American Gov (POLS 11101) Exam 2

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To which level of government (local, state, national) does the U.S. Constitution give primary responsibility for regulating and administering elections for federal office?
Are election laws mostly the same from state to state or do they tend to vary markedly across states? Why?
They vary, states decide on how to run their own elections
In Georgia, are elections administered by a single centralized agency, or are they administered by each county in the state?
administered by each county
What is a primary election?
election to determine the parties present nominee
what is general election?
Election where nominees compete for president
When (in even-numbered years or odd-numbered years) do elections occur for the following offices?
-Georgia Senate: Even (staggered) -Georgia House of Representatives: Every even year -U.S. House of Representatives :Even even year -U.S. President: Even (4 years) -Major Georgia executive branch offices; Governor and Lieutenant Governor: Even (midterm election year) -Atlanta Mayor: Odd or even -Atlanta City Council: Odd or even -Local: Odd or even
What is a referendum and how is it different from a citizen ballot initiative? Does Georgia have both kinds of ballot items? If not, which does it have?
-Referendum: is a proposed law placed on a ballot by a legislative authority. -Citizen ballot Initiative are measures placed on a ballot by citizens who gather enough signatures on a petition. *Georgia does not allow this one
What, according to your textbook, does Article X of the Georgia Constitution require for an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to be ratified?
What is convenience voting?
Common examples of convenience voting are Early Voting and Absentee Voting.
How does Georgia compare to other states in the extent to which it provides voters with convenience voting options (below average, average, or above average)?
above average convenience voting options
What is no-excuse absentee voting?
allows people to obtain an absentee ballot without giving a reason why they cannot vote on election day-This means everyone is eligible to vote absentee鈥攜ou need an excuse like being sick or out of the country. *Georgia has it
How many weeks prior to Election Day does the early voting period last in Georgia? Do any states have longer early voting periods than this?
- 3 weeks early - some states allow a month early
Is voter turnout generally higher or lower in Presidential election years or in midterm election years? Is it generally higher in federal elections or in local elections?
Turnout tends to be even lower in local elections and midterm years
Over the past decade, have African American citizens tended to vote at higher, lower, or approximately the same rate as white Americans?
approximately the same rate
At the same time, have Hispanic (Latino / Latina) citizens tended to vote at higher, lower, or approximately the same rate as African Americans?
Do men and women currently vote at approximately the same rate, or does one sex tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other?
approximately the same rate
Do wealthier Americans and poorer Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one economic group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other?
wealthier vote more
Do younger Americans and older Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one age group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other (and if so, which one)?
older vote more
Do highly educated Americans and less-educated Americans tend to vote at approximately the same rate, or does one education-level group tend to vote at a significantly higher rate than the other (and if so, which one)?
higher-educated vote more
What is epistocracy?
to restrict voting to the highly informed "rule by the knowledgeable"
Currently, Americans with lower levels of political knowledge tend to vote at lower rates than Americans with higher levels of political knowledge. According to Jason Brennan, is this lower rate of turnout by Americans with lower knowledge a problem to be solved or is it something desirable that should be encouraged? Why
he believes that no one has a right to exercise such power unless they are highly knowledgeable about government, politics, economics, public speaking, and so on.
What does it mean to say, "if you are not at the table, you are on the menu"? What implication does this have for the argument that it would be good to increase voter turnout among those who currently vote at disproportionately low rates?
that is, if you do not convey your views to elected officials through voting, your views will likely be ignored, and go public policy will be more likely to harm than benefit you.
According to the textbook, is there evidence to suggest that governments tend to systematically serve the interests of those who vote and deserve those who do not vote? Or does the government seem indifferent to who votes?
voters interests are more likely to be represented, policy makers pay more attention to voters or registered voters
Be sure to know and understand the rational choice model of voting
Bi= p(Yi-Zi)+Di-Ci
How does it create the "paradox of voting"?
despite the fact that the probability of casting a decisive vote is nearly zero, people still incur costs to cast a vote.
When expressed as a formula, what does the D-Term variable represent? What does the C-Term variable represent? Why are these thought to be the two most important variables influencing voter turnout?
Di = the direct benefit to Voter I from the act of voting. Ci = is the costs incurred by Voter I by voting. A direct benefit of voting can be that we feel satisfaction in knowing we did our part, we can also vote out of a sense of duty or gratitude and avoid feeling a sense of shame or guilt for not voting.
What is the resource model of voting and how does it relate to the rational choice model?
emphasizes how education can influence voters' knowledge of the political system and of public affairs. This, in turn, can influence how difficult (i.e., costly) it is for a voter to navigate the voting process and to decide how to vote.
According to the textbook, on what basis have over five million American citizens over the age of 18 been disenfranchised?
prohibited from voting due to felony convictions
What is meant by "compulsory voting"? What impact has it been shown to have on voter turnout?
system in which citizens pay a fine or receive some other punishment if they don't vote.
What impact has same-day registration had on voter turnout? How does the rational choice model of voting explain this?
when Americans go through the effort to register to vote, they are likely to follow-through and cast a ballot
What impact on voting rates did Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act have among Latino citizens who speak Spanish as a first language?
-Section 203 of the federal Voting Rights Act requires localities to provide materials in a non-English language if more than 10,000 or over five percent of the total voting age citizens are members of a single language minority group, have depressed literacy rates, and do not speak English well. -One study demonstrated that this law increased Latino representation in government by increasing turnout among Latino citizens who speak Spanish as a first language
What are some potential strategies provided by the textbook for reducing the costs of voting related to election timing and location
The need to register prior to turning out to vote imposes a cost to voting, which has the predictable effect of reducing turnout. So allowing a same day voter registration means voters can register to vote at polling places on Election Day and then vote at the same time.
What is civil disobedience? Be sure to know examples of civil disobedience.
Civil disobedience refers to the intentional breaking of the law to make a political point. (does not include actions that directly harm individuals) ex: Trespassing on government or corporate property, Minor crimes against public order, such as disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly, or obstruction of vehicular traffic, Refusal to pay taxes or perform military service, Interference with public officials' performance of official duties
According to the textbook, demonstrations, marches, and protests are often used not only to make a point about a public policy issue, but also for something else?
but also gaining public recognition for a group that has been ignored.
what are strikes and boycotts? What is the main difference between a strike and a boycott?
A boycott is a collective refusal to purchase a particular good or service. A strike is a collective decision by a large number of people to refuse to work in order to dramatize a situation or force those who are adversely affected to make concessions.
Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "A riot is the language of the unheard." According to the textbook, did King mean by this that a riot indicates the democratic political system is operating well? Or did he mean it's a sign that the system is operating poorly?
operating poorly
Be able to associate the following concepts / labels with the correct corresponding major political party: color blue, color red, Grand Old Party (GOP), elephant, donkey, conservative, liberal, right, left.
-Democrats = Blue, Donkey, Liberal, Left -Republican = Red, Elephant, Conserative, Right, Grand Old party (GOP)
define Major party and minor party
-Major: Political parties with members who frequently win elections and that typically wins either a majority or sizeable minority of seats in a legislature -Minor: Political parties with members who rarely win elections and that never win more than a small minority of seats in a legislature.
define majority and minority
-Majority: A political party with more than half the seats in a legislative body at any given time. -Minority: A political party with less than half the seats in a legislative body at any given time
What are the main differences between political parties and interest groups as discussed in the textbook? What do they have in common?
-Political parties are organizations that seem to influence the government by getting members elected officials in government... -interest groups are associations that seek to influence government to benefit members of the association or advance a cause they share a belief in
What is meant by "party platform"? What does it typically include?
A document expressing a political party's principles, goals, and policy positions on domestic and foreign affairs.
does the U.S have a two-party system or multi party system?
Two party system
six democratic functions of political parties
1. Candidate Nomination: Parties serve a vital function by helping to choose and groom possible candidates for elections, along with providing those candidates with the resources needed to help them successfully run for office. 2. Electoral Mobilization: Parties get people motivated and excited to get to the polls to vote 3. Issue structuring: Prioritizing issues so that attention is focused on a digestible set of problems 4. Social representation: Bidding for multiple social groups votes thus allowing them to represent different sections of society 5. Interest Aggregation: A political party brings multiple interests and stakeholders together under a single organizational framework. 6. Forming and Sustaining Majority Governing Coalitions: One thing all democracies have in common is that their legislatures operate by the principle of majority (or sometimes supermajority) rule. To become law, proposed legislation requires at least a majority of members to vote in its favor.
What is the winner-take-all election system? How does it differ from proportional representation election system? which system is used in America?
- Single-member district / winner-take-all elections = This means candidates compete for votes within a district and the candidate who gets the most votes represents the entire district. *Used in America - Proportional representation (PR) = The number of legislative seats a party receives is a function of the share of votes it receives in an election. Citizens vote for parties and parties choose candidates to fill seats
Duverger's Law offers a social scientific explanation for why some countries have two-party systems and others have multiparty systems. What is that explanation?
Winner -take-all elections tend to favor party systems, while PR tends to favor multiparty systems.
The Republican Party developed due to tensions between the North and the South in America. What event led to the solidification of the Republican and Democratic parties in America?
The mass approach to party design and organization used by both parties led to their solidification when they first rose
What is meant by "party realignment"? What is the most important example of this in recent history according to the textbook?
- Party realignment = A shifting of party allegiances within the electorate. * When African-Americans changed loyalties from the republican party to the Democratic Party in the mid 1960's
The 1932 presidential election is widely considered to be a critical election. What reason does the textbook give for this?
Critical election = one that represents a sudden, clear, and long-term shift in voter allegiances. *Because the party realignment
Today, which parts of the country are strongly associated with the Democratic Party and which are associated with the Republican Party
-Urban areas and the Northeast now solidly Democratic. Democrats dominate urban politics and those parts of the South, known as the Black Belt, where the majority of residents are African American. -The South and rural areas overwhelmingly voting Republican. Republicans have considerable advantages in rural areas and the Deep South.
What does the term "party-in-the-electorate" mean?
Members of the voting public who consider themselves part of a political party or who consistently prefer the candidates of one party over the other
A lot of people say they are "independents," but the textbook points out that this is somewhat misleading. Why is this misleading?
The overwhelming majority admit to leaning in the direction of one party or the other, suggesting they behave as if they identified with a party during elections even if they preferred to avoid picking a side publicly.
What is meant by "mega-identity"? Be sure to know and understand the discussion in the textbook around this term, specifically why party identification is best thought of as a social identity that overlaps with many other aspects of social identity
Mega-identity = one through which multiple social identities reinforces and magnify each other
What does the term party organization mean? Why is it important (according to the textbook)?
Party Organization = The formal structure of the political party and the active members responsible for coordinating party behavior and supporting party candidates. -vital component of any successful party because to bears most of the responsibility for building and maintaining the party "brand" (helping select, elect, candidates for public)
The local and state level party organizations are much less visible than the national level. Why is this?
local and state-level party organizations are the workhorses of the political process - they take on the most of the responsibility for party activities and are easily the most active participants in the party formation and electoral process.
what are 5 ways the house and senate differ?
Size, seats, per state, term lengths, citizenships and age requirements, and constitutional powers.
Be able to compare the house and senate differences along all 5 dimensions
-Size: house is composed of 435 voting representatives. and senate is composed of 100 senators - seats per state: in senate, each state has two senators regardless of population size. in house, the number of representatives fro each state is based on the relative population size of the state. the number of house seats per state currently ranges from 1(Wyoming, north and south dakota, Delaware, and Vermont) to 52(California) Georgia currently has 14 house seats - Term lengths: members of the house representatives serve two-year terms and senators serve six-year terms. (there is no number of times members of congress may be reelected) - citizenship and age requirements: a house of member must be a us citizen of at least seven years' standing and at least 25 years old. senators are required to have nine years' standing as citizen and be at least 30 years old. - constituitnal powers: First, the Senate is given special authority over the ratification of treaties and the confirmation of federal judges and certain high-level executive appointments. Second, only the House plays a role in certifying winners of presidential contests. Finally, the two chambers play different roles in impeachment, which is a procedure through which officials can be formally removed from office. With those exceptions aside, the two chambers are otherwise equal in their formal authorities.
what's the idea of a "mixed regime"? how is it reflected in bicameral structure of congress?
Inspired by Aristotle, mix democratic and aristocratic elements to avoid the disadvantages of either a pure democracy or pure aristocracy. - to combine advantages and avoid the shortcomings of each.
how did the great compromise contribute toward the establishment of congressional bicameralism?
the small state preference for equal state representation applied to the senate and the large state prudence for representation proportionate to state population size applied in the house
what are the advantages of bicameral legislatures?
more diverse constituency- it can allow for a greater diversity of constituents to be represented slower to act- reducing the likelihood of passing flawed of reckless legislation
what are some disadvantages of bicameral legislature?
-slower to act on things because they require coordination and concurrence of tow chambers to pass laws. -the diversity of bicameral legislatures can lead a disproportionate representation aka malapportionment
what are the 5 basic types of committees?
standing committees, permanent select committees, temporary select committees, joint committees, and conference committees
which committees are the core committees in both the house and senate?
Standing committees
what is the difference between a standing committee, a joint committee, a select committees and a conference committee?
standing committees have a permanent responsibility for a particular area of public policy for house and senate. select committees can be temporary or permanent, joint committee are composed of members of both chambers and perform advisory functions for both house and senate, and conference committee are temporarily to work out differences in house and senate versions of a particular bill.
How is the party balance on a committee determined? Which party has more seats on a committee: the majority or the minority party?
It is the direct result of the party balance of its legislative chamber. -the majority has more seats
what do the party conferences in congress do?
They meet regularly and separately to discuss issues and strategies
what are the different leadership positions in congress?(For example, House Majority Leader, Speaker of the House, etc.). Be able to describe what each position does.
-Speaker of the house has the most powerful leadership position. has authority to assign bills to committees, decide when a bill will be presented to the floor for a vote, make rulings on house procedures, delegate authority for certain duties to other members, appoint members and chairs of committees, and create special temporary committees. - house minority leader has visible powerful position. they technically hold the rank closest to that of the speaker, leads in developing the party's legislative strategies -House majority leader has considerable power. they tend to be in the best position to assume the speakership when the current speaker of the house steps down.
Be able to rank the following positions based on how much real power they have (according to the textbook): the Senate's president pro tempore, the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House
The Speaker of the house, The Senate majority leader, The Senate's president pro tempore
what are the six stages before a bill can become a law?
bill drafting and introduction, committee work, floor debate, conference committee reconciliation(if needed), president decision, and veto override vote(if applicable)
In which chamber must bills that rise revenue begin?
In house of representatives
what do committees do with bills that are sent to them?
how a hearing for the bill, markup the bill, and if the committee decided not to advance the bill at that time, it is tabled(dead)
What is a traditional filibuster? Which chamber allows for a filibuster of legislation? What is a cloture vote? How many votes are needed to end a filibuster?
-a procedural tactic. in the us senate whereby a minority of senators prevents a bill from coming to a vote holding the floor and talking until the majority gives in and the bill is withdrawn from conversation. -the senate allows for a filibuster of legislation - a cloture vote limits senate debate to thirty hours and has the effect defeating a filibuster. - two-thirds majority is required to end a filibuster
How can a bill become law even if the president vetoes the legislation?
congress can override it by a 2/3 in both chambers. the bill becomes law without the presidents signature.
What is an omnibus spending bill?
type of bill that combines smaller ordinary appropriations (spending) bills into one larger single bill that can be passed at once.
The balance of power between congressional committees and political parties has shifted heavily toward which since the 1980s?
What is a modern filibuster? How is it different from a traditional filibuster?
- a warping of the original intent of the cloture rules before any bill can vote. -unlike the traditional filibuster, in which a senator took the floor and held it for as long as possible, the modern filibuster is actually a warping of the original intent of the cloture rules adopted to control the filibuster.
What is the budget reconciliation process? What is its relationship to the modern filibuster?
- it is the process that has developed over time, beginning in the early 1970''s through which the federal budget can be amended through a simple majority vote. - only policies that directly impact the federal budget
What is reapportionment?
The redistribution of house seats based on population shifts.
What is the one-person, one-vote standard? Which institution established it?
-rule created by the u.s Supreme Court in the 1964 holding that if a state holds elections using single member districts. - it was established by the court.
What is redistricting? Which level of government (the national government or the state governments) is in charge of it?
its is the redrawing of congressional and other legislative district lines following the census to accommodate population shifts and keep districts as equal as possible in population. - the state government is in charge of it
According to the textbook, what percentage of 2022 House district elections are genuinely competitive "toss up" races that could go either way?
33 districts - 8%
According to the textbook, what percentage of House elections in the year 2000 were genuinely competitive "toss up" races that could have gone either way?
40% of districts were thought to be toss-ups or only likely (not certain) to be won by one party or the other
What is the "Big Sort"?
the trend in which Americans who are similar r in educational level, lifestyle, and political orientation increasingly chose to live close to each other. -the primary reason for the decline in competitive districts
What is gerrymandering?
The manipulation of the redistricting boundaries process for political gain
Has gerrymandering or the "Big Sort" had more impact on the decline of competitive congressional elections?
What are the effects of uncompetitive elections on voters and civic health?
-voters are deprived of an opportunity other candidates positions on issues and this can lead voters to become less informed about public fairs - provide little reason for citizens to show up to vote and need, turnout, tends to be lower in such districts. - are less likely to volunteer and participate in non-political community affairs
What is malapportionment?
an unequal distribution of voting per citizen across geographic electoral (e.g., districts or states) due to divergent ratios of voters to representatives
Is the U.S. Senate one of the most or one of the least malapportioned legislative chambers in the world?
one of the most male-portioned upper chambers in the world
is the U.S. House of Representatives one of the most or one of the least malapportioned legislative chambers in the world?
one of the least male-portioned legislative chambers in the world
According to the textbook, how many people does each elected member of the House represent?
represents a district with a population size of approximately 764,000
Why do some political scientists think this number is far too high?
With less seats... - that they can better understand their interests and values. - would allow the people to more easily monitor the performance of their representatives and hold them accountable. - the more seats a legislature has, the better it can represent the diversity of its citizenry.
What does political scientist Lee Drutman propose the U.S. do about the high number of people per representative?
from 435 to 700
Even if Drutman's proposal was adopted, how would the ratio of representation in the House compare with the global average?
is 4.7 times greater than the global average for lower legislative chambers
what is descriptive representation?
representing constituents by mirroring their personal, politically relevant characteristics
What are two reasons descriptive representation is beneficial?
-helps assure that all those who are affected by public policies have their rights, interest, and perspectives adequately represented in the policymaking process - it can promote a widespread sense of trust int he democratic process and perceptions that decisions are fair and legitimate
In what ways is the Congress most descriptively representative? In what ways is the Congress most descriptively Unrepresentative?
education, generation, wealth, race/ethnicity, gender, religion
What is constituent service?
a wide array of non-legislative activites -- from helping with issues with federal agencies to providing learning opportunities for students -- undertaken by members of congress of congressional staff that are aimed at helping and/ or honoring constituents
what is the practice of "pro-barrel politics"?
federal spending on projects designed to benefit a particular district or set of constituents ( also known as "bringing home the bacon)
What are the differences between the delegate, trustee, and politico models of representation?
delegate holds the first duty of representatives of their constituent.. the people who vote for representatives are the ones who should exercise judgment over questions of public policy, trustee is obligated to act according to their own best judgment of what is just or what will promote the public good, and politico models of representation are members of congress act as either trustee or delegate depending on the issue and political context
According to the textbook, what approach to representation did Representative Liz Cheney take in 2021-2022?
According to Article II of the Constitution, who is eligible to run for president?
Must be at least thirty-five years old, and a natural born citizen of the United States who has been an inhabitant of the United States for at least fourteen years
According to the original Constitution, what length and number of terms could Presidents serve?How was this changed by the 22nd Amendment?
-Four-year terms with no limit on the number of times a president could run for reelection - by limiting the presidency to two four-year terms
what are the powers of presidency
Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, veto legislation, negotiate treaties, power to pardon those convicted of federal offenses, receive representatives of foreign nations, call congress into session when needed, make appointments to fill military and diplomatic posts, nominate federal judges including supreme court justices as well as other federal officials
what is a veto? what is a veto override?
Authority of congress to enact a bill into law despite a president's veto of the bill. if two-thirds of the house and senate vote override a president's veto, the bill becomes the law.
what is the cabinet
Heads of the fifteen major bureaucratic departments within the executive branch who serve as the president's advisers
What is an executive order?
a rule or order issued by the president that has the force of law. they are only deemed valid if they are authorized by congressional statue or by specific constitutional provision.
What is executive privilege?
The president's right, under certain circumstances to withhold information from congress, the judiciary, or the public
What are signing statements?
A written statement made by a president at the time they sign a bill into law that seeks to influence the way the law is interpreted and implemented by the bureaucratic agency with enforcing it.
what are executive agreements?
An agreement between the president and another country made without formal consent by the senate. they function like treaties except they are more likely to unilaterally broken by future presidents, meaning they are viewed by other countries as less secure and reliable commitments.
what does it mean to impound funds?
A decision by a president to not spend money that has been appropriated by congress
What was "King Caucus"? what method for nominating presidential was it replaced with?
- This was a large-scale gathering made up of legislators in the congress who met informally to decide on nominees from their respective parties. -路 Presidential primary elections
what are some of the political consequences of using the presidential primary and accuse system (intend of the national party conventions) to select presidential candidates?
The campaign season has grown longer and more costly, it created some ideas for party outsiders to rise
what impact do the timing of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary have on the presidential candidate selection process?
They reduce the field down to a smaller number of candidates.
What is the electoral college?
Term used as a shorthand for the system of electing the president in the general election. but it can also simply refer to an actual group of people-the college consisting of 538 electors who meet in their respective states in December of presidential election years to cast ballots for president and vice president.
what determines how many electors a state has?
how many electors are chose in total across the country?
What method does nearly every state use for selecting electors?
The state party chooses a slate of electors prior to the election, and the candidate who gets the most votes in the state gets to have their party's entire slate be the electors for the state.
What two states do NOT rely entirely on a winner take all system for allocating their Electoral College votes?
Nebraska and Maine
How many times has a candidate received less than plurality of the popular vote but still become president by winning a majority of the Electoral College votes? Who were the last two presidents to be elected that way?
Five times total; the most recent ones were George Bush and Donald Trump.
According to the Constitution, if no candidate wins a majority of the Electoral College votes, which institution decides the winner and how exactly does that institution decide?
The House of Representatives decides by majority vote with each state getting one vote.
What is a faithless elector? Are states allowed to make it illegal for electors to be faithless?
an elector who does not vote fro the candidates for the president and/or Vice President for whom the elector pledged to vote(as a member of the party) - no, they are under no legal obligation to do so.
In how many elections has the House of Representatives ended up choosing the President? In which century did that last happen?
Two elections and in the 20th century
What is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? What is at least one other reform proposal that would affect the Electoral College?
States that join this interstate compact commit through legislation to award their states' presidential electors to the candidate who receives the most votes nationwide, regardless of which candidate received the most votes in their state.
In 2021, what happened on January 6th, the date that Congress met to officially count the electoral votes?
January 6th was a result of Trump's effort to pressure Vice President Mike Pence, as the President of the Senate, to either acknowledge the legitimacy of Trump's alternative electors or to declare the election in need of resolution by the House.
Which institution would have decided the outcome of the 2020 election if the efforts to pressure Congress and Vice President Pence to refuse to certify the election's results had succeeded? Which candidate (Trump or Biden) was that institution most likely to choose as president?
The house of representatives and Trump would have succeeded since 26 of the 5o states are republican controlled delegations in the house.
Be able to put the four stages of the presidential selection process in order.
1. primaries and caucuses 2. national party conventions 3. the people vote in general election 4. the electoral college convenes to cast ballots
What is the bureaucracy? What is a bureaucratic agency?
- The full set of all bureaucratic agencies. -A government unit, composed of unelected civil servants, that is established to accomplish a specific set of goals and objectives as authorized by a legislative body.
What are civil servants (also called bureaucrats)?
the individuals who fill nonelected positions ins government as careers and make up the bureaucracy
What are cabinet departments? How many cabinet departments are there currently? To whom do Cabinet Secretaries report?
- Major bureaucratic offices that are directly accountable to the president and lead by an appointed secretary. Consists of a vast network of offices and agencies - fifteen - they report directly to the the president
Which cabinet departments have been in existence since the time of George Washington?
State and Treasury
Which cabinet department didn't exist until the twenty-first century?
Homeland security
What is an independent executive agency?
Independent executive agencies report directly to the president, with heads appointed by the president, but they are assigned far more focuses tasks than cabinet departments.
how do independent executive agencies differ from cabinets departments?
independent executive agencies are assigned far more focused tasks meanwhile cabinet departments are directly accountable to the president
in what way are independent executive agencies "independent"?
These agencies are considered independent because they are not subject to the regulatory authority of any specific cabinet department.
what are 3 prominent independent executive agencies?
The CIA, NASA, and the EPA.
what is an independent regulatory agency?
is a type of independent executive agency that is charged with regulating an industry. they are not under the control of any cabinet deprartment.
in what way are independent regulatory agencies "independent"?
they are insulated from political pressure from the president.
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent regulatory agency what is one other?
The Interstate Commerce Commission.
What are government corporations? what are their characteristics?
Agencies formed by the federal government to administer a quasi-business enterprise. They exist because the services they provide are partly subject to market forces and tend to generate enough profit to be self-sustaining, but they also fulfill a vital service the government has an interest in maintaining.
what are two examples of government corporations?
The U.S Postal Service and national railroad passenger corporation(Amtrak)
what is neogotiated rulemaking? do all federal bureaucratic agencies use this method?
A process in which neutral advisors convene a committee of those who have vested interests in the proposed rules and help the committee reach a consensus on them.
do bureaucratic rules have the force of law?
why is the chief of state the presidents most important aide?
they control the presidents calendar, limits access to the president, manages the staffs and helps the president in all aspects of domestic and foreign policy.
about how large is the white house staff?
470 staff
about how large is the executive office of the president?
around 1,800 people
What are the roles of the National Security Council, the Council of Economic Advisers, and the Office of Management and Budget?
1. national security council- assists the president in handling crises in the international arena 2. council of economic advisers- assist the president in evaluating economic trends formulation economic policy 3. prepares the presidents budget proposal to congress, and analyzes the effects of all new programs on the national debt
Do presidents rely on their cabinets for advice as much today as they did in the nineteenth century?
overtime, presidents rely less on the cabinet for advice
Which President was the first to make a conscious effort to make vice presidents a more central part of the President's policy team?
Jimmy Carter in the 1970's
How has the role of the First Spouse changed over time?
Before 1933, most First Ladies served as private political advisers to their husbands. they have recently started to become more active
路 Which two first ladies are credited with doing the most to set new and higher standards for the role of the first spouse in political advocacy?
Elanor Roosevelt, Hillary Clinton
What are the two main categories of presidential powers?
路 1. direct actions the chief executive can take by employing the formal institutional powers of the office 2. informal powers of persuasion and negotiation essential to working with the legislative branch
what is the presidents power of removal?
Presidents can remove executive officials without consent from Senate.
what is the presidents power of pardon? what, if any, limits does the constitution place on the presidents pardon power?
they exercise the power of pardon without conditions
What are executive orders? Has the use of executive orders increased or decreased since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt?
A rule issued by the President that has the force of law. The number has actually decreasedin recent years.
What are some famous executive orders mentioned in the chapter?
Franklin Roosevelt's infamous order permitting the internment of Japanese Americans in 1942 and Harry Truman's directive desegregating he armed forces (1948).
What does the President do as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces? Do Presidents today typically involve or bypass Congress when engaging in military hostilities?
Hire/fire military commanders and aggressively deploy U.S. military force. Presidents today usually bypass congress.
What are executive agreements? Give one prominent example mentioned in the chapter.
Formal agreements negotiated between two countries but not ratified by a legislature as a treaty must be. A prominent example is the Iran Nuclear Deal.
What are some ways a president can use informal powers of persuasion and negotiation when dealing with Congress
going public and private persuasion
What does the concept of going public mean?
The president delivers a major television address in the hope that Americans watching the address will be compelled to contact their House and Senate member and that such public pressure will result in the legislators supporting the president on a major piece of legislation
What are some ways that Congress exerts oversight over the federal bureaucracy?
the various bureaucratic agencies submit annual summaries of their activities and budgets for the following year, and committees and subcommittees in both chambers of congress regularly hold hearing to question the leaders of the bureaucratic agencies
What is the Government Accounting Office?
an agency that provided congress with auditing, evaluation, and investigate series. it is designed to operate in a fact-based and nonpartisan manner to report important oversight information.
路 What are the two main ways presidents exert oversight over the federal bureaucracy?
1. learning about agency performance by reading reports from the office management and budget 2. using the powers of appointment to hire responsible agency leaders.
路 What is FOIA (the Freedom of Information Act) and how may citizens use it to exercise oversight over the federal bureaucracy?
provides journalists and the general public the right to request records from various federal agencies. these agencies are required by law to release that information for one of nine exemptions.
What did the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976 do?
a law that b requires of federal government agencies to be open to the public for observation
What is a whistleblower?
a person who reveals information about activity within an organization that is deemed illegal, immoral, illicit, unsafe , or fraudulent. whistleblowers can verify of internal or external channels to communicate information or allegations.
Why has Congress passed whistleblower protection laws?
to help employees overcome their fear of reporting genuine wrongdoing when they see it, and thereby to reduce wrongdoing within agencies in the future
What is impeachment? Who impeaches a president, and what must the vote count be?
charging a government official with serious wrongdoing; requires a simple majority vote in the house.
How many presidents have been impeached?
3, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump
What is removal? Who removes a president, and what must the vote count be?
actually removing the president from office; requires a two-thirds vote from the senate.
Who is the only president to be impeached twice?
Donald Trump
Has any president been impeached and removed?
Who becomes president when a president is removed from office?
the vice president
What are the two ways Article III of the Constitution seeks to promote judicial independence?are judicial removals through impeachment common, or are they rare?
-Lifetime appointments and guaranteed salary - it is extremely rare
what is the power of judicial review? What, if anything, does the Constitution have to say about it?In what case did the Supreme Court declare itself to have that power?
-The authority of courts to decide whether acts of government are constitutional or unconstitutional -The constitution does not explicitly have a say in it -in 1903 called Marbury v. Madison
According to Alexander Hamilton, which of the three branches of government is inherently the weakest, and what did this have to do with his case for judicial independence?
The weakest branch would be Judicial in his defense. It meant that no amount of independence in the judiciary could lead it it become dangerous to the liberty of the people.
Be able to define these terms and understand how they relate to each other:
1. jurisdiction-The authority of a court to hear a legal case and rule on it 2. original jurisdiction- The authority of a court to be the first to hear a case 3. appellate jurisdiction- A court has authority to hear a case on appeal from a lower court and to possibly change the lower court's decision. 4. trial court- the level of court in which a case starts or is first tried, it must have an original jurisdiction for the case. 5. appellate court- The authority to review cases already decided by a lower court and to change the lower courts decision 6. mandatory appellate jurisdiction- When the court is required to hear cases on appeal discretionary appellate 7.jurisdiction- When the court is allowed to choose whether to hear a case on appeal
What kind of court (trial court or appellate court) does Article III of the Constitution establish the Supreme Court as (primarily)?
appellate court
Article III allows Congress to alter the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction. Does it also allow Congress to alter its original jurisdiction?
no, it is not allowed.
For nearly a century, Congress has given the Court which of these kinds of appellate jurisdiction: mandatory or discretionary
For nearly a century, Congress has given the Court which of these kinds of appellate jurisdiction: mandatory or discretionary
What is "court packing"?The last major attempt at it was in the 1930s. Was that attempt successful?
When congress expands the size of the supreme court so the president and congress can add a sufficient of new justices to change the court's decisions in a way they desire - it was a failed attempt
Which are trial courts and which are intermediate appellate courts?
Trial courts are district courts and intermediate appellate courts are courts of appeals
Which hear cases with rotating 3-judge panels and which do so with a single federal judge or magistrate?
Court of appeals uses rotating 3- judge panels and with singing judge
Which numbered federal judicial circuit is Georgia a part of (along with Alabama and Florida)?
along with the eleventh circuit
How many federal judicial districts (and, thus, district courts) does Georgia have?
it has three federal judicial courts
Make sure to know and understand the term, "dual court system."
phrase that refers to the fact that each state has its own semi-autonomous court system that exists parallel to the federal court system. when state courts make decisions that rely on the U.S constitution or federal laws, then those state court decisions can be reviewed by federal appellate courts. otherwise, state courts operate independently of federal courts.
90% of all court cases in the U.S. occur in which kind of courts: state or federal?
state level
What is the name of the highest appellate court (i.e., the court of last resort) within the Georgia judicial system?
the Supreme Court
Under the dual court system, state courts did NOT operate entirely independently from the federal courts in all cases. What condition must be met for federal courts to be able to hear cases from state courts on appeal?
points that involve a federal law or question, and usually after all avenues of appeal in the state courts have been exhausted.
路 Federal judges (including Supreme Court justices) are nominated by the ________ and confirmed by the _________.
president, majority vote in the U.S. Senate
When presidents decide who to nominate as Supreme Court justice, does the ideology of the nominee matter, or does the president only consider their qualifications?
the ideology of the nominees matters
What religious identity is currently the most prevalent on the U.S. Supreme Court?
Of the nine justices on the current U.S. Supreme Court, how many did NOT graduate from either Harvard Law School or Yale Law School?
Of the nine justices on the current U.S. Supreme Court, how many are women?
What is the current ideological balance on the U.S. Supreme Court (i.e., how many liberals and conservatives are there)?
there are 5 liberals and 5 conservatives
What is stare decisis?
路 The principle by which the courts rely on past decisions and their precedents when making new decisions in new cases. (means standing by things decided in Latin)
According to the Supreme Court, who is more strictly bound by it: the Supreme Court or lower federal courts?
lower federal courts
When the Supreme Court decides to hear a case on appeal, it is normally called "granting cert." Why is it called that?
The court receives over 10,000 requests for appellate review each term, but the justices will select only a handful (~100) to give a full hearing.
What is the Rule of Four? What does it have to do with granting cert?
-a Supreme Court custom in which a case will be heard when four justices vote to do so -The court is more likely to grant cert, when there is conflict on an issue between or among the lower courts.
What is an amicus curiae brief?
Friend of the court (which is a person or group who is not a party to the case but is interested in its outcome) brief giving their opinion, analysis, and recommendations about how the court should rule on a given case.
Why do justices "bargain" over the reasoning in majority opinions? How can this bargaining process affect the Court's final decision on a case?
-Justices demand certain changes to the opinion as a condition of keeping their vote -路 While multiple opinions circulating, it is possible that any one of them will become the courts final majority opinion
Make sure to know the differences between these kinds of opinions: majority opinions, concurring opinions, and dissenting opinions.
Majority opinions are explaining the courts justification for its decision on its case, while concurring opinions is an opinion written by a justice who agrees with the court's majority decision on the case but with different reasons for supporting it, and dissenting opinions explain why they disagree with the majority's decision.
What fraction of the Supreme Court's decisions are unanimous (9-0)?
Make sure to understand the difference between judicial activism and judicial restraint.
judicial activism is more likely to support the expansion of the supreme court's jurisdiction and powers, while judicial restraint is more likely to support a limited scope for the supreme court's jurisdiction and powers.
According to the textbook, what is the most influential check on the Supreme Court A provided by the other branches?
The court's dependence on the other branches for enforcement of its ruling's