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Gov. Exam.

Lame Duck An official whose influence is diminished because the official either cannot or will not seek reelection.
Impeachment A process in which an executive or judicial official is formally accused of an offense that could warrant removal from office.
chief of state the official head of government.
executive agreement an international understanding between the president and foreign nations that does not require Senate ratification.
civilian supremacy of the armed forces the concept that the armed forces should be under the direct control of civilian authorities.
War Powers Act a law limiting the president's ability to commit American armed forces to combat abroad without consultation with Congress and congressional approval.
Inherent Powers powers vested in the national government, particularly in the area of foreign and defense policy, which do not depend on any specific grant of authority by the Constitution, but rather exist because the United States is a sovereign nation.
Pardon an executive action that frees an accused or convicted person from all penalties for an offense.
Reprieve An executive action that delays punishment for a crime.
Chief Executive The head of the executive branch of government.
Executive Order A directive issued by the president to an administrative agency or executive department.
Presidential Signing Statement A pronouncement issued by the president at the time a bill passed by Congress is signed into law.
Executive Office of the President The group of White House offices and agencies that develop and implement the policies and programs of the president.
National Security Council (NSC) An agency in the Executive Office of the President that advises the chief executive on matters involving national security.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) An agency that assists the president in preparing the budget.
Honeymoon Effect The tendency of a president to enjoy a high level of public support during the early months of an administration.
Rally Effect The tendency of the general public to express support for the incumbent president during a time of international threat.
Judicial Review The power of courts to declare unconstitutional the actions of the other branches and units of government.
Strict Construction A doctrine of constitutional interpretation holding that the document should be interpreted narrowly.
Loose Construction A doctrine of constitutional interpretation holding that the document should be interpreted broadly.
Judicial Activism The charge that judges are going beyond their authority by making the law and not just interpreting it.
Judicial Restraint The concept that judges should defer to the policymaking judgement of the legislative and executive branches of government unless their actions clearly violate the law of the Constitution.
Jurisdiction The authority of a court to hear a case.
Civil Case A legal dispute concerning a private conflict between two parties - individuals, corporations, or government agencies.
Criminal Case A legal dispute dealing with an alleged violation of a penal law.
Writ of Habeas Corpus A court order requiring that government authorities either release a person held in custody or demonstrate that the person is detained in accordance with law.
Legal brief a written legal argument
Affirm The action of an appeals court to uphold the decision of a lower court.
Remand The decision of an appeals court to return a case to a lower court for reconsideration in light of an appeals court decision.
Original Jurisdiction The set of cases a court may hear as a trial court.
Test Cases Lawsuits initiated to assess the constitutionality of a legislative or executive act.
In Forma Pauperis The process whereby an indigent litigant can file an appeal of a case to the Supreme Court without paying the usual fees
Conference A closed meeting attended only by the members of the Court
Rule of Four A decision process used by the Supreme Court to determine which cases to consider on appeal, holding that the Court will hear a case if four of the nine judges agree to the review.
certiorari (cert) the technical term for the Supreme Court's decision to hear arguments and make a ruling in a case.
per curiam opinion an unsigned written opinion of a court.
Dissenting Opinion A judicial statement that disagrees with the decision of the Court's majority.
Concurring Opinion A judicial statement that agrees with the Court's ruling but disagrees with the reasoning of the majority opinion.
Majority Opinion The official written statement of the Supreme Court that explains and justifies its ruling and serves as a guideline for lower courts when similar legal issues arise in the future.
amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief written legal argument presented by parties not directly involved in the case, including interest groups and units of government.
Statutory Law Law that is written by the legislature.
Constitutional Law Law that involves the interpretation and application of the Constitution
Subsidy A financial incentive given by government to an individual or a business interest to accomplish a public objective.
Income redistribution Government taking items of value,especially money, from some groups of people and then giving items of value, either in cash or services, to other groups of people.
Depression A severe and prolonged economic slump characterized by decreased business activity and high unemployment
Recession An economic slowdown characterized by decking economic output and rising unemployment.
Inflation A decline in the purchasing power of the currency
Interest money paid for the use of money
Estate Tax tax levied on the value of an inheritance.
Tax preference A tax deduction or exclusion that allows individuals to pay less tax than they would otherwise.
Tax Exemption The exclusion of some types of income from taxation
Tax Deduction An expenditure that can be subtracted from a taxpayer's gross income before figuring the tax owed.
Tax Credit An expenditure that reduces an individual's tax liability by the amount of the credit.
Excise Taxes Taxes that levied on the manufacture, transportation, sale, or consumption of a particular item or set of related items.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) The total value of goods and services produced by a nation's economy in a year, excluding transactions with foreign countries.
Sales Tax a levy assessed on the retail sale of taxable items
Flat Tax An income tax that assesses the same percentage tax rate on all income levels.
Progressive Tax A levy that taxes people earning higher incomes at a higher rate than it does individuals making less money.
Proportional Tax A levy that taxes all persons at the same percentage rate, regardless of income.
Regressive Tax A levy whose burden falls more heavily on lower-income groups than on wealthy taxpayers.
Ability-to-pay theory of taxation The approach to government finance that holds that taxes should be based on an individuals ability to pay.
national debt The accumulated indebtedness of the federal government.
Balanced Budget Budget receipts equal budget expenditures
Budget Surplus The sum by which annual budget receipts exceed annual budget expenditures
Value Added Tax (VAT) A tax on the estimated market value added to a product or material at each stage of its manufacture or distribution.
Cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) A mechanism designed to regularly increase the size of a payment to compensate for the effects of inflation
Welfare Programs government programs that provide benefits to individuals based on their economic status.
Privatization A process that involves the government contracting with private business to implement government programs.
Means-tested Program A government program that provides benefits to recipients based on their financial need.
Fiscal Policy The use of government spending and taxation for the purpose of achieving economic goals
Mandatory Spending Budgetary expenditures that are mandated by law, including entitlements and contractual commitments made in previous years.
Entitlement Program A government program providing benefits to all persons qualified to receive them under law
Discretionary Spending Budgetary Expenditures that not mandated by law or contact, such as annual funding for education, highway construction, or national defense
PAYGO a pay-as-you-go budget rule that requires that any tax cut or spending increase be offset by tax increase or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget.
Appropriations process the procedure through which Congress legislatively allocates money for a particular purpose.
Authorization process the procedure through which Congress legislatively establishes and defines a program but does not actually provide funding for it.
Monetary Policy The control of the money supply for the purpose of the achieving economic goals.
Federal Reserve System (Fed) The central banking system of the United States with authority to establish banking policies and influence the amount of credit available in the economy.
earmarks provisions that direct that funds be spent for particular purposes.
Created by: jblausey
Popular American Government sets




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