Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account

Vocabulary from Chapters 11, 12, 13, & 14


the body of citizens eligible to vote in the incumbent's state or district


a term referring to legislation that funds a special project for a particular locale, such as a new highway or hospital

Service Strategy

Whether a constituent is seeking information about a government program expressing an opinion about pending legislation, or looking for help in obtaining a federal benefit, the representative's staff is ready to assist.


Each member of Congress is also permitted several free mailings annually to constituent households

Open-seat election

A race without an incumbent


Every ten years, after each population census, the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are reallocated among the states in proportion to their population.


The responsibility of state governments for redrawing House election districts after a reapportionment


the party in power in the state legislature will draw the new district boundaries in ways that favor candidates of its party

Pitfalls of Incumbency

Disruptive Issues, Personal Misconduct, Turnout Variation (The Midterm Election Problem), and Strong Challengers

Party Caucus

members of Congress from each party meet periodically to plan strategy and discuss their legislative goals

Roll-Call Votes

votes on which each member's vote is officially recorded, as opposed to voice votes, where the members simply say "aye" or "nay" in unison and the presiding officer indicates which side prevails without tallying individual member's positions

Standing Committees

Permanent committees with responsibility for a particular area of public policy

Select Committees

Committees created for a specific time period and purpose

Joint Committees

Committees composed of members of both houses, that perform advisory functions

Conference Committees

Joint committees formed temporarily to work out differences in House and Senate versions of a particular bill

1946 Legislative Reorganization Act

required that each bill introduced in Congress be referred by the party leaders to the proper committee.


the policy area in which it is authorized to act

Turf war

an effect of a bill that overlaps committee boundaries

Closed rule

no amendments will be permitted

Open rule

members can propose amendment relevant to any of the bill's sections


Limits debate to thirty hours, requires three fifths majority of the full Senate votes


Senate amendments that do not have to be germane to the bill's provisions

Party discipline

the willingness of a party's House or Senate members to act as a unified group

The Major Functions of Congress

Lawmaking, Representation, and Oversight

Lawmaking function

the authority to make the laws necessary to carry out the powers granted to the national government

Three Congressional Agencies

Congressional Budget Office (CBO)-created as part of the Budget Impoundment and Control Act of 1974, provide Congress with general economic projections, overall estimates of government expenditures an drevenues, and specific estimates of the costs of proposed programs; Government Accountability Office (GAO); Congressional Research Service (CRS)

Fragmented Policy Making

small narrowly defined problems, fits into broader policy concerns, easier to pass

Integrated Policy Making

focused on large public policy questions, developed with careful consideration of the overall policy impact


the practice of trading one's vote with another member so that both get what they want


Congress has the responsibility to see that the executive branch carries out the laws faithfully and spends the money properly, a supervisory activity

Whig Theory

the presidency was a limited or constrained office whose occupant was confined to the exercise of expressly granted constitutional authority...."is to execute the laws...and not my individual opinions" - Buchanan

Stewardship Theory

Assertive presidency that is confined only at points specifically prohibited by law..."to do any aything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws" -Roosevelt

Four Systems of Presidential Selection

Oringinal (1788-1828), Party Convention (1832-1900), Party convention, primary (1904-1968), Party primary, open caucus (1972-present)

Open Party Caucuses

meeting open to any registered party voter who wants to attend

Unit rul

all the states except Maine and Nebraska grant all their electoral votes as a unit to the candidate who wins the state's popular vote

Presidential Appointees

The Executive Office of the President- includes the president's closest advisor, Office of Management and Budget, National Security Council; The Vice President; The White House Office-serves president most directly and personally, Communications Office, Office of the Press Secretary, the Office of the Counsel to the President, and the Office of Legislative Affairs; Policy Experts, the Presidents Cabinet (15), Other Presidential Appointees

Strategic presidency

A president's need to move quickly on priority items in order to take advantage of the policy momentum gained from the election


A system of organization and control that is based on three principles: hierarchical authority, job specialization, and formalized rules

Hierarchical Authority

A chain of command whereby the officials and units at the top of a bureaucracy have authority over those in the middle, who in turn control those at the bottom

Job Specialization

Explicitly defined duties for each job position and to a precise division of labor within the organization

Formalized rules

The standardized procedures and established regulations by which a bureaucracy conducts its operations

Five General Forms of Bureaucracy

Cabinet department, independent agency, regulatory agency, government corporation, presidential commission

Independent agencies

resemble the cabinet departments but typically have a narrower area of responsibility (CIA, NASA)

Regulatory agencies

Created when Congress recognizes the need for ongoing regulation of a particular economic activity ( Securities and Exchange Commission, Environmental Protection Agency)

