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120 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
An arrangement in which two or more members of congress agree in advance to support each other's bills.
Continuing Resolution
a temporary law that Congress passes when an appropriations bill has not been decided by the beginning of the new fiscal year on October 1
The division of a legislature into two separate assemblies.
one of the people represented by a legislator or other elected or appointed official
Justiciable Question
a question that may be raised and reviewed in court
personal work for constituents by members of Congress
Majority Leader of the House
a legislative position held by an important party member in the House. The majority leader is selected by the majority party in caucus or conference to foster cohesion among party members and to act as spokes person for the majority in the House.
Minority Leader
the party leader elected by the minority party in the House.
Fiscal Year
a 12 month period that is used for bookkeeping or accounting purposes. Usually, the fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year. Runs from October 1 to September 12.
Discharge Petition
a procedure by which a bill in the house may be forced out of a committee (discharged) that has refused to report it fore consideration by the House. The discharge petition must be signed by an absolute majority (218) of representatives and is used only on rare occasions.
The drawing of legislative district boundary lines for the purpose of obtaining partisan or factional advantage. A district is said to be gerrymandered when its shape is manipulated by the dominant party in the state legislature maximize electoral strength at the expense of the minority party.
Joint Committee
a legislative committee composed of members from both chambers of Congress
Standing Committee
a permanent committee in the House or Senate that considers bills within a certain subject area.
Congressional Privileges
Article 1, section 6:
"speech or debate" clause- member may make any allegations or statement and not be sued for libel or slander
House Rules Committee
Special committee that has the unusual power to meet while the House is in session, to have its resolutions considered immediately on the floor, and to initiate legislation on its own.
Majority-Minority Districts
Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, states had to redraw districts that would maximize the voting power of minority groups (minority = majority) Challenged by citizens that said the districts were in violation of equal protection clause.
the redrawing of the boundaries of the congressional districts within a state.
a person who hears and investigates complaints by private individuals against public officials or agencies.
Conference Committee
a special joint committee appointed to reconcile differences when bills pass the two chambers of Congress in different forms.
a formal declaration by a legislative committee that a certain amount of funding may be available to an agency. Some authorizations terminate in a year; others are renewable automatically without further congressional action.
unlimited debate as a blocking tactic. Cloture ends the filibuster if 16 senators sign a petition.
Speaker of the House
the presiding officer in the House. The Speaker is always a member of the majority party and is the most powerful and influential member of the House.
Steps in Law Making Process
Every law begins as a bill introduced in either the House or Senate. Then the bill is referred to a committee and its subcommittees for study, discussion, hearings and rewriting. After the bill has been passed in each chamber it is sent to a conference committee and then sent to the President.
Emergency Powers
an inherent power exercised by the president during a period of national crisis, particularly in foreign affairs.
"to bring formal charges"
An action by the House to accuse the president, vice president, or other civil officers of committing "treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"
Executive Privilege
The right of executive officials to withhold information from or to refuse to appear before a legislative committee. Executive privilege is enjoyed by the president and by those executive officials accorded that right by the president.
* Precedent set by Washington
* Nixon vs, U,S,
Executive Order
a rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect of law. Executive orders can implement and give administrative effect to provisions in the Constitution, to treaties and to statutes.
* In re Neagle
an advisory group selected by the president to aid in decision making. The cabinet includes the heads of fifteen executive departments and others named by the president. Depending on the president, the cabinet may be highly influential or relatively insignificant in its advisory role.
Kitchen Cabinet
the informal advisers to the president.
(Office of Management and Budget)
a division of the Executive Office of the President created by executive order in 1970 to replace the Bureau of the Budge. The OMB's main functions are to assist the president in preparing the annual budget, to clear and coordinate all departmental agency budgets, to help set fiscal policy, and to supervise the administration of the federal budget.
(National Security Council)
a staff agency in the Executive Office of the President established by the National Security Act of 1947. The NSC advises the president on domestic and foreign matters involving national security.
Presidential Succession
If there is vacancy in the presidency, the vice president succeeds. If both offices fall vacant then congress chooses who succeeds.
Presidential Succession Act of 1947:
•Speaker of House
•President Pro-Tem of Senate
•Secretary of State
•Secretary of Treasury
•Secretary of Defense
•Attorney General
* Secretary of Homeland Security
Advise and Consent
The power vested in the Senate by the Constitution (Article 2, Section 2) to give its advice and consent to the president on treaties and presidential appointments.
War Powers Resolution
law passed in 1973 spelling out the conditions under which the president can commit troops without congressional approval.
rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts.
Civil Service
a collective term for the body of employees working for the government. Generally, the term is understood to apply to all those who gain government employment through a merit system.
State of the Union Address
Power to Recommend Legislation (traditionally given in January)
Addressed to Congress and American people and offers the opportunity to dramatize policies and objectives to gain public support.
Commander in Chief
the role of the president as supreme commander of the military forces of the U.S. and of the state National Guard units when they are called into federal service.
postponement of the execution of a sentence imposed by a court of law; usually done for humanitarian reasons or to await new evidence.
a release from the punishment for or legal consequences of a crime; a pardon can be granted by the president before or after a conviction.
12th amendment
an amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1804 that specifies the separate election of the president and vice president by the electoral college.
the act of gaining direct or indirect control over agency personnel and decision makers by the industry that is being regulated.
Civil Service Commission
the initial central personnel agency of the national government; created in 1883
Sunshine Law
requires all multiheaded federal agencies to conduct their business regularly in public session
Iron Triangle
the three-way alliance among legislators, bureaucrats, and interest groups to make or preserve policies that benefit their respective interests.
Pendleton Act
(civil service or the merit system) when you appoint people, you do it based on merit or competency. Intended to bring more competency but doesn't secure accountability
Spoils System
the awarding of government jobs to political supporters and friends; generally associated with President Andrew Jackson.
Sunset Legislation
a law requiring that an existing program be reviewed regularly for its effectiveness and be terminated unless specifically extended as a result of this review.
an insider who brings to public attention gross governmental inefficiency or an illegal action.
Government Corporation
an agency of government that administers a quasi-business enterprise. These corporations are used when activities are primarily commercial. They produce revenue for their continued existence and they require greater flexibility than is permitted for departments and agencies.
Independent Regulatory Commission
an agency outside the major executive departments charged with making and implementing rules and regulations to protect the public interest.
Judicial Activism
a doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should take an active role in using its powers to check the activities of Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies when those government bodies exceed their authority.
Judicial Restraint
a doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should defer to the decisions made by the elected representatives of the people in the legislative and executive branches.
Case Law
the rules and principles announced in court decisions. Case law includes judicial interpretations of common law principles and doctrines as well as interpretations of constitutional law, statutory law, and administrative law.
Class Action Suit
a lawsuit filed by an individual seeking damages for "all persons similarly situated"
Common Law
Judge-made law that originated in England from decisions shaped according to prevailing customs. Decisions were applied to similar situations and thus gradually became common to the nation.
Rule of Four
a Supreme Court procedure according to which four justices must vote to hear a case in order for the case to come before the full Court.
Writ of Certiorari
an order issued by a higher court to a lower court to send up the record of a case for review. It is the principal vehicle for the Supreme Court review.
Stare Decisis
to stand on decided cases; the judicial policy of following precedents established by past decisions.
Majority Opinion
a court opinion reflecting the views of the majority of the judges.
Concurring Opinion
a separate opinion prepared by a judge who supports the decision of the majority of the court but who wants to make or clarify a particular point or to voice disapproval of the grounds on which the decision was made.
Dissenting Opinion
a separate opinion in which a judge dissents from (disagrees with) the conclusion reached by the majority on the court and expounds his or her own views about the case.
the authority of a court to decide certain cases. Not all courts have the authority to decide all cases. Where a case arises and what its subject matter is are two jurisdictional factors.
Appellate Jurisdiction
a court that has jurisdiction to review cases and issues that were originally tried in lower courts
to declare that a court ruling is valid and must stand.
Federal Question
a question that pertains to the U.S. Constitution, acts of Congress, or treaties. A federal question provides a basis for federal jurisdiction.
Diversity Question
the condition that exists when the parties to a lawsuit are citizens of different states or citizens of a U.S. state and citizens or a government of a foreign country. Diversity of citizenship provides a basis for federal jurisdiction.
to annul or make void a court ruling on account of some error or irregularity.
to send a case back to the court that originally heard it.
Political Question
an issue that a court believes should be decided by the executive or legislative branch.
Senatorial Courtesy
Before making an appointment, the president must talk to senators of his party from the state that the appointee is from. Unwritten rule
the redistribution of seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years according to the census.
• Missouri went from 14 to 9 reps.
• Sun belt grows
• Rust belt shrinks
• Kirkpatrick Sale The Power Shift: Population will grow south and the political power will shift to the south, presidents from southern states.
Sunbelt States
Southern states (growing and gaining power politically)
Frost belt/ rust belt states
Northern/Midwestern States (shrinking in political power)
Kirkpatrick Sale
author of The Power Shift
Says the population will grow south and the political power will shift to the south, presidents from southern states.
• Reasons to move south: climate, lower taxes, less labor unions, industry, immigration
• Rise in conservatism, religious fundamentalism, patriotism, pro-life, drug control
survey taken every 10 years. Helps with reapportionment.
Entrenched Clause
Article 5~ calls for equal representation for all states (every state gets two senators no matter how big or small)
Colgrove vs. Green
Illinois failed to redraw lines but court refused to force them to redraw the boundaries because they said it was a "political question not a legal question". Political questions are left up to the state legislature.
Baker vs. Carr
Overturned Colgrove vs. Green. Court said it was a violation of the equal protection law of the 14th amendment. Said it was no longer a political question, now a constitutional/legal question.
"One person, one vote"
Reynolds vs. Sims
Failing to redraw state lines based on population is a violation of equal protection law. Made it so that state senates didn't mimic national senates. Senators from smaller states didn't like because it threatened their jobs. Tried to amend with petition (one away)
In re Neagle
Long lasting fight between senators ends in body guard of one killing the other. Body guard is released from jail because he was appointed by EXECUTIVE ORDER
Delegate Role
representation based on community values and not the representatives opinions. “If you elect me to congress, I will mirror your views”
Trustee Role
representing the people with their (the representative) own views and thinking that the people have entrusted them (the representative) to make the right decision.
Politico Role
(Abraham Lincoln) If I know what you want I’ll vote accordingly, but if I can’t ascertain what you want I’ll vote in what I believe is our best interest.
Gomillion vs. Lightfoot
Alabama drew boundaries that the court said was a form of "Racial Gerrymandering"
Shaw vs. Reno
North Carolina created "Majority- Minority Districts". Courts said it was racial discrimination and a violation of the 14th amendment, equal protection
Chief Executive
president's role to run the government (CEO or Prime Minister of UK)
Chief of State
ceremonial head of state (Queen of UK)
Franking Privilege
Free mailings
Executive Order
a directive by the President to carry out a law, a treaty, or a Supreme Court ruling. (integration of the military, affirmative action, etc.)
Executive Privilege
(not in Constitution)
• Washington set a precedent that a President could claim Executive Privilege and refuse to testify in front of Congress because it’s a violation of Separation of Powers
Appointment Power
(constraint on the president) Might have to be approved by Congress (superior appointments by Senate, inferior appointments no approval)
Removal Power
Established in Myers vs. U.S. that even though it’s not in the constitution, the President has the power to remove people he appoints. Says it’s an implied power.
Superior appointments
must be approved by the Senate
inferior appointments
don't need approval
"to bring formal charges" by the House
Presidential Succession Act of 1947
If there is vacancy in the presidency, the vice president succeeds. If both offices fall vacant then congress chooses who succeeds.
• Presidential Succession Act of 1947:
• President
• VP
• Speaker of House
• President Pro-Tem of Senate
• Secretary of State
• Secretary of Treasury
• Secretary of Defense
• Attorney General
• Secretary of Homeland Security
pocket veto
a special veto power exercised by the chief executive after a legislative body has adjourned. Bills not signed by the chief executive die after a specified period of time. If Congress wishes to reconsider such a bill, it must be reintroduced in the following session of Congress.
Line Item veto
the power of an executive to veto individual lines or items within a piece of legislation without vetoing the entire bill.
general pardon for political offenses
Emergency Power
an inherent power exercised by the president during a time of national crisis, particularly in foreign affairs.
Myers vs. U.S.
(dealt with postmasters, who couldn't be removed) court said that even though its not in the constitution, the president has the right to remove people he appoints.
U.S. vs. Nixon
(executive privilege)
Nixon refused to surrender Watergate tapes on the grounds of Executive Privilege. Court said that when the information requested deals with national security or international affairs, the President has the right to withhold information/ claim Executive Privilege. But when it involves criminal activities you can’t claim Executive Privilege.
Executive Agreement
an international agreement made by president, without senatorial ratification, with the head of a foreign state.
•Such agreements do not require Senate’s approval, although the house and the senate may refuse to appropriate the funds necessary to implement them.
•Treaties are binding on all succeeding administrations, but executive agreements require each new president’s consent to remain in effect.
•There are two advantages of executive agreements:
speed: speed is essential especially during a crisis.
secrecy: important when the administration fears that open senatorial debate may be harmful to the best interest of the U.S. or the interests of the President.
•Many executive agreements contain secret provisions calling for American military assistance or other support.
War Powers Act
the president can use troops abroad under three conditions:
•When Congress has declared war
•When Congress has given him specific authority to do so
•When an attack on the U.S. or its military creates a national crises
o Unless Congress approves the use of troops, the president must withdraw them within 60 days, or 90 days if he needs more time to protect them.
Diplomatic Recognition
the formal acknowledgment of a foreign government as legitimate.
•The president has the authority to recognize foreign governments by receiving their diplomatic representatives.
•This power belongs solely to the president and does not require the consent of Congress
•President can also use this power to refuse to recognize a government.
o President Truman recognized Israel, the day after it declared its independence.
Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Presidents of the U.S. refused to recognize the legitimacy of the Soviet Union until 1933.
22nd Amendment
two terms or ten years
twenty-fifth amendment
*****What to do if the President is disabled or vacancy of the vice president.
o Says that if the president or the V.P. + a majority of the cabinet think the president is unable to fulfill their duties then the V.P. becomes the acting president. 2/3 vote of congress must agree with V.P. and majority of the cabinet to keep president from acting even if he feels able.
o If there is a vacancy in the V.P. then the president will nominate and a simple majority of both houses votes to approve. (Ex: Nixon administration
20th amendment
lame duck amendment
The City of New York vs. Clinton
Supreme Court took back the power of Line-Item Veto given to the President and said that the Congress couldn't give powers to the President unless amended to the Constitution.
INS vs. Chadha
Chadha was granted political asylum by the Reagan administration but was denied by a Legislative Veto. The Supreme Court struck down the use of legislative veto saying that the only person who has the power to veto is the President.
Legislative Veto
congress passes a very general law and leaves it up to the bureaucracy to carry out and fill in the details. If congress doesn’t like what the agency was doing they can cancel the bill. Struck down by INS vs. Chadha
Any administrative system but specifically a government agency that carries out policy on a day-to-day basis.
Parkinson's Law
C. Northcole Parkinson (1958) “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”
(A and B hire assistants C and D to do their work who then hire assisstants E and F to do their work until multiple people are doing the work of one)
Peter Principle
in every bureaucracy, people rise to their level of incompetence.
•Just because a teacher is good at teaching doesn’t mean she’ll be a good administrator.
Ratchet Effect
every time there is a war, there are more people working for the government afterwards than before the war. (number of people falls after the war but never goes down completely)
Sunset Laws
when you start a new agency, you set a date as to when it will be finished with its’ work (will go out of business when it reaches its goal which never happens because they’ll always find something else to regulate).
Incremental Budgeting
agencies ask for the same amount of $ as the previous year and a little bit more.
Max Weber
German scholar (economist, sociologist) believed that as government became more complex, the bureaucracy would become more important and grow.
4 characteristics for efficiency
• Hierarchy- chain of command.
• Merit- hire and promote on basis of competency.
• Well defined Division of Labor- put people where they do their best work.
• Standard Procedures- uniform rules that everyone must follow.
House: 163
Senate: 34
Counties: 114