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Final Terms


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union shop
a provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employers of a business to join the union within a short period and to remain members as a condition of employment
a sudden unpredictable and potentionally dangerous event requiring the president to play the rolse of crisis manager
national chair person
one of the institutions that keeps the party opperating between conventions. responsible for day to day activities of the party and is usually selected by the presidential nominee
Interest group
organization of people with shared policy goal entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals.
voter registration
a system adopted by the states in Congress in the proportion to that states's share of the U.S. popularion
pork barrel
the mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, colleges, and institutions available in a congressional district
selective benefits
Goods that a group can restrict to those who pay yearly dues
party identification
voter affiliation with a political party
Civil Rights Act of 1964
the law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination
Bill of Rights
the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution draftedin response to some of the Anti-Federalist concerns
judicial restraint
judicial philosophy in which judges play minimal policy making roles leaving that strictly to legislatures
political efficacy
the belief that one's political participation really matters - that one's vote can actually make a difference
political questions
a doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, principally those involving conflicts between the president and Congress
checks and balances
an important part of the Madisonian model designed to limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among the different governmental insitutions
Incorpororation doctrine
legal concept under which the supreme court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the 14th ammendment
political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the constitution. The house of representatives may impeach the president by a majority vote for " Treason, Bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."
a characterization of elections by political scientists meaning that they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting polical leaders
inititiative petition
voters put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote.
symbolic speech
nonverbal communication
constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to congress with reasons for rejecting it; a two-thirds vote in each house can override a veto
mandate theory of elections
the idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms or policies. politicians prefer this theory more than political scienstists
equal rights amendment
a consitutional amendment stating that equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged bty the US or by any state on account of sex
those already holding office. In congressional elections, incumbents always win.
ticket splitting
voting with one party for one office and with another party for another office
leglistive veto
ability of Congress to override presidential decision
party eras
extended periods of relative political stability in which one party tends to control both the presidency and Congress
publication of false or malicious states that damage someone's reputation
establishment clause
part of the 1st Amendment stating that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion
a group of individuals with a common interests upon which every political party depends
critical election
an electoral earthquake whereby new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party
stare decisis
a latin phrase meaning "let the decision stand" most cases reaching appellate courts are settled on this principle
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
committee chairs
the most important influencers of the congressional agenda
district courts
the 91 federal courts of original jurisdiction; they are the only federal courts in which no trials are held and in which juries may be empaneled
political party
according to Anthony Downs, a "team of men [and women] seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election."
right to vote
activities of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals
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
council of economic advisers
a three-member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy
blanket primaries
elections to select party nominees in which voters are presented with a list of candidates from all the parties
presidential coattails
when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they support the president
American with Disabilities Act
a law passed in 1990 that requires emplyers and public facilities to make reasonable accomodations for peoples with disabilities and prohibits discrimination against these individuals in emplyment
commercial speech
communication in the form of advertising
a meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention
party dealignment
the gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification
speaker of the house
an office mandated by the constitution. the speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers, in line to succeed to the presidency should that office office become vacant
opponents of the American consititution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption
majority leader
the principle partison ally of the speaker of the house or the party's wheel horse in the senate. responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments, and rounding up votes in behalf of the party's legislative position.
appellate jurisdiction
the jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts
party machines
type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements, such as patronage, to win votes and to govern
a state level method of direct legislation that give voters a chance to approve or disapprove legislation.
civil liberties
the legal constitutional protections against government
network of groups within the American political system which exercise a great deal of control over specific policy areas; iron triangles
right to work laws
A state law forbidding requirements that workers much join a union to hold their jobs.
communication by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directing to a governmental decisionmaker with the hope of influencing the decision.
justiciable disputes
contraint on the court requiring that a case much be capable of being settled by legal methods
standing committee
separate subject-matter committees in each house of congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
judicial activism
judicial philosophy in which judges make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional ground. Advocates say that courts can correct pressing needs.
how similar cases have been decided in the past
courts of appeal
appelate courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts except in rare cases
separation of powers
an important part of the madisonian model that requires each of the three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial to be relatively independent of the others so taht one cannot control the others
judicial review
the power for supreme court to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional
coalition government
when wto of more parties join together to form a majority in national legislature
solicitor general
a presidental appointee and the third-ranking office in the department of justice
House Rules Committee
an insitution unique to the House of Reps that reviews all bills coming from a hOuse committee before they go to the full House
linkage institutions
channels or access points through which issues and people's policy preferences get on the government's policy agenda. Include political parties, interest groups, and mass media
a group of Presidential advisors not mentioned in the Constitution although every President has had one
writ of habeas corpus
a court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
Senatorial courtesy
an unwritten tradition whereby nominations for state-level federal judicial posts are not confirmed if they are opposed by the senator from the state in which the nominee will serve
collective good
something of value that cannot be witheld from a group member
statutory construction
judicial interpretation of an act of Congress
party leaders who work with the majority leader of minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party
closed primaries
elections to select party niminees in which only people who have registered in advance with a party can vote for that party's candidate
free-rider problem
the problem faced by unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining
an electoral system in whic legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies; in american presidential elections, the system in which the winner of the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of that state
public interest lobbies
organizations that seek "a collective good"
actual group
the part of the potential group consisting of members who actually join
unreasonable search & seizure
obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner
Supreme Court
ensures uniformity in interpreting national laws, resolves conflicts among states, and maintains a national supremacy in law
party realignment
the displacement of the majority party by the minority party, usually during a critical election period
comparable worth
the issue raised when women are payed less than men for working at jobs requiring comparable skill
a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened.
plea bargaining
a bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime (or fewer crimes) in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious (or additional) crime
prior restraint
a government's preventing material from being punished; unconstitutional (Near v. Minnesota)
a system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences
minority leader
the principle leader of the minority party in the congress
white primary
one of the means used to discourage african american voting that permitted political parties in the heavily democratic south to exclude african americans from primary elections, depriving them of a voice in real contests; the supreme court declared white primaries unconstitutional in 1944
civic duty
the belief that in order to support democratic government, a citizen should always vote
War Powers Resolution
law passed in 1973 in reaction to american fighting in Vietnam and cambodia that requires presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using miliary force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless congress declares war of grants an extension; presidents view the resolution as unconstitutional
search warrant
A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for
civil rights
the policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals
Marbury vs. Madison
the Court case in which judicial review was established
direct group involvement in the electoral process
exclusionary rule
the rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained
select committees
congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose
limited government
the idea that certain things are out of bounds for government, who is elected with the governer as a ticket in some states and is elected separately in others. May have leglisative and executive responsibilities
right of privacy
The right to a private personal life free from intrusion of government.
leglisative oversight
Congress' monitoring of bureaucracy and its adminstration of policy performed mainly through hearing
joint committees
congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses.
a proposed law drafted in precise legal language
third parties
electoral contenders other than the two major parties
rational-choice theory
a popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. It is assumed taht individuals ct in their own best interest carefully weighing cost and benefits of possible alternatives.
conference committees
congressional committees formed when the senate and house pass a particular bill in different forms
amicus curiae briefs
"Friend of the court" briefs
motor voter act
passed in 1992, went into act for 1996 election. requires states to permit people to register to vote at the same time they apply for a drivers liscence.
free excercise clause
a First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
Policy Voting
electoral choices that are made on the basis of the voters' policy preferences and on the basis of where the candidates stand on policy issues
minority rights
a principle of traditional democratic theory that guaruntees rights to those that belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasonable argument
standing to sue
the requirement that plaintiffs have a serious our interest in case, which depends on whether they have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct and substantial injury from a party or an action of government
bicameral legislature
a legislature divided into two houses
probable cause
the situation when police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested
Voting Rights Act of 1965
law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to african american suffrage; under the law, federal registrars were sent to southern states and counties that had long histories of discrimination; as a result, hundreds of thousands of african americans were registered and the number of african americans elected officials increased dramatically
Federalist Papers
a collection of 85 articles to defend the Constitution in detail
a nation's basic law; it creates political institutions, assigns or divides power in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens
seniority system
a simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s.
national committee
one of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. composed of representatives from states and territories.
public policy
a choice that the government makes in response to a political issue; a cousre of action taken in regard to some problem
original jurisdiction
the authority of a court to hear a case first
hyper-pluralist theory
a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened
single-issue groups
groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics
retrospective voting
A theory of voting in which voters essentially ask the simple questions " what have you done for me lately?"
party image
the voter's perception of what the Republicans or Democrats stand for, such as conservatism or liberalism
events and scandal surrounding a break=in at the democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the cover-up of white House involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President nixon under the threat of impeachment
poll taxes
small taxes, levied on the right to vote, that often fell due at a time of year when poor African American sharecroppers had the least cash on hand. This method was used by most Southern states to exclude African Americans from voting registers. Declared void by the 24th Amendment in 1964.
Political Action Committees; finance the campaigns of candidates friendly to their cause
one of the key inducements used by political machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
cruel and unusual punishment
court sentences prohibited by the Eighth Amendment
elite theory
a theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines, and that an upper class elite will rule
party competition
the battle of the parties for control of public offices
pocket veto
a veto taking place when Congress adjourns within ten days of having submitted a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing it nor vetoing it
potential group
all the people who might be interest group members because they share a common interest
proportional representation
an electoral system that awards legislative seats to political parties on proportion to the number of votes won in an election
responsible party model
A view favored by some political scientists about how parties should work.
Electoral College
a unique American institution created by Constitution that provides for the selection of the President by electors chosen by the state parties
class action lawsuits
lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated
political culture
an overall set of values widely shared within society
Declaration of Independece
the document approved by representatives of the American colonies in 1776 that stated their grievances against the British monarch and declared their independence
equal protection of the laws
part of the 14th Amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent protection to all people
affirmative action
a policy designed to give special attention to members of previously disadvantaged groups

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