Due Process of Law
Denies the government the right, without due process, to deprive people of life, liberty and property
Equal protection under the law
A standard of equal treatment that must be observed by the government
Fundamental/Preferred Rights
rights that are "principles of justice so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked fundamental."
Selective Incorporation
Court cases that apply Bill of Rights to States
Prior Restraint
Censorship of a publication, rules telling someone what they can publish in advance.
Pentagon Papers Case
With the NYT and Nixon, this case dealt with the issue of prior restraint. Nixon wanted to censor NYT publication of classified papers, court ruled it didn't make a national security threat.
Clear and Present Danger Rule
Law should not punish speech unless there was a clear and present danger of producing harmful cations.
Writing that falsely injures another person.
Symbolic Speech
An act that conveys a political message
Miller v. California (1973)
Obscenity defined as appealing to prurient interests of an average person with materials that lack literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
Texas v. Johnson (1989)
There may not be a law to ban flag-burning
Wall of separation
Court ruling that government cannot be involved with religion. NOT IN CONSTITUTION.
Lemon Test - Lemon v. Kurtzman
Three tests are described for deciding whether the government is improperly involved with religion. 1) Has a secular purpose. 2) Its primary effect neither advances nor inhibits religion. 3) It does not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion.
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
There many not be a prayer, even a nondenominational one, in public schools
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Exclusionary rule is incorporated to include all courts- state and federal.
Exclusionary Rule
Improperly gathered evidence may not be introduced in a criminal trial.
Search Warrant
A judge's order authorizing a search
Probable Cause
Reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion.
Miranda v. Arizona
Deals with your rights while in custody. You must be read your rights while in custody.
Escobedo v. Illinois
You have the right to remain silent.
Good faith exception
An error in gathering evidence, sufficiently minor, that it may be used in a trial.
Palko v. Connecticut (1937)
Certain rights must be observed by all states. Certain rights apply to the states
Schenck v. US
Established the clear and present danger test to declare whether a law should not punish speech unless there was a danger of harm.
National Socialist Party v. Skokie
Nazi party had a constitutional right to speak and parade peacefully through a really Jewish town. No harm, no foul.
Brandenburg Case
Any speech that does not call for illegal action is protected, and even speech that does call for illegal action is protected if the cation is not "imminent", or there is belief the listeners won't do anything.
Reynolds v. US (1878)
Polygamy is illegal. Reynolds married another wife. Anti-polygamy law is fine.
New York Times v. Sullivan (1964)
To libel a public figure, there must be actual malice intended.
Hazelwood v. School District
schools can censor the newspaper, since kids aren't "full people"
activist approach
An approach to judicial review which holds that judges should discover the general principles underlying the Constitution and its often vague language, amplify those principles on the basis of some moral or economic philosophy, and apply them to cases.
amicus curiae
A Latin term meaning "friend of the court." Refers to interested groups or individuals, not directly involved in a suit, who may file legal briefs or oral arguments in support of one side.
A legal document submitted by lawyers to courts. It sets forth the facts of a case, summarizes any lower court decisions on the case, gives the arguments for the side represented by the lawyer filing the brief, and discusses decisions in other cases that bear on the issue.
class-action suit
A case brought into court by a person on behalf of not only himself or herself but all other persons in similar circumstances.
concurring opinion
An opinion by one or more justices who agree with the majority's conclusion but for different reasons that they wish to express.
conservative/strict constructionist bloc
One of three groups of justices in the 1970s and 1980s, including Chief justice Warren Burger, who took a consistently conservative position on issues.
constitutional court
Lower federal courts created by Congress which exercise the judicial powers delineated in Article III of the Constitution.
courts of appeals
The federal courts that have the authority to review decisions by federal district courts, regulatory commissions, and certain other federal courts. Such courts have no original jurisdiction; they can hear only appeals.
dissenting opinion
The opinion of the justices on the losing side.
district courts
The lowest federal courts where federal cases begin. They are the only federal courts where trials are held.
in forma pauperis
A petition filed with the U.S. Supreme Court by an indigent person. The normal $300 filing fee is waived for such petitions.
judicial review
The right of federal courts to declare laws of Congress and acts of the executive branch void and unenforceable if they are judged to be in conflict with the Constitution.
legislative court
A lower federal court created by Congress for specialized purposes. These justices have fixed terms of office, can be removed from office, and may have their salaries reduced while in office.
litmus test
A test of ideological purity used by recent presidents in selecting and senators in confirming judges to nominate to federal courts.
