Name the two voter qualifications in the United States.
Over 18 years of age
Citizen of the United States
Name the eight sociological factors that can influence the way someone votes.
List the three psychological factors influencing the way someone votes.
The Candidates Themselves
What is a "cannot" voter? List five groups of cannot voters
A person who cannot vote
-Under 18 years old
-In a mental institution
-Committed a felony
Besides cannot voters, what are four reasons discussed in class that people do not vote?
-Don't care about politics
-Don't think their vote counts for anything
-Don't like any of the candidates
What are the four major sources of law in the United States?
Early Systems of Law
What are the four key principles of the legal system in the United States?
-Equal Justice Under The Law
-Due Process of Law-
-The Adversarial System-
-Presumption of Innocence-
What are the four types of civil law in the United States?
What are the six steps in a civil case in the United States?
Hire a lawyer
Filing the Complaint
Resolution without Trial
What are the three types of crime as discussed in Section 3?
There are eight steps to a criminal trial in the United States. What are they?
Investigation and Arrest
Preliminary Hearing/Grand Jury Hearing
Arraignment and Pleas
Name the six constitutional and two informal duties of the President.
commander in chief
chief of state
chief of party
What is the term and salary of the President? What is/are some of the "non-salaried" compensation the President receives? Name five things
$400,000 per year
air force one
free medical/dental/health care
government pays for expenses
Name the three Constitutional qualifications to be President.
natural-born citizen of the United States
at least 35 years of age
lived in the US for 14 years
What are four other informal qualifications one must possess to run for the Presidency?
Prior experience in government
-Must have access to large sums of money
-Must have relatively moderate political beliefs
-Personal characteristics vary
What are the two Constitutional responsibilities of the Vice-President?
-President of the Senate
-Helps decide on the issue of presidential disability
How was the election of 1800 significant to the Electoral College in the United States?
Lead to the 12th amendments and changed all the laws for electing the presidents and vice presidents.
How many presidential electors are there total? How many must a candidate get to win the presidency?
538 electors 270 to win
What is a "faithless elector?" How common have they been in American politics?
An elector who votes for not what the state wants. 9 times
What are 3 problems (as discussed in class) with the Electoral College today?
- "Winner Take All" system (popular vote winner can lose the White House)
Third Party Candidates could force election by the house
Election by the House (each state gets 1 vote, need 26 or more to be
What are 3 proposed changes (as discussed in class) to the Electoral College system?
-Proportional plan (60% pop vote = 60% electoral college vote)
-District plan (1 electoral cote for each congressional district won, +2 electoral votes for each state won)
-Direct popular election (most votes wins)
What are at least 4 factors that come into play when determining who will serve as a Cabinet member?
-Appointee should have a familiar background with the area in which they will head (Tom Vilsack)
-Also necessary to satisfy special interest groups (Secretary of Labor should be acceptable to labor groups/unions)
-Need high level administrators skills/ expertise
-Diversity is increasingly important
Why do some nominees turn down Cabinet positions?
They could make more money doing something else.
What is the background of a typical Cabinet member?
-College graduates, usually w/ advanced degrees
-Leaders in their specific (Cabinet related) fields
Describe the different relationships that various presidents have had with their Cabinet members.
-Some presidents have a complicated relationship with their Cabinet (Lyndon B. Johnson), or none at all (Nixon)
What are the five functions of political parties in the United States?
-Seal of Approval
What are the four reasons for a two party system in American government?
-American Ideological Census
-Force of Tradition
What are the three roles that minor parties play in U.S. government?
What is one major problem that occurs as a result of a multiparty system?
-Instability in the government is one major problem
Name and give an example of the four types of minor political parties in the United States.
-Single-Issue Parties ex. Free Soil Party
-Ideological Parties ex. Libertarian Party
-Splinter Parties ex. Bull Moose Party
-Economic Protest Parties ex. Greenback Party
Name three segments of the United States population who tend to vote Democratic, and three segments of the United States population who tend to vote Republican.
People with lower incomes
People in the business community
People with higher incomes
What are the two major political parties in the United States?
Name the five duties held by each member of Congress.
Know the difference between a session and a term of Congress.
A session is for two years and there is two terms per session
What are the three Constitutional qualifications and one informal qualification required of potential members of the House of Representatives?
-Representatives must be at least 25 years old,
-be a citizen of the U.S. for at least 7 years,
-live in the state they wish to represent
-live in the district they wish to represent
What are the three Constitutional qualifications required of potential members of the Senate?
