A large, complex organization composed of appointed officials.
An economic theory that government should not regulate or interfere with commerce.
The extent to which appointed bureaucrats can choose courses of action and make policies that are not spelled out in advance by laws.
The government office to which people are appointed on the basis of merit, as ascertained by a written exam or by applying certain selection criteria.
A job that is filled by a person whom an agency has already identified.
A close relationship between an agency, a congressional committee, and an interest group.
A network of people in Washington, D.C.-based interest groups, on congressional staffs, in universities and think tanks, and in the mass media, who regularly discuss and advocate public policies.
Legislative permission to begin or continue a government program or agency.
A legislative grant of money to finance a government program or agency.
Funds for government programs that are collected and spent outside the regular government budget.
The ability of a congressional committee to review and approve certain agency decisions in advance and without passing a law.
The authority of Congress to block a presidential action after it has taken place. The Supreme Court has held that Congress does not have this power.
Complex bureaucratic rules and procedures that must be followed to get something done.
Every year, legislation committees, as part of the reauthorization process, get to set limits on what these agencies can spend.
The tendency of agencies to grow, irrespective of benefits and costs of programs.
Civil Service Reform Act
Made it so that the president and his cabinet officers have more flexibility in recruiting, assigning, and paying high-level positions in the civil service.
Senior Executive Service
About 8000 top federal managers who can be hired, fired, and transferred more easily than ordinary civil servants.
Department of Homeland Security
A massive new cabinet agency created after 9/11.
Employees hired outside the competitive service.
National Performance Review
A bureaucracy reform effort that emphasized customer satisfaction.
Appointments made based on the basis of political considerations.
Began a slow transfer of federal jobs from the patronage to the merit system.
Appointments to jobs that are described as having "confidential or policy-determining character" below the level of cabinet or subcabinet posts.
Whistle Blower Protection Act
Created the Office of Special Counsel, charged with investigating complaints from bureaucrats that they were punished for reporting to Congress about misconduct in their agencies.
The power of courts to declare laws unconstitutional.
The view that judges should decide cases strictly on the basis of the language of the laws and the Constitution.
The view that judges should discern the general principles underlying laws or the Constitution and apply them to modern circumstances.
A federal court authorized by Article III of the Constitution that keeps judges in office during good behavior and prevents their salaries from being reduced. They are the Supreme Court and appellate and district courts created by Congress.
An examination of the political ideology of a nominated judge.
A case involving citizens of different states who can bring suit in federal courts.
writ of certiorari
An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up a case for review.
in forma pauperis
A method whereby a poor person can have his or her case heard in federal court without charge.
A rule that allows a plaintiff to recover costs from the defendant if the plaintiff wins.
A legal rule stating who is authorized to start a lawsuit.
The rule that a citizen cannot sue the government without the government's consent.
A case brought by someone to help him or her and all others who are similarly situated.
The party that initiates a lawsuit.
A brief submitted by a "friend of the court".
per curiam opinion
A brief, unsigned court opinion.
A signed opinion which one or more members agree with the majority view but for different reasons.
"Let the decision stand" or allowing prior rulings to control the current case.
An issue the Supreme Court will allow the executive and legislative branches decide.
A judicial order enforcing a right or redressing a wrong.
The power of the Supreme Court to review decisions and change outcomes of decisions of lower courts.
The government's top trial lawyer.
A tradition that gives heavy weight to the preferences of the senators from the state where a federal district judge is to serve.
When court is not in session, one of these is held.
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