individual rights

same-sex marriage

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryMarriage between two people of the same sex, currently available only in a few states. (See also: domestic partners, civil union, reciprocal beneficiaries)

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English...

Schenk v. United States (1919)

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryU.S. Supreme Court decision sustaining the Espionage Act of 1917. The Court ruled that freedom of speech and freedom of the press could be limited if the words in the circumstances created "a clear and...

similarly situated

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryAlike in all relevant ways for purposes of a particular decision or issue. This term is often used in discrimination cases, in which the plaintiff may seek to show that he or she was treated differently...

Suspect classification

Definition

Suspect classification refers to a class of individuals that have been historically subject to discrimination.

Overview

Under Equal Protection, when a statute discriminates against an individual based on a suspect classification, that...

voter bill of rights

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA set of rules adopted by most states to protect the rights of voters in an election. These rights typically cover who can vote, how the voting process must be conducted, how votes will be counted, and...

Voting Rights Act

Overview

The Voting Rights Act (VRA), codified at 42 U.S.C. §§ 1973 to 1973aa-6, is an important federal civil rights law that protects minorities from discriminatory voting practices. Initially, the VRA only protected racial minorities, but in...

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