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Govt Exam 2
Terms in this set (31)
Temporary committee that consists of members from both chambers of Congress. The committee compromises on the final language of the bill after it has been passed by one chamber and then amended and passed by the other. They reconcile the two versions of the bill.
The drawing of House district lines to increase the number of districts held by the political party that is in charge. This is usually done by packing as many voters who are likely to support the opposition into a few districts to limit their influence on the other districts.
Senate Majority Leader
Holds the most influence in the Senate. Selected by the majority party and has enhanced influence over the Senate agenda, bill progress, and committee appointments & chairmanships. Less powerful than the Speaker bcus of the cloture requirement.
Speaker of the House
Elected leader of the House who is selected by the majority party. Presides over the agenda & debates, figurehead of Congress, and has a lot of influence over committee appointments & chairmanships.
Permanent Committee in the House & Senate that specializes in certain subject areas. Almost all bills must be reported favorably by a standing committee before they can be presented by the rest of the Congress. Most bills die in. (Debate, revise, hold hearings on, and halt or advance bills)
Texas State Legislature
Consists of a 150 member House of Representatives and a 31 member Texas State Senate. Procedurally, it operates in an almost identical manner to Congress.
Are tasked with ensuring that everyone in their respective political party is voting the way they have been directed. Sometimes called party henchmen.
The Senate has time limits on how long each bill can be debated, a senator (or group of senators) can talk until the bill's time limit expires (run out the clock) which kills the bill. If 60 of the 100 senators vote to invoke Cloture, the opposition must stop their filibuster and the bill must go forward for a vote.
Allocation of funds in Congress to purchase or preserve expensive projects in a member's district. Often, these projects are unnecessary or needed elsewhere. This is done to incentivize party loyalty by Congressperson so that they can prove to their voting constituencies that they are indispensable.
The practice of trading votes on different bills and amendments in Congress. Members will agree to support a bill or an amendment in exchange for support for their own bill or amendment. Very prevalent in the Senate where 60 votes are required.
Impeachment & Removal
Any national government official (including the President) can be removed from office for criminal activity. Impeachment requires a simple majority vote in the House and Removal requires a ⅔ vote of the Senate.
Extra-Constitutional super powers given to the president (by Congress) during times of national emergencies. It permits the president to temporarily ignore constitutional limitations.
Advise & Consent
The ability of the U.S Senate to vet and approve of Presidential appointments and treaties.
The ability of the bureaucracy (under the direction of the President) to further define how a law will apply to various changing circumstances.
Civil Law & Criminal Law
Civil Law: The system of law concerned with private relations between members of a community rather than criminal, military, or religious affairs.
Criminal Law: Concerns the system of legal rules that define what conduct is classified as a crime and how the government may prosecute individuals that commit crimes. A crime is any act or omission of an act in violation of a law forbidding or commanding it.
Presidential Veto Bureaucracy
...The power of the President to refuse to approve a bill or joint resolution and thus prevent its enactment into law is the veto. The president has ten days (excluding Sundays) to sign a bill passed by Congress. This veto can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote in both the Senate and the House
Group of leaders who oversee various agencies and departments of government and advise the president. They serve under the direction and authority of the president.
The almost absolute power that the president has over the military.
A detailed mandate from the president on how they want (or don't want) the bureaucracy to implement & enforce laws.
Criminal Procedure Process
- Arrest & booking
- Fair bail & guarantee of the right of Habeas Corpus (Charges)
- Pretrial Proceeding
Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
The high standard required for a jury to find a defendant guilty in a criminal trial. It basically means that a unanimous jury must be at least 85% sure that the defendant is guilty, otherwise the jury must vote for acquittal. If the jury decision is not unanimous or guilty, it results in a mistrial called a Hung Jury and the defendant can be retried (Double Jeopardy does not apply if there is a Hung Jury).
A court proceeding in which the defendant is read the charges in the indictment and is asked to enter a plea.
Preponderance of Evidence
Standard required to find Culpability (Blameworthiness) in a Civil Lawsuit (Legal Dispute between private citizens). Basically, it entails at least ¾ of the jury being at least more sure than not (51%) that the defendant is Culpable.
Judicial Activism v. Restraint
Activism: Belief that the Supreme Court should take a loose view of the text of the Constitution, make policy when necessary, and seek to match the power of the other two branches & states. An example of this is the majority opinion in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) which established the "Right to Privacy" & Roe v. Wade (1972) which struck down state laws that banned abortions.
Restraint: Belief that the Supreme Court should take a more literal view of the Constitution, should avoid making policy & defer to the other two branches unless they are acting in a way that is blatantly unconstitutional. An example of this would be the majority opinion in McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) where the court interpreted the 2nd Amendment to protect one's right to own a handgun.
Reviewing of laws or Government actions by an appellate court to see if they are consistent with the Constitution. If found to be inconsistent, the law or action is nullified. First established in the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Original Jurisdiction & Dist Courts
The main court of original jurisdiction at the national & state level. Almost all cases start at the district court. The facts of the case are established, and the accused is afforded a maximum level of due process.
Appellate Jurisdiction & Crt of Appeals
Can only hear case after original jurisdiction. Looks only for due process or constitutional errors.
Judges are required to interpret the law and settle disputes in a manner that is consistent with how previous courts have ruled on similar cases. Also, Common Law jurisdictions tend to provide the maximum level of due process for those accused of crimes relative to other systems.
The requirement by an Appellate Court that there must be an error in due process, the law that a defendant was convicted of breaking was unconstitutional.
Majority Opinion of Sup. Crt.
Written statement by the side of the Supreme Court (or lesser appellate courts) that has the most votes in an appealed case. Unlike the minority opinion, the majority opinion has the power to change policy or actions. It takes at least 5 of the 9 votes to develop a majority in the Supreme Court. In split decisions the majority is often secured by which side secures the vote of the Swing Justice.
Present cases must be decided based on previous precedents.
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