AP Government Multiple Choice Review
Terms in this set (188)
-due process clause (typically in jail situations) equal protection clause (typically in discrimination situations) Original purpose was to protect newly freed slaves & overturn the Dred Scott decision. Used by the SC to "selectively incorporate" some of the rights in the BOR to apply to the states.
Amending the Constitution
-the procedure illustrates the federal structure of the US government (takes National & State) Proposal by 2/3rds of both houses and ratified by 3/4ths of state legislatures
American with Disabilities Act
Amicus curiae briefs
-Used by interest groups to lobby the courts (aka "friends of the courts")
Articles of Confederation vs. Constitution
Articles-(states had all the power) had no president, no court system, difficult amendment procedures whereas Constitution has president, court system, easier amendment process, -Constitution created strong national government.
-states have the most discretion in establishing policy, no strings. Illustrates Federalism
Candidate centered campaigns
-candidates no longer have to rely on their political party to campaign for them with the rise of technology and being able to be visible on TV
Categorical grants in aid
-funds to administer programs clearly specified by the federal government. Must be followed exactly, has strings...
Checks & balances
-no one branch can become all powerful (ex. President's appointments have to be confirmed by the Senate--President's can veto bills, but Congress can be override, Senate must approve treaties the president makes, etc..)
Civil Rights Act of 1964
-outlawed discrimination in public places such as restaurants and hotels. Ended school segregation
Clear and present danger
-speech can be limited (can't yell fire)
Cloture motion (Senate)
-60 votes are needed to end debate (filibuster) in the Senate. Hard to get because fear of retaliation of someone voting to cloture you in the future.
-The Interstate Commerce Clause is perhaps the greatest of Congress' powers. The clause empowers Congress to regulate commerce among the states. Over the years, through various rulings of the Supreme Court, this clause has enabled Congress not only to regulate the act of commerce itself, but everything connected to it. For example, under Interstate Commerce, Congress has been authorized to regulate working hours and institute the 40 hour week. They've been permitted to outlaw child labor, and issue guidelines pertaining to the pollution of businesses, mandate product safety laws, regulate the securities and banking industries, and a host of other activities.
-always a member of the majority party, usually the ranking majority member, in other words, the member of the majority party in that chamber who has been on the committee for the longest period of time
Common criteria when voting for presidential candidates
-party identification (which party you identify with the most)
Common political activities
-Voting is most common. Some uncommon include protest, civil disobedience, violence
-comprised of both houses to work out differences in a bill
Congressional Incumbency advantage
-franking, name recognition, money, more media attention, casework
Congressional oversight of bureaucracy
-can hold hearings, investigate and if not in compliance can cut budget, dissolve/reorganize, change laws
Congressional response to Supreme Court ruling
-if not favorable can pass an amendment; pass a new law, etc...
Constituent service-casework example:
doing something to benefit one constituent, not all, such as writing a letter of recommendation
-marble cake—powers are shared, blurred, & can overlap
Creating new federal courts
-assigned to Congress in Article I
A pair (or longer series) of elections in which political alignments change fundamentally. The term was coined to denote the US Presidential Elections of 1928 and 1932, in which various social groups (especially urban 'ethnics' and blacks) switched from Republican to Democratic support, and stayed switched. Most closely associated with party realignment.
Delegates to major party conventions
-woman & minority participation has increased in recent years
Demographics of Democratic voters
-woman, minorities, union members, Jewish
-return power from national government to state governments (Republican phrase)
Difference between political parties and interest groups
-the goal of political parties is to elect someone to office, whereas the goal of interest groups is to help a specific cause by lobbying for policies to be passed to further cause
Differences between House and Senate
-rules are more formal in the House than in the Senate; Have unlimited debate in the Senate (filibuster) but not allowed in the House; House requires amendments to bills meet the "germaneness" requirement, but not in the Senate; House has the Rules committee, the Senate does not.
