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258 terms

AP Gov Exam

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First Amendment
amendment protects freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.
Second Amendment
amendment that protects the citizen's right to bear arms.
Third Amendment
amendment that forbids the quartering of soldiers and the direct public support of armed forces.
Fourth Amendment
amendment to protect an individual's "person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures."
Fifth Amendment
amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes, including protection against double jeopardy, self-incrimination, and punishment without the process of law.
Sixth Amendment
amendment that allows persons of a crime to be prosecuted by an impartial jury in a "speedy" public trial.
Seventh Amendment
amendment that allows for trial by jury in common-law cases
Eighth Amendment
amendment that prohibits excessive bail in federal cases. Includes "cruel and unusual punishment" clause.
Ninth Amendment
amendment that reaffirms the principles of a limited federal government. The rights not specifically mentioned in the Constitution are still protected.
Tenth Amendment
Amendment that states, "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."
Eleventh Amendment
amendment that provides that states may not be sued in federal court by citizens of another state or country without the consent of the states being sued.
Twelfth Amendment
amendment that ensured that electors would now have to cast separate votes for the president and vice president
Thirteenth Amendment
amendment that forbade slavery and involuntary servitude.
Fourteenth Amendment
constitutional amendment that states, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Fifteenth Amendment
amendment that granted voting rights to males of all races
Sixteenth Amendment
amendment that allows the Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on census results
Seventeenth Amendment
amendment that provided for the direct election of United States senators
Eighteenth Amendment
amendment that prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol in or out of the United States
Nineteenth Amendment
amendment that granted women the right to vote.
Twentieth Amendment
amendment that clearly defined the procedures regarding the specifics of presidential and legislative terms, and shortened the amount of time b/w presidential election and inauguration
Twenty-First Amendment
amendment that recognized the failure of prohibition, and repealed it, allowing for the legalization of the sale of alcohol
Twenty-Second Amendment
amendment that limited the president to two terms in office
Twenty-Third Amendment
amendment that allowed for the residents of Washington D.C. to vote in presidential elections
Twenty-Fourth Amendment
constitutional amendment that was passed in 1962, and declared poll taxes void in federal elections.
Twenty-Fifth Amendment
amendment that formally permitted the vice president to assume the presidency temporarily in the event of a presidential disability
Twenty-Sixth Amendment
amendment that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18
Twenty-Seventh Amendment
amendment that said that if Congress votes itself a pay increase, that increase cannot take effect until after the next election
527 Group
group that is a type of tax-exempt organization that is named after "Section 527" of the U.S. International
Affirmative Action
a policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment for members of some previously disadvantaged group.
American Values
the principles of freedom, equality, individualism, liberty, egalitarianism, Laissez-faire, and populism.
Anti-Federalists
oppose the creation of a stronger national government, arguing that a Constitution would threaten citizens' personal liberties and effectively make the president a king
Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)
a law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. It also requires employers and public facilities to make "reasonable accommodations" for people with disabilities.
Appropriations Bill
an act of congress that actually funds programs within limits established by authorization bills.
Articles of Confederation
the predecessor to the Constitution; it had many weaknesses including the inability of Congress to collect taxes, and a weak central government
Authorization Bill
an act of congress that establishes, continues, or changes a discretionary government program or an entitlement.
Bandwagon effect
a political phrase that refers to the effect that occurs when some people vote for those candidates or parties who are likely to succeed (or are proclaimed as such by the media, polls, etc).
Beats
are specific locations from which news frequently emanates, such as Congress or the White House.
Bill of Rights
the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which defines the basic liberties like freedom of religion, free speech and press, and the guarantee of defendant's rights.
Blanket primary
a system used for selecting political party candidates in a primary election; voters may pick one candidate for each office without regard to party lines. The candidates with the highest votes by party for each office advance to the general election, as the respective party's nominee.
Block Grants
federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
Broadcast media
term that covers a wide spectrum of different communication methods such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines and any other materials supplied by the media and press.
Brown vs. Board of Education
a 1954 Supreme Court decision that held that school segregation was inherently unconstitutional because it violated the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of equal protection. The case was famous because it marked the end of legal segregation.
Budget
A policy document allocating burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditure). It can also be defined as a proposed law or legislation that must be passed in either the House of Representatives or the Senate.
Bureaucracy
A large, complex organization composed of appointed officials.
California Board of Regents vs. Bakke
Supreme court case decision that forbid rigid racial quotas for medical school admissions. It did not forbid the practice of considering race as a factor when deciding admissions.
Categorical Grants
federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or "categories," of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions.
Caucus
a meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention.
Census
a requirement by the US Constitution, saying that the government must take an actual enumeration of the population every 10 years.
Chains
newspapers published by massive media conglomerates that account for over four-fifths of the nation's daily paper circulation.
Charles Beard
historian that sees the Constitutional Convention as an elitist conspiracy to protect the wealth of the rich
Charles de Montesquieu
French philosopher who greatly influenced the founders. Advocated for the separation of power into three branches of government.
Civil disobedience
form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences.
Civil liberties
The legal constitutional protections against government.
Civil rights
policies that are meant to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by governmental officials or individuals.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
legislation that made discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal. It also forbade many forms of job discrimination.
Class Action Suits
Lawsuits that permit a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
Closed primary
election in which voters choose from candidates only from the party in which they are registered.
Coalition
an agreement for cooperation between different political parties on common political agenda.
Coattails
the tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit in an election by the presence on the ticket of a more popular candidate
Comparable worth
refers to the issue raised when women who hold traditionally female jobs are paid less than male workers who are working at jobs requiring comparable skill.
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act
act designed to reform the congressional budgetary process. Its supporters hoped that it would also make congress less dependent on the president's budget and better able to set and meet its own budgetary goals.
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise compromise reached at Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress - House of Representatives, and the Senate
Conservative ideology
ideology that supports a less active scope of government that gives freer reign to the private sector, the belief in maintaining peace through strength (when it comes to military spending), want to keep taxes low, and oppose affirmative action.
Cooperative Federalism
a system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government.
Cruel and unusual punishment
court sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Ex. Death penalty
De facto segregation
racial separation that occurs "as a matter of fact."
De jure segregation
racial separation that is required by law.
Declaration of Independence
The document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776, which stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence.
Deficit
the amount by which a government's expenditures exceed its tax revenues.
Deficit spending
the amount by which a government, private company, or individual's spending exceeds income over a particular period of time.
Delegated Powers
Constitutional powers dedicated solely to the federal government
Democracy
a means of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy reflects citizens' preferences.
Demography
the science of population changes; the study of human population and their statistics.
Devolution
the movement of political power away from the central government to lower order regional assemblies.
Direct Mail
a high-tech method of raising money for a political cause or candidate. It involves sending information and requests for money to people whose names appear on lists of those who have supported similar views or candidates in the past.
Dred Scott vs. Sandford
1857 Supreme Court decision that ruled that a slave who had escaped to a free state received no rights as a citizen and that Congress had no authority to ban slaves in the territories.
Dual Federalism
a system of government in which both, the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Due process clause
clause that guarantees that people cannot be deprived of life, liberty, or property by the United States or state governments without due process of law.
Egalitarianism
involves equality of opportunity and respect in the absence of a monarchy and aristocracy.
Elastic Clause
clause which authorizes Congress to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers.
Electoral College
a body of people representing the US states, who formally cast votes for the election of the president and vice president.
Elite and Class Theory
theory that states that our society is divided among different class lines and that an upper-class elite controls the government.
Engel vs Vitale
1962 Supreme Court decision that declared that state officials violated the First Amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by New York's schoolchildren.
Entitlements
are expenditures for which the total amount spent is not by congressional appropriation, but rather by rules of eligibility established by Congress.
Enumerated Powers
the powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution.
Equal protection clause
This clause provides for the protection of "life, liberty, and property," for all American citizens regardless of race, gender, or other factors.
Equal Rights Amendment
constitutional amendment which stated that, "equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
Establishment clause
clause that states that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."
