Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
Voters in a given geographical area can elect two or more individuals to represent them. Usually used for commissions, councils or other multi-member representative bodies, especially in local government.
An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor
The leader of a congressional committee. A very powerful position. He/she controls the committee calendar, agenda, and hearings. He/she can pigeonhole a bill by refusing to schedule debate on the bill. Chosen by majority party caucus based on seniority. Subject to term-limits
Committee of the Whole
a device in which a legislative body is considered one large committee. All members of the legislative body are members of such a committee. This is usually done for the purposes of discussion and debate of the details of bills and other main motions.
committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
voters represented by an elected official; district so represented; group of supporters (or constituents)
government policy of spending more money than it is able to bring in through revenues
the idea that an elected body should mirror demographically the population it represents
Petition that, if signed by majority of the House of Representatives' members, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.
A procedure to keep the Senate going during a filibuster in which the disputed bill is shelved temporarily so that the Senate can get on with other business.
Easley v. Cromartie
Court said it was not an unconstitutional racial gerrymander -- race is not an illegitimate consideration in redistricting as long as it is not the dominant and controlling one.
the part of the Constitution that permits Congress to make any laws "necessary and proper" to carrying out its powers
benefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-free
House Rules Committee
Determines the rules for debate of each bill, including whether the bill may be amended. This is the most powerful committee in the House.
a resolution passed by both houses of Congress which becomes legally binding when signed by the chief executive (or passed over the executive's veto)
an executive's ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature
A congressional district created to include a majority of minority voters; ruled constitutional so long as race is not the main factor in redistricting.
drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
Political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, usually less than 55% of the vote
review by legislative committees of the policies and programs of the executive branch
a meeting of the members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and to develop party policy. Called a conference by the republicans
lawmaker who attempts to balance the basic elements of the trustee, delegate, and partisan roles
President of the Senate
the presiding officer of a senate; in Congress, the vice president of the United States; in a state's legislature, either the lieutenant governor or a senator
President Pro Tempore
Officer of the Senate selected by the majority party to act as chair in the absence of the vice president
The minimum number of members who must be present to permit a legislative body to take official action
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names.
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
A legislative practice that assigns the chair of a committee or subcommittee to the member of the majority party with the longest continuous service on the committee.
Shaw v. Reno
The Court ruled that although it was a legitimate goal for state legislatures to take race into account when they draw electoral districts in order ot increase the voting strength of minorities, they may not make race the sole reason for drawing district lines.
Speaker of the House
the leader of the majority party who serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives
the ability of a legislator to represent the agenda or interests of a group to which he or she does not personally belong.
A congressional voting procedure in which members pass between two tellers, the "yeas" first and the "nays" second.
An official who is expected to vote independently based on his or her judgment of the circumstances; one interpretation of the role of the legislator.
US Term Limits Inc. v. Thornton
Ruled that states cannot impose qualifications for prospective members of Congress stricter than those in the Constitution
a voting method in which those in favor say "Yea" and those against say "Nay"
Wesberry v. Sanders
One person, one vote (in redistricting for federal elections, each congressional district was to be approximately the same) In Georgia, the 5th district had 3 to 4 times more people than did the other districts.