LO-07+AG+Congress - Congress Roles of Congress...

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Congress Roles of Congress Representative As Delegate: represent State, district As Trustee: votes his conscience Lawmaker: Helps make the nations laws As Member of Political Party Role will depend on Philosophical/ideological orientation Influence of voters Amount of Presidential and/or party pressure Influence of colleagues Influence of expert opinion But Local good different from national good, and members generally favor representing their local constituencies Thus it is difficult for members to fulfill their collective responsibility of national lawmaking This may explain why Americans hate Congress as a whole but love their own senators and representatives Functions of Congress Legitimating Investigating
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Ombudsman Check on Executive/Judicial power Congressional elections Politics of defining congressional districts Reapportionment: a reallocation of congressional seats among the states every ten years, following the census Redistricting: process of redrawing of district lines in states with more than one representative (carried out by state legislators or commission) Gerrymandering: redistricting to benefit a particular group 4. Types of gerrymandering 5. Pro-incumbent gerrymandering Partisan gerrymandering Texas redistricting Racial gerrymandering: redistricting to enhance or reduce the chances that a racial or ethnic group will elect members to the legislature Majority-minority districts after Voting Rights Act (1982) Often deemed unconstitutional by Supreme Court Running for Congress Who can run? Age, citizenship, and residency qualifications
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LO-07+AG+Congress - Congress Roles of Congress...

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