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AP Gov Sem Final Study Guide Review ALL


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Support environmental programs; separation of church/state; supports government intervention
Liberal: General Viewpoints
Popular Leader
Special relationship with American people, who rely on him to serve the interests of the entire nation ahead of those of any state or citizen. In turn, the president depends on public support to help push programs through Congress. To communicate with the public and provide strong national leadership, President may use regular presidential press conferences to mold public opinion and to rally support. Since the 1960's, presidents have favored the use of televised addresses from the White House to reach large audiences.
Van Orden v. Perry
A Ten Commandments monument erected on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol did not violate the Establishment Clause because the monument, when considered in context, conveyed a historic and social meaning rather than an intrusive religious endorsement.
Strong state government; Weak national government; Direct election of officials; Shorter terms; Rule by the common man; Strengthened protections for individual liberties
Government Preferred by Anti-Federalists
Chief Executive
1) Enforces federal laws, treaties, and federal court rulings; (2) Develops federal policies; (3) Prepares the national budget; and (4) Appoints federal officials.
supply economic freedoms, laissez-faire policies, pro-business, and supply side economics (trickle-down economics); against taxes
Conservative: Economics
Cabinet Departments
15 total of various size, status, visibility, and function. They all advise the President, help execute/implement programs; have broad responsibility. Examples: State (the most prestigious. The diplomats), Defense: biggest, HHS, Agriculture, Commerce, Homeland Security, Attorney General.
Stone v. Graham
A Kentucky statute requiring the posting of a copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall of each public classroom in the State is unconstitutional because it lacks a secular legislative purpose.
liked monarchy but did not believe in divine right
Congressional Budget Act
Created House/Senate budget committees; created the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which compares its budget with the OMB's
Borrowing money from other sources.
Confederation - Articles of Confederation: independent, separate parts
Twinkie theory
Ex Post Facto laws (busting people with a new law on an old action), Bill of Attainder (bill directed against one group), Habeas Corpus (must be told why being detained; right to trial)
Legislative Powers: Powers Denied
Bad Tendency
Gitlow v New York: Can prohibit speech if it has the "tendency to result actions dangerous to public security, even though such utterances create no clear and present danger"
Takes no definitive position on any issue; Pick and choose their viewpoints; Tend to favor status quo and desire no change; Tend to be independent in their political perspectives
Marbury v. Madison
Does the Supreme Court have the power to force Jefferson to give Marbury the job? Does the Supreme Court have more power than just the few specific powers that are listed in the Constitution? Outcome: Marbury was ruled against and he wasn't given the job, but Chief Justice Marshall established the power of judicial review, where the Supreme Court is able to review laws passed by the legislative and executive branches to make sure they are constitutional. The Judiciary Act of 1789 was ruled unconstitutional as well.
Establishment Clause
In 1st Amendment, states that "Congress shall make no law respecting or establishing a religion"
State. v. Federal
Any time you commit a crime involving two or more states, the crime automatically becomes federal. Must have a Constitutional base to appeal.
Lay and collect taxes, duties to pay debt; Borrow money; Regulate interstate and foreign commerce; Coin money; Punish counterfeiting
Enumerated Powers: Financial Powers (
Congress holds the purse strings
Legislative Powers:
Judicial Activists
Constitution is a living, breathing document, these types of justices hold a pretty liberal view, believe the Constitution is meant to be read and interpreted in modern times.
Bill of Rights (BOR)
First 10 Amendments to the Constitution.
25 years of age; US citizen for 7 years; Resident of the district you represent
Requirements for HOR
Separation of church and state
Oral Arguments
One hour/case, 30 minutes a side (unless the government takes your side; you get 20 minutes, the government gets 10)
Block Grants
federal funds given to state governments to pay for goods, services, or programs with relatively few restrictions on how the funds may be spent; power is in the hands of the state governments; very broad
Political Equality Compromise
Issue: Voting abilities; Factions: Let everyone vote or let only white property owners vote; Outcome: Voting abilities determined on a state-by-state basis
Independent Executive Agencies
Too small to be a cabinet department but too large to be controlled by a cabinet department; NASA, CIA, Peace Corp, Civil Rights Commission; Narrower areas of responsibility. Examples: NASA, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), Peace Corps. Agency heads are appointed by the President; they are not a part of Cabinet, so not technically under the President's control.
Supremacy Clause:
Article 6
Types of Public Policy:Court decision
Opinion by Supreme Court or other court; ruling that school segregation is unconstitutional
Roles of PACS: Education
Educate policy makers regarding issues that are important to the interest group. This is mostly done in committee hearings.
