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Bureaucracy and the Judiciary
Terms in this set (48)
A form of organization that operates through impersonal, uniform rules and
A career government employee.
Usually the largest organization in government with the largest mission; also the
highest rank in Federal hierarchy
A government entity that is independent of the legislative, executive,
and judicial branches.
Independent regulatory commission
A government agency or commission with regulatory
power whose independence is protected by Congress.
A government agency that operates like a business corporation,
created to secure greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program.
Senior Executive Service
Established by Congress in 1978 as a flexible, mobile corps of
senior career executives who worked closely with presidential appointees to manage
A system of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends
A system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on
demonstrated performance rather than political patronage.
Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Agency that administers civil service laws, rules,
Federal statute barring Federal employees from active participation in certain kinds
of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds.
The process of putting a law into practice through bureaucratic rules or
Administrative discretion - Authority given by Congress to the Federal bureaucracy to use
reasonable judgment in implementing the laws.
The formal instructions that government issues for implementing laws.
The formal process for making regulations.
The portion of the Federal budget that is spent on programs, such
as Social Security, that the president and Congress are unwilling to cut.
Programs such as unemployment insurance, disability relief, or
disability payments that provide benefits to all eligible citizens.
Providing automatic increases to compensate for inflation
Legislative or executive review of a particular government program or organization.
Can be in response to a crisis of some kind or part of routine review.
Review of all executive branch testimony, reports, and draft legislation by
the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that each communication to Congress is in
accordance with the president's program
The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or government regulation that in the
opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties
argue their differences.
A dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy and that is capable of
settlement by legal methods.
Lawsuit brought by an individual or a group of people on behalf of all those similarly
A law that defines crimes against the public order.
A law that governs relationships between individuals and defines their legal rights.
In a criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.
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
Public defender system
Arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to
people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys.
A dispute that requires knowledge of a nonlegal character or the use of techniques
not suitable for a court or explicitly assigned by the Constitution to Congress or the president; judges
refuse to answer constitutional questions that they declare are political.
Writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in
The authority of a court to hear a case "in the first instance."
The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts.
A jury of 12 to 23 persons who, in private, hear evidence presented by the government to
determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial. If the jury believes there is sufficient evidence
that a crime was committed, it issues an indictment.
A jury of 6 to 12 persons who determine guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action.
An official who per forms a variety of limited judicial duties.
Court of appeals
A court with appellate jurisdiction that hears appeals from the decisions of lower
A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court
that is binding on all other federal courts.
Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for
approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect
what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current
conditions and values.
The rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly
viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.
Writ of certiorari
A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
Amicus curiae brief
Literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or organization to
present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate parties to a case.
The list of potential cases that reach the Supreme Court
Opinion of the Court
An explanation of the decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate
An opinion disagreeing with a majority in a Supreme Court ruling.
An opinion that agrees with the majority in a Supreme Court ruling but differs on
Recommended textbook explanations
Magruder's American Government
TEKS United States Government
Donald A. Ritchie, Richard C. Remy
Magruder's American Government (Florida Student Edition)
Daniel M. Shea
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