AP GOV"T terms
Here are most of the terms for the AP Gov't test. I will continue to add terms and supreme court cases.
Terms in this set (185)
The process which we develop our political values and opinions throughout our lives.
Agents of Socialization
The individuas,organizations, and institutions that failitate the acquisition of political views.Ex:Family,media,schools,churches,peers,and political and community life
Polls conducted at polling places on Election Day to determine the winner of an election before the polls close
The publics's expressed views about an issue at a specfic point in time
Public Opinion Polls
A survey of a given population's opinion on an issue or a canidate at a particular point in time
A poll conducted in an unscientific manner,used to predict election outcomes
A special type of poll that both provides information to campaigns about canidate strengths and weaknesses and attempts to skew public opinion about a canidate
Polls that measure changes in public opinion over the course of days,weeks,or months by repeadtly asking respondents the same questions and measuring changes in their responses
An assessment of public opinion by the questioning of a statistically representative sample
Also known as Margin error, A statistical caculation of the difference in results between a poll if randomly drawn sample and a poll of the entire population
Presidential Approval Ratings
A measure of the degree to which the public approves or disapproves of the president's performance in office.
shared ideas or beliefs that serve to justify the interests of dominant groups. ideologies are found in all societies in which there are systematic and ingrained inequalities between groups. the concept of ideology connects closely with that of power, since ideological systems serve to legitimize the power that groups hold.Example:Liberal,Conservative
channels through which people's concerns become political agenda, examples: elections, political parties, interest groups, and media.
Since 1787 when the Constitution, the United States has a two-party system where there are two major political parties.Ex:democratic,republicans
The formal statement of a party's principles and poliy objectives
rapidly became the third vocal party, attracted trade unionists, socialists, and those who thought that conservative and liberal parties and no genuine interests in the needs of the general public. They believe in the government being not involved with descions and anything really.
The forml aparatus,oncluding commitees,party leaders,conventions,and workers
A role that the party out of pwer plays.higighting its objections to policies and priorities of the government in power
The situtation that exists when Congress is controlled by one party and the presidency by the other.
A shift in party allegicances or eletoral support
The situation in which fewer voters support the two major political parties,instead identifying themselves as independent,or splitting their ticket between canidates from more than one party
The practice of rewarding political supporters with jobs
A pary organized in opposition or as an alternative to the existing parties in a two party system
An ideology that advoates change in the social politcal and economical realms to better protect the well being of individuald and to produce equiality within society
An ideology that emphasizes preserving trradition and relying on community and family as mechanisms of contunity in society
An election in which voters choose the parties candidates, who will run in the later general election.
a legal proceeding in a court
Tactics of interest groups: contributing money to candidates
influencing government decision makers though indirect pressure (usually in the form of letters, emails, phone calls) from large numbers of constituents. This is also called indirect lobbying. (strength in #'s)
person who seeks to influence political events
a theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies
perspective holding that society is ruled by a small number of people who exercise power in their self interest
An essay composed by ___________ which argues that liberty is safest in a large republic because many interests (factions) exist. Such diversity makes tyranny by the majority more difficult since ruling coalitions will always be unstable.
faction (intrest group)
a group, usually a small part of a larger group, united around some cause; disagreement within an organization
mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees. They dominate some areas of domestic policymaking.
political action committee: committee formed by a special-interest group to raise money for their favorite political candidates
Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers
(law) the administration of justice according to established rules and principles
Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
An approach arguing that the protections in the Bill of Rights were so fundamental that all of them should be applied to the states by absorbing them into the due process clause of the 14th amendment
The process by which provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment and so applied to state and local governments.
the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment
Jim Crow Laws
Limited rights of blacks. Literacy tests, grandfather clauses and poll taxes limited black voting rights.
a written statement that unfairly or falsely harms the reputation of the person about whom it is made; (v.) to write or publish such a statement
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name (Verbal)
an offensive or indecent word or phrase
This amendment declared that all persons born or naturalized in the United States were entitled equal rights regardless of their race, and that their rights were protected at both the state and national levels.
