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AP Gov Midterm

QuestionAnswer
Government the institutions and processes through which public policies are made for society.
public goods goods, such as clean air and clean water that everyone must share.
politics the process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders produce. produces authoritative decisions about public issues.
Political participation all the activities used by citizens to influence the selection of political leaders or the policies they pursue. the most common, but not the only, means of of political participation in a democracy is voting. other means inclue protest and civil rights.
single-issue groups groups that have a narrow interest, tend to dislike compromise, and often draw membership from people new to politics.
policymaking the process by which political problems are communicated by the voters and acted upon by government policymakers.
Linkage institutions the channels or access points through which issues and people's policy preferences get on the government's policy agenda.
policy agenda the list of subjects or problems to which the government officials are paying some serious attention at any given time.
political issue an issue that arises when people disagree about a problem and a public-policy choice.
Policymaking institutions The branches of government charged with taking action on political issues.
public policy A choice that government makes in response to a political issue. A policy is a course of action taken with regard to some problem.
democracy a system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public's preferences.
Majority rule A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy, choosing among alternatives requires that the majority’s desire be respected. See also minority rights.
minority rights A principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument. See also majority rule.
representation A basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers.
Pluralist theory a theory of government and policies emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own policies.
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.
hyperpluralism a theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. ends up in gridlock.
Gross domestic product The sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation
individualism The belief that individuals should be left on their own by the government. One of the primary reasons for the comparatively small scope of American government is the prominence of this belief in American political thought and practice.
constitution A nation’s basic law. It creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government, and often provides certain guarantees to citizens.
Natural rights Rights inherent in human beings, not dependent on governments, which include life, liberty, and property.
consent of the governed According to John Locke, the required basis for government. The Declaration of Independence reflects Locke’s view on how governments derive their authority
limited government The idea that certain things are out of bounds for government because of the natural rights of citizens.
Articles of Confederation The first constitution of the United States, adopted by Congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781.
Shay’s Rebellion A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by revolutionary war Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosure proceedings.
factions Interest groups arising from the unequal distribution of property or wealth that James Madison attacked in Federalist Paper No. 10.
NJ Plan The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state’s population.
VA Plan The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state’s share of the U.S. population.
Connecticut Compromise The compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention that established two houses of Congress
Habeas corpus A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody.
separation of powers An important part of the Madisonian model that requires each of the three branches of government to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others. Power is shared among these three institutions.
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 institutions. These institutions continually check one another’s activities.
Republic A form of government that derives its power, directly or indirectly, from the people. Those chosen to govern are accountable to those whom they govern.
Federalists Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
Anti-Federalists Opponents of the American Constitution at the time when the states were contemplating its adoption. They argued that the Constitution was a class-based document, that it would erode fundamental liberties, and that it would weaken the power of the states.
Federalist Papers A collection of 85 articles written by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison under the name “Publius” to defend the Constitution in detail.
Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution
Equal Rights Amendment A constitutional amendment passed by Congress in 1978 and sent to the state legislatures for ratification, stating that “equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Failed.
Marbury v. Madison Court established Judicial Review. One of the checks on Congress.
judicial review The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress, and by implication the executive, are in accord with the U.S. Constitution.
federalism A way of organizing a nation so that two levels of government have formal authority over the same land and people.
Unitary governments A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government. Most governments today, including those of Great Britain and Japan, are unitary governments.
intergovernmental relations The workings of the federal system—the entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governments.
supremacy clause Article VI of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits.
Tenth Amendment Powers Reserved to the States and People
McCulloch v. Maryland Elastic Clause of the Constituion - Congree had the power to create a national bank. "Necessary and Proper"
enumerated powers Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the Constitution; for Congress, these powers are listed in Article I, Section 8, and include the power to coin money, regulate its value, and impose taxes.
Implied powers Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the Constitution. The Constitution states that Congress has the power to “make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution” the powers enumerated in Article I.
elastic clause The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, which authorizes Congress to pass all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the enumerated powers.
Gibbons v. Ogden Allowed congress to have wider power over interstate commerce. The opinion of the court stated that commerce includes all kinds of business and trade between nations and the states.
Full faith and credit A clause in Article IV, Section 1, of the Constitution requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments rendered by the courts of other states.
extradition A legal process whereby an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the officials of one state to officials of the state in which the crime is alleged to have been committed.
dual federalism A system of government in which both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies.
Cooperative federalism A system of government in which powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. They may also share costs, administration, and even blame for programs that work poorly.
fiscal federalism The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national government’s relations with state and local governments.
categorical grants Federal grants that can be used only for specific purposes, or “categories,” of state and local spending. They come with strings attached, such as nondiscrimination provisions.