Marbury v. Madison
A decision of the Supreme Court written by Chief justice John Marshall in 1803 which interpreted the Constitution as giving the Supreme Court the power to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional. This decision is the foundation of the federal judiciary's power of judicial review.
The party that initiates a suit in law.
political question
An issue that the Court refuses to consider because it believes the Constitution has left it entirely to another branch to decide. Its view of such issues may change over time, however.
senatorial courtesy
The tradition by which the Senate will not confirm a district court judge if the senator who is from that state and of the president's party objects.
strict constructionist approach
An approach to judicial review which holds that judges should confine themselves to applying those rules that are stated in or clearly implied by the language of the Constitution.
writ of certiorari
An order issued by the Supreme Court granting a hearing to an appeal. A vote of four justices is needed to issue the writ. Only about 3 or 4 percent of all appeals are accepted.
diversity cases
Jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution on federal courts to hear cases involving citizens of different states. The matter, however, must involve more than $50,000, and even then the parties have the option of commencing the suit in state court.
simple resolution
An expression of opinion either in the House or Senate to settle procedural matters in either body
concurrent resolution
An expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president
a proposed law presented to a legislative body for consideration
discharge petition
A device by which any member of the House, after a committee has had the bill for 30 days, may petition to have it brought to the floor
closed rule (on a bill)
An order from the House RUles Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor
open rule (on a bill)
An order from the House Rules Committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor
The minimum umber of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress
quorum call
A roll call in either house of Congress to see whether the minimum number of representatives required to conduct business is present
Informal term for a nongermane amendment to a bill or an amendment to an appropriation bill that changes the permanent law governing a program funded by the bill.
Christmas tree bill
a political term referring to a bill that attracts many, often unrelated, floor amendments
cloture rule
A rule used by the Senate to end or limit debate
voice vote
A congressional voting procedure in which members shout "yea" in approval or "nay" in disapproval, permitting members to vote quickly or anonymously on bills
roll call vote
A congressional voting procedure that consists of members answering "yea" or "nay" to their names
division vote (division of the chamber)
A congressional voting procedure in which members stand and are counted
pork barrel legislation/earmarks
Legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
log rolling
A practice common in the U.S. Congress and in many other legislative assemblies in which two (or more) legislators agree for each to trade his vote on one bill he cares little about in exchange for the other's vote on a bill that is personally much more important to him.
franking privilege
the ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage
ways and means committee
a permanent committee of the United States House of Representatives that makes recommendations to the US House on all bills that would raise revenue
Judiciary Committee
Senate committee charged with weighing a presidential nominee to the Supreme Court, as well as all other nominees to the federal bench, and making a recommendation to the whole Senate as to whether the nominee should be confirmed.
The inability of the government to act because rival parties control different parts of the government
President pro term
An honorific position in the Senate who is the leading officer when the vice president isn't there. It's usually given to the seniority, and he is the head when the vice president isn't there
Blue Dogs
An intraparty caucus known as the Coalition, full of moderate to conservative members who favor "middle of the road" policies, especially on welfare and budget issues.
Political polarization
process by which the public opinion divides and goes to the extremes. It can also refer to when the extreme factions of a political party gain dominance in a party.
bias towards a certain party
bicameral legislature
A lawmaking body made up of two chambers or parts
An attempt to defeat a bill in the Senate by talking indefinitely, thus preventing the Senate from taking action to the bill
marginal district
A district where the incumbent wins by less than 55% of the vote
safe district
A district where the incumbent wins by more than 55% of the vote in reelection
Malapportionment and the Reapportionment Act of 1929
Drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
Baker v. Carr (1962)
This case allowed the federal courts to get involved in re-apportionment disputes that had previously been ruled as a state issue. Opened the door to the federal courts.
