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197 terms

Gov't Review

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John Locke
believed all people have a right to life, liberty, and property
Second Treatise in Civil Government
outlines a theory of political or civil society based on natural rights and contract theory
Declaration of Independence
the document recording the proclamation of the Second Continental Congress asserting the independence of the colonies from Great Britain
Thomas Jefferson
wrote the Declaration of Independence; second governor of Virgina; third president of the United States
Unicameral
one-house legislature
Bicameral
two-house legislature
Articles of Confederation
a written agreement ratified in 1781 by the thirteen original states
Strengths of Articles
1) declare war and peace;
2) coin and borrow money;
3) deal with foreign countries and sign treaties;
4) operate post offices
Weaknesses of Articles
no common currency; one vote per state; could not control trade; weak national government; no executive or judicial branch
Shays Rebellion
Rebellion of farmers in Mass. (1786-1787) protesting mortgage foreclosures; highlighted the need for a strong national government just as the call for the Constitutional Convention went out.
Virginia Plan
Initial proposal for a strong central government with a bicameral legislature dominated by the big states.
New Jersey Plan
Proposed a single-chamber congress in which each state had one vote. This created a conflict with representation between bigger states.
Great Compromise
Plan to have a popularly elected House based on state population and a state-selected Senate, with two members for each state.
Three-Fifths Compromise
the agreement by which the number of each state's representatives in Congress would be based on a count of all the free people plus three-fifths of the slaves
Electoral College
a group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president
Federalist
supporters of the constitution during the debate over its ratification; favored a strong national government
Anti-Federalist
Opposed to a strong central government; saw undemocratic tendencies in the Constitution and insisted on the inclusion of the Bill of Rights (Jefferson, Monroe, Henry)
Federalist Papers
Series of essays that defended the Constitution and tried to reassure Americans that the states would not be overpowered by the federal government.
James Madison
father of the constitution; leading federalist; author of the Bill of Rights
Federalist #10
(Madison) how to guard against factions, special interest groups, by extending the sphere and making sure nobody gets too much power
Federalist #51
Separation of powers & checks & balances protects against tyranny
Federalist #78
(Hamilton) talks about the federal judiciary review; judiciary must depend on other two branches to uphold its decisions
Alexander Hamilton
Delegate to the Constitutional Convention and leader of the Federalists; first secretary of the treasury.
Judicial Review
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
Marbury v. Madison
This case establishes the Supreme Court's power of Judicial Review
Writ of Habeas Corpus
a court order that requires police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why they are holding the person
Ex Post Facto Law
Laws applied to acts committed before passage of the laws are unconstitutional
Bill of Attainder
a legislative act finding a person guilty of treason or felony without a trial
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
Presidential Veto
a president's authority to reject a bill passed by Congress, may be overridden only by a 2/3 majority in each house
Enumerated Powers
The powers explicitly given to Congress in the Constitution.
Necessary and Proper Clause
Constitutional clause that gives congress the power to make all laws "necessary and proper" for executing its powers
Elastic Clause
a clause that allows Congress to stretch the use of its powers
Implied Powers
Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions
Amendment Process
step 1: amendment proposed by 2/3 vote of both houses of congress OR a constitutional convention called by congress on petition of 2/3 out of 50 states. THEN amendment ratified by 3/4 of the 50 state legislatures OR 3/4 of special constitutional conventions called by 50 states THEN the new amendment!
Supremacy Clause
The constitutional provision that makes the Constitution and federal laws superior to all conflicting state and local laws.
Establishment Clause
the First Amendment guarantee that the government will not create and support an official state church
Free Exercise Clause
a first amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
Lemon Test
The three-part test for Establishment Clause cases that a law must pass before it is declared constitutional: it must have a secular purpose; it must be neutral; and it must not cause excessive entanglement with religion.
Lemon v. Kurtzman
Law must be clearly secular, not prohibiting or inhibiting religion, and there should be no excessive entanglement
Clear and Present Danger
a standard for judging when freedom of speech can be abridged; "no one has a right to shout `fire' in a crowded theater when there is no fire because such an action would pose a clear and present danger to public safety"
Schenck v. United States
Supreme court decides that any actions taken that present a "clear and present danger" to the public or government isn't allowed, this can limit free speech
LAPS Test
A yardstick for local obscenity judgments which evaluates an artistic work's literacy, artistic, political, or scientific values.
Prior Restraint
Censorship imposed before a speech is made or a newspaper is published; usually presumed to be unconstitutional.
New York Times v. United States
If the government wishes to censor information before it is printed or published, it must be proven in court that the information will endanger national security.
Pentagon Papers
A 7,000-page top-secret United States government report on the history of the internal planning and policy-making process within the government itself concerning the Vietnam War.
Exclusionary Rule #4
legal principle in the United States, under constitutional law, which holds that evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights is sometimes inadmissible for a criminal prosecution in a court of law
Automobile Exception
NEED Probable Cause to believe contraband or evidence of crime is in car. must arise before search but not necessary at time pulled over. CAN Search the trunk.
Miranda Warning
Miranda v. Arizona; making sure that suspected criminals are brought before a magistrate and informed of their right to remain silent, right to an attorney
White Primary
the practice of keeping blacks from voting in the southern states' primaries through arbitrary use of registration requirements and intimidation
Poll tax
Tax required to vote; prohibited for national elections by the Twenty-Fourth Amendment (1964) and ruled unconstitutional for all elections in Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections (1966).
Literacy test
Literacy requirements some states imposed as a condition of voting, generally used to disqualify black voters in the South; now illegal.
Grandfather clause
an exemption based on circumstances existing prior to the adoption of some policy
De facto Segregation
Segregation resulting from economic or social conditions or personal choice.
Seneca Falls
July, 1848 - first modern women's rights convention; Staton read a Declaration of Sentiment listing the many discrimination against women, and adopted eleven resolutions (suffrage)
Equal Rights Amendment
Supported by the National Organization for Women, this amendment would prevent all gender-based discrimination practices. However, it never passed the ratification process.
Age Discrimination
treating people differently (e.g., in hiring and firing, promotion, and compensation decisions) because of their age
Americans with Disabilities Act
Passed by Congress in 1991, this act banned discrimination against the disabled in employment and mandated easy access to all public and commercial buildings.
Affirmative Action
a policy designed to redress past discrimination against minority groups and women through measures to improve their economic and educational opportunities
Reverse Discrimination
Using race or sex to give preferential treatment to some people.
Agenda Setting
The constant process of forming the list of issues to be addressed by government
Entitlements
federal benefit payments to which recipients have a legal right, e.g., social security
Discretionary Spending
federal spending on programs that are controlled through the regular budget process (military spending)
Mandatory Spending
spending on certain programs that is mandated, or required by existing law (entitlements)
Office of Management and Budget
Executive office responsible for helping the President write and repair the federal budget and monitoring federal spending.
Double Jeopardy
the Fifth Amendment right providing that a person cannot be tried twice for the same crime
Self Incrimination
the situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court (Fifth Amendment)
Eminent Domain
allows the govt to take property for public use but also requires the govt to provide just compensation for that property (hospital, school, football field?) (5th)
Reversed Powers
(10th), those powers that the Constitution does not grant to national gov't and doesn't deny to states
Tenth Amendment
The 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.
Line Item Veto
Presidential power to strike, or remove, specific items from a spending bill without vetoing the entire package; declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
War Powers Act
Notify Congress within 48 hours of deploying troops; had to gain congress' approval to stay longer than 90 days; designed to curtail President's power
Commerce Clause
The section of the Constitution in which Congress is given the power to regulate trade among the states and with foreign countries.
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.
Federalism
division of power between the national and state governments
Concurrent Powers
Powers that the Constitution gives to both the national and state governments, such as the power to levy taxes.
Full Faith and Credit Clause
Constitution's requirement that each state accept the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state
Extradition
The legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one state is returned to that state
Interstate Compact
An agreement among two or more states. Congress must approve most such agreements
Dual Federalism
(Layer Cake) a system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Cooperative Federalism
(Marble Cake) a system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government; may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
New Federalism
System in which the national government restores greater authority back to the states (Reagan; devolution)
General Revenue Sharing
Federal government gives money back the states
Fiscal 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.
Categorical Grants
Federal grants to states or local governments that are for specific programs or projects.
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
Reapportionment
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
Redistricting
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.
Gerrymandering
Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.
Franking Privilege
The right of senators and representatives to send job-related mail without paying postage
Pork Barreling
legislation designed to make government benefits, including jobs and projects used as political patronage, flow to a particular district or state
President of Senate
the presiding officer of a senate; in Congress, the vice president of the United States; in a state's legislature, either the lieutenant governor or a senator
Speaker of the House
An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
President Pro Tem
Unofficial head of the Senate; next in line of succession after the Speaker of the House
Secretary of State
The head of the Department of State and traditionally a key adviser to the president on foreign policy
Standing Committee
A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area.
Joint Committee
A committee of the House and the Senate that usually acts as a study group and reports its findings back to the House and the Senate
Select Committee
A temporary legislative committee established for a limited time period and for a special purpose.
Conference Committee
temporary joint committee created to reconcile any differences between the two houses' versions of a bill
General Accounting Office
reviews spending activities of federal agencies, studies programs, and recommends ways to spend taxpayers' dollars wisely
Congressional Budget Office
Congressional agency of budget experts who assess the feasibility of the president's plan and who help create Congress's version of the federal budget.
