Government flashcards 2

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This is a law written by the legislative branch of government.


"Law promulgated by the agencies now occupies an importance equal to statutory law in regulating every aspect of American society."
— legal scholar

In the above quote, the legal scholar is addressing the importance of administrative law.


Although not mentioned in the Constitution, this item is rooted in our legal heritage.

presumption of innocence

When a new case is similar to cases already decided, judges follow the earlier


While laws may seem to limit our freedoms, laws also guarantee

individual liberties.

A(n) ______________ is a statement which describes individual rights and obligations. This statement also outlines how citizens and government relate to each other.

NOT! contracts

What is common law also known as?

NOT! civil law

One of Rome's greatest contributions to civilization is the

Justinian Code

Please select the word from the list that best fits the definition

goal of U.S. court system

equal justice under the law

Cases involving this decide the limits of the government's power and the rights of the individual.

constitutional law

What is jurisdiction?

authority to hear the case

Under__________________ jurisdiction cases can be heard only in the federal courts, while under ___________ jurisdiction, federal and state courts share the power to hear cases.

exclusive / concurrent

If a Supreme Court judge has personal religious objections to military service, but rules in favor of the draft because it is a federal law, that judge is practicing

judicial restraint.

The court that first hears a case is said to have

original jurisdiction.

The term of office for constitutional court judges is determined by

the Constitution.

Judges of the constitutional courts are appointed

for life.

The independence of the judicial branch is ensured by the

all of the above.

Which of the following statements about federal judges is TRUE?

They are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

A living legacy left behind by a former President is (are)

the judges whom he has appointed and who continue to serve.

One weakness of the Articles of Confederation was that

it did not provide for a national judiciary.

The purposes of the 12 federal courts of appeals include all of the following EXCEPT

to hear original cases that have bypassed lower courts.

Legal cases in the District of Columbia and the territories that belong to the United States are settled in:

a separate system of courts for each territory and each district like those at the State and federal levels.

Which of the following could be the subject of a criminal case tried in federal court?


How many federal judicial districts are there?


What case cannot be heard at the Court of Appeals?

NOT! a case that has already been heard before

Which federal court has original jurisdiction over MOST cases heard in federal court?

district court

The list of cases to be heard by a court is called a


How is an appeals court different then a traditional federal court?

NOT! B. There are three justices in a traditional federal court.

Where can a Court of International Trade decision be appealed?

Court of Appeals for the federal circuit

A list of cases to be heard by a court will come from a courts:


Which of the following is not a court created by the government?

supreme courts for every embassy worldwide

Which of the following are all special courts?

NOT! Court of Federal Claims, U.S. Tax Court, Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

The United States Tax Court was established in what year?


If one senator is suing another senator, what court would hear the claim?

District Columbia Court

How many judges are on the US Tax Court?


Which of the following is a requirement for a case to be heard in a military court?

charges must be related to military law

Before a person could sue the government in a special court, how could a person seek judgement against the government?

they would need an act of congress

When did the name change occur for the federal claims?


In establishing the Court of Federal Claims, Congress

freed itself from reviewing the particulars of every case brought against the United States.

The United States Tax Court hears

civil cases.

Dissenting opinions accomplish all of the following EXCEPT

providing a precedent to be followed by the lower courts.

What was the first court case that set the precedent of judicial review?

Marbury v. Madison

In the history of the Supreme Court, only two women have held the title of Chief Justice.


In cases involving foreign ambassadors, public ministers, and consuls, the Supreme Court has ___________ jurisdiction.


The power of judicial review is held

by most federal and State courts.

The Supreme Court adheres closely to the 30-minute oral argument rule mostly because

both a and b

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear case arguments for two months and then recess to adjudicate(discuss and decide) those cases for two months in conference.


In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court held that William Marbury's case did not fall under

its original jurisdiction.

The Supreme Court would have original jurisdiction in ___________

a case between two states engaged in a border dispute.

