Bill of Rights
first 10 amendments
due process clause
14th amendment clause stating that no state may deprive a person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
checks and balances
the system where each branch of government exercises some control over the others
a person who wants a strong central government
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
large states plan in which a state's population determines its representation
Articles of Confederation
abandoned original constitution that failed because it lacked a strong central government
New Jersey Plan
small states plan in which every state has equal representation
direct popular election
a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons or political party that they desire to see elected
destructive act that undermines authority of government
a gathering of local and state party members chosen to nominate presidential and vice-presidential candidates
to lessen the ability to govern
a provision included in a bill on a subject other than the one covered in the bill
the only constitutional crime; betraying one's country
to kill a bill in committee
a two-chamber legislature
a procedure that allows each senator to speak only 1 hour on a bill under debate; requires 60% of votes
an investigative trip
free mailing service for members of congress
a president-requested session of congress; not one of the two sessions defined per term
irregular reshaping of districts that gives a political party an advantage
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
A government that gives all key powers to the national or central government.
this system of government where the ideas of leaders are glorified and the government seeks to control all aspects of social and economic life
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
a change to the Constitution
theory that by contract, people surrender to the state the power needed to maintain order and the state, in turn, agrees to protect its citizens
A system of government in which the power to rule is in the hands of a single individual.
loose association of states, weak central government
a government in which voters hold sovereign power; elected representatives, responsible to the people, exercise that power
government in which the people rule
pertaining to a central government
a private meeting of party leaders to choose candidates for office
false written or published statements intended to damage a person's reputation
a formal charge by a grand jury
the rule that police (when interrogating you after an arrest) are obliged to warn you that anything you say may be used as evidence and to read you your constitutional rights (the right to a lawyer and the right to remain silent until advised by a lawyer)
president pro tempore
the Senate member, elected by the Senate, who stands in as president of the Senate in the absence of the vice president
testifying against oneself
A court order to release a person accused of a crime to court to determine whether he or she has been legally detained.
separate but equal
the idea that people maybe be segregated as long as they are provided with the same facilities
the order in which officials fill the office of president in case of a vacancy
government policies that award jobs, government contracts, promotions, admission to schools, and other benefits to minorities and women in order to make up for past discriminations
de facto segregation
segregation that exists in fact rather than legally
political party platform
a list of the principles which a political party supports in order to appeal to the general public for the purpose of being voted into office
the inability for the president to be effective, in which place he/she would be replaced by the vice president
a group that hears charges against a suspect and decides whether there is sufficient evidence to bring the person to trial
appointments made by the president, especially cabinet members
judges appointed by a federal level of government as opposed to the state / provincial / local leve
federal district courts
the general trial courts of the United States federal court system
US Supreme Court
the highest judicial body of the United States
Formal qualifications for President and Vice President
natural-born citizen of the United states, at least 35 years old, a resident of the United States for at least 14 years before taking office
Formal qualifications for Senators
must be at least 30 years old, be a citizen of the United States for 9 years before election, a resident of the state they represent.
Formal qualifications for Representatives
must be at least 25 years old, be a citizen of the United States for at least 7 years, a resident of the state that elects them
one person, one vote
Wesberry v Sanders; a vote in one congressional district was to be worth as much as a vote in another district, therefore each congressional district contains about 600,000 people
speech or debate clause
Article 1, Section 6, Clause 1; immunity privilege means members cannot be prosecuted for anything they say in Congress.
president of the senate
vice president or president pro tempore
a temporary joint committee set up when the House and the Senate have passed different versions of the same bill
a committee of the House and the Senate that usually acts as a study group and reports its findings back to the House and the Senate
a temporary committee formed to study one specific issue and report its findings to the Senate or the House
a permanent committee in Congress that oversees bills that deal with certain kinds of issues; 20 in the House and 17 in the Senate
a method of defeating a bill in which a senator talks until a majority either abandons the bill or agrees to modify it
presidential rejection of a bill
(committee action) the process of introducing, titling, sending a bill to committee, and hearing it in committee
(floor action) the process of reading a bill sentence by sentence to the house and debating it
(floor action) the process of reading just the title, and putting the bill to a vote
make key decisions about the work of their committees - when they meet, which bills they consider, and for how long.
committee of the whole
a parliamentary device in which the House of Representatives is considered one large Congressional committee. It allows bills and resolutions to be considered without adhering to all the formal rules of a House session
the power to veto only certain lines or items in a bill
congressional voting procedures
a quorum (majority - 218) of the members must be present to vote. Passage of a bill requires a majority vote of all the members present. Representatives may have a voice vote, standing vote, or division vote. Senators may have a voice vote, standing vote, or roll-call vote.
