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agency representation

Agency representation is the idea that government representatives are the "agents" of the people. They act as a delegate - taking action where their constituents deem necessary or beneficial. A representative can be seen as upholding the idea of agency representation if they are pursuing the best interests of their people.
11/1, A12 "Congressional Voting Record Shows Few with Perfect Attendance"

Divided Government

Governance divided between the parties, as when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
10/18, A13 "Jobs Plan Stalled, Obama to Try New Economic Drive" obama using exec actions to problem solve bc of republican hindrance)
significance: with a divided gov't it is much more difficult to create beneficial legislation

Party Polarization

a vote in which a majority of Democratic legislators oppose a majority of Republican legislators
parties keep getting more and more radical

washington- mad at teammates (blocking of legislation by congress is ridiculous..for partisan gain, not the good of the people) important bc it creates no beneficial action from our government as far as legislation...only creates anger, frustration, and continuing problems to go unsolved

Norms of Civility

'rules' put into place by actions that become socially normal in interaction, especially between those in office in Congress. There are consequences if these norms are not followed. Now the 'norm of civility' no longer exists
respecting seniority
specialization & difference
reciprocity - you vote for my bill, i'll vote for yours (people aren't polite in congress) 9/2, A14 "GOP vs. Obama: Disrespect or Just Politics?" Speaker John A. Boehner became what historians say was the first ever to tell a sitting president that no, he could not deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on the date of his choice

Head of State powers

powers reserved especially for the president such as make treaties, receive ambassadors, create executive agreements (like treaties but don't involve the senate), grant pardons & reprieves (most of these powers not checked)
10/14, A1 "Obama Pledging Tough Sanctions for Iran in Plot"

Head of Government powers

Appointments, putting judges in place (checked by legislative branch)
10/14 A1, "Auto Bailout Done, Obama Looks for Payback"

Executive Orders

carry the force of law, issued by the president, especially when he can't get a law passed by Congress, can be overturned by Congress (congress can face public wrath if they overturn a popular exec order)
10/28 A16, "A President Trying to Work the Levers He Still Possesses" (With the Senate having blocked Mr. Obama's $447 billion jobs bill, as well as individual components of it, the White House plans to announce executive actions, which do not require Congressional approval, each week for the rest of the year.)
president could try to say that about anything, it would be more like a dictatorship

Presidential Reputation

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT (ex: Nixon vs US) rep = power, the more people/media say he has power, the power he has. knowing when to give up on a policy, use of the media (press conferences), popularity guaranteed to go down over time, popularity influenced by the economy
11/22 A17, "Obama Weighed Risks of Engagement, and Decided to Give Voters the Final Say" Obama showed his calculation more clearly than ever before: Republicans will never agree to raise taxes on the wealthy to balance any spending cuts, so let the voters decide. "It's the chief executive's job to bring people together and to provide leadership," Mr. Bloomberg. most polled, ended up favoring Obama's proposal

Problems with Bureaucracy

difficulty of tasks (not always satisfied w bur performance, no way to measure bur performance, they always want to get bigger (expansionary tendencies), slow to change, "red tape" (so many rules to follow in order to accomplish something)
we ask them to fix things difficult in nature
10/14 A17, "In and From Congress, Calls to Limit Pentagon Cuts
cut back regulations on hospitals (getting rid of red tape & all the nit-picky rules)

Improving Bureaucratic Accountability

hard to hold burs accountable bc bureacrats are appointed, not elected, they are difficult to fire, congress & prez have no motivation to check their activityHOW DO WE IMPROVE??

each branch 'checks' them, approving appointments (president), effected by public opinion
electing new officials can change who is appointed into bureaucracy
11/4 A14, "FDA Officials, Hoping to Stave off Critics, Point to Increased Drug Approvals"

