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88 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Explain the political system.
Demands → Government → Decisions
-Element -Process through -Laws-
-Preferences which wants -Impl.-
-Support are assessed-
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Why is authority considered legitimate?
Tradition, Charisma, Socialization/Habit, Perceived benefits of obeying, Religion, Social Contract
Define Civil Rights
The positive acts the government takes to protect people against acts of discrimination.
Civil Rights Cases
Series of S.C. cases where the court found that only the government was prohibited from violating civil rights
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Most successful piece of civil rights legislature; outlawed poll and literacy tax; enforced 15th amendment; made it illegal to prevent minorities from voting; gave federal government the right to monitor elections where there was a history of discrimination.
What was the original problem with the Bill of Rights? The solution?
The problem was that, initially, the Bill of Rights only applied to the National Government; the solution was Selective Incorporation (this phrase was used to refer to applying the Bill of Rights to the states).
Rights, as of 2002 that have not been “applied” to the states:
Right to bear arms, quartering of soldiers, right to a grand jury indictment, and freedom from excessive bail and bonds.
Bill of Right
1st amendment – freedom of religion; freedom of speech and press. 4th-8th amendment – rights of criminal defendants.
Social Contract Theory
Before government began, people existed in a state of nature. Each individual was the ultimate authority in his life. Under the contract, people gave up their absolute sovereignty for order and protection.
What were the Articles of Confederation? What did some of the articles deal with?
The first governing document of the U.S.; Article 1 – dealt with Canada; Article 11 – Confederation; Article 2 – states were the ultimate authority; Article ? – Established a one body, unicameral Congress.
How could the Articles be amended?
Each state gets one vote; 9 states were needed to pass laws and a unanimous vote was required to amend any of the articles.
What were the problems with the Articles?
No judicial system set up (national level); article 9 (mentions the executive branch, i.e. the president) – a weak and ineffective executive, sovereignty of states, lack of a strong central government with the ability to tax, regulate commerce, and enforce laws.
What kind of division was there at the Constitutional Convention?
Representation (big v. small states), Slavery (north v. south), and Westward expansion (border states).
Convention Plans
Unicameral legislature based on states, strong state powers (but recognized supremacy of the central government), and preserved confederacy.
Virginia Plan
Strong national government, 3 branches of government, and bicameral legislation based on population.
Connecticut (Great) Compromise
Bicameral legislature with the lower house representing the people and the upper house representing the state; set up strong executive and judiciary.
3/5 Compromise
For the purpose of representation, slaves counted as 3/5 of a person
Electoral College
A way in which to reconcile the decision of the states in selecting a natural leader (amended after the 4th presidential election).
Dual Federalism (1789-1933)
Separate sphere of power, pre and post Civil War eras, undermined by increased interaction.
Cooperative Federalism (1933-1963)
More activist and powerful national government, heavy regulation & categorical events
Centralized/Creative Federalism (1963-1980)
Great Society (LBJ), probably the height of national control over the states
New Federalism (1980-present)
More responsibility for state and local governments, block grants.
Enumerated powers
Specific source – the Constitution; Article 1 – Section 8: Congress has the power to do x, y, and z.
Implied powers
Specific source: Enumerated powers.
Concurrent Powers
Powers shared by both the state and national government (i.e. taxation and making laws).
Reserved Powers
Powers only states possess
How do you amend the Constitution –Proposal?
Proposal – 1.) Through Congress by 2/3 vote in both houses; 2.) At the request of 2/3 of the states (never used, but meant to keep Congress from rejecting change
How do you amend the Constitution – Ratify?
Ratification - 1.) By legislation in ¾ of the states (only 6 of 33 proposed failed to pass); 2.) By conventions in ¾ of the states (21st amendment).
How does a bill become a law – the House?
1.) Referred to House Committee (Standing)
2.) Referred to Subcommittee
3.) Reported to full committee 4.) *Rules Committee* (Standing) 5.) Full house debates and votes
How does a bill become a law – the Senate?
1.) Referred to House Committee (Standing)
2.) Referred to Subcommittee
3.) Reported to full committee
5.) Full house debates and votes
After passing the House and Senate, what happens to a bill?
1.) Conference Committee (to make changes to it)
2.) Must have House Approval AND Senate Approval of changes made
3.) Goes to the president, who can veto it, ignore it, or approve it
House of Representatives – Job Specifics
1.) Initiates all revenue bills
2.) Impeaches officials
3.) More centralized and formal; strong leaders
4.) Majoritarian
Senate – Job Specifics
1.) Approves treaties
2.) Tries impeached officials
3.) Less centralized and formal; weak leaders
4.) Super Majoritarian
House of Reps. – Members
• 435 apportioned based on population
• Direct election (1789-present)
Senate – Members
• 100 apportioned equally between states
• State legislative elections (1789-1913); Popular elections since
House – Job requirements
Age: 25 years old
Residency: 7 years
Term in Office: 2 years
Senate – Job requirements
Age: 30 years old
Residency: 9 years
Term in office: 6 years
House – Leadership
Majority Leader
Party Whip
Minority Leader
Senate – Leadership
Majority Leader (different from House ML)
Minority Leader
Party Whip
President of the Senate – V.P.
What does Congress do?
Representation, lawmaking, oversees the Executive Branch.
Demographic/Descriptive Representation
Representation of groups by individuals who share the same physical characteristics (i.e. race, gender, ethnicity)
Geograpic Representation
Representation of groups by individuals based upon territory
Functional Representation
Individuals for a certain/specific function they provide to the legislature (economic specialists, environmental experts)
McCulloch v. Maryland
Implied Powers
Texas v. Johnson
Symbolic Speech
Schenck v. U.S.
Clear and Present Danger
Miller v. California
NY Times v. U.S.
Prior Restraint (Censorship)
Wolf v. Colorado
Search and Seizure
Mapp v. Ohio
Overturned Wolf
Miranda v. Arizona
Powell v. Alabama
Right to Counsel
Gideon v. Wainwright
Right to Counsel
Gideon v. Connecticut
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Roe v. Wade
Abortion Case
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Minority/Civil Rights
Plessy v. Ferguson
"Separate but equal"
Brown v. Board of Education
Struck down "separate but equal" under the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment
Set of statements that describe fundamental rules of a political society
The belief that the power someone has over you is justified.
The institutions and structures that make a society’s rules
Determination of who gets what, when & how; the process by which public policy decisions are made; process by which power is used to achieve goals
The geographic distribution of power
Checks and Balances
The limitation of powers of any 1 branch by making it share powers with other branches
Separation of Powers
The distribution of power and authority among the 3 branches of the government
Establishment Clause
The government can’t pick one religion or establish a national religion
Free Exercise Clause
You are free to practice your own religion however you choose
Prior Restraint
Prevention of a statement or other expression from being published (censorship)
To provide a geographic area a legal status
Freedom from government interference in our lives.
Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives
The majority in any society should elect representatives and make policy decisions
The concept that the individual is a rational being capable of making his or her own decisions
Minority Rights
The majority has the obligation to protect the minority
In most elections, the person who gets more votes than anyone else is the winner. That person is said to have a plurality of the votes.
Popular Sovereignty
The theory that government is created by and subject to the will of the people
A specified majority of votes, such as 60 percent, required to approve a motion or pass legislation
State of being equal in rights or treatment
Party Whips
A legislator appointed by the party to enforce discipline
Standing Committee
Permanent committee
Conference Committee
Committee of members of both the House and Senate that confers on differences in measures that have passed both houses
Special Committee
Committee appointed to examine legislation on a particular topic
Joint Committee
Committee consisting of Members of both the House and Senate
Speaker of the House
Presiding officer in the House of Representatives
President Pro Tempore
Chief presiding officer of the Senate in the absence of the VP
The delaying of legislative action by time-consuming talk and/or controlling the floor
Cloture Rule
Takes 3/5 of the senate (60 senators) to end a filibuster
Germane Rule
The speaker on the floor has to talk about the issue at hand