Wesbury v. Sanders (1963)
Districts must be equal in population. 1 person for 1 vote.
Shaw v. Reno (1993)
there must be a compelling government interest to draw lines that aid one group
Drawing the boundaries of legislative districts in bizarre or unusual shapes to favor one party
descriptive representation
the idea that an elected body should mirror demographically the population it represents
substantive representation
The correspondence between legislators' opinions and those of their constituents
sophmore surge
An increase in the votes congressional candidates usually get when they first run for reelection
majority leader (both chambers)
The legislative leader elected by party members holding the majority of seats in the House or the Senate
party whip
A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking
party unity vote
a roll-call vote in the House or Senate in which at least 50% of the members of one party take a particular position and are opposed by at least 50% of the members of the other party
congressional caucus
An association of Congress members created to advance a political ideology or a regional, ethnic, or economic interest
standing committee (permanent subject committee)
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area
select committee
Congressional committees appointed for a limited time and purpose
joint committee
committees on which both senators and representatives serve
conference committee
a joint committee appointed to resolve differences in the Senate and House versions of the same bill
Citizens United Case (2010)
the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions
US v. Lopez (1995)
Limited the commerce clause, Kid bringing gun to school did not affect commerce clause
Gibbons v. Ogden
Steamboat Company cannot have monopoly because it affects interstate commerce
Wickard v. Filburn
Farmer growing too much wheat is taxed because it affects interstate commerce
US v. Morrison (1994)
Girl was raped by football players. Showed that there needed to be a line for commerce clause. Congress cannot enact law for protection of women based on commerce clause
Printz v. US
Must have background check on gun purchasers to check for felonies
Gonzales v. Raich
Medical Marijuana is taken by government because it affects the national marijuana market under the commerce clause
McCullock v. Maryland (1819)
Expanded power of the National government, Federal bank case
Buckley v. Valeo
a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld federal limits on campaign contributions and ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns.
Writ of habeas corpus
an order for an arrested person to appear before a judge
bill of attainder
a law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime
political efficacy
a belief that you can take part in politics (internal efficacy) or that the government will respond to the citizenry (external efficacy)
interest group
An organization of like minded people seeking to affect public policy
Gathered by Lobbyists who find information mostly from other groups who share strong interest in the same issue.
political cues
A signal telling a legislator what values are in stake in a vote, and how that affects the political agenda. Who is for and who is against a proposal.
Assessments of a representatives voting record on an issue important to an interest group
outsider strategy
strategy of lobbyists that work closely with a few key members of Congress, meeting them privately to exchange information and favors
insider strategy
Aimed at changing public opinion strategy involves media advertising designed to educate the public or letter writing phone and fax campaigns designed to impress public officials
grass roots lobbying
trying to influence public policy indirectly by mobilizing an interest group's membership and the broader public to contact elected officials.
four prominent interest groups
NRA (National Rifle Association)- Gun Control
AARP- Senior Citizens
Sierra Club- Environmental Issues
NAACP- African American Rights
free rider problem
when an interest group that serves people is successful, non-members and members reap the same benefits, so the economically logical thing to do is not join
ideological interest groups
political organizations that attract members by appealing to their political convictions or principles
public interest lobbies
a political organization whose goals will principally benefit non-members
direct mail "teaser"
putting a teaser on the envelope so that it won't be thrown out as "junk mail" when received, If to a black voter, Martin Luther King Jr.
something that only an organization can give to you if you become a member
material incentive
money or valuable things that you recieve if your a member
political cue
signals that a lobbyist gives a legislator about which values are at stake in a vote and how the issue fits into their own political agenda
purpose incentive
a benefit that comes from serving a cause or principle
"revolving door"
former government officials that become Lobbyists
conflict of interest
a situation in which a public official's decisions are influenced by the officals personl interest
seeking to influence a politician or public official on an issue
political efficacy
a theoretical concept used to explain political behavior
a legal proceeding in a court
The Heritage Foundation
Conservative American thinktank
The Brookings Institution
a non-profit policy organization
trade groups
an organization funded by businesses that operate in a specific industry
social blunder
527 organizations
Organizations that, under section 527 of the Internal Revenue Code, raise and spend money to advance political causes
the official who holds an office
the alleged tendency of candidates to win more votes in an election because of the presence at the top of the ticket of a better-known candidate, such as the president
political action committee
a committee set up by a corporation, labor union, or interest group that raises & spends campaign money from voluntary donations
position issues
an issue about which the public is divided and rival candidates or political parties adopt different policy positions
valence issues
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
primary election
a preliminary election where delegates or nominees are chosen
closed primary
a primary in which only registered members of a particular political party can vote
open primary
a primary election in which voters may choose in which party to vote as they enter the polling place
general election
an election held to choose which candidate will hold office
runoff primary
A second primary election held when no candidate wins a majority of the votes in the first primary
soft money
funds obtained by political parties that are spent on party activities, such as get-out-the-vote drives, but not on behalf of a specific candidate
independent expenditures
Spending by political action committees, corporations, or labor unions that is done to help a party or candidate but is done independently of them.
prospective voting
voting for a candidate because you favor his or her ideas for handling issues
retrospective voting
voting for a candidate because you like his or her past actions in office
A meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform.
stump speech
political oratory
Federal Election Commission, issues regulations & adviosry opinions that control PAC activities
somebody who takes donations, puts them together, and gives them to the candidate
super pac
A PAC to which corporations, unions, and other organizations can donate freely
Citizens united case
the First Amendment prohibits government from censoring political broadcasts in candidate elections when those broadcasts are funded by corporations or unions
Buckley v. Valeo
a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld federal limits on campaign contributions and ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. The court also stated candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns.
Political Party
A group that seeks to elect candidates to political office
National Congressional Campaign Committee
A party committee in congress that provides funds to members and would-be members
Critical or realignment period
Period in which a major lasting shift occurs in support for one political party due to a wedge issue.
Ideological Party
A party that values principled stands on issues above all else
Factional Party
Parties that are created by the split in a major political party, usually over the philosophy of the major party's presidential candidate
One Issue or Single Issue Party
Party that focuses on one issue. Usually can be identified by their name
Economic Protest Party
Parties usually based in a specific region. Especially farmers that protest depressed economic conditions. Usually disappear when conditions get better
National Committee (RNC or DNC)
Delegates who run party affairs between national conventions
National Convention
A meeting of party delegates held every four years. At this, they elect who will be running for president
Delegates (to the National Convention)
A person sent or authorized to represent others, in particular, an elected representative sent to a conference
Two Party System
An electoral system that has two dominant parties that compete in national elections
Multi Party System
a system where there are large amounts of major and minor political parties that all hold a serious chance of receiving office, and because they all compete, a majority may not come to be, forcing the creation of a coalition.
Plurality system of elections
An electoral system in which the winner is the person who gets the most votes, even if he or she does not receive a majority; used in almost all American elections
Split Ticket Voting
Voting for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election
Straight Ticket Voting
Voting for candidates who are all of the same party
Office-Block Ballot
A ballot listing all candidates of a given office under the name of that office; also called a "Massachusetts" ballot
Party column ballot
A ballot listing all candidates of a given party together under the name of that party; also called an "Indiana" ballot
The Seven Dwarfs
Name for the 7 candidates for the Democratic Presidential Primary. All weak candidates
Party Base
A group of people that associate themselves with a certain party. They are usually living in a state that is red or blue, and they fit into the social classes that the certain party aims to attract. Ex. from the 1896 to the 1930's, Northern States were Republican and Southern States were Democratic.
Primary Election
Done by voters to decide who runs for office. We elect who will run.
The Democratic Leadership Council
A group of people who argued that the Democratic Party should move away from the leftward turn it took in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
Swing Voter or Independent
Voters who have no real party association, and their voting can change the outcome of an election
Party Platform
A list of actions that the party supports in order to get people to vote for them.
Party leaders and elected officials who become delegates to the national convention without having to run in primaries or caucuses
Party Label
Used to identify with a certain political party or group. Shows what party stands for.
National Chairman
Day to day party manager elected by the national committee. ( Republican and Democratic leaders)
the electorate
people chosen to cast each states votes in a presidential election
Voting Age Population (VAP)
citizens who are eligible to vote after reaching the minimum age requirement
The Suffrage
womens right to vote
absence or suppression of passion, emotion or excitement
Same Day Registration
allows eligible citizens to register to vote on election day
Registered Voters
people who have registered to vote
Motor Voter Act
enables prospective voters to register when they obtain or renew a drivers license. Passed in 1993
Absentee Vote
participation in an election by qualified voters who are permitted to mail in their ballots
Literacy Test
Requirement that citizens had to pass a literacy test in order to be able to vote (Affected mostly illiterate blacks)
Grandfather Clause
People who cannot meet requirements to vote could vote if their ancestors voted before 1867
Poll Tax
Citizens must pay a tax in order to vote
White Primary
Practice of keeping blacks from voting by use of registration requirements and intimidation
Voting Rights Act of 1965
Suspended literacy tests and authorized federal examiners to regulate polls and allow blacks to vote in states where population voting was under 50%
15th Amendment
Cannot disallow someone to vote based on race
19th Amendement
Gave women the right to vote
23rd Amendment
district of columbia gets electoral vote
26th Amendment
18-year olds have the right to vote
Australian Ballot
gov't printed ballot of uniform dimensions to be cast in secret. It was implemented in 1890 in order to decrease fraud
22% of the population: these people rarely vote, they are not involved in organizations and don't talk politics
11% of the population: these people tend to participate in all forms of politics
Voting Specialists
people who vote but do little else, not much schooling or income and they tend to be older
these people not only vote, but they get involved in campaigns. These people are better educated, interested in politics, they have a clear political party and they take strong positions on issues
Federal Election Day
1st Tuesday after the 1st Monday of November every even year
Voting Eligible Population (VEP)
people who are eligible to vote. Excludes: prisoners, felons, aliens etc.
So called "red" and "blue" states
States whose registered voters usually vote either Republican "red" or Democrat "blue"
Social Status
someone's position in a social hierarchy
Gender Gap
Difference in political views between men and women
A survey of public opinion
Scientific Sample
A group of people who have been selected from each main demographic. Each person has an equal chance of being in the sample. Sample size is about 1,000-1,500
Sampling Error
+/- 3% or 4%
open to new behavior or opinions
holding traditional values
conservative on economic matters and liberal on social ones. They want a small, weak government
Liberal on economic matters and conservative on social ones. Reduce inequality and control business, but regulate personal conduct
a person who holds moderate views
Political Ideology
a consistent set of political beliefs concerning government's role in economic and social issues
Political Elite
persons with a disproportionate share of political power
Political Cleavages
A split in public opinion based on a demographic factor. Non-economic issues, usually determine party allegiance
the "Silent Majority"
large amount of people who don't voice their opinions publicly
Christian Right
is a collective term used for a variety of Christian groups that support socially conservative policies (such as opposition to therapeutic abortion or divorce)
Political Socialization
the process by which background traits influence one's political views
Ideological consistency
Consistent set of political belief concerning government's role in economic and social issues
The gallup organization and the pew center for the people and the press
an independent, non-partisan public opinion research organization that studies attitudes toward politics, the press and public policy issues.
Soccer Mom
Mom whose job is to take care of the family. Supported Clinton
Security Mom
Mom who is worried about the security of her family. Bush increased women voters. 9/11
Wedge Issues
Usually Social Issues that make the difference in an election. For example abortion, education, medicare, Israel, etc.
