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108 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
constituents
the people a member of Congress represents
bill
a proposed law
interest groups
groups of people who work together for similar interests or goals.
lobbyists
people who represent interest groups
congressional district
the area that a member of the House represents
budget
the plan for raising and spending money
bill of attainder
the law that convicts a person of a crime without a trial
Speaker of the House
the presiding officer of the House of Representatives
president pro tempore
the officer who will preside over the Senate when the Vice President is absent
floor leaders
the chief officers of the majority and minority parties in each house.
pocket veto
if the President pockets, or keeps, the bill for 10 days, during which Congress ends its session, the bill will not become law.
filibuster
the use of long speeches to prevent a vote on a bill.
cloture
an agreement to end the debate on a bill.
executive branch
the branch of government responsible for executing, or carrying out, the law
foreign policy
the set of plans for guiding our nation's relationships with other countries.
Ambassadors
the official representatives to foreign governments
executive agreements
agreements with other countries that do not need Senate approval.
domestic policy
a set of plans for dealing with national problems.
bureaucracy
an organization of government departments, agencies, and offices.
administration
a team of executive branch officials
treaties
formal agreements between nations
executive privilege
the right to keep some information secret from Congress and the courts
plaintiff
an individual or a group of people who bring a complaint against another party. The party who answers a complaint and defends against it is called
defendant
The party who answers a complaint and defends against it
prosecution
a government body that brings a criminal charge against a defendant who is accused of breaking one of its laws.
precedent
a guideline for how all similar cases should be decided in the future.
jurisdiction
the authority to hear a case first
appeal
to ask a higher court to review the decision and determine if justice was done
appellate jurisdiction
the authority to hear an appeal
courts of appeals
handles appeals from the federal district courts
circuit courts
another name for the courts of appeals
judicial review
the power to overturn any law that the Court decides is in conflict with the Constitution
opinion
a written statement explaining the reasons for the decisions
judicial activism
an effort by judges to take an active role in policymaking by overturning laws relatively often
judicial restraint
an effort by judges to avoid overturning laws and to leave policymaking up to the other 2 branches of government.
public policy
Government response to public issues
unitary system
a common system of government in which practically all political power lies with a central government
apportioned
divided among districts
initiative
the process by which citizens can propose laws
referendum
the process by which a law is referred to the voters to approve or reject
recall
a process for removing elected officials from office
revenue
income
sales tax
charges made on purchases of goods and services
excise tax
a charge on certain goods, such as alcoholic beverages, gasoline, and tobacco.
income tax
a tax on the earnings of individuals and businesses
bonds
certificates that people buy from the government
item veto
the power to reject particular parts, or items, of a bill
lieutenant governor
the state official second in rank to the governor
missouri plan
a method of choosing judges
judicial action commissions
official governmental bodies that handle situations in which judges might not be doing their job well
board
a group of people who manage the business of an organization
ordinances
local laws
municipality
a government that serves people who live in an urban area
utilities
services needed by the public, such as water, gas, and electricity
zoning
local rules that divide a community into areas and tell how the land in each area can be used
property tax
a tax on land and buildings
Intergovernmental revenue
money given by one level of government to another
grant
money that Federal and state governments often give to local communities
councils of governments
groups that work together to meet regional needs
home rule
the right to write their own charter
laws
rules enforced by governments
morals
beliefs about what is fair and what is right or wrong
civil disobedience
breaking a law in a nonviolent way because it goes against personal morals
statutes
written laws made by legislatures
common law
a body of law based on judges' decisions
legal code
a written collection of laws, often organized by subject
crime
any behavior that is illegal because the government considers it harmful to society
Criminal law
the group of laws that tell which acts are crimes, how accused persons should be tried in court, and how crimes should be punished
felony
a serious crime for which the penalty can be imprisonment for more than 1 year
misdemeanor
a less serious crime for which the penalty is often a fine
Civil law
the group of laws that help settle disagreements between people
Assault
placing someone in fear without actual physical contact.
Battery
placing someone in fear with physical contact, as with a weapon or a foot
burglary
when a person breaks into a building and plans to do something illegal inside
embezzlement
stealing money that has been entrusted to your care
treason
the betrayal of one's country by helping its enemies or by making war against it.
terrorism
a crime in which people or groups of people use, or say the will use, violence in order to get what they want from the government or society.
probable cause
a good reason to believe that a suspect has been involved in a crime
warrant
a legal paper, issued by a court, giving police permission to make an arrest, seizure, or search
bail
money that a defendant gives the court as a kind of promise that he or she will return for the trial
indictment
a formal charge against the accused-or refuse to indict
arraignment
a court hearing in which the defendant is formally charged with a crime and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest
plea bargaining
agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or a lighter sentence
parole
letting an inmate go free to serve the rest of his or her sentence outside of prison
probable cause
a good reason to believe that a suspect has been involved in a crime
warrant
a legal paper, issued by a court, giving police permission to make an arrest, seizure, or search
bail
money that a defendant gives the court as a kind of promise that he or she will return for the trial
indictment
a formal charge against the accused-or refuse to indict
arraignment
a court hearing in which the defendant is formally charged with a crime and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest
plea bargaining
agreeing to plead guilty in exchange for a lesser charge or a lighter sentence
parole
letting an inmate go free to serve the rest of his or her sentence outside of prison
delinquent
a juvenile who is found guilty of a crime
status offender
a youth who is found guilty of running away, disobedience, or truancy (skipping school without permission).
-a youth who is judged to be beyond the control of his or her parents or guardian
lawsuits
cases in which a court is asked to settle a dispute
compensation
being "made whole" for harm caused by another person's acts
damages
money that is paid in an effort to make up for a loss
equity
the use of general rules of fairness, to settle conflicts
injunction
an order to do or not do a certain act
contracts
legal agreements between buyers and sellers
complaint
a legal document that charges someone with having caused harm
summons
an order to appear in court
discovery
the process of gathering evidence before a trial
subpoena
a court order to produce a witness or document
deposition
the record of answers to questions asked of a witness before a trial
answer
the defendant's written response to a complaint
mediation
a process by which people agree to use a 3rd party to help them settle a conflict
arbitration
the use of a 3rd person to make a legal decision that is binding on all parties
Small claims court
a civil court that people use when the amount of money they want to recover is small, usually not more than $3,000 dollars