AP Government Vocabulary 35 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
The Thirteenth Amendment
abolished slavery
European Union
international organization comprised of Western European countries to promote free trade among members
the formal instructions that government issues for implementing laws
the spread of representative government to more countries and the process of making governments more representative
selective benefits
Goods (such as information publications, travel discounts, and group insurance rates) that a group can restrict to those who pay their annual dues.
an unauthorized release of information to the press from someone in the government
Descriptive Representation
A correspondence between the demographic characteristics of representatives and those of their constituents.
select committees
Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose, such as the Watergate investigation.
generally are less supportive of national government programs to redistribute income such as welfare and programs that promote equality such as affirmative action or assistance to disadvantaged groups; identify more with the Republican party.
the principle of a two-house legislature
ability for initiative to have impact
substantive due process
Constitutional requirement that governments act reasonably and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable; limits what a government may do.
: redrawing congressional districts to reflect increases or decreases in seats allottted to the states as well as population shifts within a state
Civil Rights
Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by government officials or individuals. (Any of the civil liberties guaranteed by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution and by the Civil Rights Acts)
feminization of poverty
The increasing concentration of poverty among women, especially unmarried women and their children
Members of Congress who already hold office. Link to: safe seat; gerrymandering; US Term Limits v. Thornton, 1995.
an elected official who takes the views of consituents into account but casts a vote based on his best judgement or conscience
soft money
Unlimited amounts of money that political parties previously could raise for party-building purposes. Now largely illegal except for limited contributions to state and local parties for voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts
Special spending projects that are set aside on behalf of individual members of Congress for their constituents.
Who Votes - Gender
Women participates slightly more.
All the voters of a state/country elect their representative (senate elections are at large on the federal level)
Central Clearance
Review of all executive branch testimony, reports, and draft legislation by the Office of Management and Budget to ensure that each communication to Congress is in accordance with the president's program.
a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
Party Dealignment
The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from strict party identification. In the past 30 years, more Americans are calling themselves "independents," and splitting their ballots up between parties.
Elastic clause
States that Congress can exercise those powers that are necessary and proper for carrying out enumerated powers
Categorical-formula grants
Congress appropriates funds for a specific purpose, such as school lunches or for building airports and highways. These funds are allocated by formula and are subject to detailed federal conditions, often on a matching basis; that is, the local government receiving the federal funds must put up some of its own dollars. Categorical grants, in addition, provide federal supervision to ensure that the federal dollars are spent as Congress wants
discretionary authority
the extent to which appointed bureaucrats can choose coarses of action and make policies that are not spelled out in advance by laws
Investigative journalism
the use of detective-like reporting methods to unearth scandals.
appellate jurisdiction
appeal case to higher court
don't review facts
only review legal issue
never determine guilt
no juries, only judges
A public official's statement to a reporter that is given on condition that the official not be named
Policy entrepreneurs
political activists who invest their political capital in an issue.
McCulloch v Maryland
case that established the principle that the federal government was supreme over the state.
campaign strategy
the master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign
split-ticket voting
A trend where voters select different candidates of different parties for various offices from the same long ballot. These are more independent voters.
Nonpreferential Primary
voters choose delegates who are not bound to vote for the winning primary candidate.
Closed Primary
A primary in which only registered members of the party may vote
House Budget Committee
Standing committee in charge of egislative oversight of the federal budget process, reviewing all bills and resolutions on the budget, and monitoring agencies and programs funded outside of the budgetary process.
popular sovereignty
the authority of the government given by its citizens
Community needs
An official criterion for the renewal of broadcast licenses.
Interest groups seeking to exert influence on the electoral process can honestly and openly funnel money into the campaign coffers of their supporters through
Political Action Committees
probable cause
reasonable cause for issuing a search warrant or making an arrest; more than mere suspicion
Media events
events purposely staged for the media that nonetheless look spontaneous. In keeping with politics as theater, media events can be staged by individuals, groups, and government officials, especially presidents.