(both houses) members together call out "aye" or "no", and the Speaker or president of the senate determines which side has the most votes
(both houses) those in favor of the bill stand and are counted, then those opposed stand and are counted
(House) a recorded vote, in which members' votes are recorded electronically
(Senate) senators respond "aye" or "no" as their names are called in alphabetical order
socialist German thinker and writer who advocated violent revolution; published The Communist Manifesto in 1848
a political community that occupies a definite territory and has an organized government with the power to make and enforce laws without approval from any higher authority
autocracy in which a king, queen, or emperor exercises supreme powers of government
an economic system in which the government owns the basic means of production, distributes the products and wages, and provides social services such as health care and welfare
a system in which the government regulates private enterprise
factors of production
resources that an economy needs to produce goods and services
the deciding vote
a government that devides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
an economic system providing free choice and individual incentive for workers, investors, consumers, and business enterprises
an Englishman who first theorized how social contract came about
took social contract a step further and wrote that people were naturally endowed with the right to life, liberty, and property. When government failed to preserve the rights of the people, the people could justly break the contract.
The expressed powers of Congress that are itemized and numbered in 1-18 in Article I.
Money paid in order to vote.
An economic system which allows buyers and sellers acting in their individual interests to control the factors of production.
The philosophy that government should keep its hands off the economy.
a formal accusation of misconduct in office against a public official.
An assistant to the party floor leader in the legislature.
A population count.
An elected official that is already in office.
A member of a party chosen in each state to formally elect the president and vice president.
An ambassador's official residence and offices in a foreign country.
A model on which to base later decisions or actions.
The philosophy that the Supreme Court should avoid taking the initiative on social and political questions.
The clause in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that gives Congress the right to make all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers expressed in the other clauses of Article I.
A system that gives the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee.
A vote of formal disapproval of a member's actions.
The minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to official action.
The people that a member of Congress has been elected to represent.
The Court's opinion expressing the views of a justice(s) who agree with the majority's conclusions but for different reasons.
This amendment limits the amount of terms a president can serve to 2.
This amendment writes out the process of replacing the president if he/she becomes unable to serve in office (ex: death).
Establishes the legislative branch.
Establishes the executive branch.
Establishes a Supreme Court to head the judicial branch.
Explains the relationship of the states to one another and to the national government.
Spells out the ways that the Constitution can be amended.
Contains the supremacy clause, establishing that the Constitution, laws passed by Congress, and treaties of the United States "shall be the supreme Law of the Land".
Addresses the ratification of the states and that the Constitution would take effect after it was ratified by nine states.
A scholar in ancient Greece that was one of the first students of government. He studied the polis, the ancient Greek city-state.
A system of government in which a small group holds power.
A Scottish philosopher and economist that provided a philosophy for the free market system. The idea of Laissez-faire came from his writings.
A country in which the territory of both the nation and the state coincide.
An economic system in which buyers and sellers make free choices in the marketplace.
An interest group representative.
Latin for "friend of the court"; a written brief from an individual or group claiming to have information useful to a court's consideration of a case.
A Latin term meaning "let the decision stand"; the principle that once the Court rules on a case, its decision serves as a precedent on which to base other decisions.
The practice of victorious politicians rewarding their followers with government jobs.
An order that will stop a particular action or enforce a rule or regulation.
General Accounting Office (GAO)
This agency is the nation's watchdog over the spending of funds Congress appropriates. The staff (about 5,100 people) reviews the financial management of government programs that creates Congress, collect government debts, settle claims, and provide legal service.
The act of setting up new district lines after reapportionment is complete.
The philosophy that the Supreme Court should play an active role in shaping national policies by addressing social and political issues.
An economic system in which the central government directs all major economic decisions.
length of term for a representative
length of term for a senator