What is the writ of certiorari?

order for records to be sent up for review

Why should dissenting opinions, as well as the majority opinion, be a permanent part of the record in a Supreme Court decision?

Because the justices' deliberations are secret, with no minutes kept, recording dissenting opinions preserves the minority thinking on an issue. Changing social conditions, or changes in the makeup of the Court, might someday result in that minority opinion serving as the basis for a new opinion by the Court.

expresses views of the majority of justices

majority opinion

unsigned statement of Court's decision

per curiam opinion

opinion of justice on the opposing side

dissenting opinion

The Supreme Court will accept a case for decision if ________ of the nine justices agree.


A unanimous opinion within the Supreme Court means that _________.

all of the Justices vote in the same way about a court case

main route to the Supreme Court

writ of certiorari

appointed by the president

solicitor general

In 1936 Chief Justice Charles Evan Hughes stated in his address to the American Law Institute that the justices often disagree and are sometimes uncertain when dealing with "principles of law and their applications." Do you think the presence of discord makes the Supreme Court more or less effective? Explain your answer.

Answers may vary. Students should mention that the presence of intelligent debate is important for the proper application of the principles of law. It is more important that the justices debate and disagree than make hasty, illogical decisions without hearing one another's claims.

friend of the court

amicus curiae

In order to make it to the Supreme Court, a case must meet certain requirements or adhere to a complex set of standards and procedures. Complete the chart, identifying the three main routes by which a case makes it before the highest court in the land.

writ certiorari

Some cases reach the Supreme Court through _________, meaning that it has been requested that the Supreme Court review the ruling of lower state and federal courts.

NOT! appeal

Court's written decision


One or more justices who agree with the majority's conclusions about a case, but do so for different reasons, write a(n)

concurring opinion.

Prior to presenting case, what must be submitted by lawyers to the Supreme Court?


This is a written statement setting forth the legal arguments.


If a case is heard by the U.S. Supreme Court and the government is one of the parties involved, who would represent the government?

Solicitor General

What is the first step in the higher court trying to decide if they should hear a lower case?

asking for a writ of certiorari

Which of the following is not a type of court opinion?

legal opinion

The strongest type of opinion of the court is:

a unanimous opinion

An order from the Court to send up records is a

writ of certiorari.

The majority of the cases the Supreme Court hears come

from lower courts as appeals.

After the Supreme Court accepts a case, the case goes through a strict set of procedures. Complete the chart, identifying the missing step in this process.

lawyers present oral arguments

A brief unsigned statement of the Court's decision is

per curiam opinion.

An area in which the U.S. Supreme Court has had a major impact on public policy is:

NOT! labor unions

This changed law enforcement across the country.

Miranda v. Arizona

This is NOT a limit on the Court's power.

congressional jurisdiction

What is one limit that the executive branch can place on the Supreme Court?

NOT! writing a response to the opinion

__________________ allows the Supreme Court to declare a law passed by Congress or the president as unconstitutional.

Judicial Review

This is NOT a way the Supreme Court determines policy.

passing laws

The U.S. Supreme Court is dependent upon this branch to enforce its decisions.


stare decisis

let the decision stand

Once the Court rules on a case, the ruling becomes this for future decisions.


Which is not a limit placed upon the Supreme Court?

opinions relating to legislation

Which of the following is the foundation for which Supreme Court decisions are made?


It is the Chief Justice who:

NOT! is the senior member of the court

The ____________ of the Supreme Court presides over oral arguments, influences the direction of discussions, and decides which cases the Court will hear.

Chief Justice

The number of Supreme Court justices is determined by


The Court may reverse its earlier decision because of

NOT! the president's request.

swing vote

deciding vote

A ______________ describes the voting style of Justices who do not consistently vote according to the political left or right, but who alter their voting choice depending on the issue

swing vote

The president's most important influence over the Court is the power to

appoint justices with Senate consent.

This person assigns the writing of opinions to the justices.

chief justice

Supreme Court Justices must relate their interpretations of laws ___________.

logically to the Constitution

A coalition of justices is

a voting bloc.

