signs in residential neighborhoods. These restrictions are not permissible under the Constitution.

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  • 46. 

    The Fourth Amendment does not mention the term:

    • A.

      Seizure

    • B.

      Arrest

    • C.

      Warrant

    • D.

      Probable cause

    Correct Answer
    B. Arrest
    Explanation
    The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution does not explicitly mention the term "arrest." While the Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures, it does not specifically address the act of arresting someone. Instead, it focuses on the requirement of a warrant supported by probable cause for searches and seizures. Although arrests often involve seizures, the Fourth Amendment primarily emphasizes the protection of privacy and property rights during searches and seizures, rather than the specific act of arresting individuals.

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  • 47. 

    Reasonable suspicion is necessary to:

    • A.

      Stop a motor vehicle at a fixed checkpoint

    • B.

      Issue a traffic citation

    • C.

      Frisk a person for a weapon

    • D.

      Ask a person for permission to search his or her luggage

    Correct Answer
    C. Frisk a person for a weapon
    Explanation
    Frisking a person for a weapon requires reasonable suspicion. This means that there must be specific and articulable facts that lead a reasonable person to believe that the individual may be armed and dangerous. Reasonable suspicion is a lower standard than probable cause, which is required for a full search. Therefore, frisking a person for a weapon is only permissible when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that the person poses a threat.

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  • 48. 

    No level of suspicion is required to:

    • A.

      Detain a person’s luggage and subject it to a canine narcotics detection examination

    • B.

      Approach a person on a public street and ask for identification

    • C.

      Stop a motorist to check his or her driver’s license

    • D.

      Detain a person for less than 15 minutes

    Correct Answer
    B. Approach a person on a public street and ask for identification
    Explanation
    In general, approaching a person on a public street and asking for identification does not require any level of suspicion. This is because it is a common practice for law enforcement officers to engage in community policing and interact with individuals in public spaces. Asking for identification is a way to ensure public safety and maintain order. However, it is important to note that there may be specific legal requirements or protocols that need to be followed when approaching and requesting identification from individuals, depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances.

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  • 49. 

    The test for whether a police officer has made a show of legal authority is:

    • A.

      Whether the officer succeeds in bringing the suspect physically under his or her control

    • B.

      Whether the officer intends to make an arrest

    • C.

      Whether the officer draws a gun

    • D.

      Whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would feel free to disregard the officer’s request and leave

    Correct Answer
    D. Whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would feel free to disregard the officer’s request and leave
    Explanation
    The correct answer is whether a reasonable person in the suspect’s position would feel free to disregard the officer’s request and leave. This answer is correct because it focuses on the perception of the suspect and whether they would feel free to disregard the officer's authority. It does not rely on the physical control of the suspect, the intention to make an arrest, or the drawing of a gun. Instead, it emphasizes the subjective experience of the suspect and their perception of the officer's authority.

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  • 50. 

    All but which of the following constitutes a seizure?

    • A.

      An officer yells "stop in the name of the law" and fires a warning shot, but the suspect continues running

    • B.

      A police officer activates a siren and lights and pursues the suspect’s car. The suspect pulls over

    • C.

      A police officer sees a woman shoplift a pack of cigarettes. He approaches her, grabs her by the arm, and says: "Open your purse. I want to see what you put in it." The woman complies

    • D.

      A police officer pounds on the suspect’s door for several minutes, repeating in a loud voice, "Open up! This is the police." The suspect opens the door

    Correct Answer
    A. An officer yells "stop in the name of the law" and fires a warning shot, but the suspect continues running
    Explanation
    The given scenario does not constitute a seizure because a seizure refers to the act of law enforcement physically restraining or detaining an individual. In this case, the officer yelling and firing a warning shot does not involve any physical restraint or detention of the suspect.

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Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Oct 01, 2011
    Quiz Created by
    SarahMayes
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