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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
natural law
God's or nature's law that defines right from wrong and is higher than human law
separation of powers
Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making the law, the executive branch applying the law and the judiciary branch interpreting the law.
checks and balances
Consitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of the government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate.
Procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters.
Procedure for submitting to popular vote measures passed by the legislature or proposed amendments to a state constitution.
judicial review
The power of the court to refuse to enforce a law or a government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the US Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
Formal accusation against a public official, the first step in removal from the office.
executive order
Directive issued by a president or governor that has the force of law.
executive privilege
The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
Presidential refusal to allow an agency to spend funds authorized and appropriated by Congress.
writ of mandamas
Court order directing an official to perform an official duty.
direct primary
Election in which voters choose party nominees.
divided government
Governance divided between parties, especially when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
case of Marbury vs. Madison
1803 case that established the Supreme Court's power of judicial review
What is the framework of our governmental system?
the US Constitution
How is an amendment to the US Constitution passed?
Amendment must be:
1. proposed by (a) two thirds vote in each chamber of Congress or (b) a national convention called by Congress after receiving a petition from the legislatures of two thirds of the states
2. ratified by (a) legislatures in three fourths of the states or (b) by ratifying conventions in three fourths of the states.
How many times has the Constitution been formally amended?
27 times
What are the three branchs of the government?
1. legislative
2. Executive
3. Judicial
When was the US Consitution adopted?
Outside of the first ten amendments which six amendments added or subtracted from National Government Power?
11th took some jurisdiction away from the national courts
13th abolished slavery and gave the national government the power to legislate against it
16th enabled the federal government to levy income tax
18th authorized federal government to prohibit the manufacture sale and transport of liquor
21st repealed 18th and gave states the power to regulate liquor
27th limited the power of Congress to set members' salaries
Outside of the first ten amendments whixh six amendments expand the electorate and its power?
15th extended sufferage to all male African Americans over the age of 21
17th took the rights of the states to elect Senators away and gave it to the voters of each state
19th extended suffereage to all women over the age of 21
23rd gave voters in Washington DC the right to vote for president and vice president
24th outlawed the poll tax
26th extended sufferage to all qualified persons 18 years or older
Outside of the first ten amendments, which one amendment took power away from the electorate?
22nd took away the the right to elect a president for more than two terms.
Outside of the first ten amendments, which two amendments limited the power of the state government?
13th abolished slavery

14th granted national citizenship and prohibited the states from limiting privileges of national citizenship (life, liberty, property without due process and from denying persons equal protection under the law); this has been interpretted to limit states rights in all public life
Outside of the first ten amendments, which three amendments made structural changes in the government?
12th corrected deficiences in the electoral college

20th changed the congressional session calendar and shortened the time between the election the presidents assumption of office

25th provided procedure for the filling vacancies in the vice-presidency and for determing whether presidents are unable to fulfill their duties.