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Terms in this set (41)
For how long of a term does the Governor serve and are there any term limits?
• 4-year term with no term limits
What are some of the perks that come along with the office of governor?
• Salary of $150,000 per year
• Governor's Mansion near the capitol in Austin
• Staff of over two hundred
• Security detail
If the Governor died or was removed from office, who would become the next governor?
• Individual elected as lieutenant governor shall become the governor.
How many Texas governors have been impeached/removed from office?
• James "Pa" Ferguson: The only governor to be impeached and convicted in Texas (1917)
Why is the Texas Governorship considered a weak office?
• Texas has a plural executive, I [The Governor] have few formal powers, and the constitution is designed to fetter me.
Which powers does the constitution allow the governor?
• Chief of State
• Chief Executive Officer
• Commander in Chief
• Chief budget officer
• very limited power of clemency
What constitutes the Governor's "power to persuade?"
• Budgetary Powers
Why is the Governors appointment power significant and what are some of its limitations?
• Allow the Governor to place allies in strategic locations within state government who will likely help him/her achieve political goals
• Send a political message
• Many influential positions are not appointed positions
• 2/3rds Senate confirmation
• Senatorial courtesy
• Six year appointments
• Cannot fire predecessors' appointees
How is a special session called and what may be discussed during special session?
• Only the governor may call the Legislature into special sessions, and during a special session, lawmakers are only allowed to consider legislation that fits into the governor's "call," or the issues the governor specifies.
• Texas Constitution Article 3, Section 40 places no limitation on the number of topics a governor can designate in a special-session proclamation. Other issues may be added by the governor during a session.
Why are veto overrides in Texas relatively rare?
• Due to the way in which the rules regulating the exercise of the veto work in tandem with the rhythm of the legislature's traditional schedule.
What are the basic civil and criminal jurisdictions of the Justice of The Peace Courts?
• Criminal misdemeanors punishable by fine only
• Civil actions of no more than $10,000
What are the basic civil and criminal jurisdictions of theMunicipal Courts?
• Criminal misdemeanors punishable by fine only
• Limited civil jurisdiction
How do you file a lawsuit in a Justice of The Peace court? Actually know enough about this to be able to do it yourself.
•You fill out a document entitled "Plaintiff's Original Petition"
can allow up to $10,000 lawsuits
What is the nature and purpose of an appeal?
•an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed, where parties request a formal change to an official decision.
When would trials de novo be necessary?
Trial de Novo: is a new trial or criminal retrial in which the entire case is present as if there had been no previous trial
What is the relationship between Constitutional County Courts and County Courts at Law?
•Both appellate jurisdiction in the justice of the peace court and the municipal court.
authority to hear appeals of cases that were originally tried in other courts. can do many different things.
authority of a court to provide the first hearing of a specific case.
What is the difference between a Statutory and Constitutional Court?
•Statutory was created by the state legislature. Constitutional court county court in each of the 254 counties of the state, though all such courts do not exercise judicial functions. In the more populous counties, the county judge may devote his or her full attention to the administration of county government.
In which matters do District Courts have original jurisdiction?
• Original jurisdiction: all felony criminal cases, divorce cases, civil matters in which the the amount of money or damages involved is $200 or more (concurrent) etc.
How might Habeas Corpus be used to introduce new evidence in a trial?
•To investigate the detention of people
What is the appellate jurisdiction of The Intermediate Court of Appeals?
What are some key differences between The Supreme Court of Texas and The Court of Criminal Appeals?
The Supreme Courts of Texas
•Final appellate jurisdiction in civil and juvenile cases
The Court of Criminal Appeals
•Final appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases
How are judges selected in Texas?
•Judges are chosen in partisan elections
How does the partisan election of Texas judges affect the need for accountability and independence in the courts?
• This may be the fault of a few individual judges (so-called "bad apples"), or systemic problems in the way judges reach office, since voters are asked to select the state's conflict resolvers with extremely limited information. Judicial elections are notable for being far down on the ballot, below the high-information, high-engagement elections of governors, senators, and presidents.
What are some proposals for judicial reform in Texas?
