AP GoPo Unit 2 : Branches of Government
Terms in this set (56)
Speaker of the House
An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant.
Senate Majority Leader
The chief spokesperson of the majority party in the Senate, who directs the legislative program and party strategy.
the assistant to the floor leader in each house of congress who tries to persuade party members to vote for bills the party supports
A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area
Committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form.
The most important influencers of the congressional agenda. They play dominant roles in scheduling hearings, hiring staff, appointing subcommittees, and managing committee bills when they are brought before the full house.
House Rules Committee
An institution unique to the House of Representatives that reviews all bills (except revenue, budget, and appropriations bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full House.
House Ways and Means Committee
The House of Representatives committee that, along with the Senate Finance Committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.
House Appropriations Committee
Committee in charge of setting the specific expenditures of money by the government of the United States.
A provision attached to a bill - to which it may or may not be related - in order to secure its passage or defeat.
Senators have power to place HOLD - Indication of disapproval for a bill, strong hesitation will likely lead to a filibuster, a hold allows Senators to be informed of any change in status or action on a bill or confirmation, holds can usually be very powerful/influential, if there are 60 votes: Holds won't stick.
A procedural practice in the Senate whereby a senator refuses to relinquish the floor and thereby delays proceedings and prevents a vote on a controversial issue.
A procedure for terminating debate, especially filibusters, in the Senate.
Government policy that attempts to manage the economy by controlling taxing and spending.
Federal spending required by law that continues without the need for annual approvals by Congress; includes interest on the debt and entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare
spending category about which government planners can make choices; must be approved each year
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
Government benefits that certain qualified individuals are entitled to by law, regardless of need.
review by legislative committees of the policies and programs of the executive branch
trustee model of representation
a model of representation in which representatives feel at liberty to act in the way they believe is best for their constituents
delegate model of representation
a model of representation in which representatives feel compelled to act on the specific stated wishes of their constituents
politico model of representation
a model of representation in which members of Congress act as either trustee or delegate, based on rational political calculations about who is best served, the constituency or the nation
the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population.
Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.
drawing the boundaries of legislative districts so that they are unequal in population
Baker v. Carr
case that est. one man one vote. this decision created guidelines for drawing up congresional districts and guaranteed a more equitable system of representation to the citizens of each state
Shaw v. Reno
NO racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.
presidential power to stop a bill from becoming a law by rejecting it
A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
State of the Union Address
The president's annual statement to Congress and the nation.
an agreement between the president and the leader of another country
a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law.
a presidential document that reveals what the president thinks of a new law and how it ought to be enforced
bully pulpit/going public
President sells his programs directly to the American public.
President's office is a "bully pulpit"
(a position to inspire Congress & the nation to follow his political agenda)
Advisory council for the president consisting of the heads of the executive departments, the vice president, and a few other officials selected by the president.
Commander in Chief
term for the president as commander of the nation's armed forces
Independent Regulatory Agencies
Federal regulatory agencies that are independent, thus not fully under the power of the president. Ex. Federal Trade Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission.
A government agency that operates like a business corporation, created to secure greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program. USPS, Amtrak
Article III of the Constitution
creates the Supreme Court but allows Congress to establish lower courts.
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Established judicial review
Life Tenure to Judges
so they can be free from public or political pressures when they hear cases.
Rule of Four
At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
writ of certiorari
An order by a higher court directing a lower court to send up a case for review
The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case.
Authority of court to review a decision of a lower court or administrative agency.
federal district courts
the courts of the national government that deal with problems between states, with the constitution, and with laws made by congress
an earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.
Stare Decisis (precedent)
"Let the decision stand"...courts generally follow the decisions of lower courts in similar cases that set a precedent
A judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground. Advocates of this approach emphasize that the courts can correct pressing needs, especially those unmet by the majoritarian political process.
a theory of judicial interpretation that encourages judges to limit the exercise of their own power
a person who interprets the Constitution in a way that allows the federal government to take only those actions the Constitution specifically says it can take
A person who interprets the Constitution in a way that allows the federal government to take actions that the constitution does not specifically forbid it from taking
limits of the judicial branch
can only act on cases that come before them, judges appointed for life unless they misconduct themselves; can be impeached; Congress can change number of justices; amendments can be passed to override a decision; nominations and confirmations
differences between House and Senate
House is much larger, more formal, more rule-driven, debate is limited, has power to start revenue bills, can impeach; Senate is smaller, longer terms, longer debate, has more authority in foreign policy; confirms presidential appointments
SCOTUS has ultimate authority to determine the constitutionality of actions of Congress, President, bureaucracy, lower courts, states.