Describe the purposes of government?
establish justice; insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; promote the general welfare; secure the blessings of liberty
What are the differences between a monarchy and a dictatorship?
Monarchy= divine right Dictatorship=ruler seizes power
compare and contrast a direct democracy vs an indirect democracy
In a direct democracy people make the decisions directly. In an indirect democracy people elect officials to represent them and cast votes for them.
Define and provide examples for each of the following theories of democracies
-traditional theory of democracy: government depends on the consent of the governed
-pluralist theory: Interest groups compete in the political arena, with each other promoting it policy preferences through organized efforts
-elite theory: a small number of powerful elite form an upper class, which rules on its own self interest
-hyper pluralism: democracy is a system of many groups having so much strength that government is often pulled in many directions
From what sources do Americans become politically socialized?
The main source is family as well as level of education, race, gender and socio-economic status
Summarize the steps of the policy-making cycle:
1. Define the role of government
2. Agenda setting
3. Policy formation and adoption
4. Policy implementation
5. Policy evaluation
Compare the political theories of Thomas Hobbes & John Locke
John Locke= People are naturally good. Social contract theory, voluntary agreement between the government and the governed. People born with natural rights.
Thomas Hobbes= People are naturally selfish and need laws and a monarch to keep them in line. You conceded your rights to the government, in return for your life. No right to rebel.
Explain how the Declaration of Independence incorporated some of the ideas of John Locke.
Life liberty and property; believed that governments are created to support these rights
List some of the powers held by the central government in the Articles of Confederation.
1 To declare war and make peace.
2 To coin and borrow money
3 To detail with foreign countries and sign treaties
4 To operate post offices
Describe some of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation.
2 It did not have the power to tax
3 It did not have the power to enforce laws
4 Congress lacked strong and steady leadership
5 There was no national army or navy
6 There was no system of national courts
7 Each state could issue its own paper money
8 Each state could put tariffs on trade between states. (A tariff is a tax on goods coming in from another state or country.)
How did Shays’ Rebellion show some of the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation?
The state could not hold down a rebellion and the federal government did not have the means or ability to help.
Describe the concept of factions.
a group or clique within a larger group, party, government, organization,
List the features of the Connecticut (Great) Compromise
Congress bi-cameral with representation in the lower house based on population of the state. Equal representation of the states in the upper house.
Explain the controversy over the creation of the Three-Fifths Compromise.
How to count slaves. Slaves would count as 3/5s of a person in determining representation and taxation.
the people are the source of government’s authority
belief that the government is not all powerful; and has only those powers given to it.
separation of powers
power separated among the three branches of government-each with it’s own powers and duties
checks and balances
each branch is subject to restraints by the other two branches
Authority given the courts to review constitutionality of acts by the executive, states, or legislature; established in Marbury v. Madison
a division of governmental powers between the feral govt and the sate govts
-traditional theory of democracy:
government depends on the consent of the governed
Interest groups compete in the political arena, with each other promoting it policy preferences through organized efforts
a small number of powerful elite form an upper class, which rules on its own self interest
democracy is a system of many groups having so much strength that government is often pulled in many directions
writ of habeas corpus
requires a judge to evaluate whether there is sufficient cause to keep a person in jail
bills of attainer
prohibits a person being found of a crime without trial
ex post facto laws
laws applied to acts committed before the passage of laws that are unconstitutional
full faith and credit clause
states must recognize laws of other states
national laws supersede all other laws passed by the state
Why did the states want the Constitution to have a bill of rights?
The people were afraid that the strong new government would use its power to restrict individual freedom
Barron v. Baltimore (1833):
Does the Fifth Amendment deny the states as well as the national government the right to take private property for public use without justly compensating the property’s owner? No.
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
the court applied the protection of free speech to the states under the due process clause of the 14th amendment
freedom of religion speech press assembly and petition
right to keep and bear arms
sets conditions for quartering troops in private homes
regulates search and seizures and warrants
right to a speedy trail and impartial jury; to confront a witness; and have an attorney.
persons right to a jury trail in civil cases
no excessive bails or fines nor cruel and unusual punishment
rights besides the ones listed here may not be trampled upon
reserves powers of the states and people
restricts law suits against states
provides for election or president and vice president by separate ballot in electoral college
guarantees the rights of citizenship, due process and equal protection
citizens right to vote regardless of race color or previous servitude
authorizes income tax
established election of senators by popular vote
banned the sale of and consumption of alcohol in the united states
gives women the right to vote
defines who succeeds when the president dies and sets days for election
repealed the 18th amendment which banned alcohol in the US
limits the number of terms a president can serve
allowed district of Columbia residents to vote in presidential elections
prohibited poll taxes in the united states
Succession and disability of the President
lowered the voting age to 18
Changes to Congressional pay must take effect after the next term of office for the representatives. This means that another election would have had to occur before the pay raises can take effect.
What is federalism?
A political system where the powers of government are divided between a national government and regional (state and Local) governments
Why did the Founders feel that dividing power was necessary?
The Framers believed their most important action in preventing the rise of tyranny in America was to divide the key powers of government among the three branches
the national and state governments each remain supreme within their own sphere of influence (layer cake)
National and state governments share policy making and cooperate in solving problems (marble cake)
Define the meaning of decentralization. How does the US federal system display decentralization?
is the process of dispersing decision-making governance closer to the people and/or citizens. This system features a free-market economy–free from Government-over-Man controls, although subject to just regulation as authorized by the Constitution’s pertinent provisions
those specifically given to the national government Article I-V
powers that may be reasonably inferred form the constitutions necessary and proper clause Article I Section 8 Clause 18
powers that exist for the national government because the government is sovereign
powers that exist for the national government because the government is sovereign
powers that belong to both national and state governments
Why is the “necessary and proper clause” commonly called the elastic clause?
Allows Congress to stretch is powers by passing laws to carry out its powers
Describe the important precedent set by McCulloch v. Maryland 1819
The decision reinforced the supremacy clause of the Constitution. Court ruled that the states did not have the power to tax the national bank (and by extension, the federal government)
Describe the important precedent set by Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
The ruling increased federal power over interstate commerce by implying that anything concerning interstate trade could potentially be regulated by the federal government. The court ruled that the state of NY could not grant a steamship company a monopoly to operate on an interstate waterway, even thought the waterway ran through NY.
Why is cooperative federalism often referred to as marble cake federalism
Because of the state and Federal governments mingling together to solve common policy issues
Describe how the US government has become more cooperative.
The federal govt has been more involved in state affairs than it used to be. The federal government now uses the money that it gives to the states to have control over policy areas that used to be reserved for the states.
Describe the meaning of fiscal federalism.
The national governments pattern of spending, taxation, and providing grants to influence state and local governments.
How does fiscal federalism resemble the “carrot and a stick” metaphor
The national government uses fiscal policies to influence the states through granting or withholding money to pay for programs
have a specific purpose defined by law, such as sewage treatment facilities or school lunch programs
Formula grant programs are noncompetitive awards based on a predetermined formula.
one type of federal grants-in-aid; made for specific projects like the building of the H Bomb, to states, localities, and townships
general grants that can be used for a variety of purposes within a broad category, such as education, health care, or public services; fewer strings attached so state and local governments have greater freedom in how the money is spent; preferred by states over categorical grants
Explain the controversy of the federal government creating unfunded mandates for states. How does No Child Left Behind exemplify the meaning of an unfunded mandate?
Mandates often require state or local governments to meet the requirement at their own expense.
Define the concept of devolution.
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
List and describe the Five functions of political parties
1. recruit and nominate candidates
2. educate and mobilize voters
3. provide campaign funds and support
4. organizing the government
5. reduce conflict and tension in society
Define partisanship in six words or less
The state of being a partisan, or adherent to a party;
Describe how and why third parties began
Third parties often represent factions that break away from the major parties over policy issues
Explain how the American Political system limits the influence of third parties
They bring more light to the issues, a person may not vote for a third party because they feel the vote won’t count
Describe how third parties can act as “spoilers” in elections.
They will take votes away from the major parties possibly interfering with the outcome of an election.
Describe the organization of American political parties—include information regarding the impact of federalism, national committees, national chairpersons, national conventions, and state committees.
pros and cons of political machines.
Pros: provided order and was a strong bargaining position
Cons: Prone to corruption as workers are hired
Describe the trends of party identification when it comes to religion, education, age, and economics.
Religion: More religious people are usually more conservative
Education: More educated people tend to be more liberal
Age: Older people tend to be more conservative than younger people
Economics: Richer people are more conservative than poor people
What happens during party realignment? Provide some examples of realignment occurring.
A party realignment is what happens when the balance of power between a country’s political parties changes greatly. Their electoral coalitions (the groups of people who vote for them) change dramatically. Sometimes, this happens when political parties die out or are created. Party realignments can be the result of major historical events.
What happens during party dealignment? Why do many political scientists feel that the US is in a period of party dealignment—how does “divided government” play a role?
a process whereby voters are moved toward nonpartisanship thus weakening the structure of political parties
How does political efficacy affect voter intensity?
Voter intensity gauges the likelihood that people will vote and otherwise participate in elections. It is measured by how strongly people feel about their role as the electorate, whether they feel a personal stake in the policy agenda, and their degree of political socialization. When people feel connected to the political system, they are more likely to vote and participate in campaigns or other political activities.
What is the difference between internal efficacy and external efficacy?
Internal Efficacy is one’s confidence in their abilities to understand and influence political events. Not to be confused with External Efficacy which is the belief that the governmental system will respond to the citizens, in turn giving them more trust in the government
Based on what you have learned this year, what is the most important factor that determines if a person votes? What demographic groups tend to vote less often?
Education. Less educated people tend to not vote because they lack the knowledge to make an informed decision, or think their vote doesn’t matter
Explain why campaigns for office cost so much money.
Political advertising is very expensive
Why do political interest groups participate in electioneering
Interest groups use electioneering as one tactic to support the broader goals of the group.
Why did Political Action Committees (PACs) begin? What do PACs do?
In 1947, as part of the Taft-Hartley Act, the U.S. Congress prohibited labor unions or corporations from spending money to influence federal elections, and prohibited labor unions from contributing to candidate campaigns (an earlier law, the 1907 Tillman Act, had prohibited corporations from contributing to campaigns). Labor unions moved to work around these limitations by establishing political action committees, to which members could contribute.
Even though interest groups often have a negative reputation, how do interest groups positively influence the USA?
They are at time instrumental in getting important pieces of legislation passed.
Define soft money. How did the McCain-Feingold Act (2002) attempt to limit soft money?
soft money is largely unregulated. There is, no limit on the amount donors can give to a party as long as it goes into soft money accounts.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, more commonly referred to as the McCain/Feingold Act, is a campaign ﬁnance reform bill purported to have the intended effect of limiting or eliminating “soft money.”
What important precedent came from the famous Buckley v. Valeo (1976)
The court ruled candidates can give unlimited amounts of money to their own campaigns.
Describe the job of the Federal Elections Commission (FEC)
is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 1975 by the United States Congress to regulate the campaign finance legislation in the United States.
Define the word incumbent. Why do members in the House of Representatives tend to have a higher reelection rate than do members in the Senate?
The holder of an office or post
Sitting members of Congress are almost universally recognized in their districts. Having waged at least one previous campaign, and a successful one at that, and then serving in Congress for two years (House members) or six years (Senators) makes a sitting member of Congress something of a household name among his or her constituents. Moreover, members of the U.S. House and Senate have easy and ready access to the news media and make regular appearances on television and radio programs and are frequently mentioned in newspaper articles and editorials.
advantages of incumbents
Franking=free postage Pork-barrel=allows members to do things for their district which gets them more votes come time for re-election junkets=are trips and credit claiming= We consider a leader and a subordinate he appoints to engage in team production. The public observes the organization’s performance, but is unable to determine the separate contributions of the leader and of the subordinate. The leader may therefore claim credit for the good work of his subordinate. We find conditions which induce the leader to claim credit (both truthfully and untruthfully), and the conditions which lead the leader to appoint a subordinate of low ability.
List the qualifications to run for the House of Representatives
must be at least 25 years old-You must also have been a United States citizen for the past seven years that you have lived in the United States-you must live in the state that you are running to represent.
What factor determines how many members a state receives in the House of Representatives?
Define the concept single-member districts
A single-winner voting system is a voting system in which a predetermined constituency elects a single person to some office.
Describe the meaning of marginal districts and safe districts.
marginal districts-political districts in which candidates elected to the House of Representatives win in close elections, typically by less than 55% of the vote
safe district-a house district in which the winner of the general election carries more than 55% of the vote
How did the passage of the 17th Amendment affect senatorial elections?
Direct election by popular vote instead of elections by states legislators.
List the qualifications to run for the US Senate.
Be at least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for nine years, and a resident of state when elected
Be at least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for nine years, and a resident of state when elected
Discuss why the Framers were hesitant to allow a popular vote to determine who would become president.
The popular vote was turned down largely because, due to lack of widespread communications ability, the voters in each state would pick a regional local, not knowing anything about central figures [after the founding fathers would have passed on], so that regionalism multiplied by 13 would always result in the most populous states deciding the presidency. The electoral college at least gave some weighted influence to the smaller states. The reason for the electoral college has now died with the growth of communications and political parties, and the demise of state sovereignty interests.
Briefly explain how the Electoral College works. How does the winner-take-all feature affect elections?
Each state receive electors based on the number of HOR plus 2 senators. The person with the majority of votes receives the electoral votes for that state. One needs to receive 270 votes to become president
Candidates do not waste time or money campaigning in states in which they think they have no chance of winning.
Pros of the Electoral college
contributes to the cohesiveness of the country by requiring a distribution of popular support to be elected president
enhances the status of minority interests,
contributes to the political stability of the nation by encouraging a two-party system, and
maintains a federal system of government and representation
cons of the electoral college
the possibility of electing a minority president (did not win popular vote)
the risk of so-called “faithless” Electors,
the possible role of the Electoral College in depressing voter turnout, and
its failure to accurately reflect the national popular will.
How do caucuses differ from primaries?
a caucus is: “a private meeting of members of a political party to plan action or to select delegates for a nominating convention.”
a primary is: “[an] election held to nominate a candidate for a particular party at a forthcoming election for public office.”
How do closed primaries differ from open primaries
Closed-only members of party may vote—open anyone may vote
Why do many states try to hold their primaries/caucuses as early as possible? (this is called “frontloading”)
States vie for earlier primaries to claim greater influence in the nomination process, as the early primaries can act as a signal to the nation, showing which candidates are popular and giving those who perform well early on the advantage of the bandwagon effect.
Describe what occurs at conventions.
The delegates elected in primaries, caucuses, or state conventions meet at their national party convention in the summer before the November election to choose the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates, ratify the party platform, elect officers, and adopt rules.
pros of being an incumbent presidential candidate
-easier to raise money
-greater access to media
-more coverage by the media
Cons of Being an Incumbent President
-did he keep his promises
-not as much time to campaign
What happens during reapportionment
a new apportionment (especially a new apportionment of congressional seats in the United States on the basis of census results)
Why is gerrymandering so controversial? List the current laws when it comes to regulating redistricting.
Gerrymandering or drawing district lines to achieve favorable political results for one political party
Identify and explain the precedents from the two Supreme Court case decisions that have ruled on gerrymandering
Baker v. Carr and Wesberry v. Sanders Shaw v. Reno
Describe the hierarchy of leadership in the House of Representatives
Speaker of the House- House Majority Leader- House Majority Whip- same positions in minority except for the position of speaker
Why are committees an important element in the House
Breaks down the information and bills into manageable chunks and allows for committees with some expertise in the areas to consider the bills on their merits.
a permanent committee
a committee made up of members of both chambers
committee appointed for some special purpose
What is an iron triangle
the legislature, interest groups, and bureaucracy. The triangle is used to show how the three entities work in creating public policy.
cons of iron trianlges
It sets up conditions which can be exploited by corrupt politicians to peddle favors or blackmail business. Instead of serving the “public good” the politicians serve their own political interest.
Pros of Iron Triangles
If everyone in the triangle cooperates, as they usually do, everyone benefits
List some of the differences that distinguish the Senate from the House.
The Senate is both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives, due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The Senate is sometimes called the “world’s greatest deliberative body
Describe the hierarchy of leadership in the Senate. Who has the “real power”?
The most real power in the Senate is in the hands of the majority and minority leaders
Identify and describe the distinguishing powers of the Senate.
1) To confirm Presidential appointments such as Supreme Court justices.
2) To ratify treaties made by the executive branch.
3) The Senate acts as judge and jury in impeachment cases.
What is a filibuster? Why do filibusters only happen in the Senate, but not the House? How can a filibuster be broken?
Filibusters do not occur in the House because House rules provide for limited amounts of time for each Representative to speak. In the Senate, there are no rules regarding how long a Senator may speak, so a filibuster may be used, unless three-fifths of Senators agree to invoke cloture, that is, end debate on an issue.
a congressional or parliamentary bill involving the general interests of the people at large or of the whole community.
a congressional or parliamentary bill involving the private interests of a particular individual, corporation, or local unit
a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group
A resolution passed by both houses of a bicameral legislature and eligible to become a law if signed by the chief executive or passed over the chief executive’s veto.
a resolution passed by both houses of a legislative body that lacks the force of law
the closing or limitation of debate in a legislative body especially by calling for a vote
Using the website and your notes, outline the steps needed for a bill to become law. Include the role of the House Rules Committee, conference committees, and possible filibuster.
Identify and explain the four options the president can take after Congress has passed a bill.
1. Sign it into law
2. Veto the bill
3. Hold on to the bill without signing or vetoing
4. Send the bill back to the last House that past it with recommendations for changes
How can the Supreme Court affect a law?
A US Supreme Court majority or plurality decision establishes or upholds a precedent for applying and interpreting federal or constitutional law, to be used by the lower courts in deciding relevant future cases. The Court may also overrule legislation found to be unconstitutional.
List the constitutional qualifications needed to become president.
Article Two Section 1(5) of the Constitution sets the qualifications required to become president. Presidents must be: natural-born citizens of the United States at least thirty-five years old must have been resident in the United States for at least fourteen years
Provide a historical example illustrating the Presidential Succession Act being used.
Nixon resigned and Johnson became the president
Specifically explain how a president can be removed from office. Provide at least one historical example of this process being used.
Impeachment hearing by the house and
The House of Representatives must first pass, by a simple majority of those present and voting, articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or allegations. Upon their passage, the defendant has been “impeached”. Next, the Senate tries the accused. In the case of the impeachment of a president, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the proceedings
Commander in Chief
The president is in charge of the U.S. armed forces: the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.
Deciding, in wartime, whether to bomb foreign cities.
deciding how the laws of the United States are to be enforced and choosing officials and advisers to help run the Executive Branch
Head of State
requires a president to be an inspiring example for the American people
The president decides what American diplomats and ambassadors shall say to foreign governments. With the help of advisers, the president makes the foreign policy of the United States
the Constitution gives the president power to influence Congress in its lawmaking. Presidents may urge Congress to pass new laws or veto bills that they do not favor.
Describe the expressed role of the vice president
The primary responsibility of the Vice President of the United States is to be ready at a moment’s notice to assume the Presidency if the President is unable to perform his duties.
How can the president help other candidate via his/her “coattails”
the consequence of one popular candidate in an election drawing votes for other members of the same party
Provide an example showing how the president sometimes might not be leading his political party.
When Jimmy Carter told Congress he would veto bills containing unnecessary “pork barrel” public works projects, he was attempting to act in the national interest, yet he antagonized members of Congress (even members of his own party), who delayed working on much of his legislative program in retaliation until Carter gave in and approved their pet projects
The action of an executive official of the government that mitigates or sets aside the punishment for a crime.
The term reprieve is also used generally in reference to the withdrawal of any sentence for a period of time
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Federal agency that compiles and reviews budget figures on the President’s behalf
Council of Economic Advisors
A group of economic advisers appointed by the President to help formulate economic policy
Why is the chief of staff an important asset to the president?
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President. The Chief of Staff is often nicknamed ‘The Second Most Powerful Man in Washington’ because of the influence and access to the President
Why is the beginning of a president’s term considered to be the “honeymoon” phase?
refers to a period of time at the beginning of the president’s term in office. This is a time when the president is still quite popular.
Describe factors that often cause a president to have positive public opinion poll figures
The condition of the economy
-can people get loans for homes cars etc
Provide historical examples showing how presidential public opinion figures can dramatically decline.
johnson and Vietnam
-Bush and Iraq years after 9/11
-Nixon and Watergate
Why is polling an important part of the US political system?
Candidates use polls to find out how well or how badly they are doing with voters; someone who is thinking of running for office can also use a poll to find out what constituents in his district think and what the true issues are.
pros of exit polling
Exit polling can be a really good source of information if it is done correctly, and most news outlets do have the intention and resources to do it correctly. It gives us a pulse of what’s going on in the election and a good directional indication of who’s winning. But they’re not something to rely on for any significant purposes.
cons of exit polling
On the flip side, exit polls are often less accurate and less predictive in very close races because the margin of error within the poll itself could intersect with the actual point difference between the candidates themselves. They can also be useful in detecting fraud because if an exit poll greatly conflicts with actual results, it can spur on an investigation to find out why those differences might exist.
What is the role of the president’s press secretary
The Press Office is responsible for providing support and information to the national and international media regarding the President’s beliefs, activities and actions. It works alongside the Office of Communications in crafting and espousing the administration’s message
Why do president’s need to worry about their public image
The president of the United States has always been a figure with whom American
voters can identify, and he thereby unifies a diverse citizenry. Because Americans cannot realistically hope to agree with their president on every issue,
the character of presidential candidates plays an integral role in American elections
What is the federal budget
The budget for the federal government. The federal budget of a country is determined yearly, and forecasts the amount of money that will be spent on a variety of expenses in the upcoming year.
Describe the role of the OMB in the federal budget process.