District court vs. appellate court
-district courts hear a case for the first time, they are the trial court, whereas appellate court does not hear the case or have a trial they just review the district court's decision to see if proper procedures were followed
Divided government consequences
-confirmation delays, stalemates, nothing gets done
Divided party control of presidency & congress
-very common in recent times where the President is of one party and the majority of Congress is of a different party
Doctrine of original intent
-meaning of the Constitution depends on the intention of the framers
Drawing congressional districts
-drawn by state legislatures every 10 years following census (redistricting)
-layer cake, where power is clearly separate and clear
-makes candidates focus on competitive populous states
Elite & pluralist theories of politics
-elitist believe one minority group (rich) controls everything, whereas pluralist believe many groups compete and you win some lose some
-largest portion of "uncontrollable spending" in the federal budget. Programs that must be paid to people who qualify, such as SS, Medicare, etc...
-found in the 1st Amendment which prohibits the government from establishing a national religion or forcing religion on someone. In Engle v Vitale the children were forced to recite a prayer at school, this is an example of a violation of the Establishment Clause.
-no matter how incriminating evidence obtained without a search warrant cannot be used against you. Such as Mapp v Ohio using the porn against Mapp was a violation of her Due Process rights because the police did not have a search warrant when they found it.
-president makes an "arrangement or deal" with another head of state, and this does not need Senate approval, helps president avoid legislative challenges
-the president and his White House Staff members can have private conversation without being forced to disclose what was said to anyone
-has force of law without needing approval (example FDR's executive order on Japanese Internment camps during WWII); presidents have made use of this at increasing rate since approval is not necessary
-proposal made by OMB for the president and submitted to Congress for consideration once a year
Federal judge nominees
-senatorial courtesy is used where a judge will not be nominated if the senator from the state where the judge will serve doesn't approve
Federal system of government
-decentralizes power (spreads it out)
-shared powers between the national government and state governments
Federalist No. 10
-factions by Madison—said they were inevitable, undesirable, but controllable with a strong central government (a large republic)
-speech, religion, press, assemble, petition
Fiscal federalism & cooperative federalism
-federal and state governments work together to complete a project with the federal government picking up most of the cost
-Congress will usually defer to the President in this matter
Framer's creation of legislative branch
-cautious and deliberate
-protect property rights, create a representative republic
Free exercise clause
-religious practices are alright within the bounds of the law
Free Speech & assembly
-most agree in principal with these rights but in practice people are often intolerant of views they don't support
Freedom of Information Act
-is a federal law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents controlled by the US
-creates districts that favor one political party over another--cheating
Griswold v. Connecticut & Roe v. Wade
-both considered acts of privacy (birth control & abortion)
-media covers campaigns by emphasizing the standings of the candidates in the polls rather than issues they discuss
House of Representatives elections
-representatives win reelection by a greater margin than senators
How do lobbyists try to influence legislators?
Most helpful with technical issues because they are experts in their field
-House Judiciary Committee holds hearings and investigates then presents findings to full House and they vote--a simple majority vote is needed to impeach someone. A letter of impeachment would then be sent to the Senate where a trial would take place.
Incorporation doctrine (selective incorporation)
-SC interpreted the 14th Amendment to extend most of the requirements of the BOR to the states on a piecemeal basis.
Incumbency reelection rate
-extremely high, the best way to insure victory is just to be the incumbent
Independent regulatory agencies
- Independent government commission charged by the legislature with setting and enforcing standards for specific industries in the private sector. The theory is that a commission of experts on the industry being regulated is better equipped to regulate it than the legislature or executive departments. Designed to operate with a minimum of executive or legislative supervision, agencies have executive, legislative, and judicial functions, and their regulations have the force of law. Important regulatory agencies include the Food and Drug Administration, OSHA, the Federal Communications Commission
Influence of news media on public opinion
-tells us what's important, contributes to the media's power of agenda setting
- also known as a manifesto, is a list of the actions which a political party supports in order to appeal to the general public for the purpose of having said party's candidates voted into office
Interest group activities
Grassroots mobilization — interest groups organize citizens, who act to influence policymakers
Lobbying — direct contact with policymakers for the purpose of persuasion through the provision of information, political benefits, etc.
