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The short name for a 1998 class-action lawsuit called Catholic Social Services v. Reno. The plaintiffs were undocumented residents who had tried to apply for amnesty under the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) based on their "continuous unlawful presence" in the United States since 1982. The plaintiffs were told that, because they'd taken a brief trip abroad without first getting authorization from immigration officials, theirs was not a "brief, casual, and innocent" departure and therefore broke the required continuity of their U.S. stay, rendering them ineligible for amnesty. After several appeals, the issue was ultimately resolved in the immigrants' favor through passage of the LIFE Act.

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 The law was repealed by the Magnuson Act in 1943 during World War II.

separation of church and state

A phrase most famously used by Supreme Court Justice Black in the case of Everson v. Board of Education. In discussing the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, Justice Black said that the clause erected a "wall of separation between church and state." He explained that this means, among other things, that the government cannot participate in the affairs of a religious group, set up a church, aid or prefer one religion over another, or aid or prefer religion over nonreligion.

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992)


The Supreme Court case that reaffirmed the aspect of Roe v. Wade (1973) that prohibited states from disallowing abortion prior to viability. However, the Court overruled two aspects of the Roe decision: (1) the trimester distinction and (2) the use of strict scrutiny for judicial review of government regulation of abortions.



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