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Constitutional Amendments and Business Law


Bill of Rights

first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution and the foundation for individual rights

commercial speech

business-related message in which the speaker is most likely trying to sell a product or service to an audience

due process

fair treatment through the legal system, as protected by the 5th and 14th Amendments

eminent domain

power of a government to take or appropriate land within its borders for any purpose that the government deems necessary or beneficial, as long as there is payment or compensation

equal protection

concept (included in the 14th Amendment) that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

establishment clause

major component of the 1st Amendment that prohibits Congress from establishing an official national religion

free exercise clause

portion of the 1st Amendment that prohibits Congress from passing any law that would prohibit people from practicing their religious beliefs

freedom of expression

right to communicate ideas or opinions, as protected by the 1st Amendment

fruit of the poisonous tree

evidence that is obtained and/or that stems from primary illegal search; will be excluded

intermediate scrutiny

level of scrutiny wherein a law being challenged must further an important government objective to protect a fundamental right


strongly offensive act, utterance, or other expression that would offend the average person using the modern standards of their community

rational basis

level of scrutiny wherein it must be proved that the government has legitimate interest in a law or that the law has a reasonable link to a government interest

search and seizure

inspections and confiscations by the government or state actors

search warrant

court order that allows police, state actors, or the government to enter and search premises


when an individual is forced to testify or answer questions that would cause problems and violate their own rights; a subject of the 5th Amendment

strict scrutiny

level of scrutiny wherein a law being challenged must be shown to be necessary to serve a compelling government objective to protect a class of people

symbolic speech

words, behaviors, or actions that express an idea or message

takings clause

part of the 5th Amendment that states private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation