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

326 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Appropriations Bill
A bill passed annually to fund an authorized program
Authorization Bill
An act of congress that establishes a discretionary government program or an entitlement, or that continues or changes such programs.
A policy document that allocates burdens (taxes) and benefits (expenditures)
Budget Resolution
A bill setting limits on expenditures based on revenue projections, agreed to by both houses of congress in April each year.
Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974
An act designed to reform the budgeting process by making congress less dependent on the president's budget; established a fixed budget calendar and budget committee in each house.
Continuing Resolution
law that allows agencies to spend at the previous year's level.
Occurs when the government spends more money than what it receives in taxes in the fiscal year.
Expenditures for which the total amount spent is not by congressional appropriation, but rather by rules of eligibility established by congress.
Money spent by the government in any one year.
Federal Debt
All the money borrowed by the government that is still outstanding.
House Ways and Means Committee
The committee from which all revenue bills originate from
Income Tax
Portion of money individuals are required to pay to the government from their earned wages.
The best prediction of this year's budget is last year's plus a little bit more.
Entitlement added to Social Security in 1965 to provide hospital and physician care to the elderly.
When congress revises programs so that the funding meets the limits set by the Budget Resolution
Money received by the government in any given year
State Finance Committee
Committee responsible for writing the tax code
Social Security Act
Act passed to provide a minimum level of sustenance for older Americans.
Sixteenth Amendment
Constitutional amendment passed in 1913 that permits congress to levy an income tax.
Tax Expenditures
Revenue lost due to special tax exemptions or deductions.
Uncontrollable Expenditures
Policies that make certain groups automatically eligible for benefits.
Anti-trust Policy
Government regulation of business to ensure competition and prevent monopoly.
An economic system in which individuals and corporations own the principal means of
production, through which they seek to reap profits.
Collective Bargaining
The right of workers to have labor union representatives negotiate with management to determine working conditions.
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
A government statistic that measures the change in the cost of buying a fixed basket of goods and services.
Federal Reserve System
Created by congress in 1913 to regulate the lending practices of banks and thus the money supply.
Fiscal Policy
The government’s decisions to tax, spend, and borrow, as reflected in the federal budget.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Government agency with broad regulatory powers over the manufacturing, contents, marketing and labeling of food and drugs.
Government statistic that measures the increase in the prices of goods.
Keynesian Economic Theory
The theory emphasizing that government spending and deficits can help the economy weather its normal ups and downs. Proponents of this theory advocate using the power of government to stimulate the economy when it is lagging.
Labor Union
An organization of workers intended to engage in collective bargaining.
A belief that government should not intervene in the economy.
Minimum Wage
The legal minimum hourly wage for large employers.
Mixed Economy
A system in which the government, while not commanding the economy, is still deeply involved in economic decisions.
Economic theory that suggests that the supply of money is key to the nation’s economic health.
Monetary Policy
Government decisions regarding the money supply, including the discount rates for bank borrowing, reserve requirements for banks, and trading of government securities. From the Fed.
Multinational Coproration
Businesses with vast holdings in many countries.
National Labor Relations Act
Passed by congress in 1935, guarantees workers the right of collective bargaining; also known as the Wagner act.
The economic policy of shielding an economy from exports.
Securities and Exchange Commission
The federal agency created during the New Deal that regulates stock fraud.
Supply-Side Economics
Economic philosophy that holds that the key task for government economic policy is to stimulate the supply of goods, not their demand.
Unemployment Rate
A government statistic that measures how many workers are actively seeking work but unable to find jobs.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
International organization that regulates international trade.
Earned Income Tax Credit
A “negative income tax” that provides income to very poor individuals in lieu of charging them federal income taxes.
Entitlement Benefits
Government benefits that certain qualified individuals are entitled by law to receive, regardless of need.
Feminization of Poverty
The increasing concentration of poverty among women, especially unmarried women and their children.
The movement of people to another country with the intention of remaining there.
Income Distribution
The share of national income earned by various groups in the United States.
The amount of money collected between any two points in time.
Means-Tested Programs
Government programs available only to individuals below a poverty line.
Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
The official name of the “welfare
reform” law of 1996.
Poverty Line
Official statistic indicating what a family would need to spend to maintain an “austere”
standard of living.
Progressive Tax
Takes a higher percentage from the rich than from the poor.
Proportional Tax
takes the same percentage from rich and poor.
Regressive Tax
Takes a higher percentage from the poor than from the rich.
Simpson-Mazzoli Act
The Reagan-era law which provided amnesty to many immigrants and toughened
border controls.
Social Security Act of 1935
Created both the Social Security program and a national assistance program for poor children.
Social Security Trust Fund
The “bank account” into which Social Security contributions are “deposited” and used to pay out eligible recipients.
Social Welfare Policies
Attempt to provide assistance and support to specific groups in society.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
Once called “aid to families with dependent children,” this is the new name for public assistance to needy families.
Transfer Payments
Benefits from government where money is transferred from the general treasury to those in need.
The amount already owned.
Clean Air Act of 1970
Landmark legislation that charged the Department of transportation with the
responsibility of reducing automobile emissions.
Endangered Species Act of 1973
Legislation that required the government to actively protect each of hundreds of species listed as endangered by the U.S. fish and wildlife service, regardless of the economic effect on the surrounding towns or region.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Created in 1970, the government agency that is charged with administering various environmental laws.
Global Warming
The slow rise in the atmospheric temperature of the earth.
Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)
A form of network health plant that limits the choice of doctors and treatments.
A government program designed to provide health care for the poor.
A government program designed to provide health care for the elderly.
National Health Insurance
A program that has been proposed in a variety of ways over the last few generations- to provide the financing, policies, and regulations to guarantee all or almost all Americans’ medical health insurance.
Established by Congress in 1980, a fund devoted to cleaning up toxic waste supported by taxes on toxic waste.
Water Pollution Control Act of 1972
Passed by Congress to control pollution in the nation’s rivers and Lakes.
Administrative Discretion
Authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem, especially when rules do not fit or more than one rule applies.
The implementors of policy.
Civil Service
Promotes hiring on the basis of merit and establishes a nonpartisan government service.
Command-and-Control Policy
Regulatory strategy where government sets a requirement and then enforces individual and corporate actions to be consistent with meeting the requirement.
The withdrawal of the use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector.
Executive Order
Regulations originating in the executive branch.
Governmental Corporation
Provides services that could be handled by the private sector but that generally charge cheaper rates than a private sector producer.
General Service Rating
Assigned to each job in federal agencies, this rating helps to determine the salary associated with the position.
Hatch Act
Passed in 1940, prohibits government workers from active participation in partisan politics.
Incentive System
Regulatory strategy that rewards individuals or corporations for desired types of behavior, usually through the tax code.
Independent Executive Agencies
Executive agencies that are not cabinet departments, not regulatory commissions, and not government corporations.
Independent Regulatory Commission
Has responsibility for a sector of the economy to protect the public interest.
Iron Triangles
Refers to the strong ties among government agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees and subcommittees.
Merit Principle
Using entrance exams and promotion ratings for hiring workers.
Office of personnel Management (OPM)
Responsible for hiring for most agencies.
A hiring or promotion system based on knowing the right people.
Pendleton Civil Service Act
Passed in 1883, it created the federal Civil Service
Policy Implementation
The stage of policymaking between the establishment of a policy and the results of the policy for individuals.
The use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector.
Senior Executive Service
The very top level of the bureaucracy.
Senior Executive Service
The very top level of the bureaucracy.
Standard Operating Procedures
Detailed rules written to cover as many particular situations as officials can anticipate to help bureaucrats implement policies uniformly.
Street-level Bureaucrats
Bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public.
Bill of Rights
The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Civil Liberites
Legal and constitutional protections against government infringement of political liberties and criminal rights.
Commercial Speech
Communication in the form of advertising.
Cruel or Unusual Punishment
Eighth amendment prohibits this kind of punishment.
The Eighth Amendment
Forbids cruel and unusual punishment, although it does not define this phrase.
The Establishment Clause
First amendment prohibits government from establishing a religion; is the basis for separation of church and state.
Exclusionary Rule
Prohibits government from including illegally obtained evidence in a trial.
Fifth Amendment
Prohibits government from forcing individuals to testify against themselves. Don't rat on yourself.
First Amendment
Establishes freedom of religion, press, speech, assembly and petition.
Fourteenth Amendment
Prohibits states from denying equal protection of laws, applies “due process” to states.
The Free Exercise Clause
Government is prohibited in the First Amendment from interfering in the practice of religion.
Incorporation Doctrine
Legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment.
Publication of false or malicious statements that damage someone’s reputation.
Plea Bargaining
An actual bargain struck between a defendant’s lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for the state’s promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious crime.
Prior Restraint
Government instrument to prevent material from being published.
Probable Cause
Police must have sound reason to believe a crime has been committed before arresting someone.
Right to Privacy
A contrived right from unstated liberties in the Bill of Rights.
Search Warrant
Written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for.
Testifying against oneself.
Sixth Amendment
Designed to protect individuals accused of crimes; includes the right to counsel, the right to confront witnesses, and the right to a speedy and public trial.
Symbolic Speech
Political actions instead of words.
Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
Obtaining evidence without a good reason.
13th Amendment
Abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.
14th Amendment
Prohibits states from denying equal protection of the laws.
15th Amendment
Provides the right to vote to African Americans.
19th Amendment
Provides women the right to vote.
24th Amendment
Prohibited poll taxes in federal elections.
Affirmative Action
Policies designed to give special consideration to prior victims of discrimination.
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Strengthened protections of individuals with disabilities by requiring employers and public facilities to make “reasonable accommodations” and prohibiting employment discrimination against people with disabilities.
Civil Rights
Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals.
Civil Rights act of 1964
Forbids discrimination in public accommodations and facilities.
Comparable Worth
Issue of women holding traditionally female jobs being paid less than men working jobs of comparable skill.
Equal Protection of the laws
Provided by the 14th Amendment mandating all people be protected by the law.
Equal Rights Amendment
Proposal that equality of rights under the law not be denied based on sex.
Poll Tax
Taxes levied on the right to vote. Designed to hurt poor African Americans.
The legal right to vote.
Voting Rights Act of 1965
A policy designed to reduce the barriers to voting for those suffering discrimination.
White Primary
Practice where only Whites could vote in primaries.
Bicameral Legislature
A legislature divided into two chambers.
A proposed law drafted in precise, legal language.
Helping constituents navigate bureaucracy to receive benefits.
A grouping of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic.
Committee Chairs
Committee heads who schedule hearings, hire staff, appoint subcommittees and manage committee bills. Very influential.
Conference Committee
A special committee formed when each chamber passes a bill in different forms. Composed of members of each chamber, these kind of committees work out compromise bills.
Unique to Senate. Prevent action on a bill through “unlimited debate.” Can be ended only by a vote of cloture by 60+ members.
House Rules Committee
Unique to House. Appointed by the Speaker, this committee decides when and whether bills voted out of committees get votes on the floor of the House.
People who hold elected office.
Joint Committees
Special committees composed of members from each chamber.
Legislative Oversight
The process of monitoring the bureaucracy and its administration of policy.
Majority Leader
Leader of the majority party in each chamber and responsible for securing party support for legislation.
Minority Leader
Leader of the minority party in each chamber and responsible for securing party support for legislation.
Pork Barrel
Money secured by Congress people for particular projects in their districts.
Select Committee
Temporary committees formed for a specific purpose.
Seniority System
Majority party members who have served on a given committee the longest automatically serve as committee chair.
Speaker of the House
Individual selected by majority party in House to manage the House. Speaker is second in line to succeed the president after the vice president.
Standing Committee
Permanent committees in each chamber that handle bills in particular policy areas.
Party Whip
The majority or minority party leader’s principle tool for securing support for legislation among party members.
People who opposed new Constitution. Feared it would weaken states and erode fundamental liberties, and argued that it was a class-based document serving the economic elite.
Articles of Confederation
The first “government” of the U.S., it outlined the voluntary union between the states. Central government was weak under the Articles.
Checks and Balances
Each of the three branches of U.S. government requires consent of one or more of the other branches to act.
Connecticut Compromise
Provided for a two-chamber Congress, one representing states equally (Senate) and one on the basis of states’ share of the population (House of Representatives).
A nation’s written law creating governing institutions, dividing power, and providing guarantees to citizens.
Declaration of Independence
A document announcing and justifying the Revolutionary War.
Groups of people – currently known as political parties or interest groups – who attempt to control government in their own interests.
Federalist Papers
Articles written to convince Americans to support the new constitution. Authors were James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay.
Argued for ratification of the new constitution.
Judicial Review
Courts have the power to determine whether actions of state and national legislative and executive branches are in accordance with the Constitution. Established under Marbury v Madison.
Limited Government
Clear restrictions on what rulers can do. Safeguards natural rights.
Natural Rights
Rights to which people are entitled by natural law, including life, liberty and property.
Power is exercised by representatives of public under consent of governed.
Separation of Powers
The three branches of government have distinct responsibilities and act independent of each other.
Shay's Rebellion
A series of armed attacks on court houses to prevent judges from foreclosing on farms. Spurred interest in strengthening national government.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
Enables people detained by authorities to know why they’ve been detained.
Block Grants
Broad program monies given to local governments, which exercise discretion in how the money is spent.
Categorical Grants
Program monies given for specific purposes.
Cooperative Federalism
Where state and national government responsibilities are mingled and blurred like a marble cake – powers and policies are shared.
Transferring responsibility for policies from the federal to state and local governments.
Dual Federalism
Where states and the national government each remain supreme within their own spheres of power, much like a layer cake.
Elastic Clause
The statement in the Constitution saying Congress has the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out its duties.
Enumerated Powers
Powers of Congress found in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.
The Constitution requires each state to return a person charged with a crime in another state to that state for trial or imprisonment.
A system of shared power between two or more levels of government.
Formula Grants
A type of categorical grant where local governments do not apply for a grant but receive funds based on a formula.
Faith and Full Credit
Article IV of the Constitution requires states to provide reciprocity toward other states’ public acts, records and civil judicial proceedings.
Gibbons v. Ogden
1824 Supreme Court case which expanded Congress’ power to regulate interstate and international commerce by defining commerce broadly to include every form of commercial activity.
Implied Powers
Powers beyond Congress’ enumerated powers ensuring it can carry out its duties.
McCulloch v. Maryland
1819 Supreme Court case which established the supremacy of the national government over the states.
Privileges and Immunities
Constitution stops states from discriminating against other states’ citizens.
Project Grant
Categorical grants awarded based on competitive applications.
Supremacy Clause
Article VI of the Constitution states that the supreme law of the land is the Constitution, the laws of the national government, and treaties.
Tenth Amendment
Specifies that powers not delegated to the national government are reserved for the state government or the people.
Unitary Government
A system where all power resides in the central government.
Blanket Primaries
Nomination elections in which voters can select candidates from any party.
Coalition Government
Governments in which smaller parties combine with larger parties to control a majority of seats in a legislature.
Closed Primary
Nomination elections in which only party members can vote for party candidates.
Critical Election
An election in which new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party often is displaced by the minority party.
Linkage Institution
Vehicles through which the public’s concerns get translated into political issues on the government’s policy agenda. Institutions include political parties, interest groups and the media.
National Convention
A meeting of party delegates every four years at which platforms are written and presidential candidates are nominated. The national committee plans the convention under the leadership of the national chairperson.
Open Primary
Nomination elections in which voters can decide on election day in which party primary they wish to vote.
Party De-alignment
When voters move away from major parties.
Party Era
Long periods of time in which one political party dominated government control
Party Machine
Party organization that depends on material inducements to reward loyal members.
Party Realignment
Process in which parties form new support coalitions.
Government jobs given for political reasons, not merit or competence.
Political Party
A group that seeks to control government by winning elections.
Rational Choice Theory
Voters support parties that share their policy positions; parties want to win elections; so, parties select popular policies.
The Responsible Party Model
A view of how parties should work: Parties offer clear and specific policy positions, all party candidates are committed to those positions, and all party candidates accept responsibility for success in implementing policies. A common model in parliamentary systems, but U.S. parties don’t maintain enough control over elected officials to make it work in the U.S.
Third Parties
Minor parties that (1) promote specific issues; (2) are splinters of major parties; (3) are centered on popular individuals.
Ticket Splitting
Voting for candidates representing different parties.
Winner-Take-All System
Through the U.S. presidential electoral college, the candidate who wins most of a state’s votes receives all of that state’s electoral votes. This system makes it hard for third parties to challenge the two major political parties.
A meeting of state party leaders to determine which candidate delegates will support.
Direct Mail
Targeted mailings to prospective supporters, usually compiled from lists of those who have contributed to candidates and parties in the past.
Federal Election Campaign Act
1974 legislation designed to regulate campaign contributions and limit campaign expenditures.
Federal Election Commission (FEC)
A bipartisan body that administers campaign finance laws.
States’ decisions to move their presidential primaries and caucuses to earlier in the nomination season in order to capitalize on media attention.
Matching Funds
Money provided to qualifying presidential candidates from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, the amount of which is determined by the amount of contributions raised.
McGovern-Fraser Commission
A committee in the Democratic Party that recommended changes in party rules to promote more representation of women and minorities in the delegate selection process.
National Party Convention
Meeting of delegates from each state to determine the party’s nominee for president.
National Primary
A proposal by critics of the current caucus/primary system to replace these electoral methods with a nationwide primary held early in the election year.
A party’s official endorsement of a candidate for office.
Party Platform
A party’s statement of its goals and policies for the next four years.
Political Action Committee (PAC)
A legal entity formed expressly for the purpose of contributing money to candidates and influencing electoral outcomes.
Presidential Election Campaign Fund
Money from the $3 federal income tax check-off goes into this fund, which is distributed to qualified candidates to subsidize their presidential campaigns.
Presidential Primaries
State-level elections to determine which candidate state delegates will support.
Regional Primaries
A proposal by critics of the current caucus/primary system to replace these electoral methods with a series of primaries held in each geographic region.
Selective Perception
The act of paying the most attention to things one agrees with already.
Soft Money
Money raised by political parties for voter registration drives and the distribution of campaign material at the grass-roots level, now banned at the national level.
Super Delegates
Delegates to the Democratic Party’s national convention who obtain their seats on the basis of their positions within the party structure.
527 Groups
Independent groups that seek to influence the political process but are not subject to contribution restrictions because they do not directly advocate the election of a particular candidate.
Civic Duty
A belief in the obligation to vote.
Electoral College
An institution established by the Constitution. State-level parties select a slate of electors, and if that party’s nominee for president wins the vote for president in that state, those electors attend the Electoral College and cast all their electoral votes for their nominee.
Initiative Petition
A direct democracy technique in which citizens can place proposed legislation on a statewide ballot for a yes/no vote if they gather enough signatures of registered votes in support of the proposal.
A widely held belief that a given democratic government was elected freely and fairly.
Motor Voter Act
2003 legislation that requires states to give citizens an opportunity to register to vote when they apply for drivers’ licenses.
Policy Voting
Occurs when voters base their votes on how close candidates’ issue positions are to their own issue preferences.
Mandate Theory of Election
The belief that an election winner has a mandate from voters to implement policy promises.
Political Efficacy
The belief that ordinary people can influence government.
A direct democracy technique that allows voters to approve or disapprove a legislative act or constitutional amendment proposed by a state legislature.
Retrospective Voters
Voting theory suggesting that if individuals feel better off under certain policies, they will support candidates who pledge to continue those policies.
Voter Registration
A requirement that citizens must register to vote before they are allowed to vote. This is designed to prevent voter fraud.
Amicus-Curiae Briefs
“Friend-of-the-court” briefs filed by interest groups to show their support in a legal action.
Class Action Lawsuit
A technique used by interest groups allowing groups of people with similar complaints to combine their grievances into a single lawsuit.
Collective Good
Something of value that cannot be withheld from individuals in a potential group, such as clean air.
Elite Theory
Because only a few groups have enough power to influence policy, power is concentrated in a few interlocking power centers.
Hyperpluralist Theory
Too many groups get much of what they want, resulting in government policy that often is contradictory and lacking in direction.
Interest Groups
Organizations in which people with similar policy goals enter the political process to achieve those goals.
Communication directed at a government decision-maker with the hope of influencing decisions.
Olson's Law of Large Groups
The larger the group, the more difficult it will be to secure enough of the collective good to encourage participation.
Pluralist Theory
Interest group activities provide additional representation and compete against each other to influence political outcomes.
Right-to-Work law
State law forbidding required union membership as a condition of employment.
Selective Benefits
Goods a group can restrict to members.
Single-Issue Groups
Uncompromising groups with very narrow interests.
“Iron triangles” of interest groups, government agencies and congressional committees that perform mutually beneficial services at public expense.
Courts of Appeal
Courts with the power to review all final decisions of district courts, except in instances requiring direct review by the Supreme Court.
Judicial Activism
Theory that judges should make bolder policy decisions to alleviate pressing needs, especially for those who are weak politically.
Judicial Implementation
How and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy.
Judicial Restraint
Theory that judges should play minimal role in policymaking and leave policy decisions to the legislature.
A statement of legal reasoning behind a decision.
Original Intent
Theory that judges should decide cases in line with the intent of the framers.
The way similar cases have been handled in the past is used as a guide in current decisions.
Senatorial Courtesy
A tradition by which nominations for federal judicial positions are not confirmed when opposed by a senator of the president’s party from the state in which the nominee is to serve.
Solicitor General
A presidential appointee who is in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government.
Standing to Sue
Litigants must have serious interest (potential for sustained direct and substantial injury) from a party in a case.
An earlier decision should hold for the case being considered.
Statutory Construction
Legislation passed by a legislature to clarify existing law, the clarification, in effect, overturning a court decision.
Supreme Court
Ensures uniformity in interpretation of national laws, resolves disputes between states, and maintains the national supremacy of the law. Highest court in the land.
US v Nixon
1974 Supreme Court decision that required President Nixon to turn White House tapes over to the courts. The Prez is not above the law.
The group of presidential advisors who head the executive departments. Every President has had one.
Council of Economic Advisors (CEA)
Members advise the president on economic policy and prepare the Annual Report of the CEA
A sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event.
The political equivalent of an indictment for removing a discredited president.
Legislative Veto
A clause which allows Congress to override the action of the executive.
National Security Counsel (NSC)
A committee that links the president’s key foreign and military advisors.
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
responsible for preparing the president’s budget and assessing the budgetary implications of legislative proposals.
Pocket Veto
This occurs when Congress adjourns within 10 days after submitting a bill and the president takes no action to sign it or veto it.
Presidential Coattails
Where voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president’s party because those candidates support the president.
25th Amdendment
Passed in 1967, permits the vice president to become acting president in the event that the president is temporarily disabled.
22nd Amendment
Passed in 1951, limits presidents to two terms.
Presidential Veto
Sending the legislation back to congress with reasons for rejecting it.
War Powers Resolution 1973
Passed in 1973, requires presidents to consult with Congress prior to using military force and mandates the withdrawal of forces after sixty days unless Congress declares war or grants an extension.
A political scandal involving President Nixon’s abuse of his powers.
Science of population change. A “picture of the people.”
Constitution requires gathering data on population every ten years.
Based on census data, changes in boundaries of congressional districts.
The Melting Pot
U.S. is a mixture of cultures, ideas and people.
By mid-century minorities may outnumber Whites in U.S.
Political Culture
An overall set of values shared widely within a society.
Political Socialization
Process by which individuals acquire their political orientations. Carried out by family, mass media, schools.
Polling Sample
Small proportion of population chosen as representative of the whole.
Random Sampling
All have equal probability of being selected for a poll.
Sampling Error
Risk of inaccuracy in poll measures. Ex: +/1 3%.
Specific locations where news frequently occurs.
Broadcast Media
Electronic communication that reaches a wide audience, like television, radio and the Internet.
Media conglomerates that control a large percentage of daily newspaper circulation and some television and radio stations as well.
Investigative Journalism
The use of detective-like reporting methods to unearth potential political controversies.
Media Event
An event staged primarily to draw media coverage.
Media attempts to reach a narrow, target audience, not a broad one.
Policy Agenda
Subjects on which government officials are focused at any given time.
Policy Entrepreneurs
Political activists who work to get their issues on the policy agenda.
Press Conference
Elected officials’ meetings with the media.
Print Media
Print communication that reaches a wide audience, like newspapers and magazines.
Sound Bite
A short portion of a speech or comment aired on broadcast media in 10 seconds or less. Sound bites are developed to grab public attention.
Talking Head
Film of a person’s face talking directly into a camera.
Trial Balloons
Information leaked to the media to test public reaction.
Baker v Carr (1962)
Court has jurisdiction over legislative reapportionment due to “equal protection.”
US Term Limits v Thornton (1995)
States cannot impose term limits on congressmen.
Bush v. Gore (2000)
No recount of Florida votes. Florida Supreme Court overruled. Bush is Prez.
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Ruled that slaves are property.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
ruling that allowed “separate but equal” racial segregation.
Korematsu v. US (1944)
ruled that exclusion (like Japanese internment) was okay during emergency.
Brown v. Board (1954)
Strikes “separate but equal” in school segregation.
Hernandez v Texas (1954)
Ruled that equal protection applies to other races (Hispanics), not just Blacks.
Loving v Virginia (1967)
Ruled that state prohibition against inter-racial marriage violates equal protection.
Reed v. Reed (1971)
First gender discrimination claim upheld.
Barron v. Baltimore (1833)
Bill of Rights applies to national government, not local.
Mapp v. Ohio (1961)
Ruled that “Exclusionary rule” (no illegally obtained evidence) applies to all courts.
Engel v. Vitale (1962)
Voluntary school prayer v “establishment clause.”
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971)
Government aid to religious schools must meet three criteria.
Wallace v. Jaffree (1985)
Religious service in classroom violates establishment clause.
Schenk v. US (1919)
Ruled that state can limit speech that provokes "clear and present danger" of evils.
Roth v. US (1957)
Ruled that obscenity is not protected speech or press.
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)
Ruled that courts can only restrict speech that will produce lawless action.
Miller v. California (1973)
Ruled that community standards be used to determine if material is obscene.
Near v. Minnesotta (1931)
Ruled that government can’t prohibit publication in advance (prior restraint).
New York Times v. US (1971)
Ruled that the president cannot stop printing of Vietnam War information.
Hazelwood v Kuhlmeier (1988)
Ruled that school paper restriction okay under legitimate educational concern.
Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000)
Ruled that the boy scouts can bar homosexual leaders.
US v. Lopez (1995)
Congress cannot prohibit guns near schools; not commerce issue.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
Established the right to counsel in felony cases.
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Defendants must be told of rights re: self-incrimination and counsel.
Gregg v. Georgia (1976)
Ruled that the death penalty is not “cruel and unusual punishment.”