Must be at least 35 years of age; a natural born citizen; lived in the US for 14 years; Requirements for the Vice President are the same as the requirements for the President
Executive Branch Requirements
Divine Right Theory
Medieval notions of kingship; certain kings ruled because they were chosen by God to do so and that these kings were accountable to no person except God
Cooperative federalism (FDR)
Lines of power are blurred; Power is not concentrated in any government level or any agency; many centers of influence
Presidential Term Compromise
Issue: Length of presidential term; Factions: Federalists - infrequent elections; Anti-Federalists - frequent elections; term lengths of 4,7,11, or life term; Outcome: Federalists have unlimited terms, Anti-Federalists get 4 year terms
internationalists, working to aid human suffering globally; pro-UN
Liberal: World View
Budget Surplus
Spending less than what is brought in.
Wealthy and nobles, elders select group to rule that has always ruled
redistricting to break up a certain group; takes away power from the group
support government intervention in economic affairs to ensure equality, pro-laborer; taxation used to support programs and redistribute wealth
Liberal: Economics
All people are created equal; Consent of the governed; Unalienable rights; Government protects rights; Right to revolt
Five Principles of Declaration of Independence
Executive Privilege
Assertion made by President or other executive branch officials when they refues to give Congress, courts, or private parties information or records which have been requested or subpoenaed, or when they order government witnesses not to testify against Congress; always met with conflict. Ex) US vs. Nixon
Higher incomes tend to be more conservative.
Factors of Voting: Income
17% of House is female; 16% of Senate is female
Congressional Makeup: Gender
Ratification (9/13 colonies must ratify the Constitution to enact it)
Article 7
Roles of PACS: Policy Monitoring
Keep tabs on law's consequences, informing Congress and regulatory agencies about the positive and negative effects
Marbury vs. Madison
Created principle of Judicial Review
1st Amendment: Religion
Government cannot forbid or advocate any religion, it must be neutral (see Establishment and Free Exercise clauses)
Dual federalism
Rigid wall separates state government powers from national government powers; The relationship between nation and states is characterized by tension rather than cooperation
Media confine their role to getting the facts of the story straight and moving the news out to the public quickly, avoiding stories with unverified content, and reaching as wide an audience as possible.
Federalist 51
Madison's article emphasizing the necessity of separation of power.
10% of House, 1% of Senate
Congressional Makeup: AAs
Party Leader
Helps form the party's positions on all important issues, use patronage power, the authority to make appointments to government jobs. For example, a president can reward a loyal supporter by approving that person's choice for a federal judge.
redistricting to give an advantage/disadvantage to a party, gender, race, socioeconomics, etc.
Federal System
District Courts (94) Circuit Courts (Court of Appeals) (12; based on region) Supreme Court
African Americans and Hispanics tend to vote less, probably because of a generally lower education level. However, African Americans and Hispanics vote more than Whites with the same amount of education.
Factors of Voting: Race
Majority, concurring, dissenting
3 Opinions; Dissenting against majority; concurring supports majority but either has something to add or arrived there in a different manner
Budget Resolution
A framework/outline within which the members of the Congressional budget committees will make their decisions about spending and taxes. It includes targets for total spending, total revenues, surplus or deficit, and allocations for the spending
Engle v. Vitale
It is unconstitutional for state officials to compose an official school prayer and require its recitation in public schools
Believed royal power came from the people, but placed few limits on the monarch
Types of Public Policy: Presidential Action
Decision by President; U.S. Troops invade Iraq
Standing Committees
Separate subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
Commander in Chief
Importance: Civilian leader of the military; Means that the civilian can be voted out/impeached if need be; Prevents military dictatorship within history; This does not mean that the president declares war
Pluralism/Pluralist Theory
A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies. Groups with shared interests influence public policy by pressing their concerns through organized efforts. Generally optimistic that the public interest will eventually prevail in the making of public policy through a complex process of bargaining and compromise. They emphasize groups of minorities working together over a majority rule.
Pork Barrel
Bringing money back to your district for projects
Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye v. City of Hialeah
An ordinance passed in Hialeah that forbade the "unnecessary killing of an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption" was ruled unconstitutional because it acted as a writ of attainder against the Church.
Economic, Equal Opportunity, Government, Public Interest
Types of PACs
McCain-Feingold Act
(a) New limits on election donations: $2,000/election for individuals, (Can give $2300 per election?) but PACs still $5000. The contribution limit is set to keep pace with inflation, (b) Soft $ ban (soft money-funds raised for campaigning at the grass-roots level, not previously subject to federal limits), (c) Issue Ad restrictions (issue ads are ads based on certain issues from interest groups). There could be none of these 60 days before the election, and none 30 days before primaries.
Where power rests with one body and is not devolved to separate individual government institutions
How a Bill Becomes a law in the Senate
Only difference in the Senate is that if approved and the bill is reported to the full Senate and placed on the calendar, SENATE LEADERS, not the RULES COMMITTEE of both parties schedule Senate debate on the bill.
Strict Constructionists
Strict constructionists (literal reading in the Constitution, conservative viewpoint, and a view that powers only exist if specifically spelled out in the Constitution, with the framers' initial intentions. These types of justices practice judicial restraint)
support of the people; consent of the governed-voting
Rule of 4
takes 4 of 9 judges to accept a case (so that the Supreme Court will protect the rights of the minority).
Symbolic Speech
Usually protected by Constitution; Flag-burning is legal
Mandatory spending
Entitlement spending which makes up 2/3 of all spending. It is authorized by permanent laws. This also includes interest on the national debt.
Recess Appointments
appointing people to office while the Senate is on break (recess); makes the Senate mad and the appointment can only last up to two years (or the next Congressional election)
Representation, Education, Agenda Building, Participation, and Policy Monitoring
Roles of PACs
You can voluntarily give up your 4th Amendment rights.
In committee, when a committee sits on a bill until it simply dies.
Morse v. Frederick
Because schools may take steps to safeguard those entrusted to their care from speech that can reasonably be regarded as encouraging illegal drug use, the school officials in this case did not violate the First Amendment by confiscating the pro-drug banner and suspending Frederick.
Creates only the Supreme Court; all other courts are created by Congress
Article III
Direct process, voters cast secret ballots for the candidates of their choosing. There are open, closed, and blanket primaries. Open-benefit: You don't have to be a registered member, and can vote for any party, but have to vote consistently for that party. Closed: Have to be a card carrying member of that party. Voters must be registered in that party to vote in that party. Blanket: Get to vote for all (only two states that allow you to do that).
Health and Human Services
Cabinet Department with the Largest Budget
Good Faith Exception
If officers think they are acting legally, but something goes wrong (e.g. typo on search warrant), everything seized was still obtained legally
Prior Restraint
Government preventing material from being published (censorship); Unconstitutional according to 1st Amendment and Near v. Minnesota
Iron Triangle
A mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees. Congress gives funding and political support to the bureaucracy in return fo policy choices and execution. The bureaucracy gives low regulation and special favors to interest groups, who in turn give the bureaucracy congressional support, via lobby. Interest groups give electoral suppor to Congress in return for friendly legislation and oversight.
Search Warrant (2 necessities)
Necessary for search/seizure; Need probable cause and a judge's oath/affirmation, which a judge will only give if the warrant is specific to where you are looking and what you're looking for. Usually lasts for about 10 days. Probable Cause: Police officers must have probable cause to search/seize. More restrictive than the reasonable standard of school administrators.
Full Faith and Credit
Article 4
Types of Public Policy: Regulation
Agency adoption of; Food and Drug Administration's approval of a new drug
Pardons and Reprieves
Importance: Check on the Judicial branch; If Judiciary unfairly punishes a criminal, President can fix the abuse; Famous: Eugene Debs (Harding); Ford and Nixon over the Watergate Scandal; are final, but if done with illegal intentions, President is subject to penalty (Clinton)
Roles of PACS: Representation
Representing their members' views to Congress, the Executive branch, and administrative agencies. This is mostly achieved by lobbying.
14th Amendment
Equal protection under the law, due process
Executive Agreement
Act within power of treaty; they can either implement parts of a treaty or amend a previous treaty; most are negotiations with heads of foreign govenrments, most are routine and deal with noncontroversial subject but some do involve implementing important foreign policy
Congress members already holding office. In congressional elections, they usually win because people already know their policies.
Unitary system - single powerful monarch
Pound Cake Theory
HOR Impeaches; Senate holds the trial
Legislative Powers: Impeachment
Lemon Test
Does it have a secular purpose? Does it have a primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits government? Does it foster an excessive government "entanglement" with religion?
Participants (now all registered voters) may openly show support for candidates. Voting is done by raising hands or breaking into groups according to the candidate a participant supports. Caucuses are usually organized as a pyramid (small caucuses usually held initially, then congressional district caucuses, then state convention, where the delegates are finally chosen to go to the national convention).
applies to Supreme Court/federal judges and Cabinet; Importance: Check on judiciary and important in creation and executing policy; Very rarely is President's choice declined; Simple majority vote needed from the Senate;
Establish rules of naturalization, post offices, establish and enforce patents, define and punish piracy and other crimes (treason) against the nation; establish courts
Enumerated Powers: Governmental Powers
Shortening the sentence of a crime
Social Contract Theory
First was the Magna Carta
Constitutional Convention
Convention held by the Founders to create the US Constitution. Full-scale meeting of the states in Philadelphia after the Small (5-state) Annapolis, Maryland meeting to suggest reform for Articles
How a Bill Becomes a Law in the House
Bill Introduction: Bill is introduced by a member and assigned to a committee, which usually refers to a subcommittee. Committee Action: Subcommittee performs studies, holds hearings, and makes revisions. If approved, the bill goes to the full committee. Full committee may amend or rewrite the bill, before deciding whether to send it to the House floor, to recommend its approval, or to kill it. If approved, the bill is reported to the full House and placed on the calendar. Rules Committee issues a rule governing debate on the House floor and sends the bill to the full House. Floor Action: Bill is debated by full House, amendments are offered, and a vote is taken. If the bill passes in a different version from that passed in the Senate, it is sent to a conference committee. Conference Action: Conference committee composed of members of both House and Senate meet to iron out differences between the bills. The compromise bill is returned to both the House and Senate for a vote. Full House votes on conference committee version. If it passes, the bill is sent to the president. Presidential Action: President signs or vetoes the bill. Congress may override a veto by a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. Law
Social contract:Life was peaceful in state of nature, but not fulfilled; People in the state of nature are more animal than human; People should form a new society to which they would surrender themselves completely to create a new entity (the "public person"); General will - doing what is best for all; Even in supporting the minority, a person must follow the majority rule; Community has the right to force people to be free; The general will cannot be wrong; Established a base for radical (pure) democracy
Select Committees
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
Thurgood Marshall
1st African American Supreme Court justice
State of nature - people could act freely; State of nature is chaotic, irresponsible, and devoid of freedom
Department of Defense
Largest Cabinet Department
Types of public policy: Congressional statute
passed by Congress; S.S. Act
Executive Branch
Article 2
Linkage Institutions
In U.S., include elections, political parties, interest groups and media
Executive Orders and Agreements
Both do not require (unlike treaties) congressional approval/Senate ratification; may be later revoked by new legislation, nullified if found unconstitutional
Small farmers, shopkeepers, laborers
Anti-Federalist Background
Separation of Powers
A feature of the Constitution that requires each of the three branches of government—executive, legislative, and judicial—to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
Chief of State
(formal head of a nation; distinct from the head of government), expected to show pride in American achievements and traditions. In this role, he may attend historical celebrations, dedicates new buildings and national parks, or even throw out the first ball of the professional baseball season. The president also presents awards to war heroes and invites distinguished Americans to the White House. In addition, the chief executive greets visiting foreign officials and often hosts formal White House dinners for them. The president also represents the United States in visits to other countries.
Older people vote more than younger people. Younger people are less likely to be registered for voting.
Factors of Voting: Age
(states trying to jump ahead of each other in scheduling their primaries/caucuses), it can draw out the primary campaigning as opposed to the general election (this year's Democratic primary was an example; both the public and candidates get weary of the tedious process), but can push overall schedule ahead
Hobbes Social Contract
People are prisoners of their own evil, but they are rational; People surrender all their natural rights to a monarch; Give monarch complete obedience in exchange for order (sole function of the monarch); People could revolt if the monarch failed to keep peace
Pocket Veto
A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets in tie by neither signing it nor vetoing it.
Clear and Present Danger
Schenck v US: Can't go into a theater and scream "Fire!"
Government Corporations
Examples: Post office: facility authorized by the postal system to post, receive, sort, handle, transmit, or deliver mail, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): provides deposit insurance which guarantees the safety of checking and savings deposits in member banks, AMTRAK: provides intercity passenger train service in US
Why are political parties weak? (Systematic Reasons)
Have the ability to resist 3rd party threats and incorporate their themes/ideas; Separation of power makes it harder for one party to control the government; The Electoral College system favors majority parties and limits 3rd parties; PACs have taken over the role that parties used to have; • Primary elections have eliminated party "bosses"
Optimistic about human nature and its potential
Liberal: Human Nature
Labels in the minds of voters; Organizations that recruit and campaign for candidates; Leaders who try to organize/control legislative/executive branches; Political linkage institutions; A voice for the opposition
Political Parties act as...
redrawing boundaries so that the other party loses a district
Roles of PACS: Participation
Avenue for citizen participation. An example is litigation (law suits).
Importance: Check on Legislative Branch; President becomes involved in the creation of legislation with this threat; power of this demonstrates power of the office or lack thereof;
Media decide the details about what news gets covered or not, and how.
Gatekeeper, Disseminator, Investigator/Watchdog, and Public Mobilizer
Media plays roles of
Regulatory Agencies
Have power in all three branches of government; created to regulate important aspects of our economy and society. Have legislative (writes regulations), executive (execute the regulation), and judicial functions (hears appeals to the regulations)Examples: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): regulates environment for clean water, air, noise, waste, and other emissions, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): regulates buying and selling of all stocks, bonds, and other securities, Federal Communications Commission (FCC): regulates all forms of communications from TV, radio, telegraph, and the internet
War Powers Act (Resolution)
the president can send armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of Congress or if the US is already under attack or serious threat; requires that the president notify Congress within 48 hours of committing armed forces to military action and forbids armed forces from remaining for more than 60 days without an authorization of force or a declaration of war
Commander in Chief, Pardons and Reprieves, Veto (Pocket and Line Item), Treatymaking, Appointments, State of the Union Address , Calling Sessions of Congress
Formal Powers
Voters, Money, Info, Organization
Political Parties provide...
Judicial Branch
Article 3
State System
Trial Courts State Courts of Appeal State Supreme Court US Supreme Court
Judicial Independence
judges have the job for life (independent of politicians' views and feelings)
Department of State
Most Prestigious Cabinet Dept.
redistricting to contain a certain group; gives power to the group
Three-Fifths Compromise
Issue: Taxation and government representation; Factions: North - did not have very many slaves; South - had a lot of slaves which could be counted towards governmental representation and taxes; Outcome: Representation and taxation were to be based on the number of free persons plus 3/5 of the number of slaves
States were sovereign; No independent executive; No federal courts; Federal laws enforced by the states; No power to collect taxes; No power over interstate and foreign commerce; Only able to be amended by consent of all the states
Articles of Confederation: Weaknesses
Unfunded Mandates
regulations or conditions for receiving grants that impose costs on states and local governments for which they are not reimbursed by the federal governments; ex. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), NCLB (No Child Left Behind)
Review actions of the Executive Branch; greater when Legislative and Executive branch aren't controlled by one party
Legislative Powers: Oversight
Bill of Rights Compromise
Issue: Necessity of Bill of Rights; Factions: Federalists - Not needed; Anti-Federalists - Needed; Federalists--Not Needed; Outcome: Federalists ratified the Constitution, and Anti-Federalists got the BOR
Desires immediate, drastic, progressive (new) change (violent if necessary); Desires ultimate sense of equality (everyone is the same); Government can be the instrument that ensures that equality among all
EOP (Executive Office of the President); Cabinet Departments; Independent Executive Agencies; Regulatory Agencies; Government Corporations
5 Parts of the Bureaucracy
Allegheny v. ACLU
Display of the menorah and Christmas tree in a government was constitutional, while the Christian nativity scene in a government building was unconstitutional.
Minimum of 30 years of age; US citizen for 9 years; Resident of the state they represent
Requirements for the Senate
A six-member bipartisan agency which enforces campaign finance laws.
Speaker of the House (voted in technically, but majority always wins); Majority/minority leader; Majority/minority whip; Other leadership; Ranking Members
Leadership in the House
Checks and Balances
Features of the Constitution that limit governmental power by requiring that power to be balanced among the different governmental institutions. These institutions continually constrain one another's activities.
Supreme Court
9 justices, including one Chief Justice; Federal Courts - 65% of cases; State Courts - 35% of cases. Petitions to the Court (Approx 8000). In Forma Pauperis (allows for poor people to submit to Supreme Court). Discuss list is reviewed (98% of cases are denied). Rule of 4 - takes 4 of 9 judges to accept a case (so that the Supreme Court will protect the rights of the minority). Writ of Certiorari - statement from the Supreme Court to get notes from lower courts about the cases. Supreme Court Docket established (Approx 100 cases). Written briefs (essays about your side of the case) are submitted to the Court by the lawyers involved. Stare Decisis (precedent) - use past Supreme Court cases to back up your views; required. Amicus curiae briefs - briefs written by interest groups. Most of the time, the Supreme Court has already made up their minds before you came in based on the briefs.
Freedom, though limited, is possible only if people surrender their liberty to a monarch
The Preamble
"Establish justice";
The West wing, which consists of the President's closest advisers (the VP and chief of staff), The NSC (National Security Council), which is a committee that links the President's key foreign and military advisers. Formal members are the President, the VP, Secretary of State, and is managed by the President's national security assistant. It provides the President with information and policy recommendations on National Security, aids the president in national security management, coordinates agency and departmental activities, and monitors the implementation of NS policy. Finally, consists of the OMB (Office of Management and Business), which consists of a handful of political appointees and more than 600 career officials (many skilled professionals); their main responsibility is to prepare President's budget. The President uses the OMB to review legislative proposals from Cabinet or other executive agencies so they can determine whether to propose initiatives to Congress. It also plays an important role in reviewing regulations proposed by departments and agencies, and assesses budgetary implications and advises Presidents on the proposals' consistency with their overall program.
Public Mobilizers
Media develop cultural and intellectual interests of the public, set the political agenda, and let people express their views. In civic journalism, journalists are responsive to citizen input in determining what news stories to cover.
isolationists; worry about home front before anyone else; anti-UN
Conservative: World View
Amendment 20
Inauguration Day: Jan. 20, so that the President can pick his Cabinet; if President elect dies before taking office, Vice President elect shall become new President
Linkage Institutions
political channels trhough which people's concerns become political issues on the policy agenda, give people the opportunity to be elected for office
New Jersey v TLO
Does the 4th Amendment apply to students at school? -No, because administrators have en loco parentis; En Loco Parentis -Reasonable StandardWhen students enter school, the parents give the administrators en loco parentis. They make searches according to the TIPS standard: things to be searched for, informant, place to be searched, scope of the search. More restrictions than parents, less than police officers
Types of Public Policy: Budgetary Choices
legislative enactment of taxes and expenditures--the federal budget
Chief Legislator
Greatly influences the development of many laws passed by Congress. At beginning of each session of Congress, delivers a State of the Union address, gives Congress detailed plans for new legislation at other times during the year; veto any bill passed by Congress.
Importance: Allows President to be a major player within foreign policy arena; This power is shared with Senate, who must ratify it by a two-thirds majority
Iran, Saudi Arabia
Natural law: People are rational beings; Natural law guarantees each individual certain rights that cannot be legally taken away without due process of law; Life, liberty and estate
Human reason is powerful enough to devise a solution, but not strong enough to allow people to become part of the solution
Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe
Student-led, student-initiated prayer at football games violates the Establishment Clause.
pessimistic about human nature
Conservative: Human Nature
6 year terms (staggered - 1/3 of Senate is up for reelection every 2 years); No term limit; 100 total members; Used to be elected by the state legislature, but now directly elected; Equally represented
Terms of Senate
Criminal v. Civil Law
Civil- refers to that branch of law dealing with disputes between individuals and/or organizations, in which compensation may be awarded to the victim. For instance, if a car crash victim claims damages against the driver for loss or injury sustained in an accident, this will be a civil law case, that involve a plaintiff (who is bringing up the charges) and the defendant. Most cases are determined by whichever side has the most evidence to support their case, this is known as Preponderance. The whole goal here is to determine whose fault it was. Punishments involve fines and actions (like fixing someone's car if it was wrecked) and in some cases there may be punitive damages, fines that are so heavy that they won't happen again.
5% of House is Hispanic; 3% of Senate is Hispanic
Congressional Makeup: Hispanics
Revenue Committees
set taxes and rates and determine revenue levels
Large landowners, wealthy merchants, professionals
Federalist Background
Employment Division v. Smith
"The Free Exercise Clause permits the State to prohibit sacramental peyote use and thus to deny unemployment benefits to persons discharged for such use." Neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
A way of organizing a nation so that two or more levels of government have formal authority over the same land and people. It is a system of shared power between units of government.
Discretionary Spending
What Congress and the President decide to spend for the year based on 13 appropriations bills. It makes up 1/3 of annual spending, half of which is spent on Defense.
l.egislative Branch
Article 1
Fighting Words
Chaplinsky v. State of New Hampshire: Words directed directly at someone/a group of people that create a violent reaction by their usage
Amendment 25
(the JFK amendment) - Vice President can become acting President if both the Vice President and the President's Cabinet determine that the President is disabled or Congress can declare him unable to rule by two-thirds majority; President may temporarily give up position by written letter to Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore (must write new letter to resume power); if a vacancy opens in the Vice President office, President may appoint new one with consent from both houses
Lee v. Weisman
Including a clergy-led prayer within the events of a public high school graduation violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
government based on religion
Radical, Liberal, Moderate, Conservative, Libertarian, Reactionary
The Political Spectrum
Conference Committees
Congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a particular bill in different forms. Party leadership appoints members from each house to iron out the differences and bring back a single bill.
Chief of State, Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, Chief Diplomat, Commander in Chief, Chief Legislator, Party Leader, Popular Leader
7 Roles/Expectations of the President
stress family values, support private schools, strong military and defense
Conservative: General Viewpoints
Abington School District v. Schempp
Declared school sponsored Bible reading in public schools to be unconstitutional.
Exclusionary Rule
Evidence collected or analyzed in violation of the defendant's constitutional rights is inadmissible for a criminal prosecution in a court of law
Hard Money v. Soft Money
In the simplest terms, "hard money" is from political donations that are regulated by law through the Federal Election Commission. "Soft money" is money donated to political parties in a way that leaves the contribution unregulated. The difference boils down to a few crucial words and one administrative ruling. Soft money is often pumped into political campaigns through loopholes in the law.
Criminal Law
1) Criminal Trial (breaking the law; violate social contract) 2) People: Prosecution (always the government) v. Defense 3) Evidence: "Beyond a reasonable doubt" 4) Punishment: Fine, community service, Jail, or Death Penalty
Linkage institutions, Policy agenda, Policymaking institutions, Policy, People
People, ....
Joint Committees
Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses.
Amendment 22
(the FDR amendment) - limits presidents to two terms of office
Policy Agenda
consists of issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time; some considered, others not; voters are looking at whether a candidate shares their agenda; policy agenda changes quickly, bad news more likely to draw sufficient media attention to put a subject on it
2 years terms (all up at the same time); No term limit; 435 total members; Directly elected by the people; Proportioned by population
Terms of HOR
Trading Votes
Federalist system - combination of national and state government
Split layer (dual federalism)/Marble cake (cooperative federalism) theory
Political funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create a political action committee and register it with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which will meticulously monitor its expenditures.
Have the ability to resist 3rd party threats and incorporate their themes/ideas
Definition came from Miller v California: 3 part test: would the "average person, applying contemporary community standards" think it is was sexual; if it depicts overtly sexual things as defined by state law; or if it lacks literary, artistic, political, or scientific value
stress law and order over personal civil rights and liberties; believe morality needs to be regulated to ensure safety
Conservative: Law and Order
Appropriation's Committees
spend the money
Social Contract Theory
Political structures and the legitimacy of the state derive from an explicit or implicit agreement by individual human beings to surrender some or all of their private rights in order to secure the protection and stability of an effective social organization or government
Sandra Day O'Conner
1st Woman Supreme Court justice
Bully Pulpit
President has ability to get coverage on any issue and put it on the national agenda. 3 major audiences: DC politicians, party politicians, and the general public
Government workers
Factors of Voting: Government employment
Electoral College
system where every state is allotted votes based upon the number of Representatives and Senators (their sum becomes the number of electors). These electors actually choose the President. State electors are elected in the general election and can then cast their votes for their candidate of choice to win the state. The electors can but do not have to vote for the person who won the popular vote in the state (called "Faithless electors"). Candidates who win the state win the whole allotment of votes—winner takes all--(with the exception of Maine and Nebraska).