The OMB’s predominant mission is to assist the President in overseeing the preparation of the federal budget and to supervise its administration in Executive Branch agencies
Where does the federal government receive most of its funding?
Describe what happens when the government runs a budget surplus
When the government collects more than it spends, a budget surplus exists.
Describe what happens when the government runs a budget deficit. How is the national debt related
. When the government runs a budget deficit, it is spending more than it is taking in. In this way, national savings decreases. When national savings decreases, investment–the primary store of national savings–also decreases. Lower investment leads to lower long-term economic growth. Similarly, lower investment is accompanied by higher domestic interest rates, which decreases net exports. Based on this logic, a budget deficit is a drain on the long-term economy
What items take up the largest percentage of the annual federal budget? Why are entitlements and interest on the national debt considered fixed spending?
Entitlements…money that has been allocated for these programs are part of mandatory spending
In as few words as possible, describe how the federal budget process exemplifies the principle of checks and
the United States the checks and balances built into the Constitution make budgeting especially complex, and require a multi-stage process that greatly compounds the difficulty of getting budget decisions made
what famous law created the current federal budget process?
The Congressional Budget Act of 1974
Pros of Bureaucracy
specialization yields efficiency, rules lead to constant decisions.
Cons of Bureaucracy
workers lose touch with constituents, fixed procedures become ends unto themselves.
Describe the composition of the federal bureaucracy.
cabinet departments… Independent agencies… Regulatory agencies… government corporations
Why are regulatory agencies considered quasi-legislative, executive, and judicial?
Because they can make laws within their field, enforce the laws and make judgements on their laws.
How do regulatory agencies differ from executive agencies? Provide examples of each type of bureaucratic agency.
An Executive Agency is a part of a government department that is treated as managerially and budgetary separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions. Council of Economic Advisers
Council on Environmental Quality
A regulatory agency is a public authority or government agency responsible for exercising autonomous authority over some area of human activity in a regulatory or supervisory capacity. Interstate Commerce Commission and U.S. Food and Drug Administration
How were most jobs in government filled before the 1880s? What tragic event took place that changed the staffing of the federal bureaucracy?
the spoils system. the shooting of James Garfield
List the major provisions of the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act of 1939 (53 Stat. 1147) restricted the ability of federal, or civil service, employees to participate in partisan political life. The goal of the act was to ensure that the civil service would remain politically neutral and efficient.
List the responsibilities of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Merit Systems Protection Board.
Recruiting and retaining
Why is the federal government a necessary entity?
Because people generally cannot be self-governing. Everyone has different ideas of how things should be.
departmant of the state
responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries
Department of Defense
charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government concerned directly with national security and the United States armed forces
Department of the Treasury
It was established by an Act of Congress in 1789 to manage government revenue.
Department of Homeland Security
a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the United States of America and U.S. Territories (including Protectorates)[vague] from and responding to terrorist attacks, man-made accidents, and natural disasters.
Department of Justice
responsible for the enforcement of the law and administration of justice,
Who must confirm any leader of a cabinet department
Describe the responsibilities of a cabinet leader
The executive branch of the government is divided into 15 cabinet departments that set policies and oversee programs affecting every American. These agencies’ myriad responsibilities require thousands of skilled professionals working in offices nationwide.
Federal Communications Commission
an independent agency of the United States government, created by Congressional statute and with the majority of its commissioners appointed by the current President. The FCC works towards six goals in the areas of broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, public safety and homeland security
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Its principal mission is the promotion of consumer protection and the elimination and prevention of what regulators perceive to be harmfully anti-competitive business practices, such as coercive monopoly.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC
holds primary responsibility for enforcing the federal securities laws and regulating the securities industry, the nation’s stock and options exchanges, and other electronic securities markets in the United states
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, with responsibility for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers.
National Security Council (NSC)
an executive branch governmental body responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising chief executives on matters related to national security.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress
The Federal Reserve System (FED)
The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as the Fed) is the central banking system of the United States
What Is a government corporation?
a legal entity created by a government to undertake commercial activities on behalf of an owner government
united states postal service
government corporation that deals with all mail
federal deposit insurance corporation
government corporation that insures money deposited in banks
government corporation that deals with space exploration and travel
Tennessee valley authority
government corporation that deals with utilities
The Administrative Procedure Act (1947)
sets up a process for the United States federal courts to directly review agency decisions. It is one of the most important pieces of United States administrative law.
The Freedom of Information Act (1966)
The Act defines agency records subject to disclosure, outlines mandatory disclosure procedures and grants nine exemptions to the statute
The National Environmental Policy Act (1969)
NEPA’s most significant effect was to set up procedural requirements for all federal government agencies to prepare Environmental Assessments (EAs) and Environmental Impact Statements
The Privacy Act of 1974
The Privacy Act requires that agencies give the public notice of their systems of records by publication in the Federal Register. The Privacy Act prohibits the disclosure of information from a system of records absent the written consent of the subject individual, unless the disclosure is pursuant to one of twelve statutory exceptions.
The Open Meeting Law (1976)
AN ACT to require certain meetings of certain public bodies to be open to the public; to require notice and
the keeping of minutes of meetings; to provide for enforcement; to provide for invalidation of governmental
decisions under certain circumstances; to provide penalties; and to repeal certain acts and parts of acts.
List some actions the president can take to limit the power of bureaucratic agencies.
the president power to appoint various sorts of officials. In 1789 Congress gave the president power to remove officials without congressional assent, but the question of who (if anyone) would actually control the bureaucracy has been hotly contested throughout American history
List and describe the powers Congress can use to limit bureaucratic agencies.
For many decades, Congress made increasing use of the legislative veto to control bureaucratic or presidential actions by vetoing a particular decision within a thirty- to ninety-day period. However, in June 1983, the Supreme Court declared the legislative veto unconstitutional (the Chadha case). This decision’s exact effect on congressional oversight of the bureaucracy is still uncertain. Finally, congressional investigations are the most visible and dramatic form of oversight.
How can the judicial branch limit the power of bureaucratic agencies?
The Supreme Court has interceded to restrict political patronage on constitutional grounds.
Define issue networks. Why do some political scientists believe “issue networks” are more prevalent than “iron triangles”?
an alliance of various interest groups and individuals who unite in order to promote a single issue in government policy
Describe how checks and balances plays a role in naming federal judges. Why do presidents often follow the unwritten rule of senatorial courtesy when nominating state-level judges?
The senate can veto the appointment of a justice by the President.
How do grand juries differ from petit juries?
A normal (petit) jury hears evidence of a case after the arrest and arraignment of the accused.
A grand jury hears evidence before the case is filed and may issue indictments based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor alone
How do legislative courts differ from constitutional courts
A constitutional court is one exercising the judicial powers found in Article III of the constitution, and therefore its judges are given constitutional protection: they may not be fired nor may their salaries be reduced while they are in office
A legislative court is one set up be Congress for some specialized purpose and staffed with people who have fixed terms of office and can be removed or have their salaries reduced.
In what types of cases does the US Supreme Court hold original jurisdiction?
143. In what types of cases does the US Supreme Court hold original jurisdiction?
1. Cases involving ambassadors
2. Disputes between the states
How many cases are appealed to the Supreme Court each year? How many cases does the court usually hear? How many justices is necessary for a case to be granted writ of certiorari?
4500 and less than 200
Why does the Supreme Court often refuse to hear certain cases?
Already been taken care of by a lower court decision…sent back
Describe the meaning of the principle stare decisis.
Let the decision stand…precedent
If the Supreme Court accepts an appellate case, what must each party then do? How much time does each side receive when they argue their case at the Supreme Court?
Before oral arguments, the parties to a case file legal briefs outlining their arguments. 30 minutes
The majority opinion is an explanation of the reasoning behind the majority decision of a supreme court.
an opinion that agrees with the court’s disposition of the case but is written to express a particular judge’s reasoning
an opinion that disagrees with the court’s disposition of the case
Per Curium Opinion
phrase used to distinguish an opinion of the whole court from an opinion written by any one judge.
Sometimes per curium signifies an opinion written by the chief justice or presiding judge; it can also refer to a brief oral announcement of the disposition of a case by the court that is unaccompanied by a written opinion
How can dissenting opinions play a role after a case is decided? Provide an example.
They write dissenting opinions when they disagree with the Supreme Court ruling. Not every Supreme Court ruling is unanimous. Some are by 5 to 4, or 6-3, or 7 to 2 or 8 to 1 majorities. Some cases are by other majorities if not all nine justices vote on the case. The minority justices, that is the dissenting justices, write their own opinion to state why the think the majority is wrong and what they would have ruled and why.
What is the Marshall Court known for?
Decisions relating to Federalism
What is the Taney Court known for?
He is remembered principally for the Dred Scott decision (1857),
Marbury v. Madison (1803)
Judicial Review, Case in which the Supreme Court first asserted the power of judicial review by finding that the congressional statue extending the Court’s original jurisdiction was unconstitutional.
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Supremecy of the Federal Government
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
Commerce Clause of the Constitution designated power to Congress to regulate interstate commerce and that the broad definition of commerce included navigation.
Scott v. Stanford (1857) à “Ðred Scott decision”
1. Persons of African descent cannot be, nor were ever intended to be, citizens under the U.S. Const. Plaintiff is without standing to file a suit.
2. The Property Clause is only applicable to lands possessed at the time of ratification (1787). As such, Congress cannot ban slavery in the territories. Missouri Compromise is unconstitutional.
3. Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from freeing slaves brought into federal territories.
What is the Warren Court known for?
Warren led a liberal majority that used judicial power in dramatic fashion, to the consternation of conservative opponents
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)
Segregation of students in public schools violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because separate facilities are inherently unequal. District Court of Kansas reversed.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963)
The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is a fundamental right applied to the states via the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution’s due process clause, and requires that indigent criminal defendants be provided counsel at trial. Supreme Court of Florida reversed.
Engel v. Vitale (1963)
Government-directed prayer in public schools violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, even if the prayer is denominationally neutral and students may remain silent or be excused from the classroom during its recitation.
Miranda v. Arizona (1963)
The Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination requires law enforcement officials to advise a suspect interrogated in custody of his rights to remain silent and to obtain an attorney. Arizona Supreme Court reversed and remanded.
155. What is the Burger Court known for?
the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a variety of transformative decisions on abortion, capital punishment, religious establishment, and school desegregation
Roe v. Wade (1973
Texas law making it a crime to assist a woman to get an abortion violated her due process rights. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas affirmed in part, reversed in part.
Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992)
State was allowed to limit abortions as long as they didn’t pose an “undue burden” on pregnant women., again, it upheld Roe, but added new restriction (24 hour waiting period, mandatory counseling, and minors needed permission). It also created the undue burden standard – all new restrictions had to be judged by whether or not they create an undue burden for the mothers.
Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978)
Schools cannot use race as only factor when admitting students. (Affirmative Action)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2001)
Race can be used as a factor for admission into a public law school as long as the policy is “narrowly tailored”
Gratz v. Bollinger (2001)
Struck down use of “bonus points” for race in undergrad admissions at University of Michigan., struck down the University of Michigan’s system of undergraduate admissions in which every applicant from an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority group was automatically given 20 points of the 100 needed for admission.
A doctrine holding that the Supreme Court should take an active role by using its powers to check the activities of governmental bodies when those bodies exceed their authority.
Philosophy proposing that judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and what its words literally say.
Which philosophy applies to the famous case, Brown v. Board of Education (1954)? Why?
Why does the Supreme Court try to avoid political questions?
The political question doctrine holds that some questions, in their nature, are fundamentally political, and not legal, and if a question is fundamentally political … then the court will refuse to hear that case. It will claim that it doesn’t have jurisdiction. And it will leave that question to some other aspect of the political process to settle out.
—John E. Finn, professor of government, 2006
List the qualifications to be a justice on the Supreme Court.
Describe what happens at the confirmation hearing. Why did the Senate nearly vote against the confirmation of Clarence Thomas?
What role do interest groups play in the selection/confirmation of potential Supreme Court justices?
What is the purpose of the privileges and immunity clause that is located in the Constitution? How did the Supreme Court interpret this clause in the infamous Dred Scott decision?
How did the case Gitlow v. New York (1925) affect the interpretation of the Bill of Rights?
Reynolds v. United States (1879)
First Amendment protects religious belief, but not criminal practices related to religious belief (polygamy), 1878
West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943)
West Virginia Board of Education required all pupils and teachers to salute the flag each day. Any who did not were expelled. Result: Requiring public school children to salute the flag is unconstitutional. – overruled Minersville.
Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972)
The Court ruled that Wisconsin could not require Amish parents to send their children to public school beyond the eighth grade because it would violate long-held religious beliefs.
Employment Division v. Smith (1990)
Determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. Although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so. Neutral laws of general applicability do not violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
Why was the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 considered to be controversial?
The US was suspicious of the french immigrants living the country. They wondered if they would remain loyal to the US if we went to war with France.
What were Black Codes? Describe the purpose of their usage.
They were codes or rules created by southerners after the Civil War to restrict the new rights and freedoms of African American in the south. Ex. Blacks that did not have jobs could be put in jail, and therefore took the first job (even bad jobs) offered to them. Gave blacks curfews and did not allow them to carry guns.
What are the goals of Affirmative Action programs?
the policy of providing special opportunities for, and favoring members of, a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination