Ap Government Cards Part Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Affirmative action
Constitutional arrangement whereby power is distributed between a central government and subdivisional governments, called states in the United States. The national and the subdivisional governments both exercise direct authority over individuals.
The formal instructions that government issues for implementing laws.
a sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event.
Command-and-control policy
regulatory strategy where government sets a requirement and then enforces individual and corporate actions to e consistent with meeting the requirement
The vote (requiring 60 members present) to end a filibuster.
senatorial courtesy
An unwritten traditions whereby nominations for state-level federal judicial posts are not confirmed if they are opposed by a senator from the state in which the nominee will serve. The tradition also applies to courts of appeal when there is opposition from the nominee's state senator.
Three-Fifths Compromise
Agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that stipulated that for the purposes of the appointment of congressional seats, every slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person.
pork-barrel legislation
legislation that gives tangible benefits to constituents in several districts or state in the hope of winning their votes in return
De jure segregation
Segregation imposed by law.
the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states
Majority-minority district
Congressional districts designed to make it easier for citizens of a racial or ethnic minority to elect representatives.
statutory construction
court clarifies meaning of law
civil liberties
Those protections against government power embodied in the Bill of Rights and similar legislation. Civil liberties include the right to free speech, the free exercise of religion, and the right to a fair trial.
third parties
electoral contenders other than the two major parties. American third parties are not unusual, but they rarely win elections.
Local efforts to raise money, raise awareness of certain issues, or influence political leaders.
Federal funds provided to states and localities.
Article 1
Article of the Constitution that defines the Legislative Branch, it's powers, members, and workings.
stare decisis
Latin for "let the precedent stand"
One thought to believe that a government is best that governs least and that big government can only infringe on individual, personal, and economic rights
Commerce Clause
Clause stating that Congress can regulate interstate and international commerce.
conference committee
committee appointed by the presiding officers of each chamber to adjust differences on a particular bill passed by each in different form
A requirement that must be satisfied before a plaintiff can have a case heard on its merits.
Unfunded mandates
Programs that the Federal government requires States to implement without Federal funding.
attack journalism
Journalism that aims to undermine political leaders.
Public policy
the final action(s) taken by government in promotional, regulatory, or distributive form.
19th Amendment
grants women the right to vote
Interagency councils
Working groups that bring together members of several different agencies facilitate policy making and implementation
Party identification
An informal and subjective affiliation with a political party that most people acquire in childhood.
A signed written agreement between two or more parties (nations) to perform some action
blanket primary
everyone stuck on the same ballot
Independent regulatory agency
a government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules to protect the public interest. t also judges disputes over these rules
Pork Barrel
the mighty list of federal projects, grants, and contracts available to cities, businesses, colleges, and institutions available in a congressional district
Bread and Butter issues
Those political issues are specifically directed at the daily concerns of working-class Americans, such as job security, tax rates, wages, and employment benefits.
trial balloons
An intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction.
Pluralistic Political System
A description of the American political system, once used by scholars, contending that the policy-making process encompasses the effective competition of interest groups. This account is generally considered wrong, or at least incomplete.
Green party
A minor party dedicated to the environment, social justice, nonviolence, and a foreign policy of nonintervention. Ralph Nader ran as its nominee in 2000.
Presidential Coattails
The tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit in an election by the presence on the ticket of a popular presidential candidate.
American dream
an American ideal of a happy, successful life, which often includes wealth, a house, a better life for one's children, and, for some, the ability to grow up to be president
idea that the structure and powers of government should be based upon a written or unwritten constitution, which should set limits to the power of the government.
Seniority System
A simple rule for picking committee chairs, in effect until the 1970s. The member who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair, regardless of party loyalty, mental state, or competence.
Candidate or party with the most votes cast in an election, not necessarily more than half.
judicial restraint
Holds that the Court should avoid taking the initiative on social and political questions, operating strictly within the limits of the Constitution.
Twenty-fourth Amendment
It outlawed taxing voters, i.e. poll taxes, at presidential or congressional elections, as an effort to remove barriers to Black voters.
white primary
The practice of political parties only allowing whites to participate in their primaries.
How similar cases have been decided in the past.
Separation of Powers
The system of vesting separate branches: legislative, judicial, executive.
Lame Duck
an elected official still in office but not slated to continue
In situatons of conflict between state and national govt, national prevails due to?
supremacy clause
legislative veto
The rejection of a presidential or administrative-agency action by a vote of one or both houses of Copngress without the consent of the president. In 1983 the Supreme Court declared the legislative veto to be unconstitutional.
a government in power; a form or system of rule or management; a period of rule
Miranda rights
Rights possessed by persons who are arrested by the police. (Remain silent, Attorney, etc.)