More educated people tend to vote more than less educated people because the higher education makes them more capable of discerning the major differences between candidates.
Factors of Voting: Education
Must pass both houses by a 2/3 majority
Legislative Powers: Proposition of Constitutional Amendments
Connecticut (Great) Compromise
Issue: Congressional representation; Factions: New Jersey - equal representation in Congress regardless of population--and Virginia - representation based on state population; Outcome: Two houses:Congress - each state has two representatives; House of Reps - representation based on the population of the state
Official Forgiveness for a crime
Ex. KKK, Nazis
Executive Order
One method presidents can use to control bureaucracy; carry force of law, used to implement statutes, treaties, and provisions of Constitution; next president does not have to follow the order
Why are political parties weak? (Cultural Reasons)
American culture has separated politics from social, business, work, and cultural activities; Broad based coalitions have caused few divisive issues; The rise of independent voters has hurt party membership; TV/Internet has taken roles away from political parties
Public policy
choice that government makes in response to a policial issue, course of action taken with regard to some problem
Interest Groups
Organizations of individuals who share a common political goal and unite for the purpose of influencing policy.
Civil Law
1) Civil Trial (negligence; who is responsible); 2) People: Plaintiff v. Defendant 3) Evidence: Preponderance (majority evidence) 4) Actual damages (what was affected in the case); Punitive damages (extra damage); Action (civil service, etc.)
Plain View Doctrine
If it is plain view, even though it is not on the search warrant, it can still be seized/you can still be arrested.
State of the Union
Report to Congress once a year; Importance: Public persuasion; Allows President to announce policy goals and direction of the country; Does not have to be done in person, but common since Wilson
Unicameral legislature; No executive or judicial branch; Decentralized power
Articles of Confederation: Setup
Weaker state governments; Strong National government; Indirect election of officials; Longer terms; Government of the elite; Expected few violations of individual liberties
Government Preferred by Federalists
Enumerated Powers (Federal Government)
Coining money; Regulating commerce; Declaring war; Establishing Post Offices
Amendment 12
electoral college shall have separate votes for President and Vice President
Wallace v. Jaffree
It is unconstitutional to set aside one minute at the start of each day for a moment of "silent meditation or voluntary prayer" in public schools.
Shay's Rebellion
A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays to block the foreclosure of farms. The disarray of the militia in handling this proved the weakness of the Articles.
Authority and Legitimacy
Political power is based on what 2 principles?
Executive Order, Executive Agreement, The Bully Pulpit, Executive Privilege
Informal Powers of the Presidency
Budget Committees
create revenue and spending targets
Free Exercise Clause
In 1st Amendment, prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
Budget Deficit
Spending more than what is brought in.
Concurrent powers (federal and state governments)
Levy taxes; Borrow money; Charter banks; Build roads
Women vote slightly more than men.
Factors of Voting: Gender
Commander in Chief
Expected to defend the country during wartime and keep it strong during peacetime. Appoints all the nation's highest military officers and helps determine the size of the armed forces. Only the president can decide whether to use nuclear weapons.
Formula Grants
grants-in-aid in which a formula is used to determine the amount of federal funds a state or local government will receive; the greater the need, the greater the amount of grants being received; power is in the hands of the federal government because they write the formula for grants and can change the formula at any time; ex. welfare, education, etc.; usually once a year
Federalist 10
Madison's article attacking factions (interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth). It suggests a large republic to combat factions.
Brown v. Board of Education
Does racial segregation of public education violate the 14th Amendment? Yes, and thus it is unconstitutional. "In the field of public education the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place." Overturned "separate but equal doctrine" established in Plessy v. Ferguson. Caused desegregation.
Buckley vs. Valeo
Limited campaign contributions, but the candidate him/herself could give as much has (s)he wants.
