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AP US Government and Politics Study Guide
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Terms in this set (98)
a theory that a few top leaders make the key decisions without reference to popular desires
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened.
a theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
People who generally favor government action and view change as progress
people who generally favor limited government and are cautious about change
this conflict in Massachusetts caused many to criticize the Articles of Confederation and admit the weak central government was not working; uprising led by Daniel Shays in an effort to prevent courts from foreclosing on the farms of those who could not pay the taxes
separation of powers
the division of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government
checks and balances
A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power
Constitutional declaration (Article VI) that the Constitution and laws made under its provisions are the greatest law of the land
constitutional freedoms guaranteed to all citizens
Speech that (1) appeals to the prurient interest, (2) depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive way, and (3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
defamation of character
Damaging a person's reputation by making public statements that are both false and malicious
written untruths that are harmful to someone's reputation
an abusive attack on a person's character or good name
speech on private property
1) usually the owner of private property can restrict any speech
2)In some cases, private property may, by its use, become the functional equivalent of public property and be a limited public forum.
evidence that would lead a reasonable person to believe that another person committed or was in the act of committing a specific crime
political action committee
committee formed by a special-interest group to raise money for their favorite political candidates
organization of people who share political, social or other goals; and agree to try to influence public policy to achieve those goals.
Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition
No unreasonable searches or siezures
right to grand jury, indictment, no double jeopardy, freedom from self-incrimination, due process of law
Right to a fair, speedy trial
Right to a trial by jury in civil cases
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
rights not mentioned in the constitution belong to the people
powers not given to the United States are given to states or people
Declares that all persons born in the U.S. are citizens and are guaranteed equal protection of the laws
citizens cannot be denied the right to vote because of race, color , or previous condition of servitude
Power of congress to tax incomes
direct election of senators
Prohibited the manufacture, sale, and distribution of alcoholic beverages
repeal of prohibition
Limits the number of terms a president may be elected to serve
presidential succession, vice presidential vacancy, and presidential disability
Lowered the voting age to 18
Baker V. Carr
case that established the principle of one man, one vote. This decision created guidelines for drawing up congressional districts and guaranteed a more equitable system of representation to the citizens of each state
McCulloch v. Maryland
Maryland was trying to tax the national bank and Supreme Court ruled that federal law was stronger than the state law.
Marbury v. Madison
established concept of judicial review, first time supreme court declared something 'unconstitutional'
Gibbons v. Ogden
Regulating interstate commerce is a power reserved to the federal government
U.S. V. Lopez
1995, the court held that congress had exceeded its powers by prohibiting guns in a school zone.
GItlow v. New York
established selective incorporation of the Bill of rights; states cannot deny freedom of speech; protected through the 14th amendment
Schenck v. US
Can limit free speech when there is a "clear and present danger"
Miller v. California
A 1973 Supreme Court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene in terms of appealing to a "prurient interest" and being "patently offensive" and lacking in value.
NYT V. Sullivan
1964; established guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel. To do so, individuals must prove that the defamatory statements were made w/ "actual malice" and reckless disregard for the truth
Mapp v. Ohio
Established the exclusionary rule was applicable to the states (evidence seized illegally cannot be used in court)
Reed v. Reed
gender discrimination violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution
Craig v. Boren
1976 SuCo: Gender classifications are subject to medium scrutiny.
Harris v. Forklift
the court's 1993 decision which broadened the definition of sexual harassment to include simply a hostile working environment
UC Regents v. Bakke
1978, Race quotas are unconstitutional. Race cannot be the sole factor in accepting or denying entrance, but it can be a factor in the admissions process.
Miranda v. Arizona
The accused must be notified of their rights before being questioned by the police
Gideon v. Wainwright
A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government
Furman v. Georgia
(1972) Death penalty is cruel and unusual if carried out in "an arbitrary, discriminatory, and capricious manner".
North Carolina v. Woodson
Death penalty cannot be a mandatory minimum (North Carolina said anyone convicted of murder is executed). Juries must examine aggravated (worsening) and mitigating (less worsening) factors.
Griswold v. Connecticut
Established that there is an implied right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution
Roe v. Wade
(1973) legalized abortion on the basis of a woman's right to privacy
Near v. Minnesota
Freedom of the press applies to state governments, so that they cannot impose prior restraint on newspapers.
Planned Parenthood v. casey
states may regulate abortion as long as there is "no undue burden" on the mother; did not overturn Roe v. Wade but gave states more leeway in regulating abortion (parental consent for minors, 24 hour waiting period)
Dred scott v. Sandford
A ruling that declared that Negroes could not be federal citizens
Plessy V. Ferguson
separate but equal
Korematsu v. US
Supreme Court case which upheld the relocation of Japanese to internment camps
Brown v. Board of Education
court found that segregation was a violation of the Equal Protection clause "separate but equal" has no place
1964 Civil Rights Act
outlawed segregation in public places; banned discrimination in employment
The Voting Rights Act
• This law made it illegal to keep people from voting through things like poll taxes or literacy requirements.
• It also set up a commission to make sure blacks were being allowed to vote
The War Powers Act
-Law placed restricitions on the president's ability to use military force: must report to Congress within 48 hrs. after deporting troops; within 60 days after troops have been sent Congress must declare war or provide authorization to provide for the continuation of use of US troops in area
The Americans with Disabilities Act
requires reasonable accommodation of employees with disabilities.
The Simpson-Mazzoli Act
required documentation of the citizenship of all employees.
The Federal Election Campaign Act
Require Candidates to disclose all contributions made to their campaign
The Equal Rights Amendment
despite its failure, focus on equal opportunity employment created a wider range of options and advancement for women in business and public service.
The Commerce Clause
Gives Congress the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among states
Full Faith and Credit
first words of Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution, which requires states to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings" of all the other states.
a form of government in which power is divided between the federal, or national, government and the states
The Due Process Clause
Found in the Fourteenth Amendment. No government, federal or state, can take away ANY Constitutional protection without demonstrating a compelling reason in a court of law (due process of law).
The Equal Protection Clause
-part of the 14th amendment
-prohibits discrimination by state government institutions
-grants all people equal protection of the laws
The Lemon Test
1. purpose of aid must be non-religious, 2. aid can neither advance nor inhibit religion, 3. aid must not excessively entangle the government with religion
The Exclusionary Rule
a legal rule that generally prohibits the use of illegally obtained evidence against the defendant at trial; generally applies to violations of a defendant's Fourth, Fifth, or Sixth Amendment rights
the process by which people gain their political attitudes and opinions
Public Opinion Polling
method used to survey a small representative group of individuals, used to determine public opinion.
events that are purposely staged for the media and that are significant just because the media are there
news agencies that send bullitins and other information to newspaper, radio, and television offices all over the world
in a two party system, both parties will moderate their policies toward the median voter to maximize their electoral success.
The displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period
the gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification.
Governance divided between the parties, as when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
Three-way alliance among legislators, bureaucrats, and interest groups to make or preserve policies that benefit their respective interests.
"The larger the group, the further it will fall short of providing an optimal amount of a collective group."
the term during which some position is held
committees with fixed membership and jurisdiction, continuing from Congress to Congress
Association of members created to support a political ideology or regional economic interest (black caucus, women's caucus, blue dog democrats...)
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions and values.
view that the courts should reject any active lawmaking functions and stick to judicial interpretations of the past
The Electoral College
the method we use to elect the president of the US, 538 votes available and 270 needed to win.
#of Senators + # of Rep's = # of E.V.
US House of Rep's chooses winner in case of tie
The process by which provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment and so applied to state and local governments.
The Civil Rights Movement
Movement for equality led by African Americans in the 1950s and 1960s fought against segregation discrimination and inequality
voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior.
indirect veto of legislation by refusing to sign it
Checks to see if a law is anti religion.
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