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34 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
What are the three branches of the U.S. government?
What does the Legislative branch do?
The responsibility of the legislative branch (Federal and State) is to make law
What is the primary responsibility of the executive branch?
1. Implement laws made by Congress or the Legislatures
2. Oversee everyday activities of the government
3. Command the military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard)
4. Establish and maintain relations with foreign powers (formation of trade relations and treaties)
What is the primary responsibility of the judicial branch of government?
To judge and prescribe punishment of lawbreakers as well as adjudicate conflicts among citizens and among corporations
To whom do the laws of the U.S. apply?
Federal law establishes what citizens and visitors to the country must do and establishes limits on what they can do
To whom do the laws passed by the U.S. states apply?
State law applies only to those residing in or visiting a particular state
What are the two "houses" of the U.S. Congress?
1. Senate
2. House of Represenatives
What definition of "democracy" is supplied by your text?
A government in which people elect other people to make the laws
What is the process by which a bill (a proposed change in the law) becomes the law?
1. Industries and businesses draft bills which they give to their lobbyists
2. Industry lobbyists bring the bills to Congressional committees
3. The original draft of the bill is examined by the staff of the committee (including lawyers and experts) to look for potentially embarrassing items and to see how the unaltered legislation might work
4. After the staff looks at it, the bill and suggested changes are shown to the actual committee of Congressmen and their personal staffs (hearings are held to allow interested witnesses a chance to inform the committees of their evaluation of the proposed legislation and its possible consequences if implemented)
5. When the Chair of the Committee is comfortable with the bill, it is sent to the floor of the legislative body for consideration by the entire body (examined by legislators and their staffs)
6. Amendments to the bill may be proposed on the floor and adopted by a majority of the legislative members
7. Amended bills are then either accepted, tabled, or rejected
8. Accepted bills are sent to the President to be signed into law
What is the minimum voting age in U.S. elections?
18 years old
How long a term do members of the House of Representatives serve?
2 years
How long a term do Senate members serve?
6 years
Which part of the government has the power to decide how much taxes the government can collect from people?
Congress sets the rates that determine the amounts of revenue that may be collected from the taxpayers
Who is the head of the executive branch of the US government?
The Chief Executive is the President.
What responsibilities does the executive branch have?
1. Oversees the expenditure of the funds appropriate by Congress through enforcement of the laws passed by Congress.
2. Public service
3. Defense of the country
4. Strong influence on legislation
What does Congress do with the budget proposal of the president?
Congress examines it and decides what items to put into its own budget bill.

Congress's budget bill includes items initiated by Congressment as well
May the president of the US initiate new laws, such as tax laws or laws having to do with safety?
The President can address proposals of anything he or she deems important
How long is a Presential term of office?
4 years
Where does the President's family live?
The White House
Where does the Congress work?
The Capitol building
Where is the Capital of the United States?
Washington, D.C. (District of Columbia)
Why is it called "the Capital" and not "the Capitol"?
Capital refers to a city, and capitol refers to a building or statehouse
Which branch of government oversees the U.S. courts?
When people disagree about the law and their obligations under the law, what legal recourse do they ahev?
If a citizen feels injured by the actions of another citizen, the injured citizen can sue the other in court.

Damages may be granted to the injured and must be paid by the loser of the suit.
What may people do if they have a disagreement with the government about what a law means?
The courts decide with the citizen or with the government what the law intends
When the government believes that someone has not obeyed the law, what powers does the court have?
The courts decide whether the law has been broken and what the punishment should be.
Who are the chief officers of a court?
What body of citizens sometimes assists the judge in court cases?
A jury of US citizens randomly selected from a list of citizens, usually property owners or voters in the last election.
Are US judges elected?
Federal judges are appointed by the President, usually after nomination by Senators or Representatives.
Are state judges elected?
Many state and local judges are chosen through elections, depending on the laws of the state.
What government body confirms a judge's appointment?
The Senate
What special training do judges have?
Typically have special training in law, usually with a degree in law.
Describe the appeal process of the decisions of a US District Court (with or without a jury)
Lower court decisions can be appealed to a higher court under certain circumstances.

The decision of a jury cannot be appealed, but court procedures that resulted in the decision can be appealed.
What obligations must US citizens fulfill in the organization and work of the US government?
1. Obligated to vote to choose leaders of the US and of the states. They should inform themselves about the issues and capability of the candidates.
2. Obligated to pay taxes.
3. Obligated to serve in the military in time of war.
4. Obligated to communicate their preferences, their fears, and their suggestsions to their elected public officials.