Lock Social Contract
People are naturally good; Government is an agent of society; Sometimes government action is necessary to protect the rights of the people; People should keep most of their freedoms; Only right government controls is how many liberties; Only usable time for this control is when rights come into dispute; Government should never be more powerful than the people it serves; Will of the majority in determining the correct policy; People should rule themselves directly (Parliament made up of property owners); Separation of executive and legislative powers: Executive - carries out policies; Legislative - creates policies; People have the right to rebel against an unjust government
Governmental restraints on people are largely unnecessary; People are most free when left free from government; Freedom in absence of restraint
Judicial Review
The Judicial branch can declare laws constitutional or unconstitutional. Created by Marbury v. Madison
Budget and Accounting Act
President submits budget in February; created the Office of Budget and Management (OMB); created the General Accounting Office (GAO) which tracks government money
(a) Created the FEC (Federal Election Commission), a bipartisan body with 6 members who administer the campaign finance laws and enforce compliance with their requirements, (b) Created the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, which is in charge of doling out money to qualified presidential candidates. $ for this fund is raised via a $3 voluntary check-off box on income tax returns, which currently about 11% of taxpayers do, (c) provided partial public financing for presidential primaries: Presidential candidates who raise $5,000 on their own in at least 20 states can get individual contributions of up to $250 matched by the federal treasury. Money received at this stage of the campaign is commonly known as "Matching Funds". If presidential candidates accept federal support, they agree to limit their campaign expenditures to an amount prescribed by federal law, (d) Put contribution limits to $1,000 dollars per election (primary and general elections are considered 2 different elections). PACs were allowed to give $5,000 dollars per election. (e) Requires public disclosure of contributions of $250 and up. NOTE: The Supreme Court struck down the portion of the act that limited the amount individuals could contribute to their own campaigns.
Calling Sessions of Congress
President may call upon these for important matters; Check on Legislative Branch
If you are a threat, take preemptive action against you
Bush v. Gore
Does inequity in ballot counting standards violate the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause and due process clause? Yes.
Chief Diplomat
Power to appoint ambassadors, make treaties, and receive foreign diplomats; may refuse to recognize a newly formed foreign government; also proposes legislation dealing with foreign aid and other international activities. He talks at the UN, attends state funerals.
Reserved Powers (state government)
Conducting elections; Running school systems; Regulating state commerce; Ratify amendments
Force Theory
The state or nation is created by conquest and force; states grow out of a forceful imposition of the strong over the weak; the weak should be ruled by the strong; might makes right
Bicameral (House of Representatives and the Senate)
The Legislative Branch is...
The Elastic Clause (Legislative)
to make all laws which shall be "necessary and proper"
Immediate, drastic, retrogressive change (violent if necessary); Extremely racist, xenophobic, and isolationist
Line Item Veto
power of an executive to nullify specific provisions of a bill, usually budget appropriations, without vetoing the entire legislative package; usually subject to the possibility of legislative override as are traditional vetoes
Roles of PACS: Agenda Building
Alerting proper government authorities about its issue, getting the issue on the political agenda, and making the issue a high priority for action.
Declare war; Raise and support armies; Provide and maintain a navy; Provide for organizing the militia
Enumerated Powers: War Powers
accepted expert
Categorical grants
funds given by Congress to states and localities, earmarked by law for specific categories such as education or crime prevention; power is in the hands of the federal government; very specific and restrictive
(Indirect Democracy); Elect people to represent you, elected officials
Amendment Process
Article 5
promote civil rights and liberties over order in society; affirmative action
Liberal: Law and Order
government by the people
Ultimate individualism; Minimal government intervention; Minimal taxes; Minimal government regulation; Government control of the economy should be minimal; As long as actions do not harm others, they should be legal; freedom and rights cannot be compromised; Only government involvement in police and protecting the people
Media develop their role in reaction to criticism and to the growing sophistication of the issues confronting the American public. This role combines the functions of investigating government claims, analyzing and interpreting complex problems, and discussing public policies in a timely way.
A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate. Today, 60 members present and voting can stop a filibuster (cloture vote).
Judicial act of 1789
Created all courts except supreme Court
Individual equality in natural rights; Private property essential to peoples' well-being; Root of capitalism and socialism;
Original Jurisdication
the first hearing of a case
A theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. This is an exaggerated or perverted form of pluralism. Groups have so much influence that they cripple the government's ability to make policy. There are too many ways for the groups to control policy. Groups have become sovereign and the government is merely a servant. These powerful groups divide the government and its authority.
Ex. Socialism
Appellate Jurisdiction
to hear a case on appeal; most of the cases that go to the Supreme Court are appellate
VP - only power is to break a tie; President Pro Tempore - figure position, Oldest person of majority party in terms of service; Majority leader runs Senate; Minority Leader; Majority/minority whips - keep votes in line for each party
Leadership in the Senate
Libel is the publication of false or malicious statements that damage a person's reputation; Slander is the same, but spoken
Elite and Class Theory
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization. Wealth is the basis of power. A few powerful Americans (the top 1% who hold 1/3 of the nation's wealth) do not merely influence policymakers-they are the policymakers. This theory centers on the dominance of big businesses. This theory also states that who holds office in Washington DC is of marginal consequence; the corporate giants always have the power.
None established by the Constitution, except that the judge can remain a judge so long as s/he demonstrates "good behavior".
Requirements for Judge
Jews and Catholics are generally more liberal than Protestants.
Factors of Voting: Religion
4th Amendment
Protects against "unreasonable searches and seizures"; Four places are protected: your person, papers, house, and effects (PPHE)

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