Exclusionary rule
The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Exit polls
public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict the electoral winners with speed.
Expenditures
a spending by the government sector including both the purchase of final goods and services, or gross domestic product, and transfer payments.
External Efficacy
the belief of the individual that government will respond to his or her personal needs or beliefs
Extradition
a legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
Factions
Groups acting in pursuit of an interest that often preceded formation of political parties
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
an independent agency of the US government. It works towards six different goals in regulating the TV/Radio
Federal debt
all the money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding.
Federal Election Campaign Act
Congress passed this Act in 1974, which had two main goals. These main goals included: tightening reporting requirements for contributions and limiting overall expenditures. The act and its amendments did the following: created the FCC, provided partial public financing for presidential primaries, provided full public financing for major party candidates, and created the presidential campaign fund.
Federal Election Commission
a bipartisan body, six member group that administers the campaign finance laws and enforces compliance with their requirements.
Federal Mandate
an order from the central government that all state and local government must comply with.
Federalism
A system of shared power between two governments; a way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have formal authority over the same land and people.
Federalists
in favor of a strong central government, support the constitution, oppose the creation of the bill of rights
Federalist No. 10
article of the federalist papers which advocates for a large republic (and warns of the dangers of democracy)
Federalist Papers
collection of 85 articles written by Hamilton, Jay, and Madison, criticizing the Constitution
Fiscal Federalism
the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is also the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.
Formula Grants
federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations.
Free exercise clause
a First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
Frontloading
the tendency of states to hold their primaries early in the election year to get media attention.
Full Faith and Credit
a clause requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of other states.
Gender gap
a term that refers to the regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates.
Gibbons vs. Ogden
1824 Supreme Court case that gave Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
Gideon vs Wainright
1963 Supreme Court decision held that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed, however poor he or she may be, has a right to a lawyer.
Government
the institutions that make authoritative decisions for any given society
Graying of America
refers to the rise of political power in the older populations.
Gregg vs. Georgia
1976 Supreme Court decision that upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty against charges that it violated the Fourteenth Amendment because minority defendants were more likely to receive the death penalty than were White defendants.
Hatch Act
a federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics
House Ways and Means Committee
the House of Representatives committee that writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole. They are responsible for originating all revenue bills.
Hyperpluralism
states that groups are so strong that government is weakened, and as the influence of many groups cripples government's ability to make policy. Also states that many groups are strong enough that government is unable to act.
Implied Powers
powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution.
Income tax
the annual charge levied on both earned income (wages, salaries, commission) and unearned income (dividends, interest, rents).
Incorporation doctrine
the legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Incrementalism
The belief that the best predictor of this year's budget is last year's budget, plus a little bit more (an increment). It is also defined as the tendency of government to tinker with policies rather than to question the value of continuing them.
Initiative
a procedure by which a specified number of voters may propose a statute, constitutional amendment, or ordinance and compel a popular vote on its adoption.
Internal Efficacy
deals with how a person feels that his or her skills, knowledge, and abilities can have an effect on the political system.
Investigative journalism
a form of journalism in which the journalist investigates a single topic of interest or issue.
Iron Triangle
the policy-making relationship among the congressional committees, the bureaucracy, and the interest groups.
Issue Network
A network of people who regularly discuss and advocate public policies.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Philosopher that argued that the only good government was one that was freely formed with the consent of the people.
Jim Crow Laws
Laws that restricted black rights after the Civil War.
John Locke
One of the most influential philosophers read by the colonists. His writings inspired the American political leaders.
Joint Committee
Congressional committee composed of members of both houses of Congress, usually to investigate and research specific subjects.
Korematsu vs. US
Supreme Court decision that upheld as constitutional the internment of more than 100,000 Americans of Japanese decent in encampments in World War II.
Laissez-Faire Economics
political philosophy that promotes free markets and limited government.
Legislative Oversight
One of Congress's most important tasks. In order to check the power of the executive branch, congressional committees investigate and evaluate the performance of corresponding executive agencies and departments.
