A fundamental democratic principle requiring that the majority's view be respected. Constit. contains provisions limiting this, like electoral college.
checks and balances
System in which each branch of government can limit the power of the other two branches. For example, Senate can reject pres. nomin. to Sup.Ct.
System of government in which all power is invested in a central government.
A system of gov't in which power is divided by a written constit. b/n a central gov't and regional gov'ts. As a result, two or more lvls of gov't have formal authority over same area &ppl
Powers specifically granted to the federal gov't by the Constit. For ex,. Constit. gives Congress power to coin money.
Powers of the fed gov't that go beyond those enumerated in the Constit. Derived from elastic or necessary and proper clause.
Powers not specifically granted to the national gov't or denied to the states. Held by states thru 10th Amend.
Situations in which the natn'l and state gov'ts work together to complete projs. Aka fiscal federalism.
Funds provided for a spec. and clearly defined purpose.
Funds granted to the states for a broadly defined purpose. Shift resources to states, so contrib. to growing # of state & local gov't employees.
Rules telling states what they must do to comply w/fed. guidelines. Unfunded ones require state and local gov'ts to provide services or comply w/regul. w/o the provision of funds.
A movement to transfer the responsibilities of gov'ing from the fed. gov't to state and local gov'ts.
A set of widely shared political beliefs and values.
The process by which polit. values are formed and passed.
Attitudes about institutions, leaders, polit. issues, and events.
A cohesive set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and the role of gov't.
The belief that one's polit. partic. makes a diff.
split ticket voting
Voting for candidates of diff. parties for diff. office in the same election. Recent elections have witnessed sig. increase in this as the # of indep. voters.
A group of citizens who org. to win elections, hold public offices, operate gov'ts and determine public policy.
The winning candidate is the person who receives more votes than anyone else, but less than 1/2 the total.
single member district
An electoral dist. from which one person is chosen by the voters for ea. elected office. This type of electoral syst. typically leads to legis. domin. by two polit. parties.
An historical period domin. by one polit. party.
An election when sig. groups of voters change their traditional patterns of party loyalty.
The majority party is displaced by the minority party, thus ushering in a new party era.
A gov't in which one party controls the pres. while another party controls Congress. The pattern of this has domin. U.S. politics since early 70s.
An org. of ppl whose members share view on spec. interests &attempt to influence public policy to their benefit. Unlk polit. parties,don't elect ppl into office.
political action committee
A comm. formed by business, labor, or other interest groups to raise $ and make contrib. to the campaigns of polit. candid. whom they support.
People who benefit from an interest group w/o making any contrib. Labor unions & public interest groups have this prob.
power elite theory
The theory that a small # of wealthy indiv, powerful corp. interest groups, and large financial instit. domin. key policy areas.
The theory that many interest groups compete for power in a large # of policy areas.
The theory that gov't policy is weakened and often contradictory because there are so many competing interest groups.
means of communication such as news, radio, TV and internet that can reach large, widely dispersed audiences.
Institutions that connect citizens to gov't. The mass media, interest groups, and polit. parties are the 3 main kinds.
horse race journalism
The tendency of the media to cover campaigns by emphasizing how candid. stand in the polls instead of where they stand on the issues.
The reallocation of the # of reps ea. state has in the H of R
The legis. process by which the majority party in ea. state legis. redraws congress. districts to ensure the max. # of seats for its candidates.
An officeholder who is seeking reelection. Is the single most important factor in determining the outcome of congress. elections.
The right of members of Congress to mail newsletters to their constituents at the govt's expense.
Permanent subject-matter congress. comm. that handle legis. and oversee the bureaucracy.
Temporary bodies that are formed to resolve diffs b/n House and Senate versions of a bill.
HoR Rules Committee
Sets guidelines for floor debate. Gives ea. bill rule that places it on legis calendar, limits time for debate, and determines the type of amends that will be allowed.
HoR Ways and Means
[committee] House committee that handles tax bills.
Unwritten rule in both houses of Congress reserving committee chairs to members of the committee with the longest records of continuous service.
A way of delaying or preventing action on a bill by using long speeches and unltd debate to "talk a bill to death".
A Senate motion to end a filibuster. requires a 3/5 vote.
Tactic of mutual aid and vote trading among legislators.
Congressional review of the activities of an exec. agency, dep't, or office.
[role of representation] When members of Congress cast votes based on the wishes of their constituents.
A primary in which voters are required to identify a party preference before the election and are not allowed to split their ticket.
The recent pattern of states holding primaries early in order to maximize their media attention and political influence. 3/4 of the presidential primaries are now held b/n Feb. and March.
Contributions to polit. parties for party-building activities. are used to circumvent limits on hard money.
A tax-exempt org. created to influence the polit. process; are not regul. by the Fed. Election Commiss. because they don't coord. their activities w/a candidate or party.
The president's constit. power to reject a bill passed by Congress. Congress may override with a 2/3 vote in ea. chamber.
line item veto
The power to veto sepc. $ amts or line items from major congress. spending bills. The Sup. Ct. struck down as unconstit. expans. of prez's veto power.
A pact b/n the pres. and a head of a foreign state. Don't have to be approv. by Senate but also not part of US law and not binding on future pres.
The president's power to refuse to disclose confidential info. No constit. guarantee of this.
lame duck period
The period of time in which the pres.'s term is about to come to an end. They typically have less influence.
A large, complex org. of apptd officials
A directive or regul. isued by pres. Based on constit. or statutory authority and have force of law.
An alliance among an admin agency, an interest group, and a congress. comm. Ea. member provides key services, info, or policy for others.
A network that includes policy experts, media pundits, congress. staff members, and interest groups who regularly debate an issue.
A set of issues and probs that policy makers consider important. Mass media play an important role in influencing the issues which receive public attent.
The authority of the court to hear an appeal from a lower court.
An unwritten trad. whereby the Senate will not confirm nomin. for lower ct. positions that are opp'd by a senator of the pres.'s own party from the state that nomin. is to serve.
writ of certiorari
An order by the Sup. Ct. directing a lower court to send up the record in a given case for its review.
rule of four
The Supreme Ct. will hear a case if four justices agree to do so.
Is responsible for handling all appeals on behalf of the US gov't to the S. Ct.
A friend of the ct. brief field by an interest group or interested party to influence a S. Ct. decision.
The vast majority of S. Ct. decisions are based on precedents est. in earlier cases.
Philosophy that the S. Ct. should use precedent and the Framers' orig. intent to decide cases.
Philosophy that the S. Ct. must correct injustices when other branches of gov't or the states refuse to do so.
Involves regul. the $ supply, controlling inflation, and adjusting interest rates. Controlled by Fed. Reserve Board.
Raising and lowering taxes and gov't spending progs. Is controlled by the exec. and legis. branches.
A gov't-sponsored prog. that provides mandated benefits to those who meet elig. reqs. Ex. Social Security.
Responsible for preparing the budge that the pres. submits to Congress.
Legal and constit. rights that protect indivs from arbitrary acts of gov't. Ex freedom of speech.
Policies designed to protect ppl against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by gov' officials or indivs.
The case-by-case process by which liberties listed in the Bill of Rightts have been applied to states using Due Process Clause of 14th Amend.
A provis. of the 1st Amend. that prohib. Congress from est. an official gov't-sponsored relig.
free exercise clause
A provis. of the 1st Amend. that guar. ea. person the right to believe what he or she wants.
clear and present danger
[test] Judicial interp. of the 1st Amend. that gov't may not ban speech unless it poses an imminent threat to society.
[writ of] A court order directing that a prisoner be brought before a ct. and that the court officers show cause why the prisoner should not be released.
bill of attainder
A legis. act that provides for the punishment of a person w/o court trial.
ex post facto
[law] A law applied to an act comm. before the law was enacted.
Sup. Ct. guideline that prohib. evid. obtained by illegal searches or seizures from being admitted in ct.
Warnings that police must read to suspects prior to questioning that advises them of their rights.
Sup. Ct. rule that classif. by race and ethnic backgrd is inherently suspect and must be justified by "compelling public interest."
A policy req'ing fed. agencies, universities, and most employers to take pos. steps to remedy the effects of past discrim.