-Senators must be at least 30 years old,
-be a citizen of the U.S. for at least 9 years
-live in the state they wish to represent
Be able to list the five representatives and two Senators from the state of Iowa who serve in the United States Congress. Also, be able to state what political party each belongs to, as well as stating the district each representative is elected from.
Bruce Braley- District 1- Democrat
David Loebsack- District 2- Democrat
Leonard Boswell- District 3- Democrat
Thomas Latham- District 4- Republican
Steve King- District 5- Republican
Thomas Harkin- Democrat
How long are Senators and Representatives terms of office?
Senators: 6 year terms
Representatives: 2 year terms
What is the approximate salaried compensation of Congressional members? Also, what are some of the other non-salaried benefits that come with the job? Be sure to name at least four.
-Salary of $174,000 for all members of the House and Senate
-Postage for official business
How many members serve in the House of Representatives? In the Senate? In Congress total?
100 in Senate
435 in the House
535 members total
What can be said about the demographics of Congress? In other words, what is the typical member of Congress like?
-Most are extraordinarily well educated
-Most are white, middle aged (over 50), married, and originally from the state they represent
-Not really reflective of the racial/gender/socioeconomic makeup of the U.S.
What can be said about incumbents running for reelection in Congress? What are three reasons why this is the case?
-Almost all incumbents(already in office) win reelection if they want it (90%)
-Easier to raise campaign funds
-Better known to voters
-Use their positions to help constituents
Who currently serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives? What political party and state does this person belong to?
Who serves as President of the Senate?
The Vice President?
What are the four basic types of committees that are present in Congress?
Briefly describe what the role of each of the following Congressional support agencies is
The Library of Congress Congressional Budget Office -Provides economic date to
-The research library for Congress
-Only members of Congress are
allowed to check out books.
General Accounting Office Government Printing Office
-Audits and evaluates the other offices -prints documents produced by and for the federal government
Be able to identify the 3 components of the "Lemon Test."
Can't have entanglement with government and religion
Clear, secular, non religious purpose
Can't help or further religion
What three tests does the Supreme Court use to set limits on free speech?
Clear and present danger rule
Preferred position doctrine
Band Tendency Doctrine
What types of speech does the First Amendment not protect?
Who establishes standards of indecency?
Local Community Governments
What is tough to monitor regarding the Internet and decency?
You can't stop what people look at
You can't stop what people post
What two principles were established by the DeJonge decision?
Due process clause protects freedom of assembly from state and local governments
Freedom of assemble is just as important as the first amendment freedoms
What percentage of Americans identify themselves with one particular religion?
Give four examples of how religion is intertwined with people's lives on a daily basis even if they are not religious themselves. (Examples should include military chaplains)
Money 'In God We Trust'
Pledge of Allegience
Congress (start session with prayer)
Military (has priests for people)
The Supreme Court has never permitted religious freedom to justify any behavior, especially when religious practices conflict with criminal laws.
Two of the most discussed cases involving the free exercise clause concerned whether or not children could be forced to salute the American flag.
What is the most common form of speech?
Another term for symbolic speech is __________.
Know the six parts of the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.
-Ensure Domestic Tranquility
-Form a more perfect Union
-Provide for the common defence
-Promote the general Welfare
-Secure the Blessings of Liberty
Know the topic of each of the seven articles of the Constitution.
-Article I -- Legislative Branch
-Article II -- Executive Branch
-Article III -- Judicial Branch
-Article IV -- Relationship of states/national government
-Article V -- Amending of the Constitution
-Article VI -- Supremacy Clause
-Article VII -- Ratification Procedure
What are the six major principles of the U.S. Constitution?
Separation of Powers
Checks and Balances
List at least five specific powers of the President as mentioned in Article II, Sections 2-3 of the U.S. Constitution.
-Being Commander in Chief
-Pardoning people of federal crimes
-Calling Congress into special session
-Ensures that the laws Congress passes are "faithfully executed"
What are the five ways in which the Constitution can be informally amended?
-Court Decisions-decisions by the Supreme Court
-Party Practices-political parties
-Custom and Usage
-Basic Legislation-legislation by Congress
-Executive Action-actions by the President
Know the ways in which the Constitution can be formally amended.
-Three-fourths of the states to ratify the Amendment
-Each state to call a convention and three-fourths of the convention to approve it