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228 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Natural Law
Society should be governed by certain ethical principles that are part of nature
Social Contract Theory
People are Free and Equal by God-Given right, so people must give their consent to be governed
Form of gov't in which power is vested in hereditary kings and queens
Gov't in which right to participate is conditioned on possession of wealth, social status, military position, or achievement
Free Market Economy
"Invisible Hand" regulates prices, wages, product mix, etc
Economic system that favors private control of business and minimal gov't control/regulation of private industry
Mercantile System
System that binds trade and it's administration to the National gov't
Economic system that advocates collective ownership and control of the means of production
Economic System where workers own means of production and control distribution of resources
Gov't has total control over economy
Personal Liberty
Freedom to engage in a variety of practices, free from gov't discrimination
Civil Society
Citizens are allowed to organize and express their views publicly as they engage in open debate about public policy
Political Culture
Attitudes toward political system and its various parts/ attitudes toward role of self in gov't
Political Ideology
Set of coherent values and beliefs about the purpose and scope of gov't
Least Gov't governs best. Big gov't infringes on individual, personal, and economic rights
Favors extensive gov't involvement in economy and provision of social services, take activist roles in protecting rights...
Favors free market economy and no gov't interference in personal liberties.
Necessary and Proper Clause
Congress' "elastic clause" that grants them authority to pass all "necessary and proper" laws in order to carry out enumerated powers
Supremacy Clause
National Law is supreme.
Favored stronger national gov't and supported Constitution. Later became first political party.
Favored strong state gov'ts and weak national gov't. Opposed ratification of the Constitution
Federalist Papers
85 political papers written by Jay, Hamilton, and Madison in favor of the Constitution.
Reserve/Police Powers
Powers reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment (related to taking care of one's citizens)
Concurrent Powers
Authority of state and nat'l gov'ts to exercise concurrently as long as power is not exclusively within the scope of national power or in conflict with national laws.
Bill of Attainder
Law Declaring an act illegal without a judicial trial
Cooperative Federalism
Relationship between state and national gov'ts - national government is stronger in times of crisis. System started during FDR's "New Deal"
Sunshine Law
Requires all government meetings and records to be open to the public
Line-Item Veto
Veto on financial portions of a bill - now illegal.
Civil Liberties
Personal Rights and freedoms that federal gov't may not take away
Due Process Clause
5th/14th Amendments
guarantees to individuals a variety of rights ranging from economic liberty to criminal procedural rights to protection from arbitrary governmental action
Substantive Due Process
Judicial interpretation of the Due Process Clause that protects citizens from arbitrary or unjust laws
Incorporation Doctrine
Holds that the Due Process Clause applies to State and Local gov'ts in addition to national
Selective Incorporation
doctrine by which most - but not all - protections found in Bill of Rights are made applicable to states via 14th Amendment.
Establishment Clause
Prohibits national government from establishing a national religion
Free Exercise Clause
Prohibits US government from interfering with a citizen's right to practice his or her religion
Prior Restraint
Constitutional doctrine that prevents the government from prohibiting speech or publication before the fact.
Clear and Present Danger Test
Draws line between protected and unprotected speech. Looks to see "whether the words used..." could "create a clear and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils" that Congress seeks "to prevent."
Direct Incitement
Holds that advocacy of illegal action is protected by 1st Amendment unless imminent lawless action is intended and likely to occur.
False written statements or written statements tending to call someone's reputation into disrepute
Untrue spoken statements that defame the character of a person
Symbolic Speech
Symbols, signs, and other methods of expression generally also considered to be protected by Free Speech
Due Process Rights
Procedural guarantees for those accused of crimes. (4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendments)
Miranda Rights
Statements that must be made by the police informing a suspect of his or her constitutional rights protected by the 5th Amendment, including the right to an attorney provided by the court if the suspect cannot afford one.
Exclusionary Rule
Judicially created rule that prohibits police from using illegally seized evidence at trial
Right to Privacy
the right to be let alone; a judicially created doctrine encompassing an individual's decision to use birth control or secure an abortion
Civil Rights
Positive acts governments take to protect individuals against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by governments or individuals based on categories such as race, sex, national origin, age, or sexual orientation.
