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apportionment

the distribution of house seats amound the states on the basis of their respective populations.

congressional district

the geographic area that is served by one member in the house of representives

malapportionment

a condition in which the voting power of citizens in one district is greater than the voting power of citizens in another district.

gerrymandering

the drawing of a legislative district's boundaries in such a way as to mazimize the influence of a certain group or political party.

speaker of the house

the presiding officer in the house of representives. the speaker has traditionaly been a longtime member of the majority party and is often the most powerful and influential member of the house.

majority leader

the party leader elected by the majority party in the house or in the senate.

minority leader

the party leader elected by the minority parth in the house or in the senate

whips

a member of congress who assists the majority or minority leader in the house or in the senate in managing the party's legislative preferneces.

what are the four types of congressional committees?

joint, select, standing, conference.

standing committee

a permanaent committee in congress that deals with leislation concerning a particular area, such as agriculture or foreign relations.

sumcommittee

a division of a larger committee that deals with a particular part committee's policy area. most standing committees have several subcommittees.

rules committee

a standing committee in the house of representives that provides special rules governing how particular bills will be considered and debated by the house. the rules committee normally proposes time limits on debate for any bill.

filibuster

the senate tradition of unlimited debate undertaken for the prpose of preventing action on a bill.

cloture

a method of ending debate in the senate and bringing the matter under condieration to a vote by the entire chamber.

markup session

a meeting held by a congressional committee or subcommittee to approve, amend, or redraft a bill.

conference committee

a temporary committe that is formed when the two chambers of congress pass separate versions of the same bill. the conference committee, which consists of members from both the house and the senate, works out a compromise form of the bill.

confernce report

a report submitted by a congressional confernce committee after it has drafted a single version of a bill.

pocket veto

a special type of veto power used by the chief executive after the legislature has adjourned. bills that are not signed die after a specifed period of time.

head of state

the person who serves as the ceremonial head of a country's government and represents that country to the rest of the world.

diplomat

a person who represtns on country in dealing with representatives of another country.

cheif diplomat

the role of the president in recognizing and interacting with foreign governments.

patronage

the practice of giving government jobs too individuals belonging to the winning political party.

executive order

a presidential order to carry out a policy or policies described in a law passed by congress.

signing statement

a written statement, appended to a bill at the time the president signs it into law, including how the president interprets that legislation.

executive agreements

a binding internatinal agreement, or pact, that is made between the president and another head of state and that does not require senate approval.

executive privilegea

an inhernet executive power claimed by presidents to withholdinformation from, or to refuse to appear before, congress or the courts. the president can also accord the privilege to other executive officials.

watergate scandal

a scandal involving an illegal breakin a tthe democratic national committee offices in 1972 by members of president nixon's reelection campaign staff. before congress could vote to impeach nixon for his participation in covering up the break in, nixon resigned from the presidency.

cabinent

an advisory group selected by the presdient to assist the decision making. tradtionally , the cabinet has consisted of the heads of the executive departments and other officers who the president may choose to appoint.

kitchen cabinent

the name givent to a president's unoffical advisors. the term was coined during andrew jackson's presidency becuase they would meet in the kitchen at the white house.

executive office of the president (EOP)

a group of staff agencies that assist the president in carrying out major duties. franklin d roosevelt established the EOP in 1939 to cope with the increased resoponsibilities brought on by the great depression.

office of management and budget (OMB)

an angency in the executive office of the president that assits the president in preparing and supervising the administration of the federal budget.

national security council (NSC)

a council that advises the presdient on domestic and foreign matters concerning the safety and defense of the nation; established in 1947

bureacucracy

a large, complex, hierarchically structured administrative organization that carries out specific functions.

executive agency

a federal agency that is not located within a cabinent department.

regulatory agency

a federal organization that is responsible for creating and implementing rules that regulate private activity and protect the public interest in a particular sector of the econony.

iron triangle

a three way alliance amoung legislators, bureaucrats, and interest groups to make or preserve polices that benefit their respective interests

star decisis

a common law doctrine under which judges normally are obligated to follow the precedents established by prior court decisions.

statutory law

the body of law enacted by legislatures (as opposed to constiutional law, adminstrative law, or case law).

administrative law

the body of law created by administrative agencies (in the form of rules, regulations, orders, and decisions) in order to carry out their duties and responsibilities.

case law

the rules of law announced in court decisions. includes the aggregate of reported cases that interpret judicial precedents, statues, regluations, and constitutional provisions.

civil law

the branch of law that spells out the duties that individuals in society owe to other persons or to their government, excluding the duty not to commit crimes.

criminal law

the branch of law that defines and governs actions that constitute crimes. generally, criminal law has to do with wrongful actions committed against society for which society demands redress.

standing to sue

the requirement that an individual must have a sufficient stake in controversy before he or she can bring a lawsuit. the party bringing the suit must demonstrate that he or shie has either harmed or been threatened with a harm.

justiciable controversy

a controversy that is not hypothetical or academic but real and substantial; a requirement that must be statisfied before a court will hear a case.

appellate court

a court having appellate jurisdiction. normally does not hear evidence or testimony but reviews the transcript of the trial court's procedings, other records relating to the case, and attorney's arguements as to why the trail courts decision shold or should not stand.

concurring opinion

a statement written by a judge or justice who agrees with the court's decision, but for reasons different from those in the majority opinion.

dissenting opinion

a statement written by a judge or justice who disagrees with the majority opinion.

judicial review

the power of the courts to decide on the constitutionality of legislative enactments and of actions taken by the executive branch.

domestic policy

public policy concerning issues within a national unit, such as national policy concerning health care or the economy.

4 stages of domestic policy process

get it on the agenda, formulate, adopt and implement, and evaluate the results.

global warming

an increase in the average tempreature of the earth's surface over the last half century and its projected continuation.

monetary policy

actions taken by the federal reserve baord to change the amount of money in circulation so as to affect interest rates, credit markets, the rate of inflation, the rate of economic growth, and the rate of unemployment.

fiscal policy

the use of changes in goverment expenditures and taxes to alter national econmoic variables

national debt

the total amount of money that the national government owes as a result of borrowing.

foreign policy

a systematic and general plan that guides a country's attitudes and actions toard the rest of the world. foreign policy includes all of the economic, miltary, commercial, and diplomatic positions and actions that a nation takes in its relationships with other countries.

isolationism

a political policy of noninvolvement in world affairs.

monroe doctrine

a US policy, announced in 1823 by president james monroe, that the US would not tolerate foreign intervention in the western hemisphere, and in return, the US would stay out of european affairs.

interventionism

direct involvement by one country in another country's affairs

marshall plan

a plan providing for US economic assistance to european nations following world war two to help those nations recover from the war; the plnas was named after george marshall secretary of state from 1947 to 1949.

containment

a US policy designed to contain the spread of communism by offering military and economic aid to threatened nations.

cold war

the war of words, warnings, and ideologies between the soviet union and the US that lasted from the late 1940s through the early 1990s.

mutally assured destruction (MAD)

a pharse referring to the assumption, on which the policy of detterrence was based, that if the forces of two nations are equally capable of destroying each other, neither nation will take a chance on war.

cuban missle crisis

a nuclear stand off that occurred in 1962 when the US learned that the soviet union had plaved nuclear warheads in cuba, ninety miles off the US coast. the crisis was defused diplomatically, but it is generally considered the closest the two cold war superpowers came to a nuclear confrontation.

weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)

chemical, biological, or nuclear wearpons that can inflict massive casualties.

preemptive war

a war launched by a nation to prevent an imminent attack by another nation.

baker vs carr

the court ruled that the tennessee state legislature's malapportionment was an issue that could be heard in the federal courts because it affected the constitutional requirement of equal protection under the law.

reapportionment

after the census the districts are rearranged base on population changes.

congressional investigation

congress has the authority to investigate the actions of the executive branch, the need for certain legislation, and even the actions of its own members.

congressional oversight

one of the most important functions. supervision of the executive branch and ist many federal departments and agencies.

earmarks

funding projects that isn't voted on but are attached to bills who have been voted on.

pork barrel

project that only benefits a small group of people attached to a bigger bill.

seniority system

first in line is the majority/minority leaders then the chairs. chairs are the leaders of the committees. the are the veterans in congress. then you have the whips who make sure everyone else in on board with the "plan".

going public

using press congerences, public appearances, and telvised events to arouse public opinion in favor of certain legislative programs.

joint committee

both houses have people on the same committee

select committee

temporary for special topics.

who has the real power in congress?

in the house the speaker has the most power. they decide who talks and they can end debates. in the senate the majority and minority leaders set the agenda for the senate.

federal question

a question that pertains to the US constitution, acts of congress, or treaties. a federal question proveds a basis for federal court jurisiction.

gideon vs wainwright

the supreme court held that if a person is accused of a fleony and cannot afford an attorney, an attorney must be made available to the accused person at the goverment's expense.

judicial restraint

a judge or justice generally assumes that the courts should defer to the decisions of the legislative and executive branches, elected by the people, whereas federal court judeges are not.

the federal court system

has three tiered sections. you have the supreme court, court of appeals, and district courts.

district courts

lowest ranked court. also known as trial courts. the cases in this court are decided by jurys or a judge.

three sources of presidential power:

how he views his power, the power to persuade, and the constitution.

saturday night massacre

begining of the end for Nixon. he wanted the attorney general to fire cox. no one would fire him. people would resign before firing cox. cox wanted nixon to turn over tapes that were most likely incriminating to nixon. cox was eventually fired.

active president

pushes his ideas as fas as he can.

passive president

uses presidency to do his job only.

why has the president's power grown during the 20th century?

nuclear age, US is the world power, the domestic growth of executive branch and executive office, and the media coverage.

rule of four

4 judges of 9 must agree. they set their own agenda

nature of robert's court

no liberals. more concerned with buisness.

iron curtain

a phase coined by wiston churchill to describe the political boundaries between the democratic countries in western europe and the soviet controlled communist countries in eastern europe.

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