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Amer Gov't Final Exam

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the historical context for the importance of the Bill of Rights within the Constitution
The Bill of Rights comes from the colonists' fear of a tyrannical government. Recognizing this fear, the Federalists agreed to amend the Constitution to include a Bill of Rights after the Constitution was ratified. The Bill of Rights places limitations on the government, thus protecting citizens' civil liberties.
Extending the Bill of Rights to state governments
Federalism divides power between the national government and the state governments. While the Bill of Rights protected the people from the national government it did not protect the people from state governments. In 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment became a part of the Constitution. While this amendment did not mention the Bill of Rights it would be interpreted to impose, step-by-step, most of the Constitutional protections of civil liberties upon state governments during the twentieth century.
Incorporation of the Fourteenth Amendment
doctrine that made the Bill of Rights apply to the states as a result of Supreme Court decisions. Even though the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868, incorporation started to take place in the 1920s. It reached a peak during the Warren Court in the late 1950s and 1960s
Protections/Rights for those accused of a crime
A. Rights of the Accused. In the United States when the government accuses an individual of committing a crime, the individual is presumed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The Bill of Rights sets forth specific rights of the accused:

1. FOURTH AMENDMENT

a. No unreasonable or unwarranted search or seizure.

b. No arrest except on probable cause.

2. FIFTH AMENDMENT

a. No coerced confessions.

b. No compulsory self-incrimination.

c. No double jeopardy.

3. SIXTH AMENDMENT
a. Legal counsel.

b. Informed of charges.

c. Speedy and public jury trial.

d. Impartial jury by one's peers.

4. EIGHTH AMENDMENT
a. Reasonable bail.

b. No cruel or unusual punishment.
Extending the Rights of the Accused.
Extending the Rights of the Accused. Today the conduct of police and prosecutors is limited by various cases, including the right to an attorney if the accused is incapable of affording one (Gideon v. Wainwright 1963).

1. Miranda v. Arizona. The Miranda ruling requires the police to inform suspects of their rights (Miranda v. Arizona 1966).

2. Exceptions to the Miranda Rule. These include a "public safety" exception, a rule that illegal confessions need not bar a conviction if other evidence is strong, and that suspects must claim their rights unequivocally.

3. Video Recording of Interrogations. In t he future, such a procedure might satisfy Fifth Amendment requirements.
The Exclusionary Rule
This prohibits the admission of illegally seized evidence (Mapp v Ohio 1961)
Symbolic speech
nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the first amendment.
de facto segregation
Racial segregation that occurs not as a result of deliberate intentions but because of past social and economic conditions and residential patterns.
de jure segregation
Segregation promoted by laws such as voter registration literacy tests. NAACP leadership and action. Their biggest win was in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Thurgood Marshall Argued the Brown v. Board case and later became a Supreme Court Justice. Racial segregation that occurs because of laws or administrative decisions by public agencies.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
a law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to African American suffrage. Under the law, hundreds of thousands of African Americans were registered and the number of African American elected officials increased dramatically.
Civil Rights Act of 1964
1964; banned discrimination in public acomodations, prohibited discrimination in any federally assisted program, outlawed discrimination in most employment; enlarged federal powers to protect voting rights and to speed school desegregation; this and the voting rights act helped to give African-Americans equality on paper, and more federally-protected power so that social equality was a more realistic goal
Why Do Americans Join Interest Groups
The three major incentives are solidarity, material, and purposive. Solidarity incentives include companionship, a sense of belonging, and the pleasure of associating together. Material incentives are, of course, economic benefits or opportunities. Purposive incentives relate to one's ethical beliefs or ideological principles.
direct technique
An interest group activity that involves interaction with government officials to further the group's goals; lobbying techniques; the ratings game; building alliances; campaign assistance
indirect technique
Any method used by interest groups to influence government officials through third parties, such as voters.
The reasons for the U.S. two-party system
The two-party system can be said to have originated in the debate between supporters of the Constitution (the Federalists) and those who though the states should be the locus of authority and advocated a Bill of Rights (the Anti-Federalists). Under George Washington and John Adams, the Federalist Party was the first party to control the national government. By 1796,however, another party came into the political process. This party was headed by Thomas Jefferson and was called the Republicans. (Do not confuse this party with the later party of Lincoln.) While Jefferson's party supported the Constitution, it was clearly the heir of the pre-revolutionary republican movement and the later Anti-Federalists.A. The Historical Foundations of the Two-Party System. Often, on major issues confronting the country there have been two clear sides. This duality helped to initiate a two-party system and has maintained this system through the present.