Exit Poll
A poll taken of a sample of voters as they leave a polling place, used especially to predict the outcome of an election or determine the opinions and characteristics of the candidates' supporters.
Opinion Saliency
Some issues or choices are pretty steady and some are more volatile(easily changed)
Opinion Stability
Opinions are in sync with the popular views
Opinion-policy congruence
Opinions are significantly out of sync
the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states
block grants
Money from the national government that states can spend within broad guidelines determined by Washington
a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
layer cake federalism/dual federalism
doctrine holding that the national governement is supreme in its sphere, the states are supreme in theirs, and the 2 should be kept seperate
fiscal federalism/marble cake federalism
The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments.
unitary system
one soveriegnty fully controls the national gov't, so that the states are dependent on it
supreme/ultimate political authority; legally and independent from any gov't
power held by independent states
"necessary and proper clause"
section of the Constituion allowing Congress to pass all laws that are "necessary and proper" for the country. Expanded Congress's power
the doctrine that states a state can not uphold a law that they think is unconstitutional
grants in aid
money from the Fed. gov't to states
categorical grants
federal grants for specific purpose, ex. building an airport
revenue sharing
federal sharing of a fixed percentage of its revenue with the states
conditions of aid
term set by the national gov't that states must meet certain guidelines if they are to receive certain funds
unfunded mandates
mandates (state has to enforce) that come with no federal money
funded mandates
mandates (state has to enforce) that comes with federal money
original intent (of the Constitution)
The judiciary is not supposed to create, amend or repeal laws but only to uphold them.
full faith and credit
addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.
Commerce Clause
Enumerated power that congress has the power to regulate commerce between all foreign nations and between the states.
McCullock v. Maryland (1819)
Expanded power of the National government, Federal bank case
enumerated powers/delegated powers
Powers listed in the Constitution given to the government
reserved powers
Powers left to the state government protected by 10th amendment
US v. Lopez (1995)
Limited the commerce clause, Kid bringing gun to school did not affect commerce clause
Gibbons v. Ogden
Steamboat Company cannot have monopoly because it affects interstate commerce
Wickard v. Filburn
Farmer growing too much wheat is taxed because it affects interstate commerce
Programs supported by the government such as welfare and medicare
US v. Morrison (1994)
Girl was raped by football players. Showed that there needed to be a line for commerce clause. Congress cannot enact law for protection of women based on commerce clause
Printz v. US
Must have background check on gun purchasers to check for felonies
Gonzales v. Raich
Medical Marijuana is taken by government because it affects the national marijuana market under the commerce clause
Police power of the states
Capacity of the states to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory for the betterment of the general welfare, morals, health, and safety of their inhabitants
means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters
Supremacy Clause
Declares that the Constitution, laws, and treaties of the Federal government are the supreme law of the land.
a balance between diversity and unity in public policy
What does federalism allow?
uniform national policy and diverse state polices
Examples of Uniform policies
Civil Rights, Pollution Laws
Example of Diverse Policies
Speed limits, sales tax, education, water use laws
Unitary System
one central government, no sovereign sub units
a weak union of states
-many elected officials
-many elected/independent government bodies
-many factions/interest groups
-more points of political access ex. state, national and local
Not In My Back Yard

Can only happen in a federal system
Phase 1 of Federalism
States Rights v. Federalists/Nationalists
-Nullification Controversy: states claimed power to void national law if the law went against a states interest
-Extent of federal power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution
-"Elastic Language" in Constitution
Necessary and Proper Clause
national government has all power necessary to implement the enumerated powers ex. Congress can form an army
Article 6
Supremacy Laws: Constitution is supreme
McCulloch v. Maryland 1819
Necessary and Proper Clause used here. This ruling greatly expanded the power of the national government. States can't tax national bank. National bank is constitutional.
Dual Federalism
-1865-1933. There is a clear and distinct separation between the states and the national government.
-Big Problem: What power does each layer have?