Litigation — the use of courts to gain policy preferences through cases or amicus curiae
Interest groups & political party roles
-interest groups try to influence those involved with policy making, whereas political parties try to get someone elected
Interest group influence
-great at technological issues because they are experts
- The closed, mutually supportive relationships that often prevail in the United States between the government agencies, the special interest lobbying organizations, and the legislative committees or subcommittees with jurisdiction over a particular functional area of government policy. As long as they hang together, the members of these small groups of movers and shakers tend to dominate all policy-making in their respective specialized areas of concern, and they tend to present a united front against "outsiders" who attempt to invade their turf and alter established policies that have been worked out by years of private negotiations among the "insiders"
-The SC not making any "big changing" decisions—strictly leave policymaking to the Legislative branch
-Marbury v Madison—saying what is and isn't constitutional
Lasting influence of Supreme Court appointments
—life tenure makes presidents still have influence (assuming the person they nominated rolls like them) have an impact after their presidential terms are long over
Leading predictor of how people vote
-their party identification (whether they see themselves as Republican or Democrat)
-member of congress must introduce bill, it is given a number (House starts with HR#, Senate starts with S#), assigned to a committee, goes through committee process before going back to chamber of origination for vote if it doesn't die first then it would go to the other body of Congress to start the process all over before heading to a conference committee to resolve differences then back to both houses for another vote
-unconstitutional, violates the principle of separation of powers
Liberals & Conservatives
—ideology (you already know many examples)
Line item veto
-SC ruled it unconstitutional because it violated the principle of separation of powers for the president to be able to strike out sections of a bill sent to him from Congress for his approval. Some states allow governors to do this.
-trading a vote, do this for me and I will do this for you in the future
Main debate between Federalists & Anti-Federalists
-Anti-Federalist wanted a BOR to ensure that our liberties would be protected
Main reason for two major political parties in US
Make-up of Congress (race, gender) What happened in 1992?
It is getting more diverse but still mainly white males. 1992 marked "the year of the woman" where more women ran for office following the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.
McCulloch v. Maryland
-Exemplified the Supremacy of the National government. You can't tax federal government operations. It interpreted the necessary and proper clause of the constitution to mean that the federal government has implied powers not written in the Constitution. It upheld the constitutionality of the national bank established by the federal government.
Miranda v. Arizona
-police must inform criminal suspects of their rights before questioning suspects after arrest. SC said Miranda's Due Process rights were violated since he had not been informed of his rights
Motor Voter Act
-unfunded mandate, more people are registered but voter turnout hasn't increased
New York Times v. Sullivan
-case which established the actual malice standard which has to be met before press reports about public officials or public figures can be considered to be defamation and libel. It is one of the key decisions supporting the freedom of the press. The actual malice standard requires that the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove that the publisher of the statement in question knew that the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the extremely high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and the difficulty in proving essentially what is inside a person's head, such cases—when they involve public figures—rarely prevail.
Office of Management & Budget
-prepares the President's budget proposal to give to Congress
Open vs. closed primary
- an open primary election does not require voters to be affiliated with a political party in order to vote for partisan candidates. In a traditional open primary, voters may select one party's ballot and vote for that party's nomination. As in a closed primary, the highest voted candidate in each party then proceeds to the runoff election. In a nonpartisan blanket primary, all candidates appear on the same ballot and the two highest voted candidates proceed to the runoff, regardless of party affiliation
-more business PACs than any other kind—most PAC money goes to incumbents, seeking access
-most criminal cases end in a negotiated deal by the defense & prosecution
Plessy v. Ferguson
-established the practice of separate but equal
-winning, but receiving less than 50% of the popular votes cast
Plurality vote results in presidential elections
-Truman 1948, Nixon 1968, Clinton 1992
- A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in United States federal lawmaking that allows the President to indirectly veto a bill. The U.S. Constitution limits the President's period for decision on whether to sign or veto any legislation to ten days (not including Sundays) while the United States Congress is in session. If the President does nothing during this period while Congress remains in session, the bill becomes law unsigned. However, if Congress cuts short this period by adjourning and the President does not sign the bill, then the bill dies. This latter outcome is known as the "pocket veto."