B. Political Socialization and Practical Considerations: For generations, all that has existed is a two party system. If individuals are not exposed to anything but a two-party system, they will not likely seek change to a different type of system.

C. The Winner-Take-All Electoral System. This system elects the candidate who receives a plurality of the votes. Candidates who finish second receive nothing. Say a party is able to gain 19 percent of the vote nationwide, but in no single district manages to attain a plurality. The party will elect no candidates.

1. Presidential Voting. The winner-take-all system also works in presidential voting. In all but two states, the presidential candidate with a plurality gets all the electoral votes of that state. This is the unit rule.

2. Popular Election of the Governors and President. In most democratic countries, the chief executive is a premier or prime minister elected by the legislature. If there are three or more parties, two or more can band together to elect a premier. In America, however, governors are elected directly by the people and presidents are elected indirectly by the people. There is no opportunity for negotiations between parties.

3. Proportional Representation. Many countries use proportional representation in elections. Such a system allows a party to receive the number of legislators equal to the percentage of the vote the party received. If a party receives 19 percent of the vote it would then receive 19 percent of the seats in the legislature. As long as the U.S. continues to use a winner-take-all electoral system, it is highly unlikely that a minor party will be successful.

D. State and Federal Laws Favoring the Two Parties. This occurs because the two major parties are in control of the policy-making process. As long as the Democrats and Republicans are in power at the state and national levels they will continue to pass laws which favor the two-party system and will pass laws making it difficult for new parties to develop.A. The Historical Foundations of the Two-Party System. Often, on major issues confronting the country there have been two clear sides. This duality helped to initiate a two-party system and has maintained this system through the present.

B. Political Socialization and Practical Considerations: For generations, all that has existed is a two party system. If individuals are not exposed to anything but a two-party system, they will not likely seek change to a different type of system.

C. The Winner-Take-All Electoral System. This system elects the candidate who receives a plurality of the votes. Candidates who finish second receive nothing. Say a party is able to gain 19 percent of the vote nationwide, but in no single district manages to attain a plurality. The party will elect no candidates.

1. Presidential Voting. The winner-take-all system also works in presidential voting. In all but two states, the presidential candidate with a plurality gets all the electoral votes of that state. This is the unit rule.

2. Popular Election of the Governors and President. In most democratic countries, the chief executive is a premier or prime minister elected by the legislature. If there are three or more parties, two or more can band together to elect a premier. In America, however, governors are elected directly by the people and presidents are elected indirectly by the people. There is no opportunity for negotiations between parties.

3. Proportional Representation. Many countries use proportional representation in elections. Such a system allows a party to receive the number of legislators equal to the percentage of the vote the party received. If a party receives 19 percent of the vote it would then receive 19 percent of the seats in the legislature. As long as the U.S. continues to use a winner-take-all electoral system, it is highly unlikely that a minor party will be successful.

D. State and Federal Laws Favoring the Two Parties. This occurs because the two major parties are in control of the policy-making process. As long as the Democrats and Republicans are in power at the state and national levels they will continue to pass laws which favor the two-party system and will pass laws making it difficult for new parties to develop.
The role of minor parties in the United States
A. Ideological Third Parties. Many third parties are long-lived organizations with strong ideological foundations. A historical example is the Socialist Party, which existed from 1900 to 1972. Current examples include the Libertarian Party and the Green Party.

B. Splinter Parties. Not all minor parties have been based on a different ideology from the major parties. A few minor parties are formed when members of one of the two major parties are dissatisfied with the leader of the major party, or the members are dissatisfied with the platform of the major party. These are usually referred to as spin-off parties. For example, the Bull-Moose Progressives were a spin-off of the Republican Party. The Progressives were those reform-minded Republicans who supported the candidacy of Theodore Roosevelt over that of William Howard Taft.

C. The Impact of Minor Parties. No presidential candidate has been elected from a minor party. Very few members of Congress have been elected on the label of a minor party. But minor parties have had an impact in that they raise issues that the two major parties must address. These parties also provide voters with another option.