Interstate Commerce
Unalienable Rights
a human right based on nature or god. Famers considered these to be violated during the British rule.
Declaration of Independence:
Declared American independence from Britain. Written by Jefferson.
Articles Of Confederation
A weak Constitution that governed America during the Revolutionary war
Constitutional Convention
Meeting in Philadelphia in 1787 that produced a new constitution. Leaders of the states met to fix the Article Of Confederation
Shays Rebellion
A 1787 rebellion in which ex-Revolutionary War soldiers attempted to prevent foreclosures of farms as a result of high interest rates and taxes. Jefferson thought it was a good thing but it showed how weak the Article Of Confederations was
Virginia Plan
Proposal to reate a strong national government
New Jersey Plan
Proposal to create a weak national government. New Jersey was scared large states would have an advantage
Great Compromise
Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and a state-elected Senate, two senators from each state
Separation of power
keeps the 3 branches of government in check
Checks and balances
authority shared by the 3 branches of the government
Judicial Review
the power f the courts to declare something unconstitutional. They translate laws into present times
A government in which elected representatives make the decisions
Government authority shared by national and state governments
A group with a distinct political interest
Federalist Papers
Hamilton, Jay and Madison wrote essays in the New York City newspapers to explain the newly written Constitution to the people
Those who favor a stronger national government
Those who favor a weaker national government
An alliance of factions
Rit of habeas corpus
an order for an arrested person to appear before a judge
Bill of attainder
a law that declares a person, without a trial, to be guilty of a crime
Ex post facto law
a law that makes an act criminal although the act was legal when it was committed
Bill of Rights
First ten amendments to the Constitution
A new addition to the Constitution that has been ratified by the states
Line item veto
An executives ability to block a particular provision in a bill passed by the legislature
Congressional Oversight
Congress can investigate a ruling or bill
Limited Government
A political system in which legalized force is restricted through delegated and enumerated powers. Constitution is used to help support this. For example checks and balances and separation of powers.
Foundation of American government in which the framers outlined the "laws" of the government to protect and insure rights of citizens.
Federalist 10
Essay about how to control factions
Federalist 39
Essay about how the constitution created a federal government for the people
Federalist 51
Government by coalitions
John Locke
People are rational enough to create a democratic government and rule themselves. Spoke of Natural Rights.
Thomas Hobbes
There is a need for an absolute sovereign to rule because people always seek their own interests at the expense of others.
Enumerated Powers
Government powers that are listed in the constitution. Article 1 section 8
Reserved Powers
Powers left to the state. Regulate health, morals, safety welfare
Concurrent Powers
Powers shared by both state and national government. For example taxation.
the ability of one person to get another person to act in accordance with the first person's intentions
the right to use power
what gives one the right to use power
"the rule of the many", a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
direct or participatory democracy
when a government is run by the people; decisions are made by the people in the nation
representative democracy
elites are given power by the people to govern over them and make decisions for the people they govern
. majoritarian politics
A policy in which almost everybody benefits and almost everybody pays
Marxist theory
government, even if democratic in form, is merely a reflection of underlying economic forces. Two main classes: bourgeoisie and proletariat)
elites and the power elite theory
an identifiable group of persons who possess a disproportionate share of some valued resource-in this case, political power. Power elite theory is the thought that elite business owners dominate the government even though they haven't been elected to do so
. bureaucratic theory
power is in the hands of non-elected officials in the government, and they translate public laws into administrative actions. They make the public policies
pluralism and the pluralist theory
no single elite has a chokehold on the government. The US political system has so many levels of power that no group could dominate it. Everyone can affect the outcome of a decision
use or utilization, especially for profit
public policy
the principles on which social laws are based
open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values
holding traditional values
many groups are so strong the government can't function
Linkage institution
: structure within society that connects people to the government. Elections, interest groups, media etc.
. initiative
the right to pass a new bill
a vote on a measure already passed
to call back
Civil Society
a complex network of voluntary associations, economic groups, religious organizations, and many other kinds of groups that exist independently from the government