Lemon vs Kurtzman
1971 Supreme Court case that established a criteria for church-related schools to receive financial aid.
Libel
the publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone's reputation.
Liberal ideology
ideology that supports central government, support policies that aim to promote political equality, spending less money in military spending, taxing the wealthier Americans more than the average middle class or lower class, in favor of affirmative action.
Libertarian
Political ideology which believes in no government except what's necessary to protect life and property
Linkage institution
a structure or format within a society that connects the people to the government or centralized authority.
Litigation
Filing a lawsuit; used by special interest groups to seek to obtain court decisions favorable to their policy interest
Lobbying
the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government
Mandate Theory of Elections
the idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and politics. Politicians like the theory better than political scientists do.
Mapp vs Ohio
1969 Supreme Court decision ruling that the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures must be extended to the states as well as to the federal government.
Mass media
a term that refers collectively to all of the media technologies including newspapers, film, the internet, television and radio. The term also refers to the organizations which control these technologies.
Matching Funds
The government will match a presidential candidate's funds, if they raise a certain amount of money in a number of different states
McCain Feingold Act
Act put a ban on soft money 30 days before primary election and 60 days before general election for the purpose of issue ads. Increased spending limits.
McCulloch vs Maryland
1819 Supreme Court decision that held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to the enumerated powers found in the Constitution.
McGovern-Fraser Commission
a commission formed at the 1968 Democratic convention in response to the demands of reform by minority groups and others who sought better representation.
Medicare
a national social insurance program, administered by the US government that guarantees access to health insurance for Americans ages 65 and older and younger people with disabilities.
Melting pot
phrase that involves the mixing of cultures, ideas, and peoples that has change the American nation.
Miller vs California
Supreme Court case that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a "prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value.
Minority- majority District
the emergence of a non-Caucasian majority, as compared with a White, generally Anglo-Saxon majority.
Miranda vs. Arizona
1966 Supreme Court decision that set the guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them from self-incrimination and to protect their right to counsel.
Motor Voter Act
This Act had legislation that required that state governments allow for registration when a qualifying voter applied for or renewed their driver's license or applied for social services.
NAACP
African American civil rights organization that fights for the equality of African American citizens
Narrowcasting
term used for communications such as radio or television signals that are limited to subscription customers or otherwise prohibited from being broadcast.
National Committee
one of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions.
National Convention
a meeting of party delegates every four years to choose the presidential ticket. The delegates also meet to write the party's platform.
National Primary
a proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries, which would replace these electoral methods with a nationwide primary held early in the election year.
Near vs Minnesota
1931 Supreme Court decision that held that the First Amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint.
New Deal Coalition
the alignment of interest groups and voting blocs; involved numerous basic elements including; urban dwellers, labor unions, the poor, Southerners, and more.
New Jersey Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of population
Nomination
the official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party.
NY Times vs Sullivan
Supreme Court case in 1964, which established the guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel.
Objective Good Faith
Exception to the exclusionary rule that allows the use of illegally obtained evidence at trial if the court determines that police believed they were acting within the limits of their search warrant when they seized the evidence.
Office of Personnel Management
the office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process
Open primary
election that allows a voter to cast his/her vote within whichever contest (Democrat, Republican, Green, etc.) the voter chooses.
Original Jurisdiction
term used to describe a court's power to initially try a case.
Party dealignment
occurs when no single political party is dominant.
Party machine
a centralized party organization that dominates local politics by controlling elections.
Party Platform
a political party's formal statement of its basic principles, objectives, and positions on major issues.
Party Realignment
the displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during in critical presidential elections.
Patronage
one of the key inducements used by the party machines.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
passed in 1883, an act that created a federal civil service so that hiring would be based on merit rather than patronage
Planned Parenthood vs. Casey
1992 case in which the Supreme Court loosened its standard for evaluating restrictions on abortion from one of the "strict scrutiny" of any restraints on a "fundamental right" to one of "undue burden" that permits considerably more regulation.
Plea bargaining
when a bargain is struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious crime.
