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Terms in this set (236)

1. Running for Office: Who serves depends on who runs.
a. some people run based on district lines. If they are already a rep of something and their constituency overlaps with a different role
b. depends on political offices open
c. connections to party/money
d. ability to raise enough money to win

2. Incumbency: incumbents establish a reputation of competence, imagination, and responsiveness
a. legislatures serve on committees. This allows them to affect the agenda and intercede with bureaucracy. It also means they get a good track record, expertise, and credentials
b. casework: interact with constituents individually, providing minor services, introducing special bills, influencing agencies/regulatory commissions on behalf of constituents
c. Patronage: giving services and benefits to constituents in the hopes of gaining their votes
d. Franking privilege: congress may send mail to constituents free of charge to keep them informed of gov business/public affairs
e. about 90% of congress gets re-elected
f. have a "brand" name and can raise money throughout their term
g. deters challengers from running because incumbent is well liked, has more funds, partisan leanings are too far
h. sophomore surge: tendency for candidates to win a higher percentage of votes when seeking their second term in office

Disadvantages of incumbency:
a. weak, out of touch, too concerned with national affairs. They can be defeated by a strong challenger
b. People will vote against parties if they disagree with things happening in the presidency
c. makes it harder for women to get into office (incumbents are already men)
d. people make politics a career which means they won't easily give up seats until they have to (no limits on terms)

3. Congressional Districts: Districts are shaped to create an advantage for the majority party at the time of redistricting (they draw boundaries)
a. a maximum of 435 members of the House (means that if one state is growing faster than another it will take seats from a smaller state)
b. gerrymandering: voters of ideological/sociological similar characteristics may be grouped together to give an advantage
c. 1982 amendments to Voting Rights Act: encourages boundaries to be drawn to create minority-majorities. However this allows for many more districts in favor of white men
After 1812-25 Standing Committees gave legislators power to influence a specific are they are more interested in.

1. Jurisdiction: policy jurisdictions are the responsibility of committees. Allows specialized information, but puts collective action at risk (hence regulations) Committees fight for jurisdiction of certain policies.

2. Authority:
a. gatekeeping authority: the right and power to decide if a change in policy will be considered (committees determine what bills are voted on)
b. proposal power: power to bring a proposal before the full legislature
c. after-the-fact authority: the authority to follow up on the fate of a proposal once it has been approved by the full chamber
d. conference committee: a joint committee created to work out a compromise or House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation
e. oversight: the effort by Congress through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies

3. Subcommittees: Each standing committee is divided into 100+ subcommittees. They have the same powers as a committee and control what the whole committee takes up

4. Hierarchy: Leadership falls on the committee chair. 1970s+ Chairs are elected by the majority party members, but it generally is given based on seniority

5. Decisiveness on Committees:
a. needs support of a committee majority
b. median-voter theorem:
1. if alternatives under consideration can be represented as points on a line
2. if individuals have a most-preferred point
3. if preferences decrease steadily for points farther away, then the most-preferred point of the median (middle) voter can defeat any other point in a majority contest

6. Monitoring Committees: principal-agent problems arise. It is important that the legislature know that committees are recommending bills based on expertise rather than advocacy for their constituents
a. committees can recommend, but parent legislature can accept, amend, or reject bills
b. committees want to keep a good reputation by not putting forth bills focused too much on advocacy
c. competing agents (interest groups, expert members, specialists in the other chamber, etc) to keep each other honest
d. party leaders limit time on the floor to ensure product is in line with party goals
e. discharge petition: petition that discharges a committee from the responsibility of a bill. Done by signed petition of the majority of the chamber
f. agency loss: the difference between what a principal would like an agent to do and the agent's performance (there is imperfection in delegating power)

7. Committee Reform: policies have gone back an forth.

Limiting committee leadership power: election of chairs, increase subcommittees, autonomy for subcommittee chairs, deliberations open to the public, multiple referral of bills (several committees work on one bill at once)

Increasing Power: seniority doesn't matter (loyalty does)
a. reelection as the primary driver: explains behavior of representatives

b. lawmakers have other goals (higher office, more influence, personal policy, etc.) but they can't achieve them unless they get elected and then reelected

c. individual vs collective elections: think about their election rather than others. We vote for a person instead of a party

d. all official actions are taken to maximize the chance of reelection

Actions Fall Under these 3

1. Advertising: any effort to disseminate one's name-to create a favorable image-but having little or no issue content-to create a "brand name"

emphasize positive qualities (experience, knowledge, responsiveness, competency, etc)

ex. Chris Stewart: author of 17 books, air force pilot with speed records, big family, small business owner, local farmer family, USU

Biographies, Newsletters, TV shows, town halls

2. Credit Claiming: activities to generate a belief that lawmakers are personally responsible for causing the government to do something desirable

Case Work: Helping individual constituents with specific problems

Pork-Barrel Legislation: getting government to spend money in local area

Other Legislation: benefits to district and their interests

Local Problems: visit locals to listen to problems (mobile office)

3. Position Taking: public enunciation of a judgmental statement of interest to political actors. Take a public stance on an issue that they think will be popular

Speeches, write in paper, post on Facebook, press releases

Implications: Members of Congress are generally responsive (pay attention to what constituents want and do what is popular)

Members of Congress are generally cautious (don't take bold stances. avoid great risk.)

a member of Congress's perception of his constituency matters a great deal
1. Cabinet: secretaries or chief administrators of the major departments of the federal government. Cabinet secretaries are appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate

they travel for president, make policy speeches, negotiate with other political leaders. Manage policy

National Security Council (inner cabinet): presidential foreign policy advisory council composed of the president, vice president, secretaries of state, defense, and the treasury, the attorney general, and other officials invited by the president

2. White House Staff: analysts and advisers to the president, often give the title "special assistant". Advise politically

kitchen cabinet: informal group of advisers to whom the president turns for counsel and guidance. Members of the official cabinet may or may not also be a part of the kitchen cabinet

give president information. President must balance inside info and independent outside opinion to get accurate info

3. Executive Office of the President: permanent agencies that perform defined management tasks for the president. Created in 1939, the EOP includes the Office of Management and Budget (prepare budget, design president's program, report on agency activity, oversee proposals), the Council of Economic Advisers (analyze economy and predict future events), the National Security Council(advise on national security), etc. (1857: First White House Staffer, 1925-133, today-4,000)

4. Vice President: a. succeeds the president in case of death/resignation/incapacitation

b. presides over Senate and casts tie-breaking vote

generally pick someone who is from a big state you might not otherwise win and someone with expertise where you lack it

VPs are usually management resources. Participate in meetings/policy and stay informed about decisions
1. Legal Model: decisions driven by legal interpretation

a. case facts: specifics of a case
b. precedents: prior cases whose principles are used by judges as the bases for decision in present cases
c. Stare decisis: "Let the decision stand" Doctrine whereby a previous decision by Court applies as a precedent in similar cases until the decision is overturned

Facts->Find relevant precedents->determine relevant similarities and differences of precedents->apply rule of law from earlier precedents->decision/opinion->New Rule of Law

New Rule of Law:
1. New precedent
2. reapplying of existing precedents
3. can tweak precedents

Example: Abortion Rights: Roe v Wade (1973)
a. abortion deemed a fundamental right
b. "compelling state interest could justify restrictions"
c. Webster v Reproductive Health Services (1989): government aid can not be used for abortion
d. Planned Parenthood v Casey (1992): right to have an abortion but states can make restrictions (tweak)
e. Stenberg v. Carhart (2000): can preform a partial birth abortion (Roe and Planned upheld precedent)
f. Gonzales v Carhart (2007): Upheld a partial birth abortion law (go against Stenberg) A more conservative justice was put in

2. Attitudinal Model: decisions driven by policy preferences and political ideologies

legal model as a "cloak" not really using precedent. There are so many precedents that the judges can make decisions however they want

Recognition that the Court is a political office making political decision that affect public policy

envisions a "liberal" and "conservative" voting bloc on the Court

Median Justice votes moderately

court generally seen as conservative

1960s Court considered active/liberal. Expanded civil rights and liberties

Justices appointed by republicans are conservative
Justices appointed by democrats are liberal

3. Strategic Model: justices are influenced by the potential reactions of other political actors and branches.

other political actors could:
a. ignore the court (Jackson). Court has no enforcement power
b. amendment to the constitution
c. add justices (congress). set by statute
d. Alter the Court's jurisdiction (can't hear certain types of cases)

1. switch in time that saved nine: 1937 Court decided to let New Deal pass so the justice number wouldn't be altered
2. Affordable Care Act (Justice Roberts): didn't want people to think that attitudinal model was correct. Voted to keep ACA
1. both sides must prepare briefs
a. petitioner's brief: brief from the person bringing the case. presents legal basis for appeal, summarizes facts
b. respondent's brief: brief of the side that prevailed in the lower court. Explains why SC should keep ruling
c. petitioner's reply brief: petitioners then file brief to refute points of respondent's brief. Filled with references and precedents

sides will ask interest groups to file amicus curiae briefs

Oral Argument:
1. Oral Argument: the stage in supreme court proceedings in which attorneys for both sides appear before the Court to present their positions and answer questions posed by the justices

30 minutes on each side including interruptions for questions

Court discusses case in closed conference. Chief Justice speaks first and then in order of seniority. Reach a decision based on majority vote

Opinion Writing:
a. opinion: the written explanation of the Supreme Court's decision in a particular case
b. One of the justices is assigned to write the court's opinion: sets precedent for litigation and future cases so must be wise in who writes it
c. concurrence: an opinion agreeing with the decision of the majority but not with the rationale provided in the majority opinion
d. opinions that come depend on bargaining among the justices

Smith v. Allwright: opinion writing was reassigned to Protestant from Kentucky so south would stop preventing blacks from voting in primaries

a. dissenting opinion: a decision written by a justice who voted with the minority opinion in a particular case in which the justice fully explains the reasoning behind his or her opinion
b. assigned by senior justice among dissenters
c. use dissenting opinion to try and convince swing justices in future cases
d. encourages lawyers to bring similar cases to supreme court
1. The Supreme Court Justices:
a. decide how much precedent matters and reshape laws through interpretation
b. influenced civil rights, abortion rights, voting rights, police procedures, etc. With new judges more conservative views have been taken on these positions
c. Bush v Gore 5-4. 2000-1 33% of cases were decided with a 5-4 vote
d. Missouri v Seibert: 5-4 to strengthen Miranda rights
e. McConnell v Federal Election Commission: 5-4 to uphold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act
f. National Federation of Independent Business v Sebelius: conservative Roberts went with liberals to uphold Obama's health care law

2. Activism vs Restraint:
a. judicial restraint: the judicial philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the text of the Constitution in interpreting its meaning
b. judicial activism: the judicial philosophy that posits that the Court should see beyond the text of the Constitution or a statue to consider broader societal implications for its decisions. May use implied rights in Constitution to create new law
c. Citizens United case: corporations and unions can participate financially in elections but did not reverse previous prohibitions on corporate donations directly to candidates

3. Political Ideology:
a. conservatives: restraint
b. liberals: activism
c. sometimes conservative judges will become activists to strike down previous liberal rulings

4. Congress:
a. court can strike down administrative action if exceeds authority granted in the relevant statute (statutory rationale) or the statue exceeds authority granted the legislature or executive by the Constitution (constitutional rationale)
b. Congress can recraft legislation (if rationale was statutory) or institute a constitutional amendment (if rationale was constitutional)
c. Court interprets congress' actions and will vote accordingly so as not to have new legislation instituted that becomes constitutional through amendment
d. Switch in time that saved nine. FDR wanted to add more justices to Supreme Court so they passed the New Deal

5. The President:
a. nominates justices that have similar policy preferences and close enough preferences to majority of senators
b. Reagan and GHW Bush nominated conservatives
c. Clinton nominated liberals, women, and minorities
d. 2013 filibusters were eliminated for all but Supreme Court nominees
relies on a lot of people:
a. lower courts must apply ruling to new cases
avoid by dismissing similar cases or apply case as narrowly as possible saying its guidance but not binding
b. executive branch must enforce ruling: may obstruct, delay, or refuse (Jackson and schools with religion)
c. state legislators/governors must implement laws
d. individuals/organizations must demand implementation

Strategic Behavior

Stage 1: normal politics (local/national legislatures), executive/regulatory agencies, elections, etc.

a. some sort of disagreement that leads to a Supreme Court appeal
b. appeal costs resources that could be used elsewhere. Apealee must weigh the "opportunity cost". Appeal or lobby?
c. most think about time. May take years and chances of getting in and winning are uncertain

Stage 2: Court responding to environment, judges reacting to demands from outside and fashioning their own behavioral strategies

a. rule of four: the rule that certiorari will be granted only if four justices vote in favor of the petition
b. take cases that need constitutional clarification, that they support more laws in (civil rights), or to sort out contradiction of lower courts
c. may decline a case that there isn't a clear enough basis to clarify a legal issue
d. after oral arguments justices vote in favor or against appeal in conference. This decision only affects the two parties in relation to the lower court ruling
e. Then they must agree on reason for decision. In order to be legally binding 5 justice signature are required on the opinion. When no agreement can be made individual justices may write opinions simply to show where they stand

Stage 3: What happens when court renders a decision and how actors in stage 1 and 2 adjust behavior

a. relies on executive agencies for implementation and lower courts for enforcement
b. Brown vs Education justices knew there would be resistance and so there opinion was signed by all 9 justices
c. Court considers possibility of reversal. Statutory issues (whether existing law covers a situation) may lead Congress/President to pass new statute reversing court order
d. Court says what the law is but Congress and the President can change the law
e. Always take into account possible actions of Congress and President
Protection against unreasonable searches and seizures without a warrant and probably cause

what about smartphones? laptops? etc.

1. 2014 Riley v California: can government seize and search cellphones incident to arrest?

a. pulled over for expired registration, in car found 2 guns, he was arrested for illegal possession of firearms, found videos/photos that associated him with a local gang, he was charged with crimes related to a previous gang shooting
b. argued that cellphone data is different from other 'incident to arrest' searches. Doesn't poise a threat to officers and wouldn't allow him to escape
c. gov ruled that government can seize and search items within immediate reach of the person. Cellphones are not different
d. third-party doctrine: once you turn over info to banks/social government, you can't expect privacy. gov can collect it because it's public domain
e. physical container analogy: police can search bags and such is a cellphone just like another physical container?

f. (9-0) rule that the search was unconstitutional
g. warrantless search is to protect officer safety and preserve evidence. digital data is not a weapon. Police Officer can preserve cellphone evidence while waiting for a warrant
h. cellphones (digital containers) are different from physical containers

quantitative: immense storage capacity. so "element of pervasiveness"

qualitative: cellphone data includes private info that's not found in home in any form

and cellphones are a repository sensitive personal data, and a portal to private records stored on remote servers (evidence isn't on phone)

a. new limits on search-incident-to-arrest rule: must have warrant
b. takes aim at the third-party doctrine
c. physical container analogy "crumbles entirely when a cell phone is used to access data located elsewhere"
d. digital data may deserve special 4th amendment protections

2. Chimel v California (1969): government believed once you're arrested they can search all of your property. Ruled that police couldn't go that far, but could search immediate area around person. (can search bag, pockets, etc when you're arrested)
gov only responsible only to ensure that no laws treat men and women differently?


are they responsible to make sure there is not de facto inequality?

1. De jure: rights to own property for women (1900), right to vote (1920), equal minimum wage (1938), equal right to work (1964), gender discrimination in gov jobs (1968), employment discrimination for women with kids (1971), excluded from juries (1975)

2. De facto: No-fault divorce (1969), credit cards (1974), fired for pregnancy (1978), legal workplace sexual harassment (1980), marital rape (1970-1993)

Walmart v Dukes (2011)

a. Betty Dukes had good ratings but denied opportunity for training to advance to a higher-salaried position (1.6 million female Wal-Mart employees)

b. Dukes was denied training due to ratings
c. and class action was not appropriate due to decentralized business model (each store had own policies)

e. Should civil rights protect women against discrimination that is culturally-biased or non-explicit?
f. is class-action designation appropriate? claims similar enough? does it matter that they work at different schools and hold different positions?

9-0: plaintiffs did not have enough in common for a class action suit

5-4 claims of discrimination not sufficient

had to prove Walmart had an explicit discriminatory policy and provide substantial evidence

inequalities resulting from processes unseen not enough


a. narrowed scope for lawsuits alleging gender discrimination against private entities

b. narrowed possibilities for class action employee lawsuits against large employers

Freedom vs Inequalities?
Appropriate scope of government action?