Judicial Review

review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court (marbury vs madison) patterns: (court is more likely to overturn state laws, over fed laws) (court doesn't often oppose congress & prez)
11/1, A14 "Justices Decline to Hear Case on Highway Crosses (by not reviewing the case, they agree with lower courts. not reviewing a case has just as much impact, bc they are still taking a side)
power the supreme court has to approve/disprove acts of other institutions

Theories of Constitutional Interpretation

Original intent- look @ founders' intention when writing (problem: times have changed, & there are problems not foreseen by founders) (madison papers, fed papers) times have changed, we need new ideas, don't rely on white elitists
Living constitution theory- not just what founders think, but our contemporary citizens as well (judgement is shaped by america, adapt to modern society)
Plain meaning of the text- don't look at intentions or contemporary, but their constitution? (just read words, words are not clear, can be interpreted however)
10/6, A17 "Religious Groups and Bias Get the Justices' Attention" If laws forbidding discrimination in employment applied fully to religious groups, the government could insist that the Roman Catholic Church allow women to serve as priests. If such laws do not apply to religious groups at all, a church could fire a janitor because he is black.strike the right balance between avoiding government interference in the internal affairs of religious groups while protecting employees from discrimination

Legal Philosophy

...?
9/22, A18 "Judge Rejects Challenge to Voting Rights Law by County in Alabama"

Bill of Rights

Right: claim recognized as legitimate by some authority
legitimacy of rights: -constitutional
-moral code (ex: religion)
-human rights: bc you are human,you are entitled)
There are obligations implied by rights: freedom of speech: you must tolerate what someone says even if you don't agree
Bill of Rights has a focus on individuals
the Bill had intentions of fusing together political rights w basic citizen liberties (to protect normal citizen from central gov't)
first 10 amendments of the const,
changes after the 14th amendment, embodies everyone, expands to social rights after this
11/8, B2 "Federal Court Blocks the Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarette Packages" (freedom of speech, press) Five tobacco companies had challenged the selection of nine specific graphic warnings as an unconstitutional intrusion on commercial free speech

The Marketplace of Ideas Argument and the 1st Amendment

Market: we value freedom of expression because it involves instrumental value in discovering truth, allows competition of ideas, and promotes heterogeneous culture
find the truth for anything in life through freedom of expression
types: pure speech, speech plus conduct, symbolic speech (flag burning), and expressive speech & group membership (i belong to that group)
Its values protection of minority rights as well as protecting peoples rights to protest against gov't
10/27, A14, "Some Cities Begin Cracking Down on 'Occupy' Protests" (some may argue that their freedom of protest is hindered by gov't)

Freedom of Religion

Found in the 1st amendment, where any person is allowed to practice any religion they believe
establishment clause: congress doesn't respect a certain religious establishment (intended to prevent the fed gov't from instituting a nat'l religion)
free exercise clause: people can choose for themselves what they practice, laws should be neutral and secular and do not infringe on religious beliefs, lemon test)
separation of church & state
10/14, A14,"Justices Decline to Hear Case on Highway Crosses" highway crosses go against establishment clause? still controversial..to some, it has no sign that the federal gov't suports a certain religion, on the other hand some feel the cross represents only one sacrifice (JEEBUS)

Right of Privacy

Brandeis vs Warren: bday party (privacy in spatial & geographic terms)
-Nothing in constitution about privacy
Privacy: right to make choices & decisions, personhood & privacy, privacy central to self definition (ex:what if raping is central to one's self definition?)
-Context determines whether or not privacy is reasonable
Problems: misrepresentation: people mistake info about each other, to correct a bad representation, you must give out more info
Privacy in cyberspace
4th amendment- no search and seizures, found in shadows of first, fourth amendments
10/12, A11, "Video, A New Tool for the Police, Poses New Legal Issue, Too"

Antidiscrimination Principle or Equal Protection Clause and Civil Rights

equal protection clause: no one shall abridge on any citizens right to liberty, life, property
14th amendment transformed the bill of rights from civil to social rights
11/7, A10, "National Study Finds Widespread Sexual Harassment of Students in Grade 7 to 12. 56% of girls and 40% of guys

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