Glossary of SOC 195 Exam 3

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What are the 3 branches of the US government?
1. Legislative
2. Executive
3. Judicial
What does the legislative branch do?
The responsibility of the legislative branch (Federal and State) is to make law.
What is the primary responsibility of the executive branch?
a. implement laws made by congress of the Legislatures

b. oversee everyday activities of the government

c. command the military (army, navy, air force, coast guard)

d. establish and maintain relations with foreign powers (formation of trade relations and treaties)
What is the primary responsibility of the judicial branch of government?
Judge and prescribe punishment of lawbreakers as well as adjudicate conflicts among citizens and among corporations
To whom do the laws of the US apply?
Federal law establishes what citizens and visitors to the country must do and establishes limits on what they can do
To whom do the laws passed by the US states apply?
State law applies only to those residing in or visiting a particular state
What are the two "houses" of the US Congress?
a. US Senate
b. US House of Representatives
What definition of "democracy" is supplied by your text?
A government in which people elect other people to make the laws
What is the process by which a bill (a proposed change in the law) becomes the law?
1. Industries and business draft bills which they give to their lobbyists
2. The industry lobbyists bring the bills to Congressional committees
3. The original draft of the bill is examined by staff of the committee (including lawyers and experts) to look for potentially embarrassing items and to see how th unaltered legislation might work
4. After the staff looks at it, the bill and suggested changes are shown to the actual committee of Congressmen and their personal staffs
--Hearings are held to allow interested witnesses a chance to inform the committees of their evaluation of the proposed legislation and its possible consequences if implemented
5. When the CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE is comfortable with the bill, it is sent to the floor of the legislative body for consideration by the entire body
--Bill is examined by members of the legislative body and their staffs
--Amendments to the bill may be proposed on the floor and adopted by a majority of the legislative members
6. Amended bills are then either:
i. Tabled: brought up for consideration at a later date
ii.Accepted: becomes candidate, with modifications by a Conference Committee, to be sent to the President (state law would be sent to the governor) to be signed into law
iii.Rejected: considered dead for that particular legislative session
What is the minimum voting age in the US elections?
18 years old
How long a term do members of the House of Representatives serve?
2 years
How long a term do Senate members serve?
6 years
Which part of the government has the power to decide how much taxes the government can collect from people?
Congress sets the rates that determine the amounts of revenue that may be collected from the taxpayers
Who is the head of the executive branch of the US governmnet?
The Chief Executive is the President
What responsibilities does the executive branch have?
1. oversees the expenditure of funds appropriated by Congress through enforcement of the laws passed by Congress

2. Public service

3. Defense of the country (in charge of military and foreign policy)

4. Strong influence on legislation
Who are the chief officers of a court?
What body of citizens sometimes assists the judge in court cases?
A jury of US citizens

--Usually property owners or voters in the last election
--Picked from a list of citizens (randomly selected to form a pool of jurors)
Are US judges elected?
No, federal judges are appointed by the President, usually after nomination by Senators or Representatives.
Are state judges elected?
Yes, many state and local judges are chosen through elcetions, depending on the laws of the state
What government body confirms a judge's appointment?
The Senate
What special training do judges have?
Typically have special training in law, usually with a degree in law
Describe the appeal process of the decisions of a US District Court (with or without a jury)
Lower court decisions can be appealed to a higher court under certain circumstances

--The decision of a jury cannot be appealed, but court procedures that resulted in the decision can be appealed
What obligations must US citizens fulfill in the organization and work of the US government?
-Obligated to vote to choose the leaders of the US and of the states (inform themselves about the issues and capability of the candidates)

-Obligated to pay taxes

-Obligated to serve in the military in time of war

-Obligated to communicate their preferences, their fears, and their suggestions to their elected public officials

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