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having supreme power


one-house legislature


division of power between the federal gov. and the states


the right to vote


false charges and malicious oral statements about someone


An action taken to destroy something or to prevent it from working properly; to take such destructive action


practice of giving government jobs to supporters and friends

writ of certiorari

a common law writ issued by a superior court to one of inferior jurisdiction demanding the record of a particular case


formal approval


A change to the Constitution

exculsionary rule

improperly gathered evidence may not be introduced in a criminal trial

probable cause

reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion

civil liberties

the guarantees of the safety of persons, opinions, and property from the arbitrary acts of government, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion


the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent

discharge petition

Petition that, if signed by majority of the House of Representatives' members, will pry a bill from committee and bring it to the floor for consideration.

executive agreement

an agreement between the President and the leader of another country


writers of the Constitution


a constitutional system of government (usually with a written constitution)

symbolic speech

an act that conveys a political message

free exercise clause

the First Amendment guarantee that citizens may freely engage in the religious activities of their choice

establishment clause

Clause in the First Amendment that says the government may not establish an official religion.


a gathering of the minimal number of members of an organization to conduct business

presidential elector

president & vice president were chosen by a special body

federal budget

a plan for the federal government's revenues and spending for the coming year


composed of two legislative bodies

judicial review

the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional


an act of deliberate betrayal


false and defamatory printed (or written) statement


people a member of Congress represents


Distribution of representatives among the states based on the population of each state


the exclusive power of a president to recognize (establish formal diplomatic relations with) foreign states


voters can propose by petition constitutional amendments.


a process in which a legislative measure is referred to the state's voters for final approval or rejection.

item veto

the governor my veto one or more items in a bill without rejecting the entire measure.


a governor may release a person from the legal consequences of a crime.


a governor may reduce the sentence imposed by a court.


postpones the execution of a sequence of a sentence.


allows the release of a prisoner short of the completion of the term which he or she was originally sentenced.


a major unit of local government.


Louisiana calls counties this....


alaska calls counties this....


found as units of local government in those states or can be subdivisions

special district

an independent unit created to preform one or more related governmental functions at the local level.

mayor-council government

the oldest and still the most widely used type of city government

strong-mayor government

mayor heads the citys administration, has the power to hire and fire employees and prepares the budget.

weak-mayor government

the mayor has much less formal power.

commission form

commissioners are popularly elected.

council-manager form

a form of municipal government in which voters elect a city council, which hires a city manager responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city


a zoning ordinance places each parcel of land in the city into one of three zones: residential, commercial, or industrial.

metropolitan areas

the cites and the areas around them have taken several forms.


as the percentage of the population of a state living in cities of more than 250,00 people or in suburbs of cities with more than 50,00

sales tax

tax placed by the purchaser.

regressive tax

one that is not the same for all people and not geared to the ability to pay

income tax

levied on the income of individuals and/or corporations, yields almost a third of state revenues today.

progressive tax

the higher the income, the higher the tax rate.

property tax

chief source of income for local governments


the process of determining the value of property to be taxed is called this....

inheritance tax

one levied on the beneficiary's share of an estate

estate tax

one levied directly on the full estate itself

common law

unwritten, judge made law that has developed over centuries from those generally accepted ideas of right and wrong that have gained judicial recognition.


abided by earlier court decisions

criminal law

criminal case is one brought by the state against a person accused of committing a crime

civil law

portion of the law relating to human conduct, to disputes between private parties not covered in by criminal law

petit jury

the trial jury

appellate jurisdiction

their original jurisdiction, where it exists, is limited to a few specific kinds of cases

delegated powers

only those powers granted to it in the constitution.

expressed powers

those delegated to the national government spelled out in the constitution.

implied powers

not expressly stated in the constitution but are reasonably implied

inherent powers

not expressed in constitution but inherent.

reserved powers

powers held by the states in the federal system

exclusive powers

exercised only the national government.

concurrent powers

both national government and states posses and exercise.

proprietary colonies

still under crown rule but governor was appointed by the proprietor

royal colonies

direct control of the crown

Charter Colonies

governors were elected each year no kings approval needed.

magna carta

1215, includes fundamental rights as trail by jury and due process

petition of right

limited the kings power by demanding that the king not imprison political criitics without trial by jury.

english bill of rights

prohibited a standing army in peacetime, except with the consent of parliament and required that all parliamentary elections be free.

Necessary and proper clause

gives congress the power to make laws that are necessary and proper.

three fifths compromise

3/5 counting vote for african americans who can vote.

Due process clause

no state shall deprive any person of life liberty or property without due process of law.

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