Clear and Present Danger
phrase used in the Supreme Court decision, Schenck v. United States (1919). It refers to the idea that the government has the right to punish individuals who engage in speech or actions which can be shown to present a serious and immediate danger to the nation or the interests of the government. Schenck had been convicted for having distributed leaflets urging people not to register for the draft during World War I. Although such "speech" would have been within his rights in peacetime, the Supreme Court ruled that the fact that he engaged in that activity in a time of war made his actions pose a "______________" to the nation.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
This act made racial, religious, and sex discrimination by employers illegal and gave the government the power to enforce all laws governing civil rights, including desegregation of schools and public places.
Bad Tendency test
Interpretation of the First Amendment that would permit legislatures to forbid speech encouraging people to engage in illegal action.
Lemon v. Kurtzman to measure the constituionality of state laws in regard to establishment clause (3 pronged test)
Free Exercise clause
the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice
USA patriot act
law passed due to 9/11 attacks; sought to prevent further terrorist attacks by allowing greater government access to electronic communications and other information; criticized by some as violating civil liberties
Equal protection Clause
14th amendment clause that prohibits states from denying equal protection under the law, and has been used to combat discrimination
Separate but equal doctrine
the doctrine established by Plessy v Ferguson (1896) that African Americans could constitutionally be kept in separate but equal facilities
a criminal act against a person or a person's property by an offender motivated by racial or other bias
a policy designed to redress past discrimination against women and minority groups through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities
Baker vs. Carr (1962)
Court held that there were no such questions to be answered in this case and that legislative apportionment was a justiciable issue. In his opinion, Justice Brennan provided past examples in which the Court had intervened to correct constitutional violations in matters pertaining to state administration and the officers through whom state affairs are conducted. Brennan concluded that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection issues which Baker and others raised in this case merited judicial evaluation. this case decided that drawing legislative districts was not a "political question" which allowed the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of legislative redistricting; established the principle "one man one vote"
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Court ruled that Scott was the property of Sanford and, as a slave, was prohibited from suing in court. Chief Justice Taney gives his opinion that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional. Decision adds to sectionalism between North and South that will lead to the Civil War.
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
established selective incorporation of the Bill of rights; states cannot deny freedom of speech; protected through the 14th amendment
Palko v. Connecticut
man charged w/ 1st degree murder, but convicted of 2nd degree. State appealed, got a new trial and got him tried w/ 1st degree. Court said wasn't double jeopardy and upheld second conviction b/c the right to fair trial not a fundamental right. Said that protection against double jeopardy is not guaranteed in the Fourteenth Amendment.
Engle v. Vitale
Mandatory prayer in schools is a violation of the establishment clause
Lemon v. Kurtzman
The 1971 Supreme Court decision that established that aid to church-related schools must (1) have a secular legislative purpose; (2) have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion; and (3) not foster excessive government entanglement with religion.
Wallace v. Jaffree
1985, school is trying to get around "no prayer in schooling" by having a moment of silence every morning, mom files lawsuit for moment of silence, court ruled schools cannot have moment of silence due to first amendment/freedom of religion (6-3 vote) Establishment Clause. Alabama law had made it legal to do school prayers. ruled unconstitutional
Employment Division v. Smith
Determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. Although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so. Neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Schenck v. United States
A 1919 decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during World War I. Justice Holmes declared that government can limit speech if the speech provokes a "clear and present danger" of substantive evils.
Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier
The Court held that public school curricular student newspapers that have not been established as forums for student expression are subject to a lower level of First Amendment protection than independent student expression or newspapers established (by policy or practice) as forums for student expression.
Mapp v. Ohio
a landmark case in the area of U.S. criminal procedure, in which the United States Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures" may not be used in criminal prosecutions in state courts, as well as federal courts.
Gideon v. Wainwright
a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history. In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants unable to afford their own attorneys.
Miranda v. Arizona
Supreme Court held that criminal suspects must be informed of their right to consult with an attorney and of their right against self-incrimination prior to questioning by police.
Plessy v. Ferguson
a 1896 Supreme Court decision which legalized state ordered segregation so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka
When Oliver Brown sued the Board of Education fo Topeka after they did not let his daughter in a white school. In a 9-0 vote, the separate but equal doctrine was abandoned when it was decided that the education system was not equal. Overruled Plessy v. Ferguson.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke
The 1978 Supreme Court case that declared unconstitutional the use of racial quotas to achieve a diverse student body but allowed the use of race as one of many factors in admissions decisions
Roe v. Wade
The 1973 Supreme Court decision holding that a state ban on all abortions was unconstitutional. The decision forbade state control over abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy, permitted states to limit abortions to protect the mother's health in the second trimester, and permitted states to protect the fetus during the third trimester.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Pennsylvania statute required a woman to notify her husband before getting an abortion. The Supreme Court overturned the law, but laws calling for parental consent for minors and the imposition of a 24 hour waiting period were upheld. The state can regulate abortion but not with regulations that impose an "undue burden" upon women. Reinforced Roe v. Wade.
this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes
New Jersey Plan
Delegate William Paterson's plan of government, in which states got an equal number of representatives in Congress
Delegate James Madison's plan of government, in which states got a number of representatives in Congress based on their population
Compromise made by Constitutional Convention in which states would have equal representation in one house of the legislature and representation based on population in the other house
agreement providing that enslaved persons would count as three-fifths of other persons in determining representation in congress
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
form of government that works on the principle that the national and state governments are split into their own spheres, and each is supreme within its respective sphere
A system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. They may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
The relationship between the national and state governments whereby the national government imposes its policy preferences on state governments.
the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states
Supporters of the constitution during the debate over its ratification; favored a strong national government
Opponents of a strong central government who campaigned against the ratification of the Constitution in favor of a confederation of independant state.
Series of essays that defended the Constitution and tried to reassure Americans that the states would not be overpowered by the federal government.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the Constitution.
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional.
A system of government in which citizens elect representatives, or leaders, to make decisions about the laws for all the people.
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments. Ex: power to levy taxes.
Full Faith and credit clause
states have to respect and enforce the judicial rulings of other states. (Article IV, Section 1)
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws. (Article VI)
Necessary and proper clause
Constitutional clause that gives congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for executing its powers. (Article 1, Section 8; Clause 1)
federal grants for specific purposes. Ex: building an airport.
Money from the national government that states can spend within broad guidelines determined by Washington.
terms set by the national government that states must meet whether or not they accept federal grants.
Separation of Power
The division of a central government into three branches, each having its own responsibilities and authorities, the division of basic government roles into branches.
Checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power.
The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it. A two-thirds vote in each house can override a veto.
An action taken by Congress to reverse a presidential veto, requiring a two-thirds majority in each chamber.
a change to the U.S. Constitution.
to approve, usually a law.
A law making body made of two houses. Example: Congress (our legislature) is made of two house - The House of Representatives and The Senate.
governments in which local units hold all the power.
a government that gives all key powers to the national or central government.
Amendment to the United States Constitution gave Congress the power to tax income.
Amendment to the Constitution calls for the direct election of senators by the voters instead of their election by state legislatures.
Presidential power to strike, or remove, specific items from a spending bill without vetoing the entire package; declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Veto override frequency
The amount of times Congress overrides a Veto during a presidential term
War powers resolution
A law passed in 1973 in reaction to American fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia that requires presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares war or grants an extension. Presidents view the resolution as unconstitutional.
group of officials who head government departments and advise the President
President selecting a running mate who brings diversity of ideology, geographic region, age, gender, race, or ethnicity to the slate.