1. Influencing the Major Parties. Minor parties can raise issues that major parties than adopt. The Populist Party was an example. Many of its policies were taken over by the Democrats in 1896 (which hurt the Democrats rather than helping them, however.) During its existence, the Socialist Party advanced many proposals that were picked up by liberals (and sometimes even by a bipartisan consensus)

2 Affecting the Outcome of an Election. Some claim that the candidacy of Ralph Nader on the Green Party ticket hurt Democrat Al Gore's chances of

winning the presidency, particularly given how close the election was. Nader may have taken votes from Gore, thus giving George W. Bush an edge.
District Courts
These are trial courts with general jurisdiction. Each state has at least one federal district court, and there are now a total of 94 districts., The 91 federal courts of original jurisdiction. They are the only federal courts in which trials are held and in which juries may be impaneled.
Courts of Appeals
These are appellate courts that hear appeals of decisions of the U.S. District Courts located within their circuits. The Thirteenth Circuit (the Federal Circuit) has national appellate jurisdiction for cases involving the U.S. government. In appellate cases, the cases are not re-tried. Rather, a panel of judges reviews the transcript of the trial and the decision, and they decide if a mistake was made. The decisions of the appellate panels are nearly always final, the rare exception being when the U.S. Supreme Court opts to hear an appeal.
Supreme Court
This is the highest court in the country. It has jurisdiction to hear both original and appellate cases. Nearly all of its cases are appellate cases, with the original jurisdiction being either the U.S. District Courts or the highest state courts (it will exercise this prerogative only if federal jurisdiction is appropriate).
Types of opinions of the Supreme Court
There are four main types of opinions.

Majority opinion - most important

Concurring opinions

Dissenting opinions

Per Curiam opinion
Majority opinion
The most important type is the majority opinion. The majority opinion is, as the name suggests, the opinion of the majority of judges hearing the case. In most cases, a majority opinion requires five Justices, unless one or more Justices have recused themselves from a given decision. The majority opinion is important because it defines the precedent that all future courts hearing a similar case should follow.
Concurring opinions
Concurring opinions are written by individual Justices in the majority. These opinions agree with the majority opinion, but may stress a different point of law. Sometimes, concurring opinions will agree with the result reached by the majority, but for a different reason altogether. Majority opinions are sometimes accompanied by concurring opinions.
Dissenting opinions
Dissenting opinions are important because they provide insight into how the Court reached its decision. In many instances, the Court has adopted the opinion of a dissenting Justice years later in reviewing an issue. Sometimes, an opinion may be both a dissenting and concurring opinion, with a Justice agreeing with the majority on one issue but not on another. Opinions written by justices not in the majority are known as dissenting opinions.
Per Curiam opinion
Per Curiam opinion is a majority opinion delivered by the Court as a whole, with no individual Justice taking authorship. The least common, opinion is the per curiam, glossary for 'per curiam' opinion, a Latin term meaning "by the court".
Judicial Review
The doctrine in democratic theory under which legislative and executive action is subject to invalidation by the judiciary. Specific courts with judicial review power must annul the acts of the state when it finds them incompatible with a higher authority, such as the terms of a written constitution. Judicial review is an example of the functioning of separation of powers in a modern governmental system (where the judiciary is one of three branches of government). This principle is interpreted differently in different jurisdictions, which also have differing views on the different hierarchy of governmental norms. As a result, the procedure and scope of judicial review differs from country to country and state to state.
How a court vacancy is filled
The Selection of Federal Judges

A. Judicial Appointments. After the president has nominated a candidate for any federal judicial position, the United States Senate must consider the candidate. If a majority of the Senate approves the candidate, the president will then appoint the judge to serve for life. Senatorial courtesy is a constraint on the president's freedom to appoint federal district judges. Senatorial courtesy allows a senator to veto a judicial appointment in her or his state.

1. Federal District Court Judgeship Nominations. Until President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981) the nomination of federal district court judges actually originated with a senator or senators of the president's party from the state in which there was a vacancy. In effect, judicial appointments were a form of political patronage. Since Ronald Reagan (1981-1989), the president has established complete control of nominations. Beginning in 2002, the Republicans have revoked the extension of senatorial courtesy to the opposition party.

