Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

62 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The congressional power to discipline presidents. The ambiguity of the constitutional requirement that presidents commit "other High Crimes and Misdemeanors" gives it considerable discretion in deciding what constitutes sufficiently seriously charges. This requires a two-thirds vote of senate. This also does not give congress power to choose the next president, which goes to the vice president.
enumerated powers
Powers explicitly identified in the text of the Constitution.
pocket veto
The power of the president to veto a bill passed during the last ten days of a session of Congress simply by failing to sign it.
A closed meeting of members of a political party to discuss matters of public policy and political strategy, and in some cases, to select candidates for office.
Progressive movement
A movement in tghe early twentieth century where people sought to reform the presidential selection process and reduce the influence of state party leaders by persuading states to change their rules for selecting candidates. Progressives urged the states to use primary election to choose delegates to the national conventions, giving the public a more direct say in choosing party nominees.
The decision states make to move their causes or primary dates earlier in the election year to influence the nomination process even more.
independent expenditures
Money that groups or individuals spend on behalf of a candidate without formal contact with the candidate. In t he eyes of the court, limits on independent expenditures infringe impermissibly on the right of free speech.
soft money
Expenditures designed to increase voter participation by strengthening party organizations, registering voters, and getting out the vote on Election Day.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA)/McCain-Feingold
The law to end all soft money expenditures, although some parts of the law are considered unconstitutional.
electoral college
The body of electors, whose composition is determined by the results of the gneral election, that chooses the president and vice president. To win in the electroal college, candidates must secure a majoirty of the electoral vote.
unit rule
Where the candidate wins all the state's electoral votes through a pluarity.
central legislative clearance
The power the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921 granted to the president to create a package of legislative proposals and budgets for congressional consideration.
neutral competence
The belief that staff members (usually career civil servants) should be able to work competently for any president, regardless of partisan affiliation or policy preferences and without advocating the policies of individual presidents.
One Hundred Days
A benchmark to judge a newly elected president largely chosen because at that point in Franklin Roosevelt's first term Congress had passed a substatial portion of his New Deal legislation.
midterm elections
The congressional elections thta take palce midway through a president's four-year term.
bargaining strategy
Direct negotiations the White House conducts with other political actors, such as members of Congress and lesader of interest groups, that attempt to reach mutually beneficial agreements.
going public strategy
Direct presidential appeals to the public for support. Presidents use public support to pressure other political actors to accept their policies.
divided government
When the opposition party controls at least one house of Congress, presidential proposals are much less likley to make their way through Congress. The president faced with this must spend more of their time opposing the agenda of the opposition party, usually a difficult and time-consuming task.
executive order
An issue the president can direct to have a federal agency to take some specific action. Although Congress has the power to block this, the president usually can force a federal agency to obey their wishes if they are willing to devote time and effort to the issue.
In general usage, the set of government agencies that carries out government policies. The bureaucracy is characterized by formalized structures, specialized duties, a hierarchical system of authority, routine record-keeping, and a permanent staff.
A term used generall to identify anyone who works within a large, formal organization. More specifically, it refers to career civil service employees of the government.
advice and consent
Refers to the provision in Article II of the Constitution that requires the president to gain the Senate's approval of appointees to a variety of government positions.
An informal designation that refers to the collective body of individulas appointed by the president to head the executive departments. The cabinet can, but rarely does, function as an advisory body to the president.
Rule administration
The corefunction of the bureaucracy- to carry out the decisions of Congress, the president, or the courts.
rule making
Formulating the rules for carrying out the programs a bureaucratic agency administers.
rule adjudication
Where federal agencies determine whether the rules they administer and formulated have been violated.
spoils system
The mothod used to hire and fire government employees during most of the 1800s. Government employees of the new president's choosing would replace those a previous president had appointed. Government jobs were the "spoils" (or rewards) of the electoral "wars." This system is also known as patronage.
The practice of rewarding partisan suporters with government jobs. Also known as the spoils system.
civil service
The mothod by which most govenment employees have been hired, promoted, and fired since the 1880s. Personnel decisions are based on merit, or the competence of the individual to do the job, rather than the individual's political loyalties.
The recipients of the services a government agency's programs provide.
Specialized knowledge acquired through work experience or training and education.
iron triangles
The alliance of a government agnecy, congressional committee or subcommittee, and political interest group for the purpose of directing government policy within the agency's jurisdiction to the mutual benefit of the three partners.
constitutional courts
The three-tiered system of federal district courts, courts of appeals (originally circuit courts), and the supreme Court. Article III of the Constituition provides for the creation of these courts.
Marbury v. Madison
The Supreme Court decision in 1803 that established the principle of the judicial reviw. John Adams appointed William Marbury into the peace justice in Washington, but the acting Secretary of the State John Marshall did not deliver them in time (before midnight the next day, Adam's last day in office). Thomas Jefferson told James Madison not to deliver them.
judicial review
The doctrine allowing the Supreme Court to review and overturn decision made by Congress and the president.
judicial activism
The vigorous use of judicial review to overturn laws and make public policy from the federal bench.
writ of certiorari
A Supreme Court order for a lower court to send it the records of a case-the first step in review a lower court case.
amicus curiae
Literally, friend of the court. A person or group that files a legal brief in a case they are not directly involved in.
state decisis
The doctrine that previous Supreme Court decisions should be allowed to stand.
majority opinion
The document announcing and usually explaining the Supreme Court's decision in a case.
concurring opinion
A statement from one or more Supreme Court justices agreeing with a decision in a case, but giving an alternative explaination for it.
dissenting opinion
A statement from one or more Supreme Court justices explaining why they disagree with a decision in a case.
snateorial courtesy
The practice a president follows in choosing a nominee for a district or appeals court judgeship. The president selects a nominee from a list supplied by the senior senator of the president's party from the state or region where the vacancy occurs.
Missouri Plan/Merit System
The system some states use to select judges, appointing them but requiring them to stand for periodic reelection.
bicameral legistlature
Congress with two separate chambers (Senate & House)
rapid change in the House membership
The redistribution of seats in the House every 10 years.
seniority rule
The congressional norm making the mbmer of the majority with the longest continuous service on a committee the chair of said committee.
smaller units of a standing committee that oversee one part of the committe's juridiction
Drawing district boundaries to favor one political party over another.
The moethod members of Congress present themselves to their voters in their district or state.
constituent service
Favors members of Congress do for constituents - usually in the form of help in dealing with beauracracy.
franking priviledge
The right to send official mail for free.
midterm elections
Elections held at the midpoint of a president's four-year term.
divided government
When one party controls the White House and the other is the majority of one of the Congressional houses.
Conservative Coalition
An alliance of Republicans and Southern Democrats
conference committee
An ad hoc committe of Hosue and Senate members formed to reolve differences in a bill that passes eachbody with different provisions.
select committee
Congressional committees that typically are created for only specific lengths of time and that lack authority to report legistlation.
The tactic of preventing a vote by talking it to death. It seems to be stopped when at least 60 senators invoke cloture.
The procedure to limit the length of a debate.
policy oversight
Seeing that the legislation is implemented that the expected results come about, and whether new laws are needed.
Police-patrol oversight
Congressional oversight hearings designed to take a wide-ranging look for possible problems.