Black Codes
Laws denying most legal rights to newly freed slaves; passed by southern states following the Civil War
Jim Crow Laws
Laws enacted by southern states that discriminated against blacks by creating "whites only" schools, theaters, hotels, and other public accommodations
Grandfather Clause
Voting qualification provision that allowed only those whose grandfathers had voted before Reconstruction to vote unless they passed a wealth or literacy test
Equal Protection Clause
Section of 14th Amendment - guarantees all citizens to receive "equal protection of the laws"; has been used to bar discrimination against blacks and women
Civil Rights act of 1964
Legislation passed by Congress to outlaw segregation in public facilities and racial discrimination in employment, education, and voting; created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
de jure discrimination
Racial segregation that is a direct result of law or official policy
de facto discrimination
Racial discrimination that results from practice (such as housing patterns or other social factors) rather than the law
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Federal Agency created to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids discrimination on the basis of race, creed, national origin, religion, or sex in hiring, promotion, or firing
Equal Rights Amendment
Proposed Amendment that would bar discrimination against women by federal or state governments
Suspect Classification
Category or class, such as race, that triggers the highest standard or scrutiny from the Supreme Court
Strict Scrutiny
A heightened standard of review used by the Supreme Court to determine the constitutional validity of a challenged practice
Title IX
Provision for the Education Amendments of 1972 that bars educational institutions receiving federal funds from discriminating against female students
bicameral legislature
legislature divided into two houses
The redrawing of congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats allotted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state
A proposed law
Power delegated to the House of Representatives in the Constitution to charge the president, vice president or other "civil officers" -including federal judges - with "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors." This is the first step in constitutional process of removing such government officials from office.
process of solving constituents' problems dealing with the bureaucracy
Incumbency factor
The fact that being in office helps a person stay in office because of a variety of benefits that go with the position
Term Limits
Restrictions that exist in some states about how long an individual may serve in state and/or local elected offices
Role played by elected representatives who listen to constituents' opinions and then use their best judgment to make final decisions
Role played by elected representatives who vote the way their constituents would want them to, regardless of their own opinions
Role played by elected representatives who act as trustees or delegates, depending on the issue
Speaker of the House
only officer of the House specifically mentioned in the Constitution; elected at the beginning of each new Congress by the entire House; traditionally a member of the majority party
Majority Party
Political Party in each house of Congress with the most members
Minority Party
Political Party in each house of Congress with the Second most members
Party Caucus/Conference
A formal gathering of all party members
Majority Leader
Elected leader of the party controlling the most seats in the House of Representatives or the Senate; is second in authority to the speaker of the House and in the Senate is regarded as its most powerful member
Minority Leader
Elected leader of the party from Minority Party in House or Senate
One of several representatives who keep close contact with all members and take "nose counts" on key votes, prepare summaries of bills, and in general act as communications links within the party.
Standing Committee
Permanent committees in Congress to which proposed bills are referred
Conference Committees
Joint committees created to iron out differences between Senate and House versions of a specific piece of legislation.
Discharge Petition
Petition that gives a majority of the House of Representatives the authority to bring an issue to the floor in the face of committee inaction
Pork Barrel
Legislation that allows representatives to "bring home the bacon" to their districts in the form of public works programs, military bases, or other programs designed to benefit their districts directly.
Tactic by which a senator asks to be informed before a particular bill is brought to the floor. This stops the bill from coming to the floor until the hold is removed
A formal way of halting action on a bill by means of long speeches or unlimited debate in the Senate
Motion requiring 60 senators to cut off debate -> way of ending a filibuster
Pocket Veto
If Congress adjourns during the 10 days the president has to consider a bill passed by both houses of Congress, without the president's signature, the bill is considered vetoed.
Divided Government
The political condition in which different political parties control the White House and Congress
Congressional review of the activities of an agency, department, or office
Congressional Review
The process by which Congress can nullify an executive branch regulation by a resolution jointly passed in both houses within sixty days of announcement of the regulation and accepted by the president.
Legislative Veto
A procedure by which one or both houses of Congress can disallow an act of the president by a simple majority vote; ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court
War Powers Act
Passed in 1973 - President is Limited in deployment of troops overseas to a 60-day period in peacetime unless Congress explicitly gives its approval for a longer period.
Senatorial Courtesy
A process by which presidents, when selecting district court judges, defer to the senators in whose state the vacancy occurs
Articles of Impeachment
The specific charges brought against a president or federal judge by the House
The formal body of presidential advisers who head the fourteen executive departments. Presidents often add others to this body of formal advisors
Executive Agreement
Formal Government agreement entered into by the executive branch that does not require the advice and consent of the Senate
Veto Power
The formal, constitutional authority of the president to reject bills passed by both houses of Congress, thus preventing their becoming law without further congressional action
An executive grant providing restoration of all rights and privileges of citizenship to a specific individual charged or convicted of a crime.
Inherent Powers
Powers of the president that can be derived or inferred from specific powers in the Constitution
Stewardship Theory
Theory that holds that Article II confers on the president the power and the duty to take whatever actions are deemed necessary in the national interest, unless prohibited by the Constitution or law
Taftian Theory
A Theory that holds that the president is limited by the specific grants of executive power found in the Constitution
Executive Office of the President (EOP)
Establishment created in 1939 to help the president oversee the bureaucracy
One who believes that Article II's grant of executive power is a broad grant of authority allowing a president wide discretionary powers
One who believes that Article II's provision that the president should ensure "faithful execution of the laws" should be read as an injunction against substituting presidential authority for legislative intent.
Executive Order
A rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect of the law. All executive orders must be published in the "Federal Register"
Jobs, grants, or other special favors that are given as rewards to friends and political allies for their support
Executive Privilege
An assertion of presidential power that reasons that the president can withhold information requested by the courts in matters relating to his office
A set of complex hierarchical departments, agencies, commissions, and their staffs that exist to help a chief executive officer carry out his or her duty to enforce the law.
Spoils System
The firing of public-office holders of a defeated political party and their replacement with loyalists of the newly elected party
Pendleton Act
Reform measure that created the Civil Service Commission to administer a partial-merit system. The act classified the federal service by grades, to which appointments were made based on the results of a competitive examination. It made it illegal for federal appointees to be required to contribute to a particular political party.
Civil Service System
The system created by civil service laws by which many appointments to the federal bureaucracy are made.
Merit System
The system by which federal civil service jobs are classified into grades or levels, to which appointments are made on the basis of performance on competitive examinations.
Independent Regulatory Commission
An agency created by Congress that is generally concerned with a specific aspect of the economy
Major administrative units with responsibility for a broad area of governmental operations. Departmental status usually indicates a permanent national interest in that particular governmental function, such as defense, commerce, or agriculture.
Clientele Agencies
Executive departments directed by law to foster and promote the interests of a specific segment or group in the US population (such as the Department of Education)
Government Corporations
Businesses established by Congress that perform functions that could be provided by private businesses. (like the US Postal Service)
Independent Executive Agencies
Governmental units that closely resemble a Cabinet department but have a narrower area of responsibility (such as the CIA) and are not part of any Cabinet Department
Hatch Act
Law enacted in 1939 to prohibit civil servants from taking activist roles in partisan campaigns. This act prohibited federal employees from making political contributions, working for a particular party, or compaigning for a particular candidate
Federal Employees Political Activities Act
1993 liberalization of the Hatch Act. Federal employees are now allowed to run for office in nonpartisan elections and to contribute money to campaigns in partisan elections
The process by which a law or policy is put into operation by the bureaucracy
Iron Triangles
The relatively stable relationships and patterns of interaction that occur among an agency, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees
Issue Networks
The loose and informal relationships that exist among a large number of actors who work in broad policy areas
Interagency councils
Working groups created to facilitate coordination of policy making and implementation across a host of governmental agencies.
Administrative Discretion
The ability of bureaucrats to make choices concerning the best way to implement congressional intentions
Rules that govern the operation of a particular government program that have the force of law
Administrative Adjudication
A quasi-judicial process in which a bureaucratic agency settles disputes between two parties in a manner similar to the way courts resolve disputes
Judicial Review
The power of the courts to review acts of other branches of government and the states
Judiciary Act of 1789
Established the basic 3-tiered structure of the federal courts system
Trial Court
Court of original jurisdiction where a case begins
Appellate court
Court that generally reviews only findings of law made by lower courts
Authority vested in a particular court to hear and decide the issues in any particular case
Original Jurisdiction
The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually in a trial. Courts determine the facts of a case under their original jurisdiction
Appellate jurisdiction
The power vested in an appellate court to review and/or revise the decision of a lower court
Criminal Law
Codes of behaviour related to the protection of property and individual safety.
civil law
Codes of behaviour related to business and contractual relationships between groups and individuals
constitutional courts
federal courts specifically created by the US Constitution or by Congress pursuant to its authority in Article III
Legislative Courts
Courts established by Congress for specialized purposes, such as the Court of Military Appeals
A document containing the legal written arguments in a case filed with a court by a party prior to a hearing or trial
prior judicial decision that serves as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature
stare decisis
In court rulings, a reliance on past decisions or precedents to formulate decisions in new cases
Strict Constructionist
An approach to constitutional interpretation that emphasizes the Framers' original intentions
Writ of certiorari
A request for the Court to order up the records from a lower court to review the case
In forma pauperis
Literally, "as a pauper"; a way for an indigent or poor person to appeal a case to the Supreme Court
Rule of Four
At least 4 justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
amicus curiae
"Friend of the Court"; a third party to a lawsuit who files a legal brief for the purpose of raising additional points of view in an attempt to influence a court's decision.
Solicitor General
4th-ranking member of the Dept. of Justice; responsible for handling all appeals on behalf of the US gov't to the Supreme Court
Judicial Restraint
A philosophy of judicial decision making that argues courts should allow the decisions of other branches of government to stand, even when they offend a judge's own sense of principles.
judicial activism
A philosophy of judicial decision making that argues judges should use their power broadly to further justice, especially in the areas of equality and personal liberty
Judicial Implementation
Refers to how and whether judicial decisions are translated into actual public policies affecting more than the immediate parties to a lawsuit
Public Opinion
What the public thinks about a particular issues or set of issues at any point in time
Public Opinion Polls
Interviews or surveys with samples of citizens that are used to estimate the feelings and beliefs of the entire population
Straw Polls
Unscientific surveys used to gauge public opinion on a variety of issues and policies
Political Socialization
The process through which an individual acquires particular political orientations; the learning process by which people acquire their political beliefs and values.
Random Sampling
A method of poll selection that gives each person in a group the same chance of being selected
Stratified Sampling
A variation of random sampling; census data are used to divide a country into four sampling regions. Sets of counties and standard metropolitan statistical areas are then randomly selected in proportion to the total national population
Push Polls
"Polls" taken for the purpose of providing information on an opponent that would lead respondents to vote against that candidate
Push Polls
"Polls" taken for the purpose of providing information on an opponent that would lead respondents to vote against that candidate
Tracking Polls
Continuous surveys that enable a campaign to chart its daily rise or fall in support
Exit Polls
Polls conducted at selected polling places on Election Day
Sampling Error or margin of error
A measure of the accuracy of a public opinion poll
Political Party
A group of office holders, candidates, activists, and voters who identify with a group label and seek to elect to public office individuals who run under that label.
Governmental party
the Office holders and candidates who run under a political party's banner
Organizational Party
The workers and activists who staff the party's formal organization
Party in the electorate
The voters who consider themselves allied or associated with the party
A party organization that recruits its members with tangible incentives and is characterized by a high degree of control over member activity
Direct Primary
The selection of party candidates through the ballots of qualified voters rather than at party nomination conventions
Civil Service Laws
These acts removed the staffing of the bureaucracy from political parties and created a professional bureaucracy filled through competition
Issue-Oriented Politics
Politics that focuses on specific issues rather than on party, candidate, or other loyalties
To vote for candidates of different parties for various offices in the same election
Political consultant
Professional who manages campaigns and political advertisements for political candidates
A group of interests or organizations that join forces for the purpose of electing public officials
National Party Platform
A statement of the general and specific philosophy and policy goals of a political party, usually promulgated at the national convention
National Convention
A party conclave (meeting) held in the presidential election year for the purposes of nominating a presidential and vice presidential ticket and adopting a platform
Coattail Effect
The tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates lower on the ballot to profit in an election by the presence on the party's ticket of a more popular candidate
Party Identification
A citizen's personal affinity for a political party, usually expressed by his or her tendency to vote for the candidates of that party
A political system in which one party dominates and wins virtually all contests
The tendency of 3rd parties to arise with some regularity in a nominally 2-party system
Proportional Representation
A voting system that apportions legislative seats according to the percentage of the vote won by a particular political party
Dualist Theory
The theory that there has always been an underlying binary party nature to US politics
Citizens eligible to vote
A command, indicated by an electorate's votes, for the elected officials to carry out their platforms
Retrospective Judgment
A voter's evaluation of the performance of the party in power
Prospective Judgment
A voter's evaluation of a candidate based on what he or she pledges to do about an issue if elected
Primary Election
Election in which voters decide which of the candidates within a party will represent the party in the general election
Closed primary
A primary election in which only a party's registered voters are eligible to vote
Open Primary
A primary in which party members, independents, and sometimes members of the other party are allowed to vote
Crossover voting
Participation in the primary of a party with which the voter is not affiliated
An organized attempt by voters of one party to influence the primary results of the other party
Blanket Primary
A primary in which voters may cast ballots in either party's primary (but not both) on an office-by-office basis
Runoff Primary
A second primary election between the 2 candidates receiving the greatest number of votes in the first primary
Nonpartisan Primary
A primary used to select candidates regardless of party affiliation
General Election
Election in which voters decide which candidates will actually fill elective public offices
A process that allows citizens to propose legislation and submit it to the state electorate for public vote
A procedure whereby the state legislature submits proposed legislation to the state's voters for approval
Removal of an incumbent from office by popular vote
Regional Primary
A proposed system in which the country would be divided into five or six geographic areas and all states in each region would hold their presidential primary on the same day
The tendency of states to choose an early date on the primary calendar
Unit Rule
A traditional party practice under which the majority of a state delegation can force the minority to vote for its candidate
Delegate slot to the Democratic Party's national convention that is reserved for an elected party official
Electoral College
Representatives of each state who cast the final ballots that actually elect a president
Member of the electoral college chosen by methods determined in each state
Party Realignment
A shifting of party coalition groupings in the electorate that remains in place for several elections
Critical Election
An election that signals a party realignment through voter polarization around new issues
Secular Realignment
The gradual rearrangement of party coalitions, based more on demographic shifts than on shocks to the political system
The condition of already holding elected office
The redrawing of congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats alloted to the states, as well as population shifts within a state.
The legislative process through which the majority party in each statehouse tries to assure that the maximum number of representatives from its political party can be elected to Congress through the redrawing of legislative districts
Midterm Election
Election that takes place in the middle of a presidential term
The proportion of the voting-age public that votes
Nomination Campaign
That part of a political campaign aimed at winning a primary election
general election campaign
That part of a political campaign aimed at winning a general election
Personal Campaign
That part of a political campaign concerned with presenting the candidate's public image
Organizational Campaign
That part of a political campaign involved in fund-raising, literature distribution, and all other activities not directly involving the candidate.
Media Campaign
That part of a political campaign waged in the broadcast and print media
Yellow Journalism
A form of newspaper publishing in vogue in the late-nineteenth century that featured pictures, comics, color, and sensationalized, oversimplified news coverage
A form of newspaper publishing, in vogue in the early twentieth century, concerned with reforming gov't and business conduct
Print Press
The traditional form of mass media, comprising newspapers, magazines, and journals
Electronic Media
The broadcast media, including television, radio, computerized information services, and the Internet
An association of broadcast stations (radio or television) that share programming through a financial arrangement
Local television stations that carry the programming of a national network
Wire Service
An electronic delivery of news gathered by the news service's correspondents and sent to all member news media organizations
press release
A document offering an official comment or position
Press briefing
A relatively restricted session between a press secretary or aide and the press
Press Conference
An unrestricted session between an elected official and the press
Media Effects
The influence of news sources on public opinion
On background
A term for when sources are not specifically named in a news story
Deep background
Information gathered for news stories that must be completely unsourced
Off the Record
Term applied to information gathered from a news story that cannot be used at all
On the record
Term applied to information gathered for a news story that can be cited
Content Regulation
Governmental attempts to regulate the electronic media
Equal Time Rule
The rule that requires broadcast stations to sell campaign air time equally to all candidates if they choose to sell to any
Fairness Doctrine
Rule in effect from 1949-1985 requiring broadcasters to cover events adequately and to present contrasting views on important public issues