2. Federal Courts of Appeals Appointments. At the Court of Appeals level candidates are reviewed in more detail. It is not unusual for those positions to be a stepping-stone to the Supreme Court.

3. Supreme Court Appointments. Nominations to the Supreme Court are carefully considered by the president. Acetate CT-3 demonstrates the significant differences in the demographic attribute of federal judges during four presidential administrations. Only two members of the Court have been African American and only two have been female.

B. Partisanship and Judicial Appointments. In selecting a candidate the president may take into account many factors but two factors in particular stand out: the party affiliation of the candidate and the political philosophy of the individual.

C. The Senate's Role. If the president nominates a candidate that is considered to be significantly to the left or right of the political spectrum, the candidate may face opposition in the Senate. The impact of ideology also can be witnessed in the confirmation process. Since the presidency of Andrew Jackson, the Senate has often failed to confirm presidential judicial appointments. During the Reagan administration, there was acrimonious debate over the nomination of Robert Bork, whom the Senate rejected. During the George H. W. Bush administration, the nomination of Clarence Thomas was also contentious, though Thomas was confirmed. President Clinton succeeded in getting both of his Supreme Court nominees, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer confirmed.
which amendment was said to be the second Bill of Rights
14th Amendment to protect citizens against the excess of state power
How much time do lawyers get to make their argument before the Supreme Court?
30 minutes for each side
Who assists the justices in doing legal research and writing draft opinions?
Law clerks and secretaries
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that "we don't have the Constitution that was written in 1787 or even 1791 when the Bill of Rights was added." What reasons did she give to explain that statement?
Post civil war amendment. 19th amendment. Very small part of people allowed to vote, have rights. Now protect african americans, native americans, etc
According to Justice Anthony Kennedy, what happens during oral argument?
Court having a discussion with the atty being the mediator
winner-take-all electoral system
The Electors' Commitment. In each state the political party selects a number of people to serve as potential electors under the party label. When voters go to the polls to cast a ballot for the presidential candidate they are actually voting for a slate of electors pledged to support the presidential candidate of the party. In all but two states, there is the winner-take-all system. That is, if a candidate receives a plurality of the votes cast he or she wins all of the electoral votes from the state. This is the unit rule.
proportional representation
An election system in which each party running receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote.
The Electoral College
1. The Choice of Electors. The Electoral College is set forth in the Constitution (Article II, Section 1; Amendment XII; and Amendment XXIII). Each state chooses electors equal in number to the number of representatives and senators the state has at the time of the election. The District of Columbia also chooses three electors. Currently there are a total of 538 electors. For a candidate to be elected president, he or she must win a minimum of 270 electoral votes.

2. The Electors' Commitment. In each state the political party selects a number of people to serve as potential electors under the party label. When voters go to the polls to cast a ballot for the presidential candidate they are actually voting for a slate of electors pledged to support the presidential candidate of the party. In all but two states, there is the winner-take-all system. That is, if a candidate receives a plurality of the votes cast he or she wins all of the electoral votes from the state. This is the unit rule.

3. Criticisms of the Electoral College. As a result of the unit rule, presidential candidates often ignore states where the result is not in doubt. Also, in four different elections (including 2000), the presidential candidate who received a plurality of the popular vote did not receive a majority of the electoral vote. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote and still received a majority of the electoral vote, though Democrats challenged the popular vote count in Florida, which determined Bush's Electoral College victory. In the wake of the 2000 elections, there have been numerous arguments against the Electoral College. Regardless of these arguments, it is likely to remain as the method for the election of the president. To change how the president is elected, an amendment to the Constitution would have to be proposed and ratified. Such an amendment is not likely to pass. The unit rule, however, could be altered by national legislation
thirteenth amendment
abolished slavery
establishment clause
Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.
conservatives
Like to stick to the traditional ways of government and tend to oppose change
judicial restraint
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
title vii of the civil rights act
Act originally enacted in 1964, that prohibited discrimination by employers, employe agencies, and unions on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
establishment clause
the First Amendment guarantee that the government will not create and support an official state church
new deal
a reapportioning of something
jurisdiction
(law) the right and power to interpret and apply the law
due process clause
Part of the 14th amendment which guarantees that no state deny basic rights to its people