GVPT170 Final Exam

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67 Terms
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Federalist No. 78
argument by Alexander Hamilton that the federal judiciary would be unlikely to infringe upon rights and liberties but would serve as a check on the other two branches
Supreme Court
Consists of nine justices, each appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress. Appointment is for life. Supreme Court exercises the power to determine constitutionality of statutes
Judicial Review
Allows the court to determine the constitutionality of laws
Supreme Court Justices
9 justices, lifetime appointment, nominated by the president,approved by the Senate
State Judicial Selection
varies by state, i.e. gubernatorial, partisan election, nonpartisan elections, merit/Missouri plans
Agenda Control
SCOTUS hears 60-80 cases a year, and can dismiss a case for any or no reason at any time
Original Jurisdiction
the power of a court to hear a case first, before any other court
Appellate Jurisdiction
The authority of a court to review decisions made by lower courts
Writ of Certiorari
A formal writ used to bring a case before the Supreme Court.
Rule of Four
At least four justices of the Supreme Court must vote to consider a case before it can be heard
General Decision Process
I. Agenda setting/screening petitionsII. Briefs and Oral ArgumentsIII. Conference Discussion of Argued CasesIV. Opinion Assignment and Crafting of OpinionsV. Opinion Announcement
a detailed explanation of the legal thinking behind a court's decision in a case
Majority Opinion
a statement that presents the views of the majority of supreme court justices regarding a case
Dissenting Opinion
A statement written by a justice who disagrees with the majority opinion, presenting his or her opinion
Concurrent Opinion
A statement explaining why a justice agrees with the decision of the court, but for reasons different from those stated in the majority opinion.
Stare Decisis
Let the decision stand; decisions are based on precedents from previous cases
Public Opinion
those opinions held by private persons which governments find it prudent to heed
Micro Public Opinion
public opinion of the average individual
Macro Public Opinion
public opinion of an entire electorate (behaves reasonably, cancels out individual noise and error)
Static Public Opinion
public opinion at a fixed moment in time
Dynamic Public Opinion
public opinion measured in movements over time
Random Sampling
a sample that fairly represents a population because each member has an equal chance of inclusion
Key Components of Random Sampling
randomness of a sample, sampling errors, the wording of questions, response rate, and intensity measurement
they form survey responses; sometimes elaborate/consistent, more often loose/rudimentary
when the way an issue is posed affects the way it is answered
the activation, often unconsciously, of certain associations, thus predisposing one's perception, memory, or response
Key Considerations in Public Opinion
group attachments (race, gender, income, education), political socialization, economic conditions, religious beliefs, and PID
a person's ingrained loyalty to a political party and emotional attachments to it
Online Processing
the ability to receive and evaluate information as events happen, allowing us to remember our evaluation even if we have forgotten the specific events that caused it
Political Ideology
a more or less consistent set of beliefs about what policies government ought to pursue
favors more active government intervention
favors less active government intervention
when an issue causes one cleavage to overlap with another over a social issue (the Civil Rights Era saw an end this when political parties aligned themselves with social beliefs)
Thermostatic Change
the amount of liberalism in the United States fluctuates, often against the party of the president
Symbolic Ideology
the ideological label that people use to describe themselves
Operation Ideology
the ideological label applied to people based on their true beliefs and views
Main Perspectives on Campaigns
press, advertising/professional strategists, and political science
Information Flow
the goal of campaigns; citizens start to tune in and are affected by campaign information and the state of the nation
little evidence to show they greatly affect voters' minds during a campaign, but they are an important campaign tradition
Presidential Approval
affected by four main characteristics: crisis, economy, honeymoon, and equilibration
Trust in Government
follows general approval rates, significantly related to Congress and the President
The Passionate
voters who have already made up their minds about an election
The Uninvolved
voters (or nonvoters) who are random statistical noise in elections
The Scorekeepers
voters who shift from party to party and affect public opinion heavily (independents/moderates)
Negative Campaigning
The act of attacking an opposing candidate's platform, past political performance, or personal characteristics.
Electoral Mobilization
an election strategy that relies on getting a candidate's supporters to the polls
what causes some candidates to have a significant advantage over their opponent before a race begins (tied to their position)
links public opinion to government officials and government policy
Considerations of Rational Voting
I. Probability one's vote will matter in an electionII. How much one cares about the outcome of an electionIII. The cost of voting
Low Turnout
causes policy to respond to a wealthier, older electorate that isn't fully representative of all eligible voters
Political Parties
widely considered a threat to good government and public order (i.e. Madison's 'factions')
Electoral System
it is single member, winner-takes-all
Regular Change
widespread change in the dominant party control in government over time
Abrupt Change
party changes caused by divisive issues in society, usually within 1-2 election cycles
Durable Changes
unseen since the Civil Rights era, historically many years between changes in party systems

Enforcement Power

the ability to ensure laws and precedents are followed; lacking in the Judicial Branch


written litigant documents submitted prior to oral arguments

Amicus Curiae

briefs submitted by/from an external party for oral arguments

Oral Arguments

strictly-timed sections of a Supreme Court hearing, where each side is allotted thirty minutes and Justices can interrupt with questions


a perspective in elections: daily observations by the public online, in print, and on TV

Advertising and Professional Strategists

a perspective in elections: all about the image of the candidate and the wider campaign

Political Science

a perspective in elections: the state of the country and the economy, known as “the facts”

Third Parties

organizations that have little national influence, but can still sway major elections (i.e. the 1912 and 2000 presidential elections)

Short-Term Changes

public opinion changes caused by scandals, news cycles, speeches, and crises

Long-Term Changes

public opinion changes caused by economic conditions and gradual shifts in the prevailing ideological sentiment of the mass public

Best Methods of Random Sampling

sampling using phone surveys, random address selection, and academic polls

Article III

within the Constitution, extremely vaguely forms the Judicial Branch