Which of the following federal courts exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction?

the Supreme Court

How can the Supreme Court overturn legislation approved by the congress and the president?

ruling that the law is unconstitutional

What is judicial review?

the ability of the Supreme Court to deem an act of government or an individual unconstitutional

Which of the following is the only way that a claim against the United States could secure redress?

An act of Congress

What is one indication that the Supreme Court is harmonious?

more unanimous opinions

Which two of the types of laws were combined in the nineteenth century so that a single court could administer both types of laws?

common law and equity

When an unscheduled session of Congress is called by the president, it is called a(n) __________.

special session

A committee that exists permanently in either the House of Representatives or the Senate is called a __________.

standing committee

On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig caused oil to begin gushing into the Gulf of Mexico. Soon thereafter, a committee was formed to investigate. These types of temporary committees are known as __________.

select committees

Which of the following BEST represents the place of Congress in the three branches of government?

chart C

Before 1913 and the passage of the 17th Amendment, Senators were elected by state legislatures. Who has the power to elect Senators today?


As citizens, we do not vote on all legislation directly. We appoint politicians to discuss, debate, and vote on new laws for us. This type of democracy is known as a __________.

representative democracy

Congressman Allan Derulo was elected as a representative to a state's 41st district in November of 2010. If he wishes to serve again, when must he win re-election?

November 2012

All of the following are true of the United States Senate EXCEPT:

Senators vote on who should fill vacant seats within the Senate.

Which committee is considered the most powerful in all of Congress?

Committee on Ways and Means

A committee with members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate is called a __________.

joint committee

If Congress decided to pass a law to eliminate the penny, this would be the use of a(n) __________ power.


Powers of Congress that are not specifically stated in the Constitution but are suggested by the elastic clause are known as __________.

implied powers

Congress may not suspend __________ unless a national crisis requires it.

habeas corpus

Gibbons v. Ogden reinforced

the federal government's authority over states

All of the following are examples of implied powers EXCEPT:

creating a national guard

Which of the following responsibilities is ONLY given to the House of Representatives?

NOT making laws

Congress decides to pass a law that increases minimum wage, this is an example of using a(n) __________ power.


Powers specifically outlined in the Constitution are known as __________.

enumerated powers

Which congressional chamber has the power to override a presidential veto?

both chambers

The Senate is given the responsibility of approving presidential nominations.


All of the following are examples of enumerated powers EXCEPT:

establishing a national banking system

Which of the following is a limitation on congressional power?

taxing interstate trade

___________ place(s) limitations on Congress when it comes to the rights of the citizens.

The Bill of Rights

__________ in the Constitution, outlines the limitations on congressional powers.

Article I, Section 9

Congress decides to pass a law that increases minimum wage, this is an example of using a(n) __________ power.


Compare and contrast the bill voting procedures for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

In both houses, three things can happen to a bill: it can be approved, denied, or sent back to committee. In both houses there is debate before the vote, and a majority vote (50% + 1) is required to pass a bill. The biggest difference between the two houses are the time limits. In the House of Representatives, there are strict restrictions for how long a bill can be debated. Time is split evenly between those opposed to the bill and those that support it. In the Senate, things are very different because there is no time limit for discussing the bill. For opponents of the bill, this allows a political stall tactic known as filibustering, when long-winded, often off-topic speeches are used to stall the vote so that the opposition can get enough votes to stop the bill.

Outline the process of how a bill passes through Congress. Include the procedure if the bill is amended after having passed either the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Once a bill is referred to either the House or the Senate, the bill is discussed either in private or public sessions. These debates can have time limits (in the House) or no time limits (in the Senate). After formal discussion, the bill is put to a vote. If the bill passes the first house, it moves on to the next house. So, if it passes the Senate first, it would go to the House of Representatives or vice versa. If the second house passes the bill in the same form, the bill goes to the president for his/her approval; however, if the second house amends the bill in any way, it must go back to the first house that approved it for another vote. Once the bill passes both houses in the same form, it can be sent to the president for approval.

When senators decide it is time to vote on a bill, they begin a procedure called a __________ to indicate the time for discussion is over.


The vice president of the United States, also known as the president of the Senate, usually sponsors the most bills.


The president, Congress members, lobbies, and even private citizens can propose legislations, but they do so in different ways. Discuss the different ways that these people or groups can suggest a new bill.

The president can suggest new bills through political connections or in public speeches like the State of the Union Address. Lobbies are groups that meet with political figures to try to influence political decision making. Lobbies can influence the creation of legislation through simple meetings or they can form Political Action Committees and raise money for a candidate who promises to support their cause. Any private citizen can also start a campaign for a new bill, though the road is longer. For a citizen, the process starts by meeting with a Congress member, either a representative or a senator, to discuss the reasons for a new bill.

Compare and contrast the two vetoes that the President of the United States can use to reject legislation.

The first type of veto the president can use is a traditional veto. When using this veto, the president sends the bill back to Congress while explaining the reasons he is refusing to sign the bill. The second type of veto is known as a pocket-veto. The pocket-veto is less formal, and can only be used if the president is given a bill to sign ten days or less from the Congressional recess. Since the president is given ten days to sign a bill, he can ignore or "pocket" the bill and it will be automatically vetoed. With a pocket veto, the president does not give his reasons for ignoring the bill. The advantage to the pocket-veto is that it will not be immediately sent back to Congress for an override vote.

Describe the roles of committees and subcommittees in the bill process.

When a bill is proposed, the bill immediately goes to a committee or subcommittee in the house in which it was proposed. The committee the bill goes to is determined by its content. Within the committees, the merits of the bill are discussed in detail. If there is anything about the bill that needs to be amended, the bill goes through a "markup session" where the changes are made before being sent to be referred to the floor of the Senate or the House of Representatives.

A bill passes the House of Representatives and is sent to the Senate. The Senate also passes the bill, but with a series of minor changes from the original version sent over from the House of Representatives. What is the next step for the bill before it becomes law?

The amended bill must go back to the House of Representatives for a new vote of approval.

Before a bill is sent to the White House for the president's signature, it must first __________.

pass both houses in the same form

Which of the following BEST defines a Political Action Committee (PAC)?

a type of lobby that raises money for Congress members with similar views

If a committee agrees to a "markup session" for a bill, this means that __________.

committees are going to amend the proposed bill

Before a bill makes it to the floor of Congress, it must first pass through __________ and smaller __________ that look at the bill in detail.

committees . . . subcommittees

Which of the following would BEST fit into the category of a "revenue" bill?

a new law proposed to increase federal income taxes

In order to stall a vote on a particular bill, a senator speaks at the Senate for a prolonged period. This political tactic is known as __________.


A bill can be either __________, meaning that its contents and the discussion surrounding it are open to anyone, or __________, meaning that most discussions about the bill take place behind closed doors and are not widely known.

public . . . private

All new bills are given a letter and number code; following their coding, they are then __________ to committees for closer inspection.


A pocket-veto can be used by the president only if a bill is presented to him __________ days or less before Congress goes on recess.


In order to override a presidential veto, Congress must pass the bill again, but this time with a super majority. This means that the bill must gain the support of at least __________% in both houses of Congress.


Bills are referred by the __________ in the House of Representatives and the __________ in the Senate.

NOT! president . . . Senate majority leader
NOT! speaker of the House . . . Senate majority leader

You are watching the evening news and you see protestors walking around with signs proclaiming their dislike for bill S254. You are not sure what the bill says, but you are sure where the bill originated. Where did the bill originate?

NOT! the House of Representatives

Bills can be proposed in many areas as long as the do not violate the __________.


Special interest groups, also known as __________, are powerful influences when it comes to writing, passing, and blocking bills.

NOT! influence committees

When a bill is voted on in Congress, all of the following are actions that can be taken on the bill EXCEPT:

NOT! send back to committee

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