AP GOVERNMENT and Flashcards

Terms Definitions
a postponement of punishment
A proposal for a law
Distribution of representatives among the states based on the population of each state
A survey of public opinion
Policies for which Congress has obligated itself to pay X level of benefits to Y number of recipients.
Filmed stories for evening television news.
soft money
political parties solicit unlimited funds from individuals, corporations, spend on voter registration campaigns and get-out the-vote drives and "not on behalf of specific candidates"
Executive privilege
the president's right to confidentiality regarding personal letters, memoirs and coversations. the president can only use this privilege regarding matters of national security
Acceptance by citizens of the government.
Quasi Judicial
a characteristic of independent regulatory agencies that gives them judicial power to interpret regulations they create
Federal program that provides medical benefits for low-income persons.
great compromise
Settlement reached at the Constitutional convention between large states and small states. This called for two legislative houses: One in which states were represented by their populations (favoring the large states) and one in which states received equal representation (favoring the small states).
Standing committees
committees that deal with proposed bills and also act in an oversight function. They are permanent, existing from one Congress to the next, such as the House Ways and Means and Senate Appropriations.
The elected leader of a state's government
Competitive Federalism
views the national government, 50 states, and thousands of local governments as competing with each other over ways to put together packages of services and taxes
Random-digit dialing
method for selecting people for involvement in telephone statistical surveys by generating telephone numbers at random. Random digit dialing has the advantage that it includes unlisted numbers that would be missed if the numbers were selected from a phone book.
Martin v. Hunter's Lesse
1816, regarding state law
The meeting of certain delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticked and to write the party's platform.
Appellate jurisdiction
On appeal from lower courts-Supreme Court is mostly an appellate court
Elastic clause
states that Congress can exercise those powers that are "necessary and proper" for carrying out the enumerated powers
implied powers
Powers inferred from the express powers that allow Congress to carry out its functions.
Police powers
Inherent powers of state governments to pass laws to protect the public health, safety, and welfare; the national government has no directly granted police powers but accomplishes the same goals through other delegated powers.
constitutional powers
Powers of the president granted explicitly by the Constitution.
a system that allows many different opinions to weigh in on policy decisions. This type of system usually involves a lot of political conflicts and slows the process of policy making because of the number and intensity of the different opinions. Efforts to change American health care policy reflect pluralism.
a project that involving spending on infrastructure.
The amendment that prohibits Congress from giving itself a pay raise is?
Amendment 27
the character or quality of being obscene; indecency; lewdness
stare decis
Literally, "let the decision stand." The doctrine whereby a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled.
Extradition Clause
Requires that criminals must be returned to the state in which they committed the crime for trial
Speaker of the House
The constitutionally mandated presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Speaker is chosen in the caucus of the majority party and is empowered to recognize members to speak on the floor, to rule whether a motion is germane, etc.
open primary
a primary election in which voters choose, on election-day, the party primary in which they will vote. They may vote for candidates of either party.
senatorial courtesy
custom that the Senate will not approve a presidential appointment opposed by a majority party senator from the State in which the appointee would serve
Excise taxes
taxes on the manufacture, sale, or consumption of items made within the country which is imposing the tax.
one of the key inducements used by party machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone.
political ideology
the coherent set of beliefs about politics and the role of the government
prospective judgment
a voter's evaluation of a candidate based on what he or she pledges to do about an issue if elected
Voter turnout
Number of voters who actually cast ballots in elections, as a percentage of people eligible to register and vote.
Inherent powers
Powers that exist for the national govt b/c the govt is sovereign
Joint Chiefs of Staff
high-ranking military officers who represent the Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines. They assist the civilian leaders of the Department of Defense-advise the president on security matters.
5. Cabinet
a group of presidential advisors not mentioned in the constitution, although every president has had one. Today it is composed of 14 secretaries and the attorney general.
divided government
A government in which one party controls the White House and another party controls one or both houses of Congress.
Political culture
The widely shared beliefs, values, and norms about how citizens relate to governments and to one another.
pure liberal
People that follow this philosophy are liberal on both economic policy and personal conduct. They want the government to reduce economic inequality, regulate business, tax the rich heavily, cure the (presumably) economic causes of crime, allow abortions, protect the rights of the accused, and guarantee the broadest possible freedoms of speech and press. In 1994 about 17 percent of the population followed this philosophy. People who follow this philosophy are more likely than the average citizen to be young, college-educated, and either Jewish or nonreligious.
literacy test
Historically, a test that must be passed before a person can vote; designed to prevent blacks from voting.
Non-renewable resources
those natural resources such as oil, which based on consumption, are limited.
Initiative Petition
A process permitted in some sates whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote if sufficient signatures are obtained on petitions calling for such a referendum.
multiple referral
A congressional process whereby a bill may be referred to several committees.
15th Amendment
Granted African American men the right to vote.
National party convention
A national meeting of delegates elected at primaries, caucuses, or state conventions who assemble once every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules.
national convention
the meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform.
A government rooted in the consent of the governed; a representative or indirect democracy
New Jersey Plan
plan by some delegates to Constitutional Convention by which each state would have = rep. in Congress (remember NJ is small!)
House Ways and Means Committee
responsible for originating all revenue bills.
American Bar Association (ABA)
The organization that ranks judicial nominees as well qualified, qualified, or not qualified. These rankings are used to assess nominees prior to their hearings in the Senate.
Senate Finance Committee
The Senate committee that, along with the House Ways and Means committee, writes the tax codes, subject to the approval of Congress as a whole.
High-Tech politics
a politics in which the behavior of citizens and policymakers and the political agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology.
Amicus curiae brief
Friend of the court; interest groups may be invited to file legal briefs supporting/rejection arguments of the case
Party identification
a sense of affiliation that a person has with a particular party
What is politics?
the process of resolving conflicts and deciding who gets what, when and how
Franking privilege
the ability of members to mail letters to their constituents free of charge by substituting their facsimile signature for postage
confederate system
A system of government with a very weak central government and strong states.
Cuban Americans
The minority group that tends to be conservative is...
What private institutions did Americans have greater confidence in?
churches, companies, press, trade unions
1. One that serves as pattern or model 2. A set or list of all the inflectional forms of a word or of one of its grammatical categories 3. A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for teh community that shares them, especially in an intellectual discipline.
magna carta
This document, signed by King John of Endland in 1215, is the cornerstone of English justice and law. It declared that the king and government were bound by the same laws as other citizens of England. It contained the antecedents of the ideas of due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial that are included in the protection offered by the U.S. Bill of Rights
Susan B. Anthony
Political activist who spent her life campaigning for women's right to vote.
Necessary and proper clause
The final paragraph of Article I, section 8, of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to pass all laws "necessary and proper" to carry out the enumerated powers specified in the Constitution; also called the "elastic" clause
Roe v. Wade
holding that state ban on abortion was unconstitional
formula grants
Grants in which a formula is used to determine how much money each state receives.
pocket veto
a bill fails to become law because the president did not sign it within ten days before congress adjourns
United States v. Virginia
State may not finance an all-male military school.
Marbury v. Madison, 1803
The case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress, in this case the Judiciary Act of 1789.
gross domestic product (GDP)
the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country during a year.
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002
banned soft money, no election communication 60 days before election
The Hatch act of 1939
a United States federal law whose main provision is to prohibit federal employees (civil servants) from engaging in partisan political activity.
7. What is the significance of the Bakke case?
-quotas are not allowed in college.
Green v. County School Board of New Kent COunty
Banned a freedom of choice plan for intergrating schools, suggesting that blacks and whites must actually attend racially mixed schools
means-tested programs
Constitutional arrangement whereby power is distributed between a central government and sub-divisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and the sub-divisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.
Entitlement programs
Unemployment insurance, Disability relief, etc
The person currently holding office
Because early primaries have grown increasingly important in recent years, many states have pushed forward the date of their primary elections.
natural rights
Rights inherent to human beings.
Organizational View
Explanation of congressional voting which suggests members of congress respond primarily to cues provided by their colleagues.
usually the largest organization in government with the largest mission; also the highest rank in federal hierarchy
Substantive due process
Constitutional requirement that governments act reasonably and that the substance of the laws themselves be fair and reasonable; limits what the government may do.
Traditionally, Congressional committee chairpersons have been chosen through
The seniority system.
A large, complex organization composed of appointed officials
Great Society
President Lyndon B. Johnson's social/economic program, aimed at raising the standard of living for America's poorest residents. Among its programs are Medicare, Medicaid, Project Head Start, Job Corps, and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA).
critical election
an electoral "earthquake" whereby new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. Critical election periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era
V.O. Key
Researcher who found differences in political opinion were closely associated with occupation in the 1950s.
dual (federalism)
A constitutional theory that the national government and the state governments each have defined areas of authority, especially over commerce.
Miller v. Johnson
1995 SuCo: Racial gerrymandering violates the equal protection clause.
supremacy clause
clause that requires conflicts between federal and state law to be resolved in favor of the federal law
tax expenditures
Revenue losses that result from special exemptions, exclusions, or deductions on federal tax law.
a procedure by which voters can propose a lawor constitutional amendment
The belief that all governments are repressive and should be destroyed.
Flat tax
an alternative to the progressive income tax where individuals pay the same percentage regardless of how much they earn.
Plyler v. Doe
children of undocumented immigrants are people
compelling government interest
A government interest sufficiently strong that it overrides the fundamental rights of persons adversely affected by government action
Nonprotected speech
Libel, obscenity, fighting words, and commercial speech, which are not entitled to constitutional protection in all circumstances.
a politically organized body of people under a single government
strict constructionism
Belief that the Constitution should be read in such a way as to limit as much as possible the powers of the federal government. Strict constructionists emphasize the importance of the Tenth Amendment, which reserves to all states and powers not explicitly granted the federal government.
Administrative discretion
Authority given by Congress to the federal bureaucracy to use reasonable judgment in implementing the laws.
Seniority System
a simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. The ember who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair, regardless of party loyalty, mental state, or competence
unitary government
system of government in which all authority is placed in a central government. Countries with unitary governments, such as Great Britain and France, have regional and local governments which derive their power from the central government.
Individual Rights
rights claimed by the individual, as opposed to rights claimed by a group.
Federal System
A system in which sovereignty is shared between the national and the state governments.
the system or form by which a community or other political unit is governed
a meeting of local party members to choose party officials or candidates for public office and to decide the platform
winner-take-all system
an election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins.
Natural law
a doctrine that society should be governed by certain ethical principles that are part of nature and, as such, can be understood by reason
Constitutional law
Laws relating to the interpretation of the Constitution
political socialization
The process -- most notably in families and schools -- by which we develop our political attributes, values, and beliefs.
CRA of 1964
made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, or restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination
loose constructionist
The belief that judges should have freedom in interpreting the Constitution.
Random sample
In this type of sample, every individual has unknown and random chance of being selected.
McCain-Feingold bill
The popular informal name for the Bipartisan Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2002; it is named after its sponsors, Republican John McCain and Democrat Russell Feingold.
routine stories
Media reports about public events that are regularly covered by reporters and that involve simple, easily descrived acts or statements. For example, the president takes a trip or Congress passes a bill.
independent expenditures
the supreme court has ruled that individuals, groups, and parties can spend unlimited amounts in campaigns for or against candidates as long as they operate independently from the candidates. when an individual, group, or party does so, they are making an independent expenditure
Fiscal Year
For the federal government, October 1 to September 30.
Congressional caucus
An association or members of Congress based on party, interest, or social group such as gender or race.
Shaw v. Reno
NO racial gerrymandering; race cannot be the sole or predominant factor in redrawing legislative boundaries; majority-minority districts.
Weapons of mass destruction
Biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons that can cause a massive number of deaths in a single use.
Mayflower Compact
Document written by the Pilgrims while at sea enumerating the scope of their government and its expectations of citizens
Limited government
the idea that restrictions should be placed on government to protect the natural rights of its citizens
Cruel and unusual punishment
court sentences prohibited by the eighth amendment. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that mandatory death sentences for certain offenses are unconstitutional, it has not held that the death penalty itself constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
Search warrant
a court order that allows the person holding the order, generally a law enforcement officer, to search areas specified in the order for items specified in the order.
cost-benefit analysis
a method of evaluating a public policy by determining if the benefits of the policy outweigh its costs
political party
A group that seeks to elect candidates to public office.
Federalist papers
group of 85 essays written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay for the purpose of persuading the people of NY to adopt the Constitution
Civil Disobedience
the refusal to obey certain laws, in order to influence those with power to have them changed. Civil disobedience is characterized by the use of nonviolent techniques, such as boycotting, picketing, and the refusal to pay taxes. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most famous American proponents of civil disobedience as a way to make laws more just.
majority opinion
The majority of justices agree on the decision and the reasons for the decision.
Voting Rights Act 1965
Major civil rights legislation that banned discrimination in voting. It appears in this chapter as an example of effective policy implementation; clear, specific goals with measurable results.
Judicial review
The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress, and by implication the executive, are in accord with the U.S. Constitution.
adversary system
A judicial system in which the court of law is a neutral arena where two parties argue their differences.
A movement that starts with the common people and motivates the national level to action is called?
grass roots
a person who brings an action in a court of law
Civil Rights
Rights belonging to a person by reason of citizenship including especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th amendments and subsequent acts of Congress
Twent-second Amendment (1951)
Limited the number of years an individual may serve as president. According to this, a president may be elected no more than twice.
Mapp vs Ohio
USSC 1961 decision ruling that the 4th amendment protection against Search and Seizure must be extended to the states as well as the fed gov.
The "responsible party" model holds that parties should
Present clear alternatives to voters.
House Rules Committee
a committee unique to the House which is appointed by the Speaker of the House, reviews most bills coming from a House committee for a floor vote, and which gives each bill a rule
After each federal census,
The membership of the House is reapportioned.
Marbury vs. Madison
The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the Supreme Court to determine the meaning of the U.S. Constitution. The decision established the Court's power of judicial review over acts of Congress, in this case the Judiciary Act of 1789.
United States v. Lopez
 Alfonzo Lopez, a 12th grade high school student, carried a concealed weapon into his San Antonio, Texas high school. He was charged under Texas law with firearm possession on school premises. The act forbids "any individual knowingly to possess a firearm at a place that [he] knows...is a school zone." Lopez was found guilty following a bench trial and sentenced to six months' imprisonment and two years' supervised release. The possession of a gun in a local school zone is not an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. The law is a criminal statute that has nothing to do with "commerce" or any sort of economic activity.The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 was able to fill in some of the gaps left open by the striking down of the Gun-Free School Zone Act. 
Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act
1946; intended to allow the government to monitor lobbying activities by requiring lobbyists to register with the government and publicly disclose their salaries, expenses, and nature of activities in DC
The War Powers Resolution
limits the power of the president and mandates the withdrawal of forces after 60 days unless congress declares war or grants an extension.
americans with disabilities act 1990
unfunded mandate from federal gov't to states/towns/private businesses
any place open to public must be handicapped accessible
includes mental and physical disabilities
section 504 - schools/workplace need to make appropriate accommodations
Citizens control the agenda
citizens as a whole have the right to control the agenda for themselves
Courts of original jurisdiction are?
Those in which a case is heard first, usually in a trial.
Supports social welfare
The right to vote.
Critical functions in American society. Institutionalize political activity. Electoral process rather than riots. Provide regular access to political power.
A sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager.
expenditures for which the total amount spent is not by congressional appropriation, but rather by rules of eligibility established by Congress.
Supporters of a stronger central government who advocated ratification of the Constitution and then founded a political party.
Cooperative federalism
Cooperation among federal, state, &local govts; "marble cake" federalism
Congress monitors policies of the executive branch (money, hearings, investigations)-checks and balances
The redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census, to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population.
Pork-Barrel Legislation
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or states in the hope of winning their votes in return
the introduction to the Constitution, outlining the goals of the document.
Personal Liberty
Freedom from government interference/ To engage in a variety of practices without government intervention
An assembly of party representatives which chooses a government and discusses major national issues. Tight party discipline usually regulates the voting behavior of members.
Besides hired staff, volunteers who do other small, but essential, tasks such as doorbell ringing, envelope licking, etc. These people are competing for patronage jobs.
critical elections
An electoral "earthquake" where new issues emerge, new coalitions replace old ones, and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party. Such periods are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era.
civil rights policies
Policies that extend government protection to particular disadvantaged groups.
Advocates of __________ emphasize that the courts may alleviate pressing needs, especially of those who are weak politically or economically, left unmet by the majoritarian political process.
Judicial activism
Federal Reserve Board
executive agency largely responsible for from and implement of monetary policy
An effort to shift responsibility of domestic programs (welfare, health care, and job training) to the states in order to decrease the size and activities of the federal government (first-order); some states have attempted to shift responsibilities further to local governments (second-order).
Conservative Coalition
an alliance between republican and conservative democrats
sexual harassment
Unwanted and inappropriate physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with doing one's job or creates a hostile work environment.
A common way of measuring public opinion.
Agents of Socialization
Political culture, family, region, education, peers, media, church, and work place
Voice vote
A Congressional voting procedure used in both houses in which members vote by shouting yea or nay
vice-admiralty courts
Military courts, in which defendants are not entitled to a trial by jury of peers. These were established in the colonies to try colonial smugglers because colonial juries often sympathized with smugglers and would not convict them.
Commercial Speech
advertising; it can be restricted more than many other types of speech but has been receiving increased protection from court (communication through advertising) "fluffing up products"
closed primary system
The regulation that voters must preregister with a party to cast ballots on a primary day, or the system where voters can only vote in one party's primary.
Amendment 6
Right to a speedy and public trial
laissez faire
idea that government should play as small a role as possible in economic affairs
When a significant # of voters choose to no longer support a particular pol. party
incorporation doctrine
the 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
Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases
Stare Decisis
1st Amendment
Amendment that dealt with freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition. It contains the establishment clause.
legislative veto
...ability of congress to override a presidential decision
a written agreement to make and obey laws for the welfare of the group
when a federal law takes over or precludes a state law
A term used to describe being caught between two or more conflicting demographic tendencies.
public administration
The task of running the government, and providing services through policy implementation.
fiscal federalism
The pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the cornerstone of the national governments rations with state and the local governments.
Connecticut Compromise
Compromise agreement by states at the Constitutional Convention for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in which representation would be based on population and an upper house in which each state would have two senators
means tested program
government programs only available to people below poverty line. example: reduced price school lunch, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Medicaid
jim crow laws
Laws designed to enforce segregation of blacks from whites
block grants
federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
gibbons v. ogden
only federal gov't can control interstate commerce
Concurrent Resolution
An expression of opinion without the force of law that requires the approval of both the House and the Senate, but not the president.
a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
Probable cause
police must have a good reason to arrest someone.
Congressional Budget Office
advises the congress on the likely economic effects of different spending programs and provides information on the costs of proposed policies
Gender Gap
A term that refers to the regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democratic candidates, Women tend to be significantly less conservative than men and are more likely to support spending on social services and to oppose higher levels of military spending.
Declaration of Independence
Drafted in 1776 by T. Jefferson declaring America's separation from Great Britain (3 parts-New theory of government, reasons for separation, formal declaration of war and independence)
Regional primaries
a proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries to replace these electoral methods with a series of primaries held in each geographic region.
Federal Trade Commission
(WW) 1914 , A government agency established in 1914 to prevent unfair business practices and help maintain a competitive economy, support antitrust suits
Miami Herald v. Tornillo
states cannot force newspapers to print replies from candidates criticized (limited power of government to restrict print media)
Bill of Rights
a statement of fundamental rights and privileges (especially the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution)
Federal Communications Commission
The federal agency that regulates the broadcast media.
Voting Blocs
On the current Supreme Court there are conservative and liberal blocs of voters. Justice Anthony Kennedy who holds the "swing vote" often casts the critical vote.
10th Amendments
states that powers not granted to the federal government and not forbidden to the states go to the states and people
16th Amendment
Gave Congress the power to tax incomes and therefore greatly increase the amount of revenue available to the national government
Double jeopardy
Trial or punishment for the same crime by the same government; forbidden by the Constitution.
if you obtain a permit to hold a parade, the law must set forth clear (as well a neutral) standards to guide administrators in issuing a permit. if you obtain a permit to hold a parade, the law must set forth clear (as well a neutral) standards to guide administrators in issuing a permit. if you obtain a permit to hold a parade, the law must set forth clear (as well a neutral) standards to guide administrators in issuing a permit. if you obtain a permit to hold a parade, the law must set forth clear (as well a neutral) standards to guide administrators in issuing a permit.
mcculloh v maryland
maryland sued national bank branch in maryland b/c they wouldn't pay state taxes

s.c. upheld bank b/c it was implied in the economic powers of constitution and granted through the elastic clause.
Equality of Opportunity
situation in which every person has an equal chance, especially in areas such as education, employment and political participation
6. How many district courts are there?
-A total of 94
progressive tax
A tax in which the average tax rate rises with income.
Restrictive covenant
A provision in a deed to real property prohibiting its sale to a person of a particular race or religion. Judicial enforcement of such deeds is unconstitutional.
class action suit
Lawsuit brought by an individual or a group of people on behalf of all those similarly situated.
Senior Executive Service
Established by Congress in 1978 as a flexible, mobile corps of senior career executives who worked closely with presidential appointees to manage government.
Equal Rights Amendment
first proposed in 1923, passed in 1972 but not ratified by 3/4 of the states; mandated equality of rights under the law regardless of gender
Straight Ticket
a ballot cast by a voter who votes for all the candidates of one party
Elite and Class theory
a group theory that revolves around an economic strata of society controlling the policy agenda.
Primary goals of political parties
raise $inform pplselect who runs for officeadvocate policy
Which of the following accurately characterizes the main difference between elite theories and pluralist theories of politics in the United States?
Elite theories argue that a single minority dominates politics in all policy areas: pluralist theories argue that many minorities compete for power in different policy arenas
4 forms of speaking that are not automatically granted full constitiutional protection:
libel, obscenity, symbolic speech, and false advertising.
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