•In 1974, the state constitutional convention proposed a new constitution that would have made judicial elections nonpartisan. Voters, however, did not ratify that proposed constitution. Since then, the legislature has debated numerous proposals for either an appointive system or nonpartisan elections, but all have been rejected.
How many representatives serve in the Texas House and how many in the Senate? For how long do they serve?
•2 year terms
•4 year terms
How much do legislators get paid and why is their low salary problematic?
•Senators and representatives alike earn just $7,200 per year, or $14,400 for a two-year legislative period.
•Because they are the ones running our government
Do we have proportional representation in Texas political office? Who is overrepresented? Who is under-represented?
•White Males (Overrepresented)
•Females, Hispanic, Asian Americans, and African Americans (Under-represented)
What are the powers of The Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor? How are people selected for these positions?
The Speaker of the House:
• Recognizing legislators who wish to speak and ruling on procedural questions.
• Must sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the legislature.
• Also vote on all bills, resolutions, and other questions that come before the house.
• The rules empower the speaker to appoint the membership of all standing committees (while still respecting the rule of seniority).
• Also gains power from being assigned the responsibility for referring all proposed legislation to committees.
• Appoint conference committees, to create select committees, and to direct committees to conduct interim studies when the legislature is not in session.
• Serves on the Legislative Council and the Legislative Audit Committee and serves as vice chair on the Legislative Budget Board. He is also a member of the Legislative Redistricting Board.
• the speaker is elected to the house from a single-member district that includes approximately 1/150th of the Texas population (recall that the house has 150 members).
• The lieutenant governor serves as the president of the senate
• Charged with casting the deciding vote on the senate floor in the event of a tie.
• Also appoints the committees of the senate, which is a considerable power because committees tend to hold control over specific policy areas.
• Has the authority to assign bills to specific committees.
• Chairman of the Legislative Budget Board and the Legislative Council, and is vice chairman of the Legislative Audit Committee and the Legislative Education Board.
• Whereupon the lieutenant governor assumes the powers and responsibilities of the governor.
• lieutenant governor, who holds a statewide elective office in the executive branch.
Why are committees important?
•The committee system fundamentally shapes the work of the Texas Legislature, influencing what bills are considered and how far they advance through the long legislative process
What is the significance of the 2/3rds rule in the senate?
•Significant when looking over bills
What is representative government and what are its advantages over a direct democracy?
•Representative Government: An electoral system where citizens vote to elect people to represent their interests and concerns
•Direct Democracy: is a form of democracy in which people decide policy initiatives directly.
Explain the basic process and politics of redistricting.
•Both the U.S. Constitution and the Texas Constitution mandate the redrawing of congressional and legislative districts every ten years using population measurements taken by the U.S. Census.
What is packing and cracking?
• This periodic readjustment is necessary to ensure that all of the districts contain approximately the same number of people. If district lines were not regularly adjusted, some would eventually contain more people than others, giving voters in these less-populated districts more influence in a particular legislative chamber or board.
What are some of the problems with partisan redistricting?
• Because the primary responsibility for drawing these lines takes place within the partisan context of the legislature, the redistricting process tends to reflect those politics in a practice known as gerrymandering. Democrats will seek to have districts contain majorities of voters favorable to their party, and Republicans will naturally do the same
• The prospect of the LRB (Legislative Redistricting Board) determining district boundaries provides a significant incentive for the legislature to seriously engage in its redistricting obligation, as an LRB-authored plan, while also likely to reflect partisan politics, would nonetheless significantly diminish lawmakers' control over their own reelection fates.
•Elect delegates and alternates to the county convention.
•Pass resolutions for consideration at the county convention.
•The Convention elects permanent officers, adopts Convention rules, passes and forwards resolutions to the next convention level and elects delegates and alternate delegates to attend the next convention level
State Party Convention:
•The Convention elects permanent officers, approves party rules, adopts a platform and elects a State Chair, a State Vice-Chair and members of the State Executive Committee.
Explain the steps an individual need to take in order to participate in a party's precinct convention.
•Register to vote
•Vote in you party's primary, you can participate
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