Alexander Hamilton set many of the precedents that govern the federal bureaucracy today.
Who among Washington's political supporters was the "detail man"?
What are the characteristics of a bureaucrat?
The Defense Department is the largest in terms of number of employees
The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest measured by budget
Which government department is the largest in terms of employees and budget?
The Department of Health and Human Services is the largest measured by budget
Which government department has the largest budget?
Spoils system - a system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends. Seen as corrupt. Expanded under Andrew Jackson as a way to fill senior jobs as a form of political favoritism.
Merit Systems - An independent agency that oversees and protects merit in the federal government personnel system.
How does the spoils system differ from the merit system?
The presidential party in place benefits from the spoils system, not the people.
Who benefits from the spoils system and who benefits from the merit system?
Administers civil service laws, rule and regulations
What is the purpose of the Office of Personnel Management?
Charged with protecting the integrity of the federal merit system and the rights of federal employees.
What is the purpose of the Merit Systems Protection Board?
a precise statement of how a law is implemented. All theses rules trace back to legislation, they provide the details that laws leave out.
What is the purpose of a bureaucratic rule?
Rules enforce the law. They must be published in the federal register.
What is the difference between a law and a rule?
Administrative discretion is the authority given by Congress to the federal bureaucracy to use reasonable judgment in implementing the laws.
What authority is given to government agencies to implement legislation?
Uncontrollable spending which is required by previous laws. The bulk of uncontrollable spending goes to entitlement programs.
What fixed costs are included in the Federal budget?
Social Security, college loans, help for victims of natural disasters, Medicare, welfare, unemployment, disability
What are the different types of entitlement programs?
Judicial review is the power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or gov't regulation that in the opinion of the judges, conflicts with the US Constitution or in a state court the state constitution
only a constituional amendment can modify the courts' decisions
What powers to the US courts have to interpret the Constitution?
justiciable disputes - a dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy that is capable of settlement by legal methods
Case and controversies that are current and immediate
What disputes are judged in Federal courts?
a judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties ague their differences
based on the theory that arguing over law and evidence guarantees fairness.
adversary system imposes restraints on judicial power
How does the adversary system work?
Criminal - crimes against the public order
Civil - laws that govern relationships between individuals
What is the difference between criminal law and civil law?
defendant - the person or party accused of an offense
plaintiff - party instigating a civil lawsuit
What is the difference between a defendant and a plaintiff?
an agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense and a lengthier sentence
How does plea bargaining work?
hears appeals from the decisions of lower courts
a precedent is a decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court
What is decided by courts of appeal?
the authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance"
the authority to hear a case essentially as a trial court would, only in cases involving ambassadors, other public ministers, and other diplomats
cases in which state or states are a party
What is decided by courts of original jurisdiction?
an arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to ire their own attorneys
the federal judiciary provides help to defendants in criminal trials - the system is supervised by the federal judiciary to ensure that public defenders are qualified for their jobs
What is the purpose of the public defender system?
a court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody
federal courts have the have the power to release persons from custody if a judge determines they are not being detained constitutionally
Except habeas corpus, the Supreme Court is the only court that may review state court decision
What does a writ of Habeas Corpus do?
Fewer than 1% of the district courts decision are appealed to the Supreme Court
Court of last resort
Brought by the Circuit court of appeal
Chooses to review cases as they come up from the state courts, courts of appeals, and district courts
Very few are actually heard and thousands are disposed of
How are appeals brought to the Supreme Court?
Amicus curiae - means friend of the court - a brief filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to the case
What kinds of briefs are considered by the Supreme Court:
Meeting in conference with the chief justice presiding
Each justice, in order of seniority, gives their conclusions and then the majority opinion is assigned
Published in the official United States Supreme Court Reports. Since April 2000, it has been made opinions available immediately on www.supremecourtus.gov
How are judicial opinions arrived at?
Lower courts are bound by stare decisis
stare decisis is less controlling in the field of constitutional law
Which Federal courts are bound by stare decisis?
constitutionally protected freedoms of all persons against governmental restraint
freedoms of conscience
freedom of religiion
freedom of expression
What are examples of civil liberties?
for the first time, the us constitution was interpreted to protect freedom of speech from abridgment by state and local governments. Changed the balance of federalism in the US. State actions that deprived citizens of fundamental liberties could now be challenged as a constitutional violation.
It made the federal courts the most important protectors of our liberteis - not the individual stats.
What judicial impact did Gitlow v. New York have?
freedom of religion
freedom of speech - except libel, obscenity, fighting words, or commercial speech
What absolute rights do Americans have?
Written defamation of another person
Libel and slander both qualify as defamation, but the major difference between them is the form that a specific case of defamation has taken. Libel refers to defamatory statements that have been made in a durable, fixed medium; published words or pictures, public signage and even some types of electronic communication can qualify as libel. Slander refers to defamatory statements that are made in more transitory or less durable forms, and is most often used to define defamatory statements that have been spoken aloud.
What is the difference between libel and slander?
words that by their very nature inflict injury on those whom they are addressed or incite them to acts of violence
What are "fighting words"?
Protected speech - right to speak freely, organize groups, question the decision of the gov't
Non-protected speech - libel, obscenity, fighting words and commercial speech
What types of free speech are most and least protected?
civil rights - the rights of all people to be fee from irrational discrimination such as that based on race, religion, gender, or ethnic origin
natural rights - human rights of all people to dignity and worth
What is the difference between natural rights and civil rights?
affirmative action - remedial action designed to overcome the effects of discrimination against minorities and women
nondiscrimination - restraint on the power of governments to discriminate based on race, national origin, or sex
What is the difference between nondiscrimination and affirmative action?
most of our most important right flow from sate citizenship
The only privileges of national citizenship are those that "owe their existence to the Federal Gov, It's National Character, Its constitution, or its laws
Which level of government impacts civil rights the most?
13th, 14th, and 15th amendments became part of our constitution
Congress passed civil rights laws to provide social and educational services to freed slaves, supremem court struck down many of the laws
How did the Northern victory in the Civil War affect the US Constitution?
Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka
prohibited racially segregated schools
What Supreme Court case overruled Plessey v. Ferguson?
nonviolent resistance - strikes, sitins, symbolic protests
armed resistance involves being armed
What is the difference between nonviolent resistance and armed resistance?
Rosa Parks decision not to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Alabama, sparked a boycott by African Americans who, for ore than a year, refused to ride the segregated city buses
Why is Rosa Parks famous today?
Equal protection clause declares that no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws
however, if a private individual performs a discriminatory action, that action does not violate the constitution. Only state and federal laws designed to protect private parties may be violated.
How do the restraints of equal protection compare between the government and private individuals?
Equal protection clause
Protects rights against state infringements, defines citizenship, prohibits states from interfering with privileges and immunities, requires due process and equal protection, punishes states for denying vote, and disqualifies Confederate officials and debts
What is contained in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution?
Fundamental rights - explicitly or implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution
Right to travel, to vote
Civil rights are regulated by governments
How do fundamental rights differ from civil rights?
state laws that separated and disenfranchised blacks
formerly pervasive throughout the South requiring public facilities be segregated by race
- reinforced by Plessy v Ferguson
What were "Jim Crow" laws?