Project grants Federal grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications. A type of the categorical grants available to states and localities.
formula grants Federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations.
block grants Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
Civil liberties The legal constitutional protections against government. Although our civil liberties are formally set down in the Bill of Rights, the courts, police, and legislatures define their meaning.
Bill of Rights The first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. These amendments define such basic liberties as freedom of religion, speech, and press and offer protections against arbitrary searches by the police and being held without talking to a lawyer
First Amendment Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition
Fourteenth Amendment Citizenship and Civil Rights
selective incorporation
establishment clause Part of the First Amendment stating “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”
Free-exercise clause A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion.
libel The publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone’s reputation.
slander
Symbolic speech Nonverbal communication, such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The Supreme Court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the First Amendment.
probable cause The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest, the police are allowed legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence.
exclusionary rule The rule that evidence, no matter how incriminating, cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained. The rule prohibits use of evidence obtained through unreasonable search and seizure.
Fifth Amendment Rights of the Accused; Property Rights
Self Incrimination The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against himself or herself in court. The Fifth Amendment forbids self-incrimination.
right to privacy
Due Process
Gitlow v. New York Extended the 14th amendment to the States. The states are not allowed to violate the rights specified in the 14th amendment and extended the Bill of Rights.
Engel v. Vitale Declared school prayer unconstitutional
Schenck V. United States Sustained the Espionage Act of 1917 by maintaing that freedom of speech and of the press could be constrained under "Clear and Present Danger".
New York Times v. Sullivan First amendment protected the press from libel suits unless it could be proved that the press report was made out of malice.
Mapp v. Ohio Exclusionary Rule - Evidence obtained in violation of the 4th amendment or other amendments may not be used in court.
Miranda v. Arizona Guarantees due process. Must read one's rights while in custody before questioning. Inform that they have the right to remain silent, that anything they say can and will be used against them, and the right to counsel.
Gideon v. Wainwright Federal defendents must be provided with an attorney at the states expense if one the defendent cannot afford it.
Gregg v. Georgia
Roe v. Wade A "fetus" is not a person with constitutional rights therefore protecting a woman's right to have an abortion.
Planned Parenthood v. Casey
Griswold v. Connecticut
Incumbents Those already holding office.
pork barrel The mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, colleges, and institutions in the district of a member of Congress.
bicameral legislature A legislature divided into two houses.
Committee sessions
filibuster 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.
Speaker of the House leader of the House of Representatives.
Majority leader The principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House or the party’s wheel horse in the Senate.
whips Party leaders who work with the majority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party.
minority leader The principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate.
Standing committees Separate subject-matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas.
joint committees Congressional committees on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn from both houses.
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.
Select committees Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
legislative oversight Congress’s monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy, performed mainly through hearings.
committee chairs The most important influencers of the congressional agenda. They play dominant roles in scheduling hearings, hiring staff, appointing subcommittees, and managing committee bills when they are brought before the full house.
Seniority system A simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. The member who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair, regardless of party loyalty, mental state, or competence.
caucus A group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic. Most are composed of members from both parties and from both houses.
bill A proposed law, drafted in precise, legal language.
Impeachment The 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.”
cabinet A group of presidential advisors not mentioned in the Constitution, although every president has had one.
legislative veto The ability of Congress to override a presidential decision. Although the War Powers Resolution asserts this authority, there is reason to believe that, if challenged, the Supreme Court would find it in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Executive Office of the President
veto The 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
Pocket veto veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of having submitted a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
War Powers Resolution A law requiring presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares war or grants an extension. Presidents view the resolution as unconstitutional.
honeymoon period
Legitimacy
momentum
open party caucuses
Stewardship theory
Whig theory
approval ratings
Bureaucracy
Patronage
merit principle The idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill. See also civil service and compare patronage.
independent regulatory agency
Government corporation
independent executive agency
Policy implementation
clientele groups
hierarchical authority
Job specialization
presidential commissions
original jurisdiction The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case.
Appellate jurisdiction The jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts. These courts do not review the factual record, only the legal issues involved. Compare original jurisdiction.
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 empanelled. Compare courts of appeal.
appellate courts courts empowered to review all final decisions of district courts, except in rare cases. In addition, they also hear appeals to orders of many federal regulatory agencies.
Supreme Court The pinnacle of the American judicial system. The Court ensures uniformity in interpreting national laws, resolves conflicts among states, and maintains national supremacy in law. It has both original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction
solicitor general A presidential appointee and the third-ranking office in the Department of Justice. The solicitor general is in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government.
concurring opinion
Dissenting opinion
majority opinion
plurality opinion
Judicial conference
judicial review The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress, and by implication the executive, are in accord with the U.S. Constitution. Judicial review was established by John Marshall and his associates in Marbury v. Madison.
precedent How similar cases have been decided in the past.
Writ of certiorari
Federalist #51
Created by: grscootie2 on 2009-01-08



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