Plessy vs. Ferguson
1896 Supreme Court decision that provided a constitutional justification for segregation by ruling that a Louisiana law requiring "equal, but separate accommodations for the White and colored races" was constitutional. The Court upheld the law, saying that segregation in public facilities was not unconstitutional as long as the separate facilities were substantially equal.
Pluralist Theory
theory that states that groups with shared interests influence public policy by pressing their concerns through organized efforts.
Plurality
the most votes but not necessarily the majority vote(s)
Policy agenda
a set of issues and policies laid out by an executive or cabinet in government that tries to influence current and near-future political news and debate.
Policy entrepreneur
a person who invests their political capital in an issue.
Policy Gridlock
Each interest may use its influence to impede those whose policy proposals they oppose. As a result, they will have a veto over policy. This is known as _____ ______.
Policymaking Institutions
The three Institutions include the Congress, the presidency and the courts. The United States Constitution established the these institutions.
Political Action Committees (PAC's)
groups that are organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation.
Political culture
an overall set of values that are widely shared within a society.
Political Efficacy
This term refers to the amount of faith and trust citizens feel or believe they have upon their government.
Political ideology
a coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy, and public purpose. It helps give meaning to political events, personalities, and policies.
Political participation
consists of all of the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. The most common form is voting.
Political Participation
the ways in which people get involved in politics.
Political party
a political organization that typically seek to influence government policies and laws, usually by nominating candidates and trying to seat them in the political office.
Political socialization
the process by which an individual acquires his or her particular political orientations, knowledge, feelings, and evaluations regarding his or her political world.
Politics
The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what these leaders pursue.
Poll taxes
small taxes levied on the right to vote that often due at a time of year when poor African American sharecroppers had the least cash on hand. This method was used by most southern states to exclude African Americans from voting.
Populism
a political philosophy supporting the rights of average citizens in their struggle against privileged elites.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
money from the $3 federal income tax check-off goes into this fund, which is then distributed to qualified candidates to subsidize their presidential campaigns.
Presidential Primaries
elections in which voters in a state vote for candidates (or delegates pledged to him or her). Most of the delegates that are chosen to the national party convention are chosen this way.
Press conference
a media event in which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and ask questions (most of the time).
Print media
term related to all of the printing types such as newspapers and magazines.
Prior restraint
when the government prevents a material from being published.
Privileges and Immunities
clause that states "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States,"
Probable cause
the situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
Project Grants
Federal categorical grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications.
Proportional representation
an electoral system used throughout most of Europe that awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election.
Public Interest Lobbies
organizations that seek a collective good, the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit members.
Public opinion
the distribution of the population's belief about politics and policy issues.
Public Policy
consists of every decision the government makes, every law it passes, and every budget it passes.
Random sample
the key technique employed by sophisticated survey researchers, which operates on the principle that everyone should have an equal probability of being selected for the sample.
Rational Choice Theory
the idea that all action is fundamentally 'rational' in character and that people calculate the likely costs and benefits of any action before deciding what to do is common in Economics.
Reapportionment
the process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census.
Reconciliation
is a congressional process through which program authorizations are revised to achieve required savings.
Referendum
a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a proposal. This can result in the adoption of a new constitution, constitutional amendment, a law, or the recall of an elected official.
Regional Primaries
a proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries to replace these electoral methods with a series of primaries held in each geographic region.
Republic
A form of government in which the people select representatives to govern them and make laws.
Reserved Powers
Powers belonging specifically to the states.
Responsible party model
model that involves three rules: Parties must have clear policy platforms and offer distinct choices to the voters; voters must be aware of the differences between the parties and vote based on party platforms; once elected, members of each party must actively work to enact their party's platform
Retrospective voting
A collective vote on an issue based on opinion or prior experience.
Revenues
the income of a government from all sources appropriated for the payment of the public expenses. It can also be defined as a governmental department set up to collect public funds.
Revenue code
These groups are created primarily to influence the selection, nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates to federal, state or local public office.
Roe vs. Wade
Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional.
Sample
a relatively small proportion of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representatives of a whole.
Sampling error
the level of confidence in the findings of a public opinion poll.
