AP Government & Politics Exam Vocab (L-R)

38 terms by clvryan 

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legislative oversight

one of Congress's most importat tasks, the investigation and evaluation of the performance of corresponding executive agencies and departments to check the power of the executive branch

limited government

principle of government that states that government powers must be confined to those allowed it by the nation's Constitution

line-item veto

power held by some chief executives to excise some portions of a spending bill without rejecting the entire bill (President cannot do this)


level of support for an elected official as perceived through election results

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Supreme Court decision that established the principle of judicial review

Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

case in which the Court ruled that, upon arrest, a suspect must be advised of the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer

national convention

occasion at which a political party officially announces its presidential nominee and reveals its party platform for the next four years (today nominees have been pre-determined by primary election results)

National Organization of Women (NOW)

feminist political group formed in 1967 to promote legislative change. NOW lobbied for the failed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution

National Security Council

presidential advisory board established in 1947. The NSC consults with the president on matters of defense and foreign policy


endorsement to run for office by a political party

objective good faith

exception to the exclusionary rule that allows the use of illegally obtained evidence at trial if the court determines that police believe they were acting within the limits of their search warrant when they seized the evidenec

Office of Budget and Management

executive branch office responsible for drawing up the president's proposals for the federal budget

open primary

primary election in which voters may vote in whichever party primary they choose, though they must select that part before entering the voting booth

original jurisdiction

term used to describe a court's power to initially try a case. Courts in which cases are first heard are those with originial jurisdiction in the case, appellate courts hear challenges to earlier court decisions


the Constitutional power of Congress to supersede a president's veto by a two-thirds majority in both houses


cancellation of criminal punishment, this power is held by presidents and governors


statement of purpose and policy objectives drafted and approved by political parties at their national conventions, they rarely exert much influence on day-to-day politics

Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

ruling that "separate but equal" facilities for different races are not unconstitutional

political action committee (PAC)

the fundraising apparatus of interest groups, donations and contributions from PACs are regulated by federal law

political party

group of people with common political goals which hopes to influence policy through the election process

policy implementation

the process by which executive departments and agencies put legislation into practive, they are often allowed a degree of freedom to interpret legislation as they write guidelines to enact and enforce the law


political party of the late 1800s that primarily represented farmers and working-class Americans, sough inflationary economic policies to increase farm income

president pro tempore

individual chosen to preside over the Senate whenever the vice president is unavailable to do so, chosen by the Senate from among its members

primary election

form of election held by the majority of the states, during which voters select the nominees for political parties

prior restraint

censorship of news material before it is made public

privileges and immunities clause

section of the Constitution stating that a state may not refuse police protection or access to its courts to U.S. citizens because they live in a different state

progressive income tax

increases tax rates for people with higher income to allow those with greater need to keep more of what they earn while taking more form those who can best afford it

pork barrel

budget items proposed by legislators to benefit constituents in their home state or district


the minimum number of people required for the legislature to act


occurs when a party undergoes a major shift in its electoral base and political agenda, the groups of people composing the party coalition may split up, resulting in a vastly different party. Realignments are rare and tend to be signaled by a critical election, last one occurred during the New Deal between the working-class and ethnic groups under the Democratic party


process by which congressional districts are redrawn and seats are redistributed among states in the House, occurs every 10 years, when census data reports shifts in the population of districts

recall election

process through which voters can shorten an office holder's term, one of several Progressive Era reforms that increased voters' power over government


process through which voters may vote on new laws, one of several Progressive Era reforms that increased voters' power over government

regulatory agency

executive agency responsible for enforcing laws pertaining to a certain industry, the agency writes guidelines for the industry, such as safety codes, and enforces them through methods such as inspection

representative democracy

form of government under which citizens vote for delegates who in turn represent citizens' interests within the government

reserved powers

Constitutional powers that belong solely to the states, according to the Tenth Amendment, these powers include any that the Constitution does not either specifically grant the national government or deny the state governments

Roe v. Wade (1973)

case that decriminalized abortion

runoff primary

election held between top two vote-getters in a primary election, when neither received a legally required minimum percentage of the vote, many states require a runoff when no candidate receives at least 40 percent of the primary vote for his or her party

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