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190 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The Constitution
A system for government, often codified as a written document, that establishes the rules and principles of an autonomous political entity.
Articles of Confederation
The weak first attempt at a national constitution which had many issues including no ability to tax and no court system.
What were the differences between the Pennsylvania and Massachusetts state constitutions?
Pennsylvania: 1 House Legislature, 1 year terms, no more than 4 terms, no executive branch.

Massachusetts: Executive branch, power to veto, judges terms are for life, must own property, must swear they were Christian.
What were the names of the two plans proposed at the Constitutional Convention?
The Virginia and New Jersey Plans.
What was the name of the compromise reached at the Constitutional Convention?
The Connecticut, or Great, Compromise.
A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them.
The division of power by way of central government and several regional governments.
Marbury v Madison established what key principle?
Judicial review
Antifederalist View
Liberty is only secure in a small republic with leaders in close proximity to their people
Madison's Federalist #10 argued:
Political liberty is best protected by the fragmentation of political power in a large republic
How many amendments were originally proposed for the Bill of Rights?
Twelve proposed, ten ratified
First Degree Devolution
The passing of power from the national level to the state level
McCulloch v Maryland invoked the first use of what clause?
The elastic clause (Necessary and proper clause)

Also established national bank
The now illegal power of states to reject laws put forward by the federal government based on constitutional objections
Dual Federalism
Two spheres in which the national government and state government reign supreme in their own sphere
A petition which, with enough signatures, places on law on a ballot to be voted on. (State)
A petition which, with enough signatures, reverses or repeals a law. (State)
A petition which, with enough signatures, can remove an elected official from office. (State)
Money coming from central government for a specific project
Block Grants
The bundling of several categorical or projects grants devoted to a more general purpose
What are the three types of block grants?
Operational, capital and entitlement
Revenue Sharing
When federal tax dollars are distributed to state and local governments
Federal rules that states or localities must obey, not necessarily linked to funding
Conditions of Aid
Voluntary conditions by which if a state abides by them it receives funding
Divided vs Unified Government
Divided: White house and Congress of different political parties.
Unified: Both controlled by same party
The three offices of president are what?
White house office, executive office and cabinet (Last two must be confirmed by the Senate)
What are the three presidential management styles?
Pyramid (Nixon), Ad hoc (Clinton), Circular (Carter)
Why do politics exist?
Because people differ on two questions:
1) Who should govern?
2) To what ends should they work?
What is political power?
The ability of one to get others to act in accordance with their intentions
What are the two types of democracy?
Direct and representative
Political Culture
A distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out
Five elements of a political system?
Liberty, Equality, Democracy, Civic Duty, and Individual Responsibilty
What are the two types of equality?
Equality of result and equality of opportunity
Class Consciousness
Consciousness of one's social class or economic rank in society
Orthodox and progressive are synonymous in politics with what?
Conservative vs Liberal
Political Efficacy (High)
The belief that one's actions have an effect in government
New York Times v. United States
The government may not restrict the press from publishing what is labeled as "classified information" if the materials will not cause an inevitable, direct, and immediate event imperiling the safety of American forces.
Kunz v. New York
Established that government restrictions on speech must be narrowly tailored so that they do not inappropriately limit expression protected by the First Amendment.
Gitlow v New York
Extended the 14th amendment to the States. The states are not allowed to violate the rights specified in the 14th amendment and extended the Bill of Rights. (Selective Incorporation Doctrine)
Buckley v. Valeo
Struck down limits on independent expendentures.
Lemon v. Kurzman
Created the Lemon Test, limiting excessive government entanglement with religion, and required that state law about aid to religion must meet three criteria:
1 - purpose of aid must be secular
2 - primary effect must neither advance nor inhibit religion
3 - avoid excessive entanglement
Miller v. California
Upheld stringent application of California obscenity laws, and attempted to define what is obscene. Miller rule included three criteria:
1 - The average person would, applying contemporary community standards, find that the work appealed to the prurient interest
2 - The work depicts or describes in an offensive way, sexual conduct defined by state law
3 - That the work taken as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
Mapp v. Ohio
Incorporated the Exclusionary Rule of the 4th Amendment.
Gideon v. Wainwright
Incorporated the guarantee of counsel for all persons facing a felony charge in federal and state trails (6th Amendment).
Miranda v. Arizona
Incorporated the protection from coerced confessions through the 5th and 6th Amendments.
Roe v. Wade
Incorporated the 9th Amendment's Right to Privacy through the legality of abortion during the first trimester.
Dred Scott v. Sanford
Upheld property rights over human rights by saying that Dred Scott, a slave, could not become a free man just because he traveled in "free soil" states with his master (States' Rights advocacy).
Plessy v. Ferguson
Separate but equal facilities were allowed and did not violate the "equal protection clause" in the Constitution. (1896)
Brown v. Board of Education
Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson and the "separate but equal" doctrine through the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
Baker v. Carr
Supreme Court ruled that Malapportionment violated the 14th amendment in that all districts must be contiguous and touching.
Clinton v. City of New York
The Line-Item Veto violates Article II of the Constitution and such only Governors may retain the ability.
What four amendments have not been fully incorporated still today?
The 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th. The 5th has been fully incorporated but for the right to a Grand Jury Indictment.
1st Amendment
The rights to free speech, press, religion (Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses), assembly and petition.
2nd Amendment
The right to bear arms.
3rd Amendment
No forced quartering of soldiers during peace time.
4th Amendment
No unreasonable search and seizure, probably cause or warrants and the Exclusionary Rule.
5th Amendment
No double jeopardy, eminent domain, grand jury indictment, no self incrimination and due process of the law.
6th Amendment
The right to a speedy and public trial, to counsel, an impartial jury and to confront one's accuser.
7th Amendment
The right to a jury trial in civil cases exceeding $20.
8th Amendment
No excessive bails/fines and no cruel and unusual punishment.
9th Amendment
All rights stated are not complete and people still retain rights not mentioned here.
10th Amendment
Powers not given to the federal government nor denied to the states are reserved for the states and those residing in them.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the United States Constitution.
13th Amendment
Made slavery illegal.
14th Amendment
No state shall deprive a citizen of due process of the law, nor of equal protection from the law. Also includes the Selective Incorporation Doctrine which is used to apply certain rights and powers to state governments.
15th Amendment
The right of a citizen to vote shall not be denied based on race, color or previous condition of servitude.
19th Amendment
Gave the right to vote to women (women's suffrage).
26th Amendment
Gave the right to vote to any citizen of the United States of or over the age of 18.
Inherent Powers
Those powers integral to national sovereignty such as conducting foreign policy, declaring and waging war, making treaties and maintaining diplomatic relations.
Delegated Powers
Those powers specifically assigned to jurisdiction of national government such as regulating interstate commerce and coining money.
Implied Powers
Powers inferred from delegated powers; ex: the power to coin money and maintain currency implies the power to create a national bank to carry out these functions.
Writ of Certiorari
"Rule of Four". The agreement of four of the nine justices on the Supreme Court to hear a case.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
A writ of habeas corpus is a judicial mandate to a prison official ordering that an inmate be brought to the court so it can be determined whether or not that person is imprisoned lawfully and whether or not he should be released from custody.
Concurrent Powers
Powers exercised by both national and state governments, such as the power to raise taxes and charter corporations.
Reserved Powers
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. (10th Amendment)
Barron v. Baltimore
The Supreme Court ruled that the Bill of Rights did not apply to decisions or procedures of state or local governments. (1833)
The practice of having two legislative or executive chambers.
The concentration of power on state and local levels.
Institutionalized Presidency
Permanent agencies that perform defined management tasks for the president.
What are the three branches of the U.S. government?
Legislative, Executive and Judiciary.
Select Committee
A group appointed for a limited purpose; most last for only a few sessions of congress.
Joint Committee
A committee on which both Representatives and Senators serve.
Conference Committee
A committee where Representatives and Senators are appointed to resolve differences in Senate and House versions of the same piece of legislation before its final passage.
Standing Committee
More or less permanent, continuing bodies with specified legislative responsibilities.
President Pro Tempore
The third in the presidential succession and the presides over the senate. Largely honorific position, selected by majority vote of Senators.
Speaker of the House
Sixth in line of presidential succession, presides over the House of Representatives. Also is the principle leader of the majority party.
A tactic used by members of the Senate which utilizes the right of unlimited debate in order to prevent action on a piece of legislation.
Cloture Rule
Provides for a time limit to be placed on debate if at least 60 members of the Senate (three-fifths) vote to end debate.
What fraction of each house must agree to override a presidential veto?
Closed Rule
A ruling on a bill which permits debate but generally prohibits amendments from being made.
Open Rule
A ruling on a bill which allows both debate and amendments to be made on said bill.
A written statement. In order to be illegal, the statement must be proven to be false.
A spoken statement. In order to be illegal, the statement must be proven to be false.
Texas v. Johnson
Court case that upheld the right of a person to burn the American flag. Dealt with symbolic speech.
Epperson v. Arkansas
Court case which determined that evolution cannot be outlawed in schools.
Edwards v. Agguillard
Court case which determined that a state cannot require schools to teach creationism alongside evolution.
What are the two types of segregation and what are each generated by?
De Jure: By Law.

De Facto: By Living Patterns.
Reasonableness Standard
Different treatment of some classes of people must be reasonable not arbitrary.
Lawrence v. Texas
Determined that states may not limit sexual activities between two partners (ex: Georgie Sodomy Laws, 1986).
Marginal District
A district which, in the previous election, voted less than 55% for a particular party.
Safe District
A district which, in the previous election, voted more than 55% for a particular party.
The Electoral College
The constitutional mechanism for indirectly electing the President of the United States.
Only two states do not abide by a "Winner-Takes-All" system regarding electoral votes, what states are they?
Nebraska and Maine both award votes by congressional district.
Franking Privilege
The privilege to send mail over the signature of an authorized person, such as a member of Congress.
How long are the terms of Senators and Representatives?
Senators serve six year terms; Representatives serve two year terms.
Majority-Minority District
A district which has been designed to make it easier to elect a minority candidate.
Descriptive Representation
A reflection of demographics.
Substantive Representation
Similarity of ideology/opinion.
What are the three types of congressional representation?
Representational (constituents), Attitudinal (personal views) and Organizational (party views).
All revenue bills originate in which, the House or the Senate?
The House of Representatives.
Simple Resolution
A resolution which establishes rules under which the body will operate.
Multiple Referral
When a bill is referred to several committees simultaneously.
Sequential Referral
When a bill is sent to a second committee after the first is done; or when different parts of the bill are referred to different committees.
How many signatures are needed for a discharge petition?
To push a bill from committee to the floor for voting requires 218 votes.
What are the four different types of voting?
Voice, Standing, Teller and Roll-Call.
The "power to persuade".
Pocket Veto
If Congress adjourns within the ten days after a bill is given to the President to be signed off on, the bill is considered vetoed.
What is the "honeymoon"?
The first 100 days of a presidency.
Recess Appointment
Appointments made during a congressional recess. It must be voted on by the Senate before the end of the session.
Litmus Test
A test of ideological purity, usually used to determine whether a potential candidate will be nominated.
Diversity Cases
Federal cases which involve citizens of different states.
Dual Sovereignty Doctrine
State and federal levels can prosecute the same person for the same conduct.
Constitutional Courts
Federal courts created by Congress which exercise judicial powers found in the Constitution. Judges cannot be fired and salaries may not be reduced.
Legislative Courts
Federal courts set up by Congress to serve specialized purposes. Judges may be removed and salaries changed.
Senatorial Courtesy
Where the preference of the Senators from the state where the judge is to serve are taken into account when the decision as to who will fill the position.
In Forma Pauperis
A situation in which one may file a case as a pauper due to an absence of funds and a lawyer will be provided in their defense.
Fee Shifting
Enables the plaintiff to collect costs from the defendant if the defendant loses the case.
Class-Action Suit
A case brought to court by a person on behalf of all persons in similar circumstances.
Solicitor General
The top trial lawyer for the government who decides what cases they should appeal.
Amicus Curiae
Someone who volunteers to offer information on a point of law or some other aspect of a case to assist the court in deciding a matter before it.
Opinion of the Court
A brief written by a judge on a panel which reflects the majority view.
Concurring Opinion
A brief written by a judge on a panel which agrees with the majority, but for a different reason.
Dissenting Opinion
A brief written by a judge on a panel which disagrees with the majority view.
A large, complex system with appointed officials.
During what two time periods did the largest growth in government occur?
The Great Depression and World War II.
Discretionary Authority
The ability to choose courses of action and to make policies not spelled out in advance by law.
Competitive Service
Appointment after having passed a written exam or meeting certain criteria. (Less significant today.)
Excepted Service
Those hired outside the realm of competitive service such as presidential appointments, "Schedule C" appointments and non-career executive assignments.
Name-Request Job
A job filled by a person whom the agency has already identified.
Iron Triangle
A relationship between a congressional committee, an agency and an interest group.
Issue Network
A network which discusses, analyzes, and debates issues and bills. Issue networks generally replaced iron triangles.
Authorization Legislation
The maximum amount of money which an agency may spend on a program.
Men and women have become increasingly partisan; which has tended to be more conservative?
Men. Women tend to be more liberal.
Principal Generalization
Ones loyalties to a party, in modern times, are increasingly based on socioeconomic status.
A coherent and consistent set of political beliefs about who ought to rule, principles they ought to obey and the policies they out to pursue.
Pure Liberal
Liberal on both economic and personal conduct.
Pure Conservative
Conservative on both economic and personal conduct.
Conservative on economic policy, liberal on personal conduct.
Liberal on economic policy, conservative on personal conduct.
Political Elite
One who has a disproportionate amount of some valued resource at their disposal.
Australian Ballot
A ballot type which is printed at the publics expense and is cast in secret. It cut down on voter fraud.
Inactive Participant
As the name implies, someone who does not participate in politics in any form.
Voting Specialist
One who participates in the political process through voting.
Those who participate in the political process by volunteering for a party.
One who participates in the political process without biasing based on partisanship.
Parochial Participants
Those who participate in the political process by choosing not to vote nor volunteering, but instead by calling and otherwise contacting their local officials. (This is the Grassroots audience.)
Those who participate in politics in all forms.
Political Party
A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office by supplying them with a label.
Ideological Parties
A party in which a principle is more important than winning the election.
Solidary Group
A group in which members are motivated by companionship. Usually do not have much motivation, however.
Minor Parties
Includes Ideological Parties, Single-Issue Parties, Splinter Parties and economic protest groups.
Plurality System
A "winner-takes-all" system with single-member districts; winner is the one that receives a plurality of the votes.
Relative Deprivation
The situation in which one is worse off than one believes one ought to be.
Any burden, monetary or not, that some people must, or expect to, bear from a policy.
Any satisfaction, monetary or not, that some people must, or expect to, receive from a policy.
What are the two major aspects of cost and benefit?
Perception of those costs and benefits and Legitimacy for the group to benefit.
Majoritarian Politics
Widely distributed benefits with widely distributed costs. (ex: Social Security)
The act of promising support of another politician in order to secure support of ones own endeavors.
Monetarism (Economic Theory)
A steady, predictable growth in money supply at a rate equal to growth in economic productivity.
Keynesianism (Economic Theory)
The idea that it is the governments task to create the right level of demand; no need for a balanced budget.
Supply-Side Tax Cuts (Economic Theory)
The idea that sharp cuts in taxes will increase incentive to work, save and invest.
Reaganomics (Economic Theory)
A mix of Monetarism, Supply-Side and budget cutting; reduce the size of the federal government, stimulate economic growth and strengthen the military.
The Troika
The Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and the Secretary of the Treasury.
Monetary Policy
Economic control through money supply and interest rates.
Fiscal Policy
Economic control through a tax and spend policy.
The growing integration of the economies and societies of the world.
Interest Group Politics
Concentrated benefits, concentrated costs. Usually works out with one small, identifiable group benefiting while another pays.
Client Politics
Concentrated benefits with widely distributed costs. Beneficiaries become "clients" of government because the policy serves their needs.
Fiscal Year
Runs from October 1st to September 30th. It is named after the year in which it ends.
What are the three levels of the federal court system?
Federal District Courts, U.S. Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court.
(Congressional) Caucus
A meeting of party members to select delegates backing one or another primary candidate.
Pork-barrel Legislation
Legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their vote in return.
The minimum number of members who must be present for business to be conducted in Congress.
Good-faith Exception
An error in gathering evidence sufficiently minor that it may be used in a trial.
Prior Restraint
The censorship of a publication.
Probably Cause
Reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion.
Wall of Separation Principle
The court ruling that government cannot be involved with religion. (Secular)
Symbolic Speech
An act that conveys a political message.
What Article of the U.S. Constitution pertains to the Legislative branch?
Article I. Article II pertains to the Executive branch and Article III is the Judicial branch.
What is the Due Process Clause?
The idea that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of the law.