American Party/Know-Nothings
Political party of the 1850s. The Know-Nothings (so named becaus of their secretiveness) pursued nativist goals, including severe limitations on immigration.
Magna Carta
This document, signed by King John of England 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
Pork Barrel legislation
laws that directs funds to local projects in an area which a member of Congress represents.
checks and balances
related to the separation of powers; each branch of the government has the power to limit the other branches of government so that one is not dominant, for example, the president can veto a bill passed by congress but congress can override the veto.
Civil Law
set of laws which deal with private rights of individuals. Laws which are not civil laws are criminal laws.
White House Office
the personal office for a president which tends to presidential political needs and manages the media
concurrent powers
Powers shared by the federal and state governments.
Writ of Certiorari
A formal document from the U.S. Supreme Court that calls up a case from the lower courts.
congressional campaign committee
A party committee in Congress that provides funds to members who are running for reelection or to would-be members running for an open seat or challenging a candidate from the opposition party.
Reason for picking philosophies
Pick trustee if conflicting signals from different places. Pick delegate if strong signals. Pick Partisan if an obscure matter.
An order that states the police must produce and show cause why that person needs to stay incarcerated is called?
Habeas corpus.
wall of separation principle
An interpretation of the establishment clause embraced by the Supreme Court that allows no government involvement with religion, even on a nonpreferential basis.
Executive Branch Powers
Enforce federal laws and court orders; propose legislation to Congress; make foreign treaties and serve as commander-in-chief
general election
Election held on the first Tuesday of November, during which voters elect officials.
mandate theory of elections
The idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and politics. Politicians like the theory better than political scientists do.
President pro tempore
Serves as president of the Senate in the absence of the VP; chosen by the majority party
Bloc voting
A pattern of voting behavior of two or more justices.
civil rights act of 1964
the law that made racial discrimination against any group in hotels, motels, and restaurants illegal and forbade many forms of job discrimination
sound bite
in the media only 10-12 seconds of the actual news will go on the rest will come from the reporter
Twenty-sixth Amendment (1971)
Lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.
crossover voting
Voting by a member of one party for a candidate of another party
A government's main purpose is to?
maintain a national defence, provide public services, preserve order, socialize the young, and collect taxes.
grand jury
A jury of 12 to 23 persons who, in private, hear evidence presented by the government to determine whether persons shall be required to stand trial. If the jury believes there is sufficient evidence that a crime was committed, it issues an indictment.
The order of succession to the presidency, should the president be unable to fulfill his or her duties is
President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Protem of Senate, and Secretary of State.
An example of casework by a member of Congress is
Helping a constituent gain citizenship.
Secretary of State
Red Tape
needlessly time-consuming procedure
The right to use power.
Gerrymandering: redistricting that is designed to give one party a distinct advantage over the other by drawing districts w/ unusual shapes.
Enumerated powers
delegated powers of Congress, including the power to collect taxes, pay debts, provide for the common defense and general welfare, regulate commerce among the states, coin money, and declare war.
James K. Polk
Manifest Destiny: Mexican-American War
Linkage institutions
Individuals can express preferences regarding development of public policy
Person whose views are between conservative and liberal and may include some of both ideologies
Government by religious leaders, who claim divine guidance.
Twenty-fifth Amendment
constitutional amendment outlining the criteria for presidential selection and presidential disability.
legislation that mandated the cleanup of abandoned toxic waste dumps and authorized premarket testing of chemical substances. It allowed the EPA to ban or regulate the manufacture, sale, or use of any chemicals that could present an "unreasonable risk of injury to health or environment," and outlawed certain chemicals such as PCBs.
drawing of legislative boundry lines following each ten-year census.
The smallest unit of election administration; a voting district
statement of legal reasoning behind the decision in court.
a strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death, cased on the tradition of unlimited debate. Today, 60 members present and voting can halt a filibuster
Members of a political party selected by party caucuses, primary votes, or other party rules. The party nominee is the candidate who receives the majority of the delegates' votes at the convention.
Virginia Plan
The proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the U.S. population.
mass media
Tv, radio, newspapers, magazines and all other forms of popular broadcasting.
Activities of members of congress that help constituents as individuals; cutting through bureaucratic red tape to get people what they think they have a right to get.
district courts
The lowest federal courts where federal cases begin. They are the only federal courts where trials are held. There are a total of ninety-four district courts in the United States and its territories.
prior restraint
A government's prevention of material from being published.
Electoral College
A unique American institution, created by the Constitution, providing for the selection of the president by electors chosen by the state parties. Although its vote usually reflects a popular majority, the winner-take-all rules give clout to big states.
fiscal year
A 12-month period, October through September, for planning the federal budget.
Fourth Amendment
protects you from unreasonable search and seizure of your home and property
civil society
The network of community relationships that builds social capital.
women's sufferage
The right of women to vote.
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. These are sometimes marked by a national crisis and may require more than one election to bring about a new party era
Solicitor General
A presidential appointee and the third-ranking office in the Department of Justice. The solicitor general is in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government.
Labor injunction
A court order forbidding specific individuals or groups from performing certain acts (such as striking) that the court and property of an employer or community.considers harmful to the rights
Block Grants
Money from the national government that states can spend within broad guidlines determined by Washington.
limited government
Principle of government that states the government powers must be confined to those allowed it by the nation's Constitution.
Free Exercise Clause
1st amend provision that "prohibits govt from interfering with practice of religion"
Federal Election Committee (FEC)
six-member bipartisan agency created by the FECA of 1974. The FEC administers and enforces campaign finance laws.
cooperative federalism
The act of federal and state governmental units working together to shape, fund, and enforce policy.
Elite theory
A theory of government and politics contending that societies are divided along class lines and than an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
national party convention
A national meeting of delegates elected in 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.
Administrative Discretion
Authority given by Congress to the federal bureaucracy to use reasonable judgement in implementing the laws
talking head
a shot of person's face talking directly to the camera.
political question
An issue that the Supreme Court refuses to consider because it believes the Constitution has left it entirely to another branch to decide. Its view of such issues may change over time, however. For example, until the 1960s, the Court refused to hear cases about the size of congressional districts, no matter how unequal their populations. in 1962 however, it decided that it was authorized to review the constitutional implications of this issue.
civil rights movement
movement in the United States beginning in the 1960s and led primarily by Blacks in an effort to establish the civil rights of individual Black citizens
Direct primary
election in which the people choose candidates for office
The process of putting a law into practice through bureaucratic rules or spending.
floor leaders
Direct party strategy and decisions in the House and Senate.
public good
A good that benefits everyone, not just some; also called collective good.
multinational corporation
Large business with vast holdings in many countries. Many of these companies are larger than most governments.
Media Event
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.
14th amendment
amendment altered the nature of the Union by placing significant restraints on state governments
527 organizations
Organizations that, under an IRS code, raises and spends money to advance political causes.
"Dirty Dozen"
A list, compiled by an environmental interest group, of those legislators who voted most frequently against its measures.
Continental Congress
PA, 1774; PA 1776. response to intolerable acts, sent ben franklin to england to negotiate. they refused to take down the blockade which inspired the second continental convention where a unicameral congress was set up with George Washington as commander in chief in the case of war; John Hancock was a president
selective incorporation
Process by which the Supreme Court has selectively applied the Fourteenth Amendment to state law.
Independent regulatory commission
A government agency or commission with regulatory power whose independence is protected by Congress.
class action suits
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
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.
Americans tend to
Look back longlingly on the great, powerful Presidents.
Stamp Act Congress
Meeting of representatives of nine of the thirteen colonies held in New York City in 1765, during which representatives drafted a document to send to the king listing how their rights had been violated
22nd Amendment
Amendment that created a 2 term limit on presidents.
progressive tax
A tax graduated so that people with higher incomes pay a larger fraction of their income than people with lower incomes.
in closed primaries
people who have registered can veto for the partys candidate.
direct democracy
a form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives
The first major federalist decision by the Marshall court was?
McCulloch vs. Madison
A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court that is binding on all other federal courts.
lapdog function
The idea that the press is at the mercy of news sources such as the White House staff. News is parceled out to those who but will give the story the requested emphasis.
The National Security Council
Links the President's key foreign and military policy advisors.
unreasonable searches and seizures
obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the fourth amendment. Probable cause and/or a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence.
Writ of habeas corpus
A court order requiring explanation to a judge why a prisoner is being held in custody.
John Peter Zenger
A New York editor whose trial for seditious libel backfired on the government; the jury found that truth was a defense for libel.
Full faith and credit
Article IV of the constitution req. states to provide reciprocity toward other states' public acts, records, and civil judicial proceedings
Federal election campaign Act
A law passed in 1974 for reforming campaign finances.
Judicial Review
review by a court of law of actions of a government official or entity or of some other legally appointed person or body or the review by an appellate court of the decision of a trial court
class consciousness
a belief that you are a member of an economic group whose interests are opposed to people in other such groups
Framers' Purpose for House Term Lengths
Two year term:
Framers indented reps. to be responsive to what people want
Short terms cause reps. to be on their game
In McCulloch vs. Maryland, the Supreme Court ruled that?
Congress had the power to charter banks due to the necessary and proper clause.
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