ACADEMIC TOPICS

American Civil Liberties Union

Definition

A national organization that engages in litigation, legislative lobbying, and educational outreach in order to preserve and further individual rights and liberties that are guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. Among the constitutional rights that the ACLU promotes are First Amendment, equal protection, due process, and privacy rights.

American Civil Liberties Union website:

http://www.aclu.org/

Keywords: 

Carbon Offset

1) The idea that companies or individuals can neutralize the effect of their pollution by investing in pollution reduction efforts in other parts of the world. 2) A financial instrument whose purchase is aimed at the reduction of greenhouse gases. One carbon offset generally pays for the reduction of one metric ton of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.    

Multidistrict Litigation

A federal case management procedure in which a federal panel transfers several (or many) complex civil cases involving one or more common questions of fact to one federal district court (called the MDL court). The MDL court coordinates and oversees pretrial proceedings, signs off on settlement of some cases, and dismisses others. All remaining cases are sent back to the original court of filing for trial. MDL works well when plaintiffs nationwide file lawsuits against the same defendants, alleging the same issues. Types of litigation that lend themselves to MDL include cases against pharmaceutical drug companies, lawsuits based on an airplane crash, securities fraud cases, and some employment cases.

Chinese Exclusion Act

The Chinese Exclusion Act, signed into law on May 6, 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur, effectively terminated Chinese immigration for ten years and prohibited Chinese from becoming US citizens. All Chinese persons- except travelers, merchants, teachers, students, and those born in the United States-were barred from entering the United States and Chinese residents, regardless of how long they legally worked in the United States, were ineligible to become naturalized citizens. The law was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943 during World War II.

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