Log rolling
a legislator supports a proposal favored by another in return for support of his or hers
Library of Congress
-Established by Congress in 1800 to function as a research library for the legislative branch of the federal government, it eventually became the unofficial national library of the United States. Contains over 120 million books.
Caucus
A meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform.
How a state becomes a law
Later...
Filibuster
A tactic for delaying or obstructing legislation by making long speeches
Cloture
a procedure that allows each senator to speak only 1 hour on a bill under debate
Divided Government
Governance divided between the parties, as when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
Recess Appointment
presidential appointment made without Senate confirmation during Senate recess
Implied power
powers that are not directly stated in the Constitution but belong to the national government
Executive privilege
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
Executive agreement
A formal agreement between the U.S. president and the leaders of other nations that does not require Senate approval.
Government corporations
A government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services. The U.S. Postal Service is an example.
Independent regulatory agencies
Federal regulatory agencies that are independent, thus not fully under the power of the president. Ex. Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission.
Independent executive agencies
Federal agencies not under the cabinet; congress authorizes them, defines their goals, and sets their powers; rules by commissions, boards, and panels; appointed by the president, approved by the senate.
Spoils system
the system of employing and promoting civil servants who are friends and supporters of the group in power
Office of personal management
the office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process.
Standard Operating Procedure
A set of rules established in a bureaucracy that dictate how workers respond to different situations so that all workers respond in the same way.
Freedom of Information Act
citizens have the right to inspect all government records except those containing military, intelligence, or trade secrets or revealing private personnel actions
Writ of Certiorari
a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case
Amicus Curiae
an adviser to the court on some matter of law who is not a party to the case; offers information on topics beneficial to cause
Majority opinion
a statement that presents the views of the majority of supreme court justices regarding a case
Concurring opinion
An opinion that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on the reasoning.
Dissenting opinion
an opinion disagreeing with the majority decision in a Supreme Court ruling
Stare decisis
The rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.
Statutory
created by statute or legislative action; regulated by statute; Ex. statutory age limit
Judicial restraint
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
Judicial activism
A judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground. Advocates of this approach emphasize that the courts can correct pressing needs, especially those unmet by the majoritarian political process.
Straw polls
polls that attempt to determine who is ahead in a political race
Margin of error
a measure of the accuracy of a public opinion poll
Exit poll
Public opinion surveys taken directly after voting, used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision.
Political socialization
Complex process by which people get their sense of political identity, beliefs, and values (family, school, media, religion, national events-all help to socialize)
Yellow journalism
Journalism that exploits, distorts, or exaggerates the news to create sensations and attract readers
Equal access rule
Corporation purchasing shares from majority/controlling shareholder must make same pro-rata offer to minorities
Equal time rule
an FCC rule that if a broadcaster sells time to one candidate, it must sell equal time to other candidates.
Fairness doctrine
An FCC rule, abolished in 1987, that required broadcasters to give time to opposing views if they broadcast one side of a controversial issue.
Party realignment
the displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period
Nonpartisan election
A local or judicial election in which candidates are not selected or endorsed by political parties and party affiliation is not listed on ballots.
Straight ticket
a ballot cast by a voter who votes for all the candidates of one party
Split ticket
a ballot cast by a voter who votes for candidates from more than one party
National committee
Delegates who run party affairs between national conventions.
National Voter Registration (Motor Voter)
requires states to allow people to register to vote when applying for driver's licenses applications or completing license renewal forms
Blanket primary
a primary election in which each voter may vote for candidates from both parties
Initiative
Petition for an issue
Referendum
The name given to the political process in which the general public votes on an issue of public concern.
Recall
the act of removing an official by petition
Muckrakers
Journalists who attempted to find corruption or wrongdoing in industries and expose it to the public
Political Action Committee
A committee set up by a corporation, labor union, or interest group that raises and spends campaign money from voluntary donations
Front Loading
The recent tendency of states to hold primaries early in the calendar in order to capitalize on media attention.
Soft Money
Political Contributions earmarked for party-building expenses at the grass-roots level or for generic party advertising. Unlike money that goes to the campaign of a particular candidate, such party donations are not subject to contribution limits. For a time, such contributions were unlimited, until they were banned by the McCain-Feingold Act.
Hard Money
Political contributions given to a party, candidate, or interest group that are limited in amount and fully disclosed. Raising such limited funds is harder than raising unlimited funds, hence the term's name.
Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act
A law passed in 2002 that banned soft money, put limits on issue advertising, and increased the amount people can donate to candidates ($2000); also called the McCain-Feingold bill.
Lobbying
Engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact.
Grassroots Lobbying
indirect lobbying efforts that spring from widespread public concern
Iron Triangle
an informal association of federal agency, congressional committee, and interest group that is said to have heavy influence over policy making.
Hatch Act
Federal statute barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired (or, more appropriately, 'cut') on partisan grounds.
Sunshine Act
State law. Deals with government meetings. Every portion of every meeting of an agency be open to public observation
Sunset Act
strengthened the legislator's power- it says that a state agency must cease to exist after 12 yrs unless the legislation votes to renew it-this make law makers able to change or get rid of an agency
Majoritarian
system of policy making in which those with a numerical majority hold authority
Pluralist
a political scientist who views American politics as best understood in terms of the interaction, conflict, and bargaining of groups
Slave Trade 1808
The importation of slaves was meant to stop after this date (made at the Constiutional Convention)
Informal amendment
a change in the meaning, but not the wording, of the Constitution, e.g., through a court decisions such as Brown v. Board.
Formal powers
Authority to act or to exert influence that is granted by statutory law or by the constitution to a political executive or to another element of government.
Informal Powers
Powers not directly granted by law, e.g. a governor's powers may follow from powers granted by law but may also come from the governor's persuasive abilities (___ powers), which are affected by the governor's personality, popularity, and political support.
Litigation
legal action; a lawsuit
Buckley v. Valeo
Candidates can use as much of their own money on their own campaigns.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law
Gibbons v. Ogden
reaffirmed federal control over interstate commerce under a broad interpretation of commerce clause in the constitution
Dred Scott v Sanford
1857 Supreme Court decision that stated slaves were not citizens: slaves were property no matter where they were living and the Missouri Compromise unconstitutional
Brown v. Board of Education
court found that segregation was a violation of the Equal Protection clause; "separate but equal" has no place; reverse decision of Plessy v Ferguson
Plessy v. Ferguson
a 1896 Supreme Court decision which legalized state ordered segregation so long as the facilities for blacks and whites were equal
Regents University of California v. Bakke
Court ruling that colleges and universities could legitimately consider race as a factor in the admissions process.
Mapp v. Ohio
established the exclusionary rule; evidence illegally obtained cannot be used in court; Warren Court's judicial activism
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.
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.
Gregg v. Georgia
made capital punishment constitutional; overturned Furman v. Georgia (1972) which stated that capital punishment was unconstitutional (death penalty = not cruel and unusual punishment)
Atkins v. Virginia
capital punishment is not a suitable penalty for mentally retarded defendants; such a penalty is excessive, when involving mentally retarded defendants
Texas v. Johnson
A 1989 case in which the Supreme Court 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.
Miller v. California
A 1973 Supreme Court decision 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.
Griswold v. Connecticut
married couple wanted to get contraceptives; struck down a Connecticut law prohibiting the sale of contraceptives; established the right of privacy through the 4th and 9th amendment
Roe v. Wade
established national abortion guidelines; trimester guidelines; no state interference in 1st; state may regulate to protect health of mother in 2nd; state may regulate to protect health or unborn child in 3rd. inferred from right of privacy established in griswald v. Connecticut
Engel v. Vitale
banned formal prayer in schools, government would not make any religion the 'official' religion
Reno v. ACLU
a law that bans sending "indecent" material to minors over the Internet is unconstitutional because "indecent" is too vague and broad a term
Clinton v. New York
Court found the line-item veto to be unconstitutional as a violation of the Presentment Clause of the Constitution which describes what the president can do when a bill comes forth from congress.
Hyperpluralism
a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened; an extreme, exaggerated, or perverted form of pluralism
Separation of Powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
Ways and Means Committee
a permanent committee of the United States House of Representatives that makes recommendations to the House on all bills that would raise revenue
Census
a periodic and official count of a country's population
Marginal District
A district where heavy campaigning could swing the vote either way, the population is more or less divided, compare to Safe District.
Safe District
A House district in which the winner of the general election carries more than 55 percent of the vote.
Welfare Reform Act
1996 law that established the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program in place of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program and tightened Medicaid eligibility requirements, limited people to no more than two consecutive years on welfare and required them to work to recieve welfare benefits
Seniority system
a system that gives the member of the majority party with the longest uninterrupted service on a particular committee the leadership of that committee
Plurality Election
the winning candidate is the person who recieves more votes than anyone else, but less than half the total.
Majoritarian Election
The candidate must win with 51% of the votes. If no one garners that much, a run off election ensues
Single Member District
An electoral district in which voters choose one representative or official.
Special Districts
government units created to perform particular functions, especially when those functions are best performed across jurisdictional boundaries
Incumbency
the fact that being in office helps a person stay in office because of a variety of benefits that go with the position (name familiarity, established funds, district favorability)