The constitutional right of Congress to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. Commerce has been expanded to include not only production, buying, and selling of goods, but also transportation of people or goods.
Powers shared by the state and the federal government, such as taxation, courts and banks. States usually have more control over these areas, unless the federal government decides to take control of a certain power.
economic interpretation of the Constitution
Charles Beard's theory that the creators of the Constitution were wealthy and primarily concerned with protecting their own interests, especially property and wealth.
full faith and credit
In civil proceedings, the rights a person has under any type of contract or judicial decision will be enforced in all states. This contributes to American unity, protects legal rights, and lessens the evasion of legal responsibilities.
Powers that the federal government has authority over even though it is not explicitly stated in the Constitution, especially regarding foreign affairs.
The power of the federal government to override state governments, based on the kingpin clause in Article VI of the Constitution.
necessary and proper clause
This authorizes all laws that are "necessary and proper" for carrying out the powers of Congress. It is the basis for implied powers and allows Congress to choose how to execute its powers.
Powers belonging to the states, including any powers that are nor expressly delegated to the federal government or expressly denied to the states.
An interpretation of the Constitution that holds reserved powers above implied powers, in opposition to the increasing power of the federal government.
McCulloch v. Maryland
This cemented implied powers and national supremacy by allowing the federal government to disestablish a bank under the elastic clause as well as refusing to allow the bank to be taxed.
When a person is not connected to his/her government, usually because the government does not seem to consider his/her needs or hopes.
The voters of an entire government electing legislators, as opposed to legislators being elected by individual subdivisions.
A party attempting to please the voters by allowing personal backgrounds and qualifications to influence the selection of candidates.
The minor parts of a major political party, moderating extremes to appeal to a majority of voters. The term is used to describe an alliance between political groups.
A popular/unpopular candidate at the top of a party ticket influencing votes for minor candidates, either positively or negatively.
responsible party system
A democratic government in which a party is required to vote a certain way and held responsible by the voters to develop policy and run the government.
Smith v. Allwright
This ruled that segregated primaries are unconstitutional under the Fifteenth Amendment.
Voting Rights Act
Enacted in 1965 and renewed three times, this attempts to eliminate voting restrictions on minorities. It suspended the use of literacy tests and led to the Supreme Court decision that poll taxes are illegal.
This states that the House can force a bill out of a committee after 30 days by a 218 majority petition of the House membership. A week after the petition, a House member can move to release the bill from committee.
This allows members of Congress and other government agencies to send things in the mail by substituting their facsimile signature for postage.
pork barrel legislation
Spending public money on non-critical local projects, resulting in large yearly expenditures.
A provision that is unlike to pass on its own merits that is attached to an important bill, usually as an amendment, in order to be written into law.
Statutes that include provisions that will expire the law at the end of a specified time period.
Baker v. Carr
Established that federal courts have jurisdiction over lawsuits challenging the apportionment of legislative districts.
Reynolds v. Sims and Wesberry v. Sanders
Established that both houses in a state legislature must be apportioned on population and congressional districts must be equal in population.
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Act
Revised old procedures and established new ones by which Congress considers the annual federal budget.
An informal group selected by the president to help him make decisions, generally made of heads of departments.
A rule issued by an administrative authority (i.e. a president or governor) that has the effect of law. It is sometimes used to create or change an administrative agency.
The right of the president to refuse to appear before a court or to withhold information.
A term often used by opposition leaders to discredit an incumbent administration to describe misuse or abuse of power by the president and his administration.
The refusal to expend funds appropriated by the legislative branch. This is used by presidents to control the budget execution process.
An appointment made by the president of a federal official when the Senate is not in session. The appointment expires at the end of the next congressional session unless the Senate confirms it.
The view that the president has the power to do anything necessary to safeguard the nation, as long as it is not prohibited by the Constitution.
taftian or contractual theory
A theory that says the president is limited to powers specifically authorized by the Constitution.
US v. Nixon
Established that executive privilege could be used to protect confidentiality with staff as long as it did not withhold information from a pending criminal trial.