-high level of efficacy then you believe you can make a difference that every vote counts, whereas a low level of efficacy then you think your vote doesn't matter
-NOT in the constitution. Parties are in decline because candidates now raise most of their campaign funds themselves and do not rely on funds from their party.
-why you believe what you believe (most important is your family. Media and school also "socialize" you
Pork barrel legislation
-random items that do not benefit the nation as a whole but a select state or select constituents of a Congressman
Power of federal bureaucracy
- The federal bureaucracy performs three primary tasks in government: implementation, administration, and regulation. When Congress passes a law, it sets down guidelines to carry out the new policies. Actually putting these policies into practice is known as implementation. Often, policy directives are not clearly defined, and bureaucrats must interpret the meaning of the law. The bureaucracy often has some flexibility, known as administrative discretion, in actual implementation.
Power of the federal courts
- The 94 federal district courts function as both trial and appellate courts. Decisions of the district courts and rulings by federal administrative agencies can be brought to federal courts of appeal. There are 13 such courts, each covering a geographic area called a circuit. The courts of appeal hand down decisions based on the majority vote of a three-judge panel. Congress can change appellate jurisdiction of federal courts.
President impounding funds
-president can withhold funds from states that discriminate race or gender
Presidential approval ratings
-generally will drop during term in office
-NOT in the Constitution
-can use "bully pulpit" to push agenda
Presidential nominating process for judges
—usually relies on help from the Department of Justice for SC nominees
- The president can call Congress into special session and can adjourn Congress if the House and the Senate cannot agree on a final date. The power to grant pardons for federal crimes (except impeachment) is also given to the president.
Presidential roles authorized by the Constitution
-chief executive, negotiate treaties, commander in chief, give State of the Union speech
Presidential use of inherent powers
-powers that can be inferred from the Constitution (ex. regulate immigration, deport undocumented aliens, acquire territory)
-will be overridden by Congress fewer than 10%, vetoed bills are often revised and passed, presidents often threaten veto for leverage, Congress often includes things the President wants to prevent veto
-selecting nominee for election
Primary formal role of the attorney general
-chief law enforcer of all federal laws and heads the Department of Justice; called the "nations lawyer" and works closely with the Solicitor General arguing cases before the Supreme Court
Public financing of elections
-To qualify for public funding, Presidential candidates and party convention committees must first meet various eligibility requirements, such as agreeing to limit campaign spending to a specified amount. This fund consists of dollars voluntarily checked off by taxpayers on their federal income tax returns. (In 1993, the check off was increased from $1 to $3.
Reasons for low voter turnout
-having to register in advance, young, not a citizen, work schedule
Reserved powers of state governments
-10th Amendment, example marriage laws
Results of appealing case to Supreme Court
-you will win the lottery or get struck by lightning before they decide to hear your case
Revenue bill originate in which body
-The House BUT the Senate still has to go through the bill process and vote/agree exactly also
Rule of Four
-agreement of 4 SC justices is sufficient to accept a case for consideration
House Rules Committee
-most important committee in the House (aka gate keeper or traffic cop) sets the conditions for debate & if amendments will be allowed
Selecting a vice-president
-usually chosen to "balance the ticket" to help attract votes (old guy picks young guy, southern picks a northern...)
Selective incorporation (incorporation doctrine)
-SC interpreted the 14th Amendment to extend most of the requirements of the BOR to the states on a piecemeal basis. Yes, it is in here several times. It is that important!
Senate confirmation process of judges
- Federal judges are confirmed by a majority vote of the Senate, often following hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Federal judges may be impeached and removed from office if found guilty of the charges. Judges in the district courts and courts of appeal are required to live within the geographical boundaries of their courts. Unlike the hearings for judges in the lower federal courts, the confirmation of Supreme Court justices is highly publicized and sometimes controversial. Robert Bork, a conservative nominated by President Ronald Reagan, was rejected by the Democrat-controlled Senate. Clarence Thomas narrowly won confirmation following highly emotional hearings during which charges of sexual harassment were made against him. The attention given the confirmation process reflects the impact that the Court's decisions have on Americans' lives and the issues about which they have strong feelings, such as abortion, school prayer, and the rights of criminal defendants.