Chief of Staff
the person who is named to direct the white house office and advise the president
The presidential staff member responsible for handling White House media relations and communications
White House counsel
advisor to the President who is an attorney. AKA The Presidents Lawyer.
powers that congress has that are specifically listed in the constitution
The powers of the national government in foreign affairs that the Supreme Court has declared do not depend on constitutional grants but rather grow out of the very existence of the national government
A power created for the president through laws enacted by Congress.
Appoints federal judges, can grant reprieves and pardons for fereal crimes, can veto acts of congress, can call special sessions of congress
The percentage of survey respondents who say that they "approve" or "strongly approve" of the way the president is doing his job.
a political scandal involving abuse of power and bribery and obstruction of justice
a formal document charging a public official with misconduct in office
Term used to describe a president as an "emperor" who acts without consulting Congress or acts in secrecy to evade or deceive congress
National Security Council
a committee in the executive branch of government that advises the president on foreign and military and national security
powers given to leaders in times of a crisis
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
Powers the Constitution is presumed to have delegated to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community
money that Congress has allocated to be spent
congressional committee that deals with federal spending
departments, agencies, bureaus, and commissions in the executive branch of the government
rules committee rule that bans amendments to a bill
senate motion to end a filibuster that requires a 3/5 vote
committees that handles tax bills (senate)
senate manuever that allows a senator to stop or delay consideration of a bill or presedential appointment
ongoing process of congressional monitoring of the executive branch to ensure that the latter complies with the law
process in which Congress overturned rules and regulations proposed by executive branch agencies. Struck down in 1983.
line item veto
power of most governors (and President Clinton for only a few years) to delete or reduce funding in a bill on a line by line basis.
cimmittee action to amend a proposed bill
House Rules Committee rule that allows amendments to a bill
presidential killing of a bill by inaction after congress adjourns
wasteful congressional spending
minimal number of members necessary to conduct a meeting
amendment that has little to do with that bill
laws that automatically expire after a given time
ways and means committee
house committee that handles tax bills
role of vice president
President of the senate but doesn't have a vote unless equally divided, Become President. Break Senate ties. Certify the electoral college results
speaker of the house
the leader of the majority party who serves as the presiding officer of the House of Representatives
office of management and budget
the executive agency that advises the President on the federal budget
differences in the house and senate
senate: smaller, can have filibusters, Use to be elected by state legislature, requirements to be a member are different
house: bigger, no filibuster
a majority greater than a simple majority of one over half, e.g., 3/5, 2/3.
Special spending projects that are set aside on behalf of individual members of Congress for their constituents.
A formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency. Some authorizations terminate in a year; others are renewable automatically without further congressional action.
budget and impoundment act
Requires both houses of Congress to approve president's decision not to spend funds as appropriated
war powers resolution
A law passed in 1973 spelling out the conditions under which the president can commit troops without congressional approval.
power of the purse
a power committees hold to add money for certain programs, cutting spending on others, or completely end funding for some
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
a system of managing government through departments run by appointed officials
Requires automatic spending cut to take affect if president failed to balance the budget
Southerners favored freedom of trade and believed in the authority of states over the federal government. Southerners declared federal protective tariffs null and void.
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
a person appointed or elected to represent others
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.
benefit allowing members of Congress to mail letters and other materials postage-free
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.
committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
a tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
an agreement by two or more lawmakers to support each other's bills
a clause that is appended to a legislative bill
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population.
the term during which some position is held
the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent
the authority of a trial court to be first to hear a case
The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts
the civil right to obtain a writ of habeas corpus as protection against illegal imprisonment
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
an adviser to the court on some matter of law who is not a party to the case
an opinion that agrees with the court's disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge's reasoning
an interpretation of the U.S. constitution holding that the spirit of the times and the needs of the nation can legitimately influence judicial decisions (particularly decisions of the Supreme Court)
someone who interprets the Constitution in a way that allows the federal government to take only those actions the Constituion specifically states
view that the courts should reject any active lawmaking functions and stick to judicial interpretations of the past
Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases
an example that is used to justify similar occurrences at a later time
writ of certiorari
a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case
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