AP Government Final Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Attorney General
A nation's basic law.
National party leaders who automatically get delegate slots at the national party convention.
Rule by the wealthy few.
characterization of elections by political scientists meaning that they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders
keeps the candidate from getting bogged down in organizational details
24th Amendment
Amendment that outlawed poll taxes.
Three-Fifths Compromise
Agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention stipulating that each slave was to be counted as three-fifths of a person for purposes of determining population for representation in the U.S. House of Representatives
policies for which Congress has obligated the federal government to pay a certain level of benefits to all recipients who qualify. (Ex. Social Security, Medicare, agriculture subsidies, veterans aid)
Engaging in activities aimed at influencing public officials, especially legislators, and the policies they enact.
reinforcing cleavages
Divisions within society that reinforce one another, making groups more homogeneous or similar.
Talking Heads
Televised pictures showing nothing more than individuals speaking.
Illiberal democracy
A procedural democracy, with elections, but without real competition, and lacking some civil rights and liberties.
Connecticut Compromise
compromise for a bicameral legislature with a lower house in whihc representation would be based on population (and voters choices) and an upper house with each state having two senators
Money given by the national government to the states
formula grant
Federal categorical grants in which the granting agency has less discretion over how the recipient spends the money.
Third parties
electoral contenders other than the two major parties. American third parties are not unusual, but they rarely win elections.
Voting specialists
Those who restrict their political participation to voting in elections.
power of presidents and governors to cancel criminal punishment
Honeymoon Period
first 100 days of presidential office
right to influence, control or direct the actions of other people. Authority can be given ion law, by custom, by understood rules of morality or by consent of the person under authority.
divided government
...when different parties have control of white house and at least one house of congress
Electoral college
the institution designated in the Constitution whereby a body of electors selects the president and vice president.
A belief that government can and should achieve justice and equality of opportunity.
soft money
Unregulated money raised by parties and spent to influence elections indirectly; banned by the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act.
the primary instruments of fostering a special interests group's goals to the policy makers. The term comes from people who literally wait in the lobbies of legislative bodies for senators and representatives to go to and from the floor of the legislatures.
Minority rights
a principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities and allows that they might join majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument.
The amendement that states that any power not delegated to national government shall be reserved to states is?
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.
a person who favors a political philosophy of progress and reform and the protection of civil liberties, , a person who favors an economic theory of laissez-faire and self-regulating markets
Proclamation of 1763
Prohibited colonists from settling west of the rivers running through the Appalachians. It was issued in response to numerous Native American attacks on the settlers. This angered colonial settlers, who regarded it as unwarranted British interference in colonial affairs. The ban was repealed in 1766.
White Primary
The practice of keeping blacks from voting in the southern states' primaries through arbitrary use of registration requirements and intimidation.
public policy
a choice that government makes in response to a political issue; a course of action taken with regard to some problem
public interest
the best interests of the overall community; the national good, rather than the narrow interests of a particular group
Rule of Men
doctrine that an individual or government may stand above the law, and rule according to personal whim or choice. The doctrine reflects the belief that standards of justice, equality and impartiality are subjective, not universal. This is the opposite of the rule of law.
New Jersey Plan
A constitutional proposal that would have given each state one vote in a new congress.
Class theory
the attitude that society should be governed by an elite group of individuals
random-digit dialing
phone numbers are dialed at random around the country
are formed by most committees to share specific tasks within the jurisdiction of the full committee.
9th amendment
Citizens entitled to rights not listed in the Constitution
Inherent powers
Powers that exist for the national govt b/c the govt is sovereign
concurrent powers
constitutional pwrs shared by the fed and state govts
constitutional law
Laws relating to the interpretation of the Constitution.
In a criminal action, the person or party accused of an offense.
The current president of the United States is
Barrack Obama.
justiciable question
A matter that the courts can review.
Independent regulatory agencies
agencies that are quasi legislative and quasi judicial in nature and operation. Examples include the Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency.
Client Politics
A policy wherein a small group benefits and almost everybody pays.
the device voters use to register a choice in an election
closed rule
An order from the House Rules Committee that sets a time limit on debate; forbids a bill from being amended on the floor
Racial gerrymandering
The drawing of election districts so as to ensure that members of a certain race are a minority in the district; ruled unconstitutional inGomillion v. Lightfoot (1960).
Popular Sovereignty
The notion that the ultimate authority in society rests with the people
Enumerated Powers
17 powers which congress is granted under Art. 1, Sec. 8 of the U.S. Constitution including taxation, regulation of commerce, and national defense
What percent of all state $ comes through federal grants?
Class Action Suits
Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
Political Action Committees
created by the 1974 campaign finaance reforms-- a corporation union or some other interest group can create one and register it with the FEC which will meticuously monitor their expenditures
Selective Incorporation
Process by which the Bill of RIghts are applied to state governments through the due process clause of the 14th Amendment
runoff primary
A second primary election held when no candidate gets a majority of the votes in the first primary
Factional parties
Parties formed by a split within one of the major parties.
Executive privilege
The right of the president to withhold info from Congress/ refuse to testify; limited by U.S. v. Nixon
justiciable dispute
a dispute growing out of an actual case or controversy that is capable of settlement by legal methods
policymaking system
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time. People's interests, problems, and concerncs create political issues for government policymakers. These issues shape policy, which in turn impacts people, generating more interests, problems and concerns.
Federal Elections Commission
A six member bipartisan agency that administers campaign finance laws and enforces compliance with their requirements.
factors that shape individual politcal orientation and views on issues
political socialization, demography, political predispositions, reinforcing and cross cutting cleavages
Pocket Veto
when a president kills a bill passed during the last 10 days Congress is in session by simply refusing to act on it
Purposive Incentives
the benefit that comes from serving a cause or principle from which one does not personally benefit
The Federalist Papers
A series of 85 political essays written by Hamilton, Madison and Jay to support the Constitution
Articles of Confederation
the first governing document of the confederated states, drafted in 1777, ratified in 1781, and replaced by the present Constitution in 1789
Right to petition
right to make a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a gov. official.
writ of habeas corpus
a court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
Judicial review means
The right of the courts to determine whether executive or legislative acts are or are not Constitutional.
necessary and proper clause
Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 18) setting forth the implied powers of Congress. It states that Congress, in addition to its express powers, has the right to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying out all powers vested by the Constitution in the national government.
large metroplitan areas
tend to be the most liberal because they need and benefit from the growth of government
Members of thE Us Senate serve a term of?
six years
Social Contract Theory
-The belief that people are free and equal by God-given right and that this in turn requires that people give their consent to be governed; espoused by John Lock and influential in the writing of the Declaration of Independence
Federal Election Campaign Act
A law passed in 1974 for reforming campaign finances. The act created the Federal Election Commission, provided public financing for presidential primaries and general elections, limited presidential campaign spending, required disclosure, and attempted to limit contributions.
Gibbons v. Ogden, 1824
A landmark case in which the Supreme Court interpreted very broadly the clause in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity.
Writ of certiorari
A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
EOP (Executive office of the President)
name for the group of agencies, councils, and staff members which advise the president and help run the federal bureaucracy-was established by an executive order from FDR
Community policing - Assigning police to neighborhoods where they walk the beat and work with churches and other community groups to reduce crime and improve relations with minorities.
Natural rights
The rights of all people to dignity and worth; also called human rights.
study of populations
Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
According to the "three-headed political giant" model of political parties, the largest component of an American party is the
a large, complex, hierarchically structured administrative organization that carries out specific functions.
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 by the candidate.
powers of the federal government including adding territories, dealing with immigrants, and diplomatic relations.
Executive orders are issued by
The President.
Ideological view that favors rapid funamental change in teh existing social, economic, or political order
Take Care Clause
The constitutional requirement (Article II, Section 3) that presidents take care that the laws are faithfully executed, even if they disagree with the purpose of those laws.
Executive orders
regulations originating in the executive branch.
Direct primary
voters, including cross-over voters from other political parties, can express a preference for candidates.
unequal numbers of people in legislative districts resulting in inequality of voter representation
crossover sanctions
implying mandate by making consequences if something isn't followed
Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party.
Supporters of the U.S. Constitution at the time the states were contemplating its adoption.
party dealignment
the gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties, as seen in part by shrinking party identification.
issue network
A policy-making alliance among loosely connected participants that comes together on a particular issue, then disbands.
a person appointed or elected to represent others
The plaintiff and defendant in a case.
franking privilege
Privilege that allows members of Congress to mail letters and other materials to constituents postage-free.
A senator or representative who helps the party leader stay informed about what party members are thinking
sunshine laws
Laws that require government agencies to hold public proceedings on a regular basis.
Random Sampling
Taking demographics into account, it tries to draw representative examples of public opinion
Reserved Powers Clause
Tenth Amendment restates the Constitution's principle of federalism by providing that powers not granted to the national government nor prohibited to the states by the constitution of the United States are reserved to the states or the people.
Majority-minority district
A congressional district created to include a majority of minority voters; ruled constitutional so long as race is not the main factor in redistricting.
a nation government for the common good idea of interests of a few.
unwritten Constitution
Certain deeply ingrained aspects of our government which are not mentioned in the Constitution, such as political parties; political conventions; and cabinet meetings.
Employment Division v. Smith
1990 Native American churches-- discarded its previous requirement for a "Compelling Interest" before a gait could even indirectly limit or prohibit religious practices
Jim crow laws
Limited rights of blacks. Literacy tests, grandfather clauses and poll taxes limited black voting rights
Great Compromise
The plan that created the modern Congress, where the House is dominated by populated states and the senate is divided equally for all states.
Political Action Committee
Fundraising vehicles created by FECA 1974. A corporation, union, or some other interest group can create one and register it with the FEC which will meticulously monitor its expenditures.
Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in American voting behavior.
How similar cases have been decided in the past.
Article 3
3.1- establishes the SC and inferior courts (salary does not decrease)
3.2- Specifies judicial power of the SC (original & appelate jurisdiction) can be between State and citizens of another state
amicus curiae brief
a brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it
the judicial precedent established by in the Plessy v Ferguson decision that enabled states to interpret the equal protection provision of the fourteenth amendment as a means of establishing segregation
"Seperate but equal"
regressive tax
A tax whereby people with lower incomes pay a higher fraction of their income than people with higher incomes.
free exercise clause
A First Amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
a group of people chosen to make laws
motor-voter law
law allowing people to register to vote while gaing or renewing driver's license. led to a slight increase in voter registration but actual percentage of voters going to the polls went down
The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue.
The idea that all people are different and should be able to make their own choices.
Direct Mail
A high-tech method of raising money for a political cause or candidate. It involves sending information and requests for money to people whose names appear on lists of those who have supported similar views or candidates in the past.
Roe v. Wade
constitutional right to abortion sine it falls under privacy
supremacy clause
Article VI of the Constitution, which makes the Constitution, national laws, and treaties supreme over state laws when the national goverment is actiong within its constitutional limits.
Excepted Service
Appointment of officials not based on the criteria specified by OPM.
New Deal era
1932-1964Coming out of the great depression with Roosevelt's New Deal proposal. Everyone was upset with Republicans lack of reform.
(T/F) By the 1980s, few, if any, forms of racial discrimination were left to legislate against.
potential group
All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest.
National Primary
A proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries, which who would replace these electoral methods with a nationwide primary held early in the election year.
Scott v. Sanford
The Dred Scott Decision, was a decision by the United States Supreme Court that ruled that people of African descent imported into the United States and held as slaves, or their descendants, whether or not they were slaves, were not protected by the Constitution and could never be citizens of the United States.
A schedule for federal employees, ranging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience.
GS (General Schedule) rating
5th Amendment
Amendment that sets up due process of law and protects the accused.
Gitlow v. NY
SC decision holding that freedoms of press and speech are "fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment from impairment by the states" as well as the federal government
judicial review
the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local, state, or national governments unconstitutional
special election
An election to replace a member of Congress who leaves office in between regular elections.
Magistrate Judge
An official who performs a variety of limited judicial duties
Scott v. Sandford
decision that slaves were chattle with no rights; also, Congress had no power to outlaw slavery in the West
Merit system
A system of public employment in which selection and promotion depend on demonstrated performance rather than political patronage.
United Steelworkers v. Weber
race in an employment agreement between the steelworkers union and steel plant
General election
An election used to fill an elective office.
Buckley v Valeo
Extended the right of free speech to PACs, because money is extension of freedom of speech. PACs can now spend unlimited amounts indirectly, as long as such activities are not coordinated with campaign.
Roth v. United States
a 1957 Supreme Court decision ruling that obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press.
winner take all system
an election system in which the candidate with the most votes wins
"Necessary and proper" clause
Clause in the Constitution that states that "Congress should have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers. . . ." This clause is also known as the elastic clause as is a major and significant power of Congress, granting Congress the ability to interpret its lawmaking ability in a broad manner.
Elastic Clause
found in Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, it gives Congress the power to make "all laws necessary and proper" to carry out the other defined powers of Congress.
Cycle of decreasing influence
The tendency of presidents to lose support over time.
National Security Council (NSC)
office created in 1947 to coordinate pres.'s foriegn and military policy advisors. Formal members incl.: pres., VP, secr. of state, and secr. of defense; managed by pres.'s nat'l security assistant
Rule of four
the Supreme Court will hear a case if four Justices
Voting Rights Act of 1965
act that finally made the Fifteenth Amendment a reality. As a result of this act, any state not eliminating the poll tax and literacy requirements would be directed to do so by the federal government. It also resulted in the establishment of racially gerrymandered congressional districts in the 1980s and 1990s.
Clean Air Act (1970)
a U.S. federal law intended to reduce air pollution and protect air quality. The act—which underwent a major revision in 1990—deals with ambient air pollution (that which is present in the open air) as well as source-specific air pollution (that which can be traced to identifiable sources, such as factories and automobiles). The Clean Air Act sets standards for air quality that limit the amount of various pollutants to specified levels. The Clean Air Act also sets deadlines for governments and industries to meet the standards. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is ultimately responsible for establishing standards and enforcing the Clean Air Act, although much of the daily business of fighting air pollution takes place at the state and local levels.
A "cloture motion" passed in the senate does which of the following?
Cuts off debate on a bill.
Only person nominated four times by a major political party
Franklin D. Roosevelt, by Democrates in 1932, 1936, 1940, and 1944
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