56 terms

Constitutional Terms

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POPULAR SOVEREIGNTY
Our Declaration of Independence proclaimed, "All men are created equal." A pluralist society best recognizes this truth. In a true democratic form of government ALL types of individuals and groups compete equally for influence and power in order to make public policy. Elitist societies can be democratic, however, they do not recognize the value of ALL and place more power and privilege with certain classes of people. Power, elites argue, cannot be entrusted to ALL. There is a viable debate as to whether or not America is truly pluralistic or in fact elitist.
LIMITED GOVERNMENT
In this type of government everyone, including all authority figures, must obey laws. Constitutions, statements of rights, or other laws define the limits of those in power so they cannot take advantage of the elected, appointed, or inherited positions.
FEDERALISM
A system of government in which a written constitution divides power between a central, or national, government and several regional governments
SEPARATION OF POWERS
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
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
Republicanism
A philosophy of limited government with elected representatives serving at the will of the people. The government is based on consent of the governed.
Individual Rights
Basic liberties and rights of all citizens are guaranteed in the Bill of Rights.
Legislative Branch
-function: to pass laws, gotta pass both chambers by majority vote before it can become a law; can declare wa
Executive Branch
Aricle II section 2-3 outlines in the power of the executive branch. Tjhe president cannot legislate but can pass executive orders under certain defined circumstances.
Judicial Branch
A branch of the system of checks and balances that interprets Congressional laws
Congress
Has the power to ratify treaties and delcare war, and the powere to make laws.
President
Chief Executive of the United States, Head of State and Commander and Chief of the US Armed Forces. The President of the United States is elected every 4 years, by the Electoral College. Signs or veto's bills passed to them by Congress.
Supreme Court
Consists of nine justices, each appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress. Appointment is for life. Supreme Court exercises the power to determine constitutionality of statutes
Law
A body of enforceable rules governing relationships among individuals and between individuals and their society.
Treaty
(WW) 1918, , Created by the leaders victorious allies Nations: France, Britain, US, and signed by Germany to help stop WWI. The treaty 1)stripped Germany of all Army, Navy, Airforce. 2) Germany had to rapair war damages(33 billion) 3) Germany had to acknowledge guilt for causing WWI 4) Germany could not manefacture any weapons.
Veto
(n.) the power to forbid or prevent; (v.) to prohibit, reject
Impeach
This is one of the rights that people have. If a leader is really bad and is making choices that negatively impacts the nation, the people have a right to throw him out of office.
Amendment
A new provision in the Constitution that has been ratified by the states
Appoint
The idea that a government comes from the wants and needs of its people.
Pardon
An executive grant providing restoration of all rights and privileges of citizenship to a specific individual charged or convicted of a crime.
Reprieve
A formal postponement of the execution of a sentence imposed by a court of law
House of Representatives
the lower legislative house of the United States Congress
Senate
A council of representatives
Common Defense
much less developed than economic policy, pillars placed emphasis on it, crisis management tasks
Domestic Tranquility
To have peace within the United States
General Welfare
the common good or what is good for all the people
Posterity
A person's descendants; future generations.
Pro Tempore
A member of the Senate selected by the majority party who serves as the party leader. They get to pick the committee that a bill is sent to, among other things.
Quorum
Defined as the number of members which must be present to conduct business in a legislative body
Adjourn
Close a meeting; suspend the business of a meeting; disband; recess
Bills
Laws that punish individuals or groups without a trial. These laws are unconstitutional.
Duties
A tax placed on the production or sale of specific goods
Rule of Naturalization
a law by which a foreign-born person becomes a citizen
To Coin Money
Article 1. The Legislature, Section 8. Powers Granted by Congress, 5. Money.
Commerce
Cabinet department responsible for regulating and promoting trade and maintaining the census Established in 1913..
Habeas Corpus
A court order requiring authorities to bring a prisoner before the court so that the court can determine whether the prisoner is being held legally.
Ex Post Facto
A law that would allow a person to be punished for an action that was not against the law when it was committed
Corruption of Blood
the punishment of a criminal's family by taking away inheritance rights
Treason
Betrayal of one's country
Ratification
Formal approval, final consent to the effectiveness of a constitution, constitutional amendment, or treaty
Quartered
(verb) be stationed or housed/lodged in a specified place.
Warrant
A legal paper, issued by a court, giving police permission to make an arrest, seizure, or search.
Indictment
A formal written statement from a grand jury charging an individual with an offense; also called a true bill.
Bail
A sum of money used as a security deposit to ensure that an accused person returns for his or her trial
Electoral College
A group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president
Courts of Appeals
Federal courts that review decisions of federal district courts, regulatory commissions, &other fed. courts
District Courts
A court system that has original jurisdiction over most federal cases, meaning they try a case the first time it is heard. Both civil and criminal cases are heard in these courts and most federal cases begin in one of the U.S. ____________.
Prohibition
..., the period from 1920 to 1933 when the sale of alcoholic beverages was prohibited in the United States by a constitutional amendment
Suffrage
A legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US constitution
Petition
A formal message requesting something that is submitted to an authority
Due Process
An administrative agency decision-making, notice of charges or potential rule making coupled with opportunity to appear, present evidence, and confront witnesses if warranted.
Double Jeopardy
Being tried twice for the same crime
Eminent Domain
. When the government (or quasi government agency) takes private property for public use (with compensation), this is known as
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Court sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Succession
(ecology) the gradual and orderly process of change in an ecosystem brought about by the progressive replacement of one community by another until a stable climax is established
Living document
The Constitution of the United States is referred to as a "living document" because the architects of the document intended for it to be adapted by future generations. It is adaptable - amendments could be ratified, or added to it.