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Politics of the United States
Terms in this set (58)
what are the seven key principles of the constitution?
Popular sovereignty, republican form of government, limited government, federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, individual rights (Please Rain Lightly Friday and Sunday, Can It?)
what is the constitution?
Supreme law of the land
what is popular sovereignty?
the authority of the people
what is a republican form of government?
a government in which the people rule through elected representatives
what is limited government?
a government whose powers are given to it by its people
what is federalism?
A sharing of power between states and national government; there are three powers: enumerated powers, reserved powers, and concurrent powers
what are enumerated powers?
powers belonging only to the federal government
what are reserved powers?
Powers given to the state governments
what are concurrent powers?
powers shared by the federal and state governments
what are separation of powers?
a division of powers among the three branches of government (legislative, executive, and judicial)
what are checks and balances?
a system in which each branch of government can limit the power of others to prevent abuse of power (ro cham beau)
what are individual rights?
Basic liberties and rights of all citizens that are guaranteed in the bill of rights
how many amendments are there? why are there so little?
27 - because the Framers made the process to amend the constitution difficult
what are the two steps to amend the constitution?
1 - formal proposal of an amendment (approval of 2/3 vote by congress); 2 - ratification (approval from 3/4 of states)
what are implied powers?
powers that suggested but not directly stated in the constitution
what is the legislative branch?
one of the branches of government; aka Congress; two houses (bicameral) - the house of representatives and the senate; responsible for making nation's laws
what is the house of representatives?
one of the houses of the legislative branch; number of reps is based on the state's population; currently 435 reps
what is the senate?
one of the houses of the legislative branch; there are 100 senators - two per state; reps serve 6-year terms - can serve as many as they'd like
what are the responsibilities of congress (legislative branch)?
make nation's laws, collect taxes, control gov't spending, monitor the executive branch, and can declare war
how is a law made?
1 - both houses of congress must agree on a bill; 2 - the bill goes to the president, and if he signs, it becomes a law
what is the executive branch?
one of the branches of government; led by the president and vice president, who serve 4-year terms; there's also the president's cabinet; responsible for carrying out laws
what are the responsibilities of the executive branch?
administrate laws passed by congress; president can direct foreign policy, name ambassadors, and negotiate treaties with other countries, and he's the commander-in-chief of the U.S. military
what is the judicial branch?
one of the branches of government; made up of the supreme court and lower courts (appeals courts and district courts)
what is the supreme court?
the highest court in the judicial branch; has power of judicial review; members are nominated by the president and approved by congress; made up of 9 justices (chief justice and 8 associate justices); they serve no fixed term
what is judicial review?
the court can review the actions of the executive and legislative branches to determine whether they violate the constitution
what are the main duties of justices?
they hear and rule on cases they choose from; they listen to arguments and present and explain their decision (court's opinion)
what are the three categories of rights that citizens have?
the right to be protected from unfair government actions, the right to be treated equally with others, and the right to enjoy basic freedoms
what does the fifth amendment say?
no one shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law
what does due process mean?
the government must follow established procedures in taking action against a citizen
what does the fourteenth amendment do?
it guarentees all people equal protection of the laws
what does the first amendment say?
it outlines our basic freedoms - freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and freedom to petition the government
what is a citizen?
a person who owes loyalty to a nation and is entitled to its protection
what are the qualifications to be a citizen?
must be born on U.S. soil - includes American territory and U.S. military bases; you can also be a citizen if your parent was born in the U.S.
what is naturalization?
the process of becoming a citizen
what are duties and responsibilities?
duties = things we must do; responsibilities = things we should do, but don't have to
what is an example of a duty and responsibility of U.S. citizens?
duty - obey the law; responsibility - exercising the right to vote
what is the preamble?
the introduction to the constitution; has 6 goals - to form a perfect union, to establish justice, to insure domestic tranquility, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general welfare, and to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity
what are the responsibilities of the president?
he's chief executive, chief diplomat, chief of armed forces, chief of state, and legislative leader
what do appeals courts do?
review decisions made by lower courts
what do district courts do?
consider criminal and civil cases
what is the bill of rights?
the first 10 amendments to the constitution
the words "We the People" are the first words of the ___
If a state law ____ the Constitution or federal law, the Constitution or federal law prevails.
what does the 14th amendment do?
grants full citizenship rights to formerly enslaved african americans
for an amendment to be ratified, it must be approved by what fraction of the states?
the constitution wirtten in Philadelphia in 1787 included what kind of power?
what do articles 1-3 of the constitution do?
create three branches of government
what does article 2 of the constitution describe?
the job of the executive branch
what does article 3 of the constitution create?
the judicial branch
what does article 1 of the constitution do?
sets up congress (legislative branch)
which delegate to the house of representatives is a voting member?
What is appropriation?
to set aside funds
what is a joint committee?
often formed between both houses to consider specific issues
what is a conference committee?
works out a compromise bill that is acceptable to both houses of Congress
what is veto?
declining/rejecting/not accepting or approving bill as law
what is due process of law?
government must follow certain procedures that have been established by law and are guaranteed by the constitution
how many justices are on the bench?
What is pigeonholing?
A bill is ignored, never reported out of committee
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