"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
A(n) ______________ is a statement which describes individual rights and obligations. This statement also outlines how citizens and government relate to each other.
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.
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
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.
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?
Which federal court has original jurisdiction over MOST cases heard in federal court?
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
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
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
In establishing the Court of Federal Claims, Congress
freed itself from reviewing the particulars of every case brought against the United States.
Dissenting opinions accomplish all of the following EXCEPT
providing a precedent to be followed by the lower courts.
In cases involving foreign ambassadors, public ministers, and consuls, the Supreme Court has ___________ jurisdiction.
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.
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.
A unanimous opinion within the Supreme Court means that _________.
all of the Justices vote in the same way about a court case
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.
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.
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.
One or more justices who agree with the majority's conclusions about a case, but do so for different reasons, write a(n)
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?
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
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
An area in which the U.S. Supreme Court has had a major impact on public policy is:
NOT! labor unions
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.
The ____________ of the Supreme Court presides over oral arguments, influences the direction of discussions, and decides which cases the Court will hear.
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
The president's most important influence over the Court is the power to
appoint justices with Senate consent.
Supreme Court Justices must relate their interpretations of laws ___________.
logically to the Constitution
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
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) __________.
A committee that exists permanently in either the House of Representatives or the Senate is called a __________.
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 __________.
Which of the following BEST represents the place of Congress in the three branches of government?
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 __________.
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?
All of the following are true of the United States Senate EXCEPT:
Senators vote on who should fill vacant seats within the Senate.
A committee with members from both the House of Representatives and the Senate is called a __________.
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 __________.
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.
All of the following are examples of enumerated powers EXCEPT:
establishing a national banking system
___________ 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
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
Which of the following would BEST fit into the category of a "social" bill?
a new law against public smoking
Special interest groups, also known as __________, are powerful influences when it comes to writing, passing, and blocking bills.
What is one reason that congress coins money?
to ensure that all states would accept the same money for debts paid
Some country doctors once accepted livestock as payment for medical bills, but most creditors today demand to be paid in ____.
The Supreme Court ruling in Gibbons v. Ogden expanded the
commerce power to include all commercial interactions.
Per the Constitution, Congress is able to exercise "commerce power" when it comes to
regulating interstate and foreign trade
Based on the Supreme Court's ruling in Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824, it would be reasonable to assume that Chief Justice John Marshall favored
NOT! a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
The Federal Government has often relied on ____ to pay for wars or social programs.
Which of the following powers could Congress use to help protect American car makers from foreign competition?
the power to tax
What is deficit financing?
The nation is making less money than it is spending requiring the government to borrow money.
In both the House and the Senate, bills to allocate funds to government agencies are written by
Which Congressional power forbids members from adding any amendments to any revenue bills?
The government is legally committed to spending for uncontrollables because of
Why would a congressman be concerned with the voters in their home state?
The congressman must listen to the voters if he wants to be reelected.
Of all of the following influences on Congress, this group probably has the least influence.
The Supreme Court
What is not a deciding factor on whether a congressmen will side with the president or an interest group?
The major reason lawmakers vote along party lines is that they
have similar beliefs about public policy.
This is a practical way of congresspersons determining the views of their constituents.
NOT! emailing each constituent
Choose the answer that best completes the chart, identifying the importance of casework.
NOT! ensures federal funding for lawmaker's district
__________ are the appropriations of billions of dollars by Congress to be used for a variety of projects such as post offices, dams, and military bases.
Public works bills
The representatives from Michigan and New Jersey have agreed to support one another's bills to help them pass on the Congressional floor. This is an example of ____________.
According to the chart, voters have the power to influence Congress.
Please select the best answer from the choices provided
What committee makes the decision as to whether or not to support the president's tax cut or increase?
Ways and Means
You are a member of the House of Representatives, and you've just been chosen to be on the Ways and Means Committee. You come home and tell your family, and they look at you with blank stares. "So what does that mean?" they ask. Explain the privileges, restrictions, and duties of sitting on the Ways and Means Committee.
The Ways and Means Committee is widely considered to be the most powerful joint committee in Congress. In fact, it is so important that anyone who is on the Ways and Means Committee cannot serve on any other committees without permission. The responsibilities for the representatives on the Ways and Means Committee are huge. The committee has complete control over taxes and tariffs.
The cartoonist is commenting on the many different influences on lawmakers and how these influences might affect their voting.
blank Party members are likely to support lower taxes, local and state solutions to problems, and policies that support businesses.
The President of the United States was just accused of accepting bribes while in office. What power does Congress have to bring charges against him? What are the specific responsibilities of the House of Representatives and the Senate?
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have the power to remove political officials from office, including the President of the United States. In order to do this, the House of Representatives must first bring formal charges against a politician. If these charges stand, the Senate will try the politician and carefully look at the charges and evidence. The entire process is called impeachment. Any politician can be impeached, but impeachment doesn't necessarily mean a politician will be removed from office. Removal usually occurs, however, if the politician is found guilty.
Third parties often have different perspectives. Compare and contrast the Green party's stance to the Libertarian party's stance on social issues.
Responses will vary. A sample response follows: The Green party operates in the United States with counterparts all around the world. The Green party's social agenda promotes social justice, eco-friendly environmental policies, and peace and nonviolence. The Libertarian party is the largest third party in the US. This party supports strong civil liberties, those basic freedoms guaranteed to us as citizens. The Green party works to promote peace, while the Libertarian party supports strong civil liberties. One cannot work for one or the other in isolation, there is an interconnectedness of the two ideals.
The 2000 presidential election demonstrates how a third-party candidate can influence election outcomes. Explain how a third party influenced this election.
Responses will vary. A sample response follows: George W. Bush was the Republican candidate, Al Gore was the Democratic candidate, and Ralph Nader was the Green party candidate. Although Nader only received 3 percent of the popular vote, many who voted for Nader may have voted Democratic if there was not a third-party candidate. Debate still exists, but it is widely believed that Nader prevented Al Gore, the Democratic candidate from defeating George Bush and winning the election.
Which of the above diagrams correctly reflects the Green party's well-known platform and candidate?
Third parties form in opposition to the two dominant parties. Describe three vital roles that third parties have played in the US.
Responses will vary. A sample response follows: Third parties have existed the United States for a long time, and they form for different reasons. Third parties provide voters with an alternative to the two major parties and have highlighted issues that those parties may have overlooked. They have formed to support a specific issue or a wide range of issues. Perhaps the most important role that they have played has been to influence election results, specifically at the national level. They can also function as protest groups, and the recent formation of the Tea Party movement is an example.
The __________ movement is not a political party, but is a protest group that opposed President Obama's healthcare reform during 2010.
Would the Constitution party join a national campaign that calls for the US to relax its immigration laws? Explain your answer in four sentences or more.
Responses will vary. A sample response follows: The Constitution party endorses conservative social policies. Its platform reflects the principles outlined in the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It seeks to limit the role of the federal government, and specifically endorses stricter immigration laws. It would probably argue that our immigration laws need to be respected, no matter what, and that if anyone wants to immigrate to the US, they need to do so in accordance with our existing immigration policies. It would see our existing immigration laws as reasonable. It would not support such a liberal stance.
Theodore Roosevelt, Ralph Nader, and H. Ross Perot have all __________.
caused a decisive split in national elections
Which third party is most likely to support a campaign aimed specifically at addressing the issue of global warming? Explain your answer in three sentences or more.
Responses will vary. A sample response follows: The Green party is most likelyto support a campaign to address the problem of global warming. The party's platform is based, more than any other area of concern, on environmentalism and eco-friendly policies. The Green party seeks to protect our natural resources while developing economies that do not depend on continued expansion and depletion of our energy resources.
In the 1992 election, __________ received the largest number of votes of any third-party presidential candidate which provided __________ for his party in the 1996 election.
H. Ross Perot; federal funding
The Constitution party advances a conservative approach to issues and would most likely support policies that __________.
reflect our basic principles
A third-party candidate influenced the presidential election of 1912 because the __________ party vote was split between William Taft and Theodore Roosevelt.
In the election of 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran for a second term as president because he was dissatisfied with the way the country was being lead by __________.
All of the following statements are accurate about Independents EXCEPT:
They serve as a protest group.
All of the following have been a part of the Green party's platform EXCEPT:
NOT! racial justice for all citizens
The Libertarian platform has included all the following causes EXCEPT:
NOT! limited federal government
All of the following are examples of smaller third parties except the __________ party.