Schenck vs US
1919 Supreme Court decision that upheld the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes stated that government can limit the speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Search warrant
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for.
Selective Incorporation
the process by which the supreme court selects some (but not all) of the rights in the Bill of Rights that are considered fundamental and enforcing them against state governments
Selective Perception
the phenomenon that people often pay the most attention to the things they already agree with and interpret them according to their own predispositions.
Self-incrimination
The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids self-incrimination.
Senate Finance Committee
Senate committee that, along with the House Ways and Means Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of congress as a whole. They are responsible for writing the tax code.
Senior Executive Service
a paygrade in the civil service of the United States government, somewhat analogous to the ranks of general or admiral in the U.S. armed forces.
Sexual Harassment
broad principle concerning a hostile or abusive work environment is a form of gender discrimination.
Shay's Rebellion
a six-month rebellion in which more than 1,000 armed farmers attacked a federal arsenal to protest the foreclosure of farms in the western part of the state.
Single Issue Groups
groups of people who are so concerned with one issue that they make their votes based on that issue.
Slander
term that refers to spoken defamation, rather than Libel which refers to written defamation.
Social Security Act
Act that was an attempt to limit what were seen as dangers in the modern American life, including old age, poverty, unemployment, and the burdens of widows and fatherless children. The Act provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death.
Soft Money
money that is donated to a political party as a whole. This money is for the purposes of party building and other activities not directly related to the election of specific candidates.
Sound Bites
an excerpt from a speech taken which is edited to show either positive or negative things about the person speaking.
Spots
thirty second tv ads for presidential candidates that give negative comments about the opponent, and tells vague information about the candidate being advertised. Rehearsed and expensive.
Strict Scrutiny
Supreme court guideline for determining if government can make racial distinctions.
Suffrage
the civil right to vote.
Superdelegates
party leaders who automatically get a delegate spot at the Democratic national party convention.
Supremacy Clause
clause which makes the Constitution, the treaties and the natural laws supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits.
Swann vs. Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools
Supreme Court case dealing with the busing of students to promote integration in public schools. The Court held that busing was an appropriate solution for the problem of racial imbalance among schools, even where the imbalance resulted from the selection of students based on geographic proximity to the school rather than from deliberate assignment based on race.
Symbolic speech
Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband.
Talking head
a camera shot of a person's face talking directly to the camera.
Tax expenditures
tax provisions, such as exemptions and deductions from taxable income and tax credits, that are designed to induce market responses considered to be desirable.
Texas vs Johnson
1989 Supreme Court case which struck down a law banning the burning of the American flag on the grounds that such action was symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment.
Thomas Hobbes
Philosopher who argued that the best way to protect life was to give total power to an absolute monarch. Author of the Leviathan.
Third Parties
electoral contenders other than the two major parties.
Ticket splitting
the act of voting for candidates of different political parties in the same election.
Tinker vs Des Moines
(1969) Students in an Iowa school were suspended for wearing black arm bands to protest the Vietnam War. The Supreme Court ruled that this suspension was unconstitutional, and that public school students do not "shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door."
Trial Balloons
information sent out to the media in order to observe the reaction of an audience.
Uncontrollable expenditure
expenditure that is mandated under current law or by a previous obligation.
Unfunded Mandates
regulations or conditions for receiving grants that impose costs on state or local governments or private entities for which they are not reimbursed by the federal government.
Unitary Government
a way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government.
US vs. Lopez
Supreme Court case set three new boundaries for which Congress was allowed to regulate commerce under the commerce clause of the constitution.
US vs. Morrison
Supreme Court decision held that parts of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 were unconstitutional b/c they exceeded congressional power under the commerce clause
Valence Issue
an issue about which the public is united and rival candidates or political parties adopt similar positions in hopes that each will be thought to best represent those widely shared beliefs
Virginia Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress based on that state's population size
Voting Rights Act of 1965
a law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African American suffrage. Under this law, thousands of African Americans were registered, and the number of African American elected officials dramatically increased.
Winner-take-all system
system where the winner of the primary or electoral college vote takes all of the state's convention or electoral college delegates.