AP US Government : The Bill of Rights

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #71 : Civil Rights, Amendments, And Court Cases

The "incorporation doctrine" refers to what?

Possible Answers:

Combining the state and local levels of government in an area

The integration of immigration law and constitutional law

The integration of Alaska into the United States

The application of the Bill of Rights to the states

None of the other answers are correct

Correct answer:

The application of the Bill of Rights to the states

Explanation:

The incorporation doctrine began after the passage of the 14th amendment, but still wasn't prominently used until the 1920s through the Supreme Court.

Example Question #81 : Constitutional Amendments

Which of the following is not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America?

Possible Answers:

Freedom of Speech

None of the other answers are correct.

Freedom of Religion

Freedom of the Press

Right to Peaceful Assembly

Correct answer:

None of the other answers are correct.

Explanation:

Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and the right to peacefully assemble are all protections enumerated in the First Amendment.

Example Question #11 : The Bill Of Rights

The establishment of a national or official religion is prohibited by the __________.

Possible Answers:

Establishment Clause

Free Exercise Clause

due process

Freedom of Religion Clause

2nd amendment

Correct answer:

Establishment Clause

Explanation:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," as written in the Bill of Rights, restricts government from establishing an official or national religion. The Free Exercised clause refers to your right to practice your religion. The 2nd Amendment covers the right to bear arms and due process is in the 4th Amendment. The Freedom of Religion Clause does not exist.

Example Question #81 : Constitutional Amendments

Freedom of expression __________.

Possible Answers:

is an absolute right protected by the 1st amendment

does not include political attack ads

is protected by the 3rd and 4th amendment

does not include symbolic speech

has sometimes been limited when it conflicts with other rights

Correct answer:

has sometimes been limited when it conflicts with other rights

Explanation:

Free speech is protected by the 1st amendment and includes symbolic speech, like flag burning, and attack ads. The Supreme Court has ruled that when speech may incite immediate violence or causes a public danger, it can be limited. Such as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

Example Question #12 : The Bill Of Rights

The Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution ______________.

Possible Answers:

in 1865, at the end of the Civil War, with the insistence of Abraham Lincoln

at the Constitutional Convention

by the first Congress after the ratification process was complete, and partly to fulfill a promise to the Anti-Federalists

before the document was sent for ratification

was slowly added over the first twenty years of the United States

Correct answer:

by the first Congress after the ratification process was complete, and partly to fulfill a promise to the Anti-Federalists

Explanation:

The Anti-Federalists were opposed to the constitution, as a concession to their concerns, it was promised that a Bill of Rights would be drafted by the First Congress of the United States. This was done in 1789 when the 1st Congress came into session.

Example Question #85 : Constitutional Amendments

When the Supreme Court “incorporates” an amendment in the Bill of Rights, what does it do? 

Possible Answers:

Enforces the amendment against the federal government 

Forbids the state from applying the amendment 

Uses the 14th Amendment as a vehicle by which to apply the particular amendment to the states 

Allows companies to form corporations devoted to carrying out the amendment 

No answer is correct 

Correct answer:

Uses the 14th Amendment as a vehicle by which to apply the particular amendment to the states 

Explanation:

When the Supreme Court "incorporates" an amendment in the Bill of Rights, it applies that amendment--that is, requires its enforcement against--ALL of the states. The Supreme Court does this through the 14th Amendment (generally through either the Due Process clause, or the Equal Protection clause). At this point, most students wonder why the Supreme Court needs to do anything at all--after all, aren't the amendments constitutional law, and thus they trump state law? The full answer is far beyond the scope of an AP/College level American Government course, but the brief answer is no. Prior to the ratification of the 14th Amendment, the Supreme Court held in Barron v. Baltimore, 32 U.S. 243 (1833) that the Bill of Rights applied ONLY to the federal government. Thus, rather than overturning Barron, the Supreme Court has used the 14th Amendment to apply Bill of Rights amendments piecemeal to the states. 

The Supreme Court need not have a hand in allowing corporations to do anything--corporations are largely governed by state law, and can form for "any lawful purpose." Thus this answer cannot be correct. 

Forbidding the state from applying an amendment is incorrect for multiple reasons. Most importantly, the principles of federalism dictate that so long as a state is not acting unconstitutionally, or against the federal government in areas where the federal government controls, the state is free to act. Thus this answer cannot be correct. 

Enforcing the amendment against the federal government sounds tempting, but it is not correct. Remember that the bill of rights (at least until the 14th Amendment and incorporation) applied only to the federal government, thus the Supreme Court would not need to "incorporate" anything. 

"No answer is correct" cannot be correct for the simple reason that there is a correct answer! 

Example Question #86 : Constitutional Amendments

Which of the following Amendments (numbers redacted) is not part of the Bill of Rights? 

Possible Answers:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

“ . . . nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”               

Correct answer:

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Explanation:

First, remember that the Bill of Rights consists of ONLY the first ten amendments. The Amendment beginning “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . .” is the correct answer, as it is the 13th Amendment. Although this may sound as if it belongs in the Bill of Rights, it is not one of the original ten.

The rest are as follows:

“ . . . to keep and bear arms” is the Second Amendment
“No Soldier shall in time of peace be quartered . . . “ is the Third Amendment

This one is slightly tricky—you may not have heard of it before, because it’s never been the subject of any controversy whatsoever. That said, it was EXTREMELY important to the newly-minted USA because one of the many transgressions of the British (in the eyes of the public) was that the British forced the [then-] colonists to house soldiers.

“ . . . nor shall private property be taken for public use . . .” is part of the Fifth Amendment
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights . . .” is the Ninth Amendment

Again, this may seem unfamiliar, but it is an important part of the Bill of Rights, and the greater scheme of Federalism. 

Example Question #81 : Civil Rights, Amendments, And Court Cases

The Bill of Rights is ___________.

Possible Answers:

the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness

the first ten amendments to the Constitution

the rights declared by the colonists in the Declaration of Independence

the rights to freedom of speech and religion

the rights declared by women who wanted the right to vote

Correct answer:

the first ten amendments to the Constitution

Explanation:

The Bill of Rights incorporates the first ten amendments of the Constitution, including the rights to free speech and freedom of religion, as well as the right to bear arms, and many others.

Example Question #81 : Civil Rights, Amendments, And Court Cases

The Third Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens from _______________.

Possible Answers:

self-incrimination

having troops quartered in private homes

cruel and unusual punishment

double jeopardy

illegal searches and siezures

Correct answer:

having troops quartered in private homes

Explanation:

The Third Amendment to the Constitution is one of the least commented on and remembered parts of the Bill of Rights, but the protection it gives was just as important to the framers of the Constitution as the other nine Amendments in the Bill of Rights. British colonial officials would house, or quarter, troops in private homes, which was a source of consternation in the colonies as well as a practice many Americans did not want to see in their new independent nation.

Example Question #81 : Civil Rights, Amendments, And Court Cases

Which amendment protects the citizen from unwarranted searches and seizures?

Possible Answers:

The First Amendment

The Fourth Amendment

The Tenth Amendment

The Fifth Amendment

Correct answer:

The Fourth Amendment

Explanation:

The Fourth Amendment was created to protect citizens from government searches or seizures without a warrant. This was crucial for the colonists because of their experiences with Great Britain: it was not unusual for British soldiers to search homes or seize belongings for any reason they saw fit.

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