Government Corporation

Similar to private corporations in that they charge clients for their services and are governed by a board of directors. However, government corporations receive federal funding to help defray operating expenses, and their directors are appointed by the President and approved by the Senate (U.S. Postal Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak))

Taft-Hartley Act of 1947

Prohibit strikes by federal employees and permit the firing of striking workers

Hatch Act of 1939

Prohibit civil servants from holding key positions in election campaigns

Policy implementation

The carrying out of decisions made by congress, the president, and the courts


establishing how a law will work in practice- is the chief way administrative agencies exercise power over policy

Patronage System

Jackson's system that was popular with the general public by opposed by the elites who labeled it the spoils system

Spoils System

a device for giving government jobs to friends and party hacks

Pendleton Act of 1883

established the merit (civil service) system

Merit (civil service) system

certain federal employees were hired through competitive examinations or by virtue of having special qualifications, such as training in a particular field

Executive leadership system

a means of coordinating the bureaucracy's activities to increase its efficiency and responsiveness

Clientele groups

Special interests that benefit directly from an agency's programs

Sunset law

Restrictive device which establishes a specific date when a law will expire unless it is reenacted by Congress. Congress's way of constraining the bureaucracy before it acts.


the act of reporting instances of official mismanagement, is a potentially effective internal check


Authority to hear cases of a particular type

Original Jurisdiction

the authority to be the first court to hear a case (legal disputes involving foreign diplomats and cases in which the opposing parties are state governments)

Appellate jurisdiction

the authority to review cases that have already been heard in lower courts and are appealed to a higher court by the losing party

Judicial review

The Supreme Court's power is most apparent when it declares another institution;s action to be unconstitutional


a judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature

Writ of Cetiorari

an effect of at least four of the nine justices's agreement to hear a cases, whereby the lower court is asked to submit a transcript of the case for the Supreme Court to review

Dissenting Opinion

Justices on the losing side's explanation for their reasons for disagreeing with the majority position

Judge Jerome Frank's "upper-court-myth"

the view that appellate courts, and in particular the Supreme Court, are the only truly significant judicial arena and that the lower courts just dutifully follow the rulings handed down by the courts at the appellate level (the reality is different)

Senatorial courtesy

A tradition that dates back to the 1840s, holds that a senator from the state in which a vacancy has arisen should be consulated on the choice of the nominee if the senator is of the same party as the president.

Civil Law

Governs relations with and between private parties (marriage, divorce, business contracts, and property ownership)

Criminal Law

Acts that government defines as illegal and that can result in a fine, imprisonment, or other sanction (murder, assault, shoplifting, and drunk driving)

Procedural law

rules that govern the legal process

Three Sources of Law the Constrain the Courts

the Constitution, Legislative Statutes, & Precedents established by previous court rulings

Statutory law

legislative law

Administrative law

a law based on statutory law but is set by government agencies rather than by legislatures

Amicus curiae

"friend of the court" brief in which it presents its views on a case in which it is not one of the parties directly involved


the proper authority of the judiciary in a governing system based on the principle of majority rule

Judicial restraint

holds that judges should broadly defer to precedent and to decisions made by legislatures

Judicial activism

judges should actively interpret the Constitution, statutes, and precedents in light of established principles when elected representatives fail to act in clear accord with these principles

Originalism theory

a prominent philosophy of conservatives, hold that the Constitution should be interpreted in th way that a reasonable person would have viewed it at the time it was written

Living Constitution Theory

the Framers, by inserting essential principles and general propositions into the Constitution, intended it to be an adaptable instrument


Happy, Long Hours, Desirable, #1 (Jackson)


Happy, Short Hours, Next-to-Worst (Madison)

Active- Negative

Burdened, Long Hours, Power, Worst (Adams)


Burdened, Short hours, Duty, Close to second best (Washington)

Who has the power to declare war?


Presidential Traits

Washington (stabilized office), Jefferson (expanded to full political system, Louisiana Purchase, Anti-federalists), Jackson (Popular presidency), Lincoln (Preserved union, expanded role of president especially during wartime), T. Roosevelt (mobilized public opinion, 1st environmentalist, trust buster) Wilson (Power concentrated), FDR (Government became economy manager, world leader, U.S. = #1)

When did the government become such an economic actor?

During the Great Depression, duties of Federal gov. to control the economy fell under the commerce clause

Principal Agent Problem

The principal is the person or group who delegates to another person or group; the agent- a particular job or task; "How does the principal control the behavior of the agent when the agent is more knowledgeable?

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording