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117 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Public Opinion
Distribution of opinions and attitudes held by the public
Political socialization
A lifelong process by which people form their ideas about politics and acquire political values
Attentive public
The sector of society that is interested in politics and understands how government works.
Voter registration
The requirement of citizens to register with their local board of elections before being qualified to vote
Australian ballot
A printed ballot that bears the names of all candidates and the texts of propositions and is distributed to the voter at the polls and marked in secret
Turnout
attendance for a particular event or purpose (as to vote in an election)
Party Identification
Party identification is a political term to describe a voter's underlying allegiance to a political party
Winner-takes-all
Candidate with most votes winsCandidate with most votes wins
Single-member district
Voters choose one representative or official
Proportional representation
Each party receives the proportion of legislative seats corresponding to its proportion of the vote
Electoral College
Used in electing the President and Vice President, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a party’s candidate.
Safe seat
An elected office that is predictably won by one party or the other
Coattail effect
The boost candidates of the president’s party receive in an election because of the president’s popularity
Caucus
Meeting of local party members to elect public officials
National party convention
Meeting of delegates to nominate President and Vice President candidates, ratify the party platform, and elect officers and adopt rules
Interested money
Contribution by individuals in hopes of influencing an outcome
Soft money
Money that is contributed to a state or local government that does not have to be disclosed under federal law
Issue Advocacy
Commercial advertising advocating a position on an issue
Independent expenditure
Money spent by individuals not associated with a particular candidate, but set out to beat another candidate
Mass media
Communication process that makes its way to the public
News media
The part of mass media that focuses on the news itself
Issue ad
An advertisement that takes a particular side to an issue
Fairness doctrine
Doctrine that gave ad companies an obligation to accept all views on a particular situation
Political socialization
The process by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs
Selective exposure
Individuals can choose what messages they can receive, and block the ones against their bias
Selective perception
Individuals can perceive whatever they want in media messages
Log Rolling
the exchanging of political favors to benefit political parties, and that one party will have an advantage over the others
Rider
an amendment or addition to a document or record
Pocket Veto
the indirect veto of a bill received by the President
Closed Rule
when no additional amendments or substitutes to the bill may be offered from the floor of the house
Open Rule
open rules allow amendments from the floor of the house
Party Caucus
a committee within a political party in charge of determining policy
Hold
when a senator puts aside a bill for a period of time
Senatorial Courtesy
when the U.S. Senate refuses to confirm a presidential appointment to office opposed by both senators from the state of the appointee
Delegate
a person authorized to act as representative for another
Trustee
One that holds legal title to property in order to manage it for a beneficiary
Seniority Rule
determines committee chairperson of the party based on who has been in the party the longest
Discharge Petition
means of bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor for consideration without any word from a committee
Redistricting
is the process of drawing U.S. electoral district boundaries, often in response to population changes
Reapportionment
redistribution of representation in a legislative body, usually when a term ends according to the constitution
Safe Seat
a parliamentary seat that is likely to be preserved with a large majority in an election
Gerrymandering
to divide (a geographic area) into voting districts so as to give unfair advantage to one party in elections
Bicameralism
based on two legislative branches of government
Speaker
the presiding officer of the House of Representatives usually elected by the majority of the house
Majority Leader
The leader of the majority party in a legislature
Minority Leader
the leader of the minority party in legislature
President Pro Tempore
the senator who takes over if the vice president is absent
Filibuster
a tactical obstruction to delay legislative action
Cloture
when a debate is immediately ended and voted upon
Attentive Public
a group of people who follow a political issue very closely and pay close attention to
Standing Committee
exists to examine bills with close detail so they can consider them more acceptable
Override
legislative vote to cancel presidential veto of legislative act
Joint Committee
set up in order to coordinate activities, avoid duplicating work, or to discuss matters of common interest
Select Committee
committees which analyze the executive on issues broader than legislation
Conference Committee
agree upon a single bill that both houses agree on word for word
Divided Government
When different parties control the House and Senate, or when the majority in Congress is not from the President's party
Executive Office of the President
A group of federal agencies supervised by people that work directly with the president
Management and Budget
Provides recommendations to the President, regarding budget and prepares for review of the Congress
Cabinet
A body of high ranking members of government, representing the executive branch
Executive Privilege
The President can withhold information from Congress or the courts
Executive Order
A presidential policy directive that implements or interprets a federal statute, a constitutional provision, or a treaty
Veto
the power or right vested in one branch of a government to cancel or postpone the decisions
Pocket Veto
The indirect veto of a bill received by the President within ten days of the adjournment of Congress, effected by retaining the bill unsigned until Congress adjourns
Item Veto
The power of a state governor to veto items in bills without vetoing the entire measure
Judicial Review
The power to interpret the Constitution authoritatively
Adversary System
A judicial system where a court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differences
Justiciable Dispute
dispute that comes about from a case or controversy that is capable of settlement by legal methods
Class Action Suit
Lawsuit brought by an individual or a group of people on behalf of all those similarly situated
Political Question
A dispute that requires many things related to the court system, and the judges refuse to answer constitutional questions that they declare are political.
Stare Decisis
The rule of precedent, where a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same question is presented.
Appellate Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to review appeals of the decisions made by lower courts
Original Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to hear a case in the first instance
Grand Jury
A jury of 12 to 23 persons who hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial. If there is sufficient evidence, hey issue an indictment
Petit Jury
A jury of 6-12 persons that determines guilt or innocence in a civil or criminal action
Magistrate Judge
An official who performs a variety of limited judicial duties
Court of Appeals
A court with appellate jurisdiction that hears appeals from the decisions of lower courts
Habeas Corpus
A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is held in custody
Defendant
In criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense
Plea Bargain
Negotiations between a prosecutor and defendant aimed at getting the defendant to plead guilty for a lesser offense to avoid having to stand trial for a more serious offense
Public Defender System
Arrangement whereby public officials are hired to provide legal assistance to people accused of crimes who are unable to hire their own attorneys
Judicial Restraint
Judicial philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say
Judicial Activism
Judicial philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the constitution to reflect current conditions and values
Writ of Certiorari
A formal writ used to bring before the Supreme Court
Amicus Curiae
“Friend of the court,” filed by an individual or organization to present arguments in addition to those presented by the immediate party to the case
Opinion of the Court
An opinion explaining the decision of the Supreme Court or any other appellate court
Dissenting Opinion
An opinion disagreeing with the decision of the Court
Concurring Opinion
An opinion that agrees with the decision of the Court but differs on the reasoning
Bureaucrat
A career government employee
Bureaucracy
A professional corps of officials organized in a pyramidal hierarchy and functioning under impersonal, uniform rules and procedures
Spoils System
System of public employment based on rewarding party loyalists and friends
Merit System
A system in which selection and employment is based on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage
Office of Personnel Management
Agency that administers civil service laws, rules, and regulations
Bureau
The largest subunit of a government department or agency
Government Corporation
A cross between a business corporation and a government agency, created to secure greater freedom of action and flexibility for a particular program.
Independent Agency
A government entity that is independent of the legislative, executive, and judicial branch
Independent Regulatory Board
An independent agency or commission with regulatory power whose independence is protected by Congress
Office of Management and Budget
President staff agency that serves as a clearinghouse for budgetary requests and management improvements
Hatch Act
Federal statute barring federal employment from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds
Iron Triangle
A mutual supporting relationship between interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and agencies that share a similar governmental policy concern
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A court order requiring explanation to a judge to why a prisoner is held in custody
Ex Post Facto Law
Retroactive criminal law that works to the disadvantage of an individual
Bill of Attainder
Legislative act inflicting punishment, including deprivation of property, without a trial, on named individuals or members of a specific group
Due Process Clause
Clause in the Fifth Amendment limiting the power of the national government, similar to the clause in the Fourteenth Amendment prohibiting state governments from depriving any person from life, liberty, or the property without due process of law
Selective Incorporation
The process by which provisions of the Bill of Rights are brought within the scope of the Fourteenth Amendment and so applied to state and local governments
Establishment Clause
Clause in the First Amendment that states that Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. It has been interpreted by the Supreme Court to forbid governmental support of any or all religions
Free Exercise Clause
Clause in the first amendment that states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Children may pray in public schools, provided that the prayer is not authorized, organized, or endorsed by the school authorities.
Bad Tendency Test
An early standard by which the constitutionality of laws regulating subversive expression were evaluated in light of the First Amendment's guarantee of Freedom of Speech
Clear and Present Danger
A doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press or assembly.
Preferred Position Doctrine
Freedom of expression is essential to democracy, and judges should give it special protection
Nonprotected Speech
Libel, obscenity, fighting words, and commercial speech, not given constitutional protection
Libel
Defamation of another person
Sedition
Attempting to overthrow the government or interrupt its activities through violence
Obscenity
Appeals to a prurient interest in sex, by depicting sexual conduct in a offensive way
Fighting Words
Words meant to inflict danger or injury
Commercial Speech
Advertisements that receive less First Amendment protection
Prior Restraint
Restraint imposed before a speech that is unconstitutional
Civil Disobedience
Action where people choose to disobey the law and choose to show their opposition to the government