AP Government Final Exam Review
Terms in this set (75)
A term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person, persons, or political party that they desire to see elected. Members of the House and members of the Senate are directly elected
Committee system in the House vs the Senate
Committees are similar in both houses. The majority party has the power to elect the chair of each committee. The ratio of each party is reflected in the composition of each committee. Chairs are usually the senior member of the committee. Most bills die in committee meaning it doesn't make it to floor debate. 2 of the houses special house committees are Rules Committee and Ways and Means Committee. Only the House may originate revenue bills and appropriation bills. Rules Committee is only in HOR not the Senate. Reviews all bills except revenue, budget, and appropriations bills coming from the committee. Not responsible for a specific area of policy. In charge of determining under what rule other bills will come to the floor. One of the most powerful committees and is often described as the traffic cop of Congress. The House Ways and Means committee drafts all tax legislation
The conference committee resolves differences in versions of bills between houses.
The power of a court to review decisions and change outcomes of decisions of lower courts.
Congress has the power to declare war, raise and maintain the armed forces, and make rules for the military. Has the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. Power to appropriate funds (power of the purse is one of Congress' primary checks on the executive branch). Authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and coin money. Power to establish post offices, issue patents and copyrights, fix standards of weights and measures, and establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court. The Necessary and Proper Clause gives Congress the power to make all laws deemed necessary and proper for carrying out its powers and duties stated in the Constitution.
A political system in which power is shared between local units of government (states) and national government.
Roe vs Wade
An extremely controversial Supreme Court decision in 1973 that, on the basis of the right to privacy, gave women an unrestricted right to abortion during the first three months of pregnancy. State laws against abortion are unconstituional
The person who is currently holding an office/position. Incumbents are more likely to be reelected in the House than in the Senate (easier for them to blend in). House districts are more secure than the Senate. Prior to the 1950s, many legislators only served one term but now being a member of Congress is considered a career. Incumbents hold a great electoral advantage; voters support incumbents
A provision of the First Amendment that prohibits Congress from establishing an official government-sponsored religion; Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
First Amendment ban on laws "respecting an establishment of religion."
The people chosen to cast each state's votes in a presidential election. Each state can cast one electoral vote for each representative and senator it has. DC has 3 electoral votes even though it cannot elect a representative or senator; A group selected by the states to elect the president and the vice-president, in which each state's number of electors is equal to the number of its senators and representatives in Congress.
A close relationship between an agency, a congressional committee, and an interest group. The self interest of each of these groups is served. Much more common in the past. Today there are more players involved including agencies, Congress, lobbyists, think tanks, academia, and corporations. Issue networks have replaced them. Use their position to form powerful relationships with congressional committees or interest groups
The winning candidate is the person who receives more votes than anyone else, but less than half the total.
Supreme Court justices (appointments and tenure)
Appointments to the supreme court are made by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Supreme Court justices have lifetime tenure. A life tenure is a term of office that lasts for the office holder's lifetime unless the office holder is removed from office for cause under extraordinary circumstances or chooses to resign. The primary goal of life tenure is to insulate the officeholder from external pressures.
Supreme Court justices (appointments and tenure) Cont
Supreme court appointments do not occur very often because federal judges and justices serve for life. The ability of a president to appoint new justices depends on the occurrence of a vacancy on the Court. Because Justices have indefinite tenure, it is impossible to know when a vacancy will next occur. It is also theoretically possible for Congress to create additional vacancies by expanding the Court itself
The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, which is when a court has the power to review a lower court's decision. Courts having original jurisdiction are referred to as trial courts. Most commonly, original jurisdiction cases involve suits between states as parties, usually over territorial or water rights disputes.
Separation of Powers
Constitutional authority is shared by 3 different branches of government; A fundamental principle of the United States government, where powers and responsibilities are divided among the legislative branch, executive branch, and judicial branch. The officials of each branch are selected by different procedures and serve different terms of office; each branch may choose to block action of the other branches through the system of checks and balances. The framers of the Constitution designed this system to ensure that no one branch would accumulate too much power
When do critical elections occur?
An electoral "earthquake" where new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. Critical election periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era;
Elections that disrupt party coalitions and create new ones in a party realignment; The elections in which the outcome radically alters the political landscape of a country for decades
Grisworld vs Connecticut
Found a right to privacy in the Constitution that would ban any state law against selling contraceptives; The Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy. The case involved a Connecticut law that prohibited the use of contraceptives. By a vote of 7-2, the Supreme Court invalidated the law on the grounds that it violated the "right to marital privacy". Allowed married couples to use birth control
an election where a candidate is required to receive 50 percent of the vote, plus one additional vote to be declared the winner. Winning the most votes is not sufficient;
Election in which a candidate wins by getting more than half of the votes cast
Budget and Impoundment Control Act
Modified the role of Congress in the federal budgetary process. It created standing budget committees in both the House and the Senate, established the Congressional Budget Office, and moved the beginning of the fiscal year from July 1 to October 1
Civil Rights in the 1950s
Nearly 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans in Southern states still inhabited a starkly unequal world of disenfranchisement, segregation and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. "Jim Crow" laws at the local and state levels barred them from classrooms and bathrooms, from theaters and train cars, from juries and legislatures. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the "separate but equal" doctrine that formed the basis for state-sanctioned discrimination, drawing national and international attention to African Americans' plight. In the turbulent decade and a half that followed, civil rights activists used nonviolent protest and civil disobedience to bring about change, and the federal government made legislative headway with initiatives such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by giving those candidates an identification that is recognizable to the electorate, and ultimately influence government policies. Political parties are not mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. Many of the founders, including George Washington, distrusted permanent political parties, fearing that they would become too powerful. Different from interest groups in that interest groups are usually formed around one issue and Members of interest groups do not necessarily have views in common outside their shared issue. Also, an interest group's goal is to promote a position on a specific issue. They do not necessarily have their members run for office and they vote in a nonpartisan way, supporting candidates who promote their point of view.
Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to peaceful assembly, and the right to petition. Establishment clause- prohibits the federal government from showing preferential treatment towards one religion over another or from creating a national religion
An electoral system that awards seats in congress based upon vote totals, as opposed to winner take all. If a candidate wins an electoral college district, it will get that electoral vote, but not all the state's electoral votes. (opposite of winner-takes-all).
Permanently established legislative committees that consider and are responsible for legislation within a certain subject area; Have permanent, specific legislative responsibilities; Permenant committees in House and Senate that handle bills dealing with a particular subject area. Examples: Defense, Budget, Education.
Media coverage of presidential elections
Focuses on who "won" instead of what each person said; Shows the candidates in a certain light and could change the race; Horse race journalism- political journalism of elections that resembles coverage of horse races because of the focus on polling data, public perception instead of candidate policy, and almost exclusive reporting on candidate differences rather than similarities. Shows the standings of a poll or caucus, but it fails to display the strengths/weaknesses of each politician. Used with the intent of making elections more competitive and thus increasing the odds of gaining larger audiences while covering election campaigns. Today's media focus far more on the president than any other public official. Congress receives less coverage than the president.
Any powers not specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states belong to the states and the people; Powers reserved to the states through the 10th amendment
Cabinet members and the president
Cabinet is part of the executive branch. Composed of secretaries of the executive branch departments and the attorney general. There are 15 secretaries with the oldest departments being State, Treasury, Defense, and Justice, and the newest department being Homeland security. Secretaries are advocates for their departments but they serve the president at will. Loyalty to department makes it hard for the president to control them; Cabinet members are responsible for advising the head of government on areas within their knowledge. Appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the head of government and are therefore strongly subordinate to the president as they can be replaced at any time. Executive is free to select anyone. Appointments are subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. Each member wields significant influence in matters relating to their executive department.
Line Item veto
A power that allows a president, governor, etc., to officially reject specific parts of a proposed bill without rejecting the entire bill. Declared unconstitutional because it gives the president too much legislative power by allowing him to make his own bill by taking out provisions he doesn't like and leaving those in that he agrees with
A legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress). Committee membership enables members to develop specialized knowledge of the matters under their jurisdiction. The committees monitor ongoing governmental operations, identify issues suitable for legislative review, gather and evaluate information, and recommend courses of action
Checks and balances are built into the Constitution
The executive branch checks Congress by having the power to veto laws and adjourn Congress in certain situations. Congress checks the executive branch by having the power to reject appointments, reject treaties, withhold funding for presidential initiatives, impeach the president, and to override a veto. The judicial branch checks Congress by having the power to declare laws unconstitutional. Congress checks the judicial branch by having the power to propose constitutional amendments to overrule judicial decisions, impeach Supreme Court justices, and rejecting appointments to the Supreme Court. The executive branch checks the judicial branch by having the power to appoint judges. The judicial branch checks the executive branch by having the power to declare executive actions unconstitutional
Believe in government action to achieve equal opportunity and equality for all. It is the duty of the government to alleviate social ills and to protect civil liberties and individual and human rights, as well as solve problems. Supports abortion, abolishing of the death penalty because it is cruel and unusual, a market system in which government regulates the economy to protect individuals from big business, use of embryonic stem cells for research (it is ethical and necessary), additional gun control laws to stop violence, free or low-cost government controlled health care, separation of church and state, gay marriage, higher taxes and a larger government, terrorism does not pose the greatest threat, and welfare (long term especially),
A series of protests in 1786 and 1787 by American farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections and judgments for debt. Showed the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation
War Powers Act
Allows the Joint Chiefs of Staff to advise the president during times of conflict. Can send in troops but must alert Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action . Congress must agree within 60 days; A federal law intended to check the president's power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress. President can send U.S. armed forces into action abroad only by declaration of war by Congress, "statutory authorization," or in case of "a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."
Source of bureaucratic power
Most bureaucratic agencies and departments were created by Congress. Congress can't administer all the laws they pass so they set up bureaucratic agencies and departments to make them work practically in daily life. Congress enables bureaucrats to do all the work, especially through funding. They hold the purse strings. Bureaucratic agencies can't work without money, so Congress authorizes the budgets and appropriate the authorized money as needed. If Congress doesn't think that an agency or department is doing its job properly, or is spending too much money, they can withhold their authorization or not appropriate any funds. Then the agency could just disappear. Use the Iron Triangle- Policy-making coalition or relationship between bureaucratic agencies and congressional committees. Congress gives the agencies support and funding in return for bureaucracies implementing laws
The rights that a person who is being arrested must be informed of. Governs how police must conduct an arrest and interrogation. You have the right to remain silent and do not have to say anything at all. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to talk to a lawyer or your own choice before we ask you any questions, and also to have a lawyer here with you while we ask you questions. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, and you want one, we will see that you will have one provided to you free of charge before we ask any questions. If you are willing to give us a statement, you have a right to stop at anytime you wish
Presidential Nomination Process
Select presidential candidates through a process of primary elections. However, voters do not directly select presidential nominees in these primaries. Instead, they choose delegates from their respective states who will attend a national party convention to nominate a presidential candidate for their party. (A Primary Election is a nominating election. Winning the party's nomination is the first step in the election process. It narrows the field in a political party to one individual for a specific office. Primaries draw political activists and partisans rather than the average voter. The average voter will not vote in the primaries)
How religion, ethnicity, and gender impact voting
Religion- Regular churchgoers tend to participate more than non churchgoers. Catholics are more liberal on economic issues than Protestants. Jewish families are more liberal on economic and social issues
Ethnicity- Minority groups usually vote less than whites.
Gender- Since 1980, women have voted at higher rates than men. In presidential elections since 1980, women have been more likely than men to favor the Democratic candidate. Women are more likely than men to think that health care, the economy, the Iraq war, Social Security, and women's equality are important.
The older you are, the more likely you are to vote. Those 45 years and older are more likely to vote in the US. The more education one has, the more likely they are to vote and participate in politics
People who try to influence legislation on behalf of a special interest
An inclination to favor one group or view or opinion over alternatives; People vote for a party if they don't know who to vote for. The party id acts as label; An adherent or supporter of a person, group, party, or cause, especially a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance
College grads, those who are 45 years or older, regular churchgoers, men and women (vote at the same rate), minorities vote less than whites but those with the same social economic status as whites vote more, and political elites vote more
Refined the relationship of citizens to the government and protected the rights and liberties of citizens (activist court)
Led the Warren Court. He was nominated by president Eisenhower to be Chief of Justice. The court took an activist stance, helping to shape national policy by taking a forceful stand on a number of key issues of the day. Became famous for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board, Miranda v. Arizona, etc; Chief Justice during the 1950's and 1960's who used a loose interpretation to expand rights for both African-Americans and those accused of crimes.
How presidents get their agenda through
Once a year, the president is required to provide the full Congress with a State of the Union address. At this time, the president often lays out his legislative agenda for the next year, outlining his legislative priorities for both Congress and the nation at large.In order to help get his legislative agenda passed by Congress, the president will often ask a specific lawmaker to sponsor bills and lobby other members for passage. Members of the president's staff, such as the vice president, his chief of staff and other liaisons with Capitol Hill also will lobby representatives to try to garner support for the legislation.
Believe in personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, individual liberty, traditional American values, a strong national defense, and the empowerment of the individual to solve problems. Opposes abortion. Support death penalty because it is a punishment that fits the crime of murder and a free market system, competitive capitalism, and private enterprise because it produces more jobs and stimulates economic growth. Opposes use of embryonic stem cells for research (not ethical or moral). Oppose additional gun control laws because they won't lower crime rates. Health care should remain privatized. Opposes separation of church and state and gay marriage. Support lower taxes and a smaller government. Terrorism poses the greatest threat. Supports welfare but opposes long term welfare.
Independents influence on elections
Independents can highlight specific issues and affect outcome of close race. Their candidates can be "spoilers" -- in a close presidential election, they can take away enough votes from a major-party candidate that he loses a state's popular vote and, hence, its electoral votes and the presidency.
Free speech and the Supreme Court
1st amendment protects free speech from incursions of both the federal and state government. Clear and present danger test defines the conditions under which public authorities could limit the 1st amendment. Hate speech is permissible but hate crimes are not. Some forms of speech are not fully protected by the constitution- slander, false advertising, and actual malice. Libel is a written statement defaming another by false statement- must prove that statement wasn't true and they knew it. Localities decide whether to tolerate pornography but they must comply with strict rules. Symbolic speech are acts that convey a political message- not always protected. Flag burning is allowed by draft card burning is not
A Primary Election is a nominating election. Winning the party's nomination is the first step in the election process. It narrows the field in a political party to one individual for a specific office. Different from a general election in that a general election is a election in which all voters make the final choice from among the party nominees and the independent candidates for a specific office. Primaries therefore draw political activists and partisans rather than the average voter. The average voter will not vote in the primaries. Media coverage is greater in general elections and general elections are viewed with much more importance and interest than primary elections. Thus, voter turnout is higher in general elections than in primary elections.
The legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Popularly elected, senators and representatives are responsible for advocating the interests of the constituents they represent.
A resident of a district or state represented by an elected official.
Increase in presidential power since 1945
Increase in power due to tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War period, an increase in public expectations for services from the federal gov, Economic and domestic problems such as inflation, unemployment, and civil rights issues, and Increasing US involvement in international affairs.
An unwritten political custom in the United States whereby the president consults the senior U.S. Senator of his political party of a given state before nominating any person to a federal vacancy within that Senator's state; Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
Presidential primary elections are open to all registered voters. Just like in general elections, voting is done through a secret ballot. Voters may choose from among all registered candidates. In a closed primary, voters may vote only in the primary of the political party in which they registered. Most states hold closed primaries.
McCulloch vs Maryland
Established that federal law is supreme over state law; 1819 Supreme Court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments; In deciding this case, Chief Justice John Marshall and his colleagues held that Congress had certain implied powers in addition to enumerated powers found in the Constitution
Checks on the Supreme Court
Congress checks the judicial branch by having the power to propose constitutional amendments to overrule judicial decisions, impeach Supreme Court justices, and rejecting appointments to the Supreme Court. The executive branch checks the judicial branch by having the power to appoint judges.
Process by which background traits influence one's political views; Complex process by which people get their sense of political identity, beliefs, and values (family, school, media, religion, national events are factors that affect political socialization)
Financing of elections
Election campaigns for public office are expensive. Candidates need funding for support staff, advertising, traveling, and public appearances. Unless they are independently wealthy, most must finance their campaigns with contributions from individuals and from businesses and other organizations. Today, state and federal laws set limits on campaign contributions; create contribution disclosure requirements; and impose record-keeping requirements for candidates seeking elective office.
Before 1974, most election campaigns were financed by corporations and small groups of wealthy donors.
In 1974, Congress made radical changes to the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971. It limited contributions to individual candidates and political parties; personal spending by candidates; overall campaign spending for federal office; and independent spending by groups not directly associated with a candidate's campaign.
Congressional oversight of bureaucracies
Congressional oversight refers to the review, monitoring, and supervision of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation; A committee's investigation of the executive and of government agencies to ensure they are acting as Congress intends; Through its power of oversight, Congress monitors the federal bureaucracy to make sure that it acts properly.
Brown vs Board
A landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional; Separate schools are inherently unequal thus starting racial desegregation (turning point in civil rights movement)
Necessary and Proper clause
Section of the Constitution allowing Congress to pass all laws deemed necessary and proper to its duties and which has permitted Congress to exercise powers not specifically given to it by the Constitution ; Gives Congress the powers to pass all laws necessary to carry out their constitutional duties. AKA elastic clause
Interest Groups vs Political Parties (Similarities)
Both are organized groups of people working toward specific goals in the government and both promote politicians and raise money to accomplish those goals. Both engage in electioneering and raising money and awareness for issues and candidates to influence the outcome of an election. In addition, interest groups also use lobbying -- an attempt to influence a politician's decisions -- and filing lawsuits to advance their position.
Interest Groups vs Political Parties (Differences)
Political parties exist to gain power over gov policy by winning elections for political office. They support candidates for offices and help them win elections through advertising and fundraising. They have official opinions on a wide variety of issues, but these are subject to change. An interest group's goal is to promote a position on a specific issue. They do not necessarily have their members run for office and they vote in a nonpartisan way, supporting candidates who promote their point of view.
Interest Groups vs Political Parties (Differences)
Political parties are more internally flexible than interest groups are able to be. For example, a political party's members generally have similar views but do not agree on every issue. Their identities do not change because of a change of position. Because interest groups are formed around a single issue, they cannot change their official position without changing who they are. Members of interest groups do not necessarily have views in common outside their shared issue
Sweatt vs Painter
Segregated law school in Texas was held to be an illegal violation of civil rights, leading to open enrollment. Heman Sweatt was denied admission to Texas law because of race. Texas did not set up a separate but equal facility and Congress agreed they had to. Court ruled that separate professional schools for blacks failed to meet the test of equality.
Makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits; National law is supreme to all other law passed by state or local governments
The area that a member of the House represents
Caseloads for the Supreme Court
The number of cases handled by a court, an agency, a social worker, etc., either at any given moment or over a stated period. They get 1000's of petitions each year from people asking them to hear their case. They only hear about 100 cases
Charges against president approved by a majority of the House of Representatives. This is hard to do (only has happened twice in our history- Clinton and Andrew Johnson. Charges were brought against them but they were not impeached). The House brings the charges and the Senate acts as a court, with the Chief Justice overseeing the whole thing.
Rights retained by the states and the people- Reinforces principle of federalism, by stating that the federal government only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people through the Constitution (States or people have all powers not given to the federal government)
Partisanship and elections
People vote for a party if they don't know who to vote for. The party id acts as label.
Defining national citizenship and forbidding the states to restrict the basic rights of citizens or other person
Rules and procedures of the House and Senate
Among other things, the standing rules of the Senate allow senators to debate at length and preclude a simple majority from ending debate.
The legislative process on the Senate floor is a balance between the rights guaranteed to Senators under the standing rules and the need for senators to forgo some of these rights in order to expedite business. Quorum- 51 senators be present for the Senate to conduct business. Often, fewer than 51 senators are present on the floor, but the Senate presumes a quorum unless a roll call vote or quorum call suggests otherwise. The standing rules of the House govern the daily order of business on the House floor by making certain matters and actions privileged for consideration. House decisions to grant other individual bills privileged access to the floor, usually upon recommendations from the House Rules Committee , also determine the daily order of House floor business. Discharge petition- to get a stalled bill moving again, a discharge petition with 218 members signatures. In the senate, any member can get it moving. Closed rules- limitations on amount of debate time allotted to bill in House. Open rules- permits amendments from floor on particular bill and comes from House Rules committee
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Made it more difficult to use devices such as literacy tests to bar African Americans from voting. Barred discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin in restaurants, hotels, lunch counters, gasoline stations, movie theaters, stadiums, arenas, and lodging houses with more than 5 rooms. Authorized the attorney general to bring suit to force the desegregation of public schools on behalf of the citizens. Outlawed discrimination in hiring, firing, or paying employees on grounds of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex. Barred discrimination in any activity receiving federal assistance.
Presidential primary elections are open to all registered voters. Just like in general elections, voting is done through a secret ballot. Voters may choose from among all registered candidates. In an open primary, registered voters can vote in the primary of either party, but are allowed to vote in only one primary.
Vice Presidential Candidate Selection
The vice presidential candidates of the major national political parties are formally selected by each party's quadrennial nominating convention, following the selection of the party's presidential candidates. The official process is identical to the one by which the presidential candidates are chosen, with delegates placing the names of candidates into nomination, followed by a ballot in which candidates must receive a majority to secure the party's nomination. In practice, the presidential nominee has considerable influence on the decision, and in the 20th century it became customary for that person to select a preferred running mate, who is then nominated and accepted by the convention. In recent years, with the presidential nomination usually being a foregone conclusion as the result of the primary process, the selection of a vice presidential candidate is often announced prior to the actual balloting for the presidential candidate, and sometimes before the beginning of the convention itself.
Political Action Committee. The name given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation.