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103 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the residents in the area from which an official is elected
having a legilative assembly composed of two chambers or houses
social representation
a type of representation in which representatives have the same racial, gender, ethnic, religious, or educational backgrounds as tiher consitituents. It is based on the principle that if two individuals are similar in background, character, interests, and perspectives, then one could correctly represent the other's views.
agency representation
the type of representation in which a representative is held accountable to a consituency if he or she fails to represent that constituency properly