Separation of church and state
-"wall of separation"
-made it clear that the Articles of Confederation was not strong enough and that we needed a strong central government
Speaker of the House and other leaders of the House
-The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the only presiding officer and traditionally has been the main spokesperson for the majority party in the House. The position is a very powerful one; the Speaker is third in line in presidential succession (after the president and vice president). The Speaker's real power comes from controlling the selection of committee chairs and committee members and the authority to set the order of business of the House.
House majority floor leader
is second only to the Speaker. He or she comes from the political party that controls the House and is elected through a caucus, a meeting of the House party members. The majority leader presents the official position of the party on issues and tries to keep party members loyal to that position, which is not always an easy task. In the event that a minority party wins a majority of the seats in a congressional election, its minority leader usually becomes the majority leader.
House minority floor leader
Whoever fills this elected position serves as the chief spokesperson and legislative strategist for the party and often works hard to win the support of moderate members of the opposition on particular votes. Although the minority leader has little formal power, it is an important job, especially because whoever holds it conventionally takes over the speakership if control of the House changes hands.
-voting for one party for one office and another party for another office (ex. Voting for a Republican candidate for President & voting for a Democrat candidate for the Senate)
-let the previous decision stand unchanged, deciding a case on precedent (how it had been decided before)
Supreme Court Caseload
-very few cases (approx. 100) heard each term—justices decide which cases to hear or not hear
Supreme Court decision process
- After reviewing the briefs and hearing oral arguments, the justices meet in conference to discuss the case and ultimately take a vote. A majority of the justices must agree, meaning five out of the nine justices in a full Court. At this point, the opinion is drafted. This is the written version of the Court's decision. If in the majority, the chief justice can draft the opinion, but more often this task is assigned to another justice in the majority. Usually the decision builds on previous court rulings, called precedent, because a central principle guiding judicial practices is the doctrine of stare decisis (which means "let the decision stand").
--A justice who accepts the decision but not the majority's reasoning may write a concurring opinion.
--Justices who remain opposed to the decision may submit a dissenting opinion. Some dissents have been so powerful that they are better remembered than the majority opinion.
Supreme Court rationale for decisions
- Sometimes Supreme Court decisions require statutory interpretation, or the interpretation of federal law.
-sexual harassment issue involving Naval Aviators at a convention in Las Vegas in 1991
Targets of lobbying
-people who make policy
-powers not assigned to the national government are left to the states
Trust in government over time
-has been declining since Watergate
Uncontrollable spending in federal budget
-entitlements such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
-states must implement policies without funds (clean air act, NCLB, Americans with Disabilities, Motor Voter Act)
Voter demographics in presidential primary elections
-south votes Republican; Northeast votes Democratic
- voter registration requirements make it difficult for some people to vote. In order to register, an applicant must have a permanent address, which the homeless do not have. Thousands of college students who go away to school can vote only "back home" through an absentee ballot. Many Americans find voting a chore because they move homes rapidly, and renewing their voter registration in the new locale is not a high priority. Also, you must register ahead of time usually 30 days before an election.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
-doubled the amount of African Americans that were registered to vote
War Powers Resolution
-while presidents may deploy troops without consent at any given moment he must consult with Congress whenever possible but at least within 48 hours after troops have departed—Congress can decide whether to Declare War or grant an extension if they decide to do neither troops then must return within 60 days
-most liberal court ever, major civil rights/liberties cases
House Ways and Means Committee
-deals with taxing and spending
What happens if no candidate earns majority of Electoral College vote?
The House would decide the winner of the President and the Senate would decide the Vice-President
White House staff
-chief of staff, press secretary, councils to the president (such as national security advisor), personal aides (most staff members are people who worked on campaign), does not need Senate approval
Who do voters directly elect?
Only members of the House and more recently the Senate following the passage of the 17th Amendment
Writs of certiorari
- Cases are appealed to the Supreme Court through a writ of certiorari, which is a request for review based on the particular issues in the case. Typically, the Court considers only about 100 cases a year; for the remainder, the decision of the lower court stands.
the government taking someone's private property for public use
Frequent media polls
indicate which candidate is ahead and most likely will win
critics argue that they weaken the power of state governors and legislatures
Low Voter turn out reasons
registration requirements, low efficacy, too many elections, and weekday elections. The majority of the electorate does not vote in most elections.
older, white, male, southernrs
rules and regulations created by an agency
Elastic Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause
constitutional provision that has broadened the power of congress
Most widely performed act of political participation
voting for the president
First Amendment's protection of expression
ex: flag burning
High voter turnout
college-educated voters; political activism increases with education levels
Citizens United v. FEC 2010
ruled that campaign money from corporations are protected by the 1st Amendment
Federal Reserve System
primary responsible for determing monetary policy in the United States
Bureaucracy Power over the President
the civil service system, issue networks (iron triangles), resistance to change, and noncompliance
implied by the Constitution
statutory device enacted by seven Southern states to deny suffrage to American blacks; it provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. These clauses worked effectively to exclude blacks from the vote. In 1915 the Supreme Court declared the grandfather clause unconstitutional because it violated equal voting rights guaranteed by the Fifteenth Amendment.
Committees and their structure
where the work gets done in Congress.
Standing-subject based always there (agriculture)
Select-temporary for a specific purpose
Conference-works out differences between house and senate versions
where the work gets done in the cabinets
protect natural rights
Independent Executive Agencies
perform a specialized task like NASA
link us to the government. ex-media, elections, political parties, interest groups
Bill of Rights
some rights are fundamental and should not be subject to government control
minorities, labor union members
optional spending, not mandatory
federal law will prevail in the event of a conflict between federal and state law
Traditional Political Values
individual freedom, representative democracy, equal opportunities, and due process of law
Organization of the two major political parties
separate and largely independent party organizations exist at national, state, and local levels
Supreme Court Nominees
presidents seek to place individuals on the court whose views are similar to their own
War Powers Act
The President can deploy troops without seeking consent of either house of Congress. However, he must consult with Congress within 48 hours following. Congress will then decide to grant an extension, declare war, or tell him to bring troops home within 60 days.
Federal election laws
require voting materials be made available in the preferred language of the area
Roe v Wade
held that abortion is a right to privacy (implied in the BOR)
Must be at least 25, lived in US 7 years, live in district of representation
2 year term—All members up for reelection at the same time every even numbered year
Always directly elected by the people
Starts all Revenue Bills
House Rules Committee sets time of debates, etc...
Germaness requirement; limits on floor amendments
Brings impeachment charges with a majority vote
Speaker of the House-next in line after VP to succeed the President
More influential on budget
Wins reelection campaigns by a larger margin
100 Senators (2 per state)
Must be at least 30, lived in US 9 years, live in state
6 year term—Continuous body (1/3rd up for election every even numbered year)
Originally chosen by state legislators until 17th Amendment called for direct elections by the people
Must give "advice and consent" (Approves treaties & Confirms presidential appointments)
Tries impeachment trials
Filibuster Unlimited Debate/60 votes needed for Cloture
VP is the President of the Senate
President Pro Tempore fills in when the VP is not there
Unanimous consent agreements
More influential on foreign affairs
House & Senate
Members belong to multiple committees, subcommittees, & caucuses
Checks on the power of the federal courts
Federal judges can be impeached, congress can pass a law clarifying "legislative intent," failure of others to enforce rulings, amendments
Bill of Rights provisions that protect individuals who try to influence politics
Speech — allows citizens to say almost anything they want
Press — allows citizens access to information, each other and policymakers; printed advocacy
Assembly — allows citizens to come together
Petition — allows citizens to address government
Various due process/criminal justice provisions (e.g., grand jury indictment, jury of peers, search and seizure) protects citizens from retribution/harassment from government
Interest group regulations
• Disclosure of contributions, funding or activities
• Registration of lobbyists, PACs
• Campaign finance laws
• Limits on gifts
• Limits on revolving-door appointments
• Limits on honoraria
• Prohibition of bribery
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