Minority Leader
The principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate.
Judicial Restraint
A judicial philosophy in which judges play minimal policymaking roles.
An action by the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling by a lower court; that ruling is now the legally binding one.
Judicial activism
a philosophy of judicial review that results in decisions that overturn precedent.
search warrant
A court order allowing law enforcement officers to search a suspect's home or business and take specific items as evidence
the act of removing an official by petition
power of the purse
congressional exclusive power to authorize expenditures by all avenues of the federal govermnent.
Photo ops
Photo opportunities set up by the candidates. The media have been accused of simplifying complicated political issues by relying on photo ops to explain them to the public.
standing committee
A permanent committee established in a legislature, usually focusing on a policy area
straight ticket
Voting for candidates of the same party for multiple positions
Sixteenth Amendment (1913)
Authorized Congress to impose and collect federal income taxes.
Pendleton Act
known as the Civil Service Act of 1883, it set up merit as the criterion for hiring, promoting, and firing federal employees.
Freedom of Religion
Part of the First Amendment protecting the free exercise of religion and prohibiting an establishment of religion.
A large body of people interested in a common issue, idea ,or concern that is of continuing significance and who are willing to take action. _________s seek to change attitudes or institutions, not just policies.
Wallace v. Jaffree
1985 SuCo: Schools cannot hold moments of silence with religious intentions.
merit system
A system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than on political patronage.
Federalist papers
group of 85 essays written by Madison, Hamilton and Jay for the purpose of persuading the people of New York to adopt the Constitution.
Eminent domain
Allows the govt to take property for public use but also requires the govt to provide just compensation for that property
Chief of Party
In this role, the president helps members of his political party get elected or appointed to office. The president campaigns for those members who have supported his policies. At the end of a term the president may campaign for reelection.
National debt
The total amount of money the Federal government has borrowed to finance deficit spending over the years.
State of the Union address
A constitutionally mandated message, given by the president to Congress, in which the president lays out plans for the coming year.
Dual Federalism
Fed. & state govts each have defined responsibilities w/n their own sphere of influence; "layer cake" federalism
free ride problem
people benefit from the activities of an organization , but don't contribute to those activities
mexican-american legal defense fund
work to defend targeted legal mexican-americans
The fact that being in office helps a person stay in office because of a variety of benefits that go with the position
Freedom of Expression
Ppl having the right to express what the want when they want (some restrictions at school b/c its a captive audience, no absolute freedom)
Confederation or confederal system
A system in which the state governments are sovereign and the national government may do only what the states permit.
the war powers resolution
limits the power of the president (send troops in for sixty days then congress has to declare war or troops get sent home)
winner take all system
legislative seats are awarded only to candidates who come in first in their constituencies.
Gerrymandering is a process by which
redrawing congressional districts for the express purpose of giving a party an advantage of voting.
motor-voter bill
A bill passed by Congress in 1993 to make it easier for Americans to register to vote. The law, which went into effect in 1995, requires states to allow voter registration by mail, when one applies for a driver's license, and at state offices that serve the disabled or poor.
small claims court
a state court that hears civil cases involving small amounts of money
Civil rights act of 1964
This act made racial, religious, and sex discrimination by employers illegal and gave the government the power to enforce all laws governing civil rights, including desegregation of schools and public places.
Brown v. BOE of Topeka, KA
Overturned Plessy v. Ferguson: ended legal segregation, said school regulation is unconstitutional
Protection of the legal rights of women has been facilitated by the passage of which of the following?
II, III, and IV only
Evaluating the Primary & Caucus System
Problems with the primary and caucus system. Political scientists aren't happy with system because too much attention is paid to Iowa and New Hampshire in primaries.
What are state's obligations to each other?
full faith and credit, extradition, privileges and immunities
In 2004 what was determined about blacks?
25% of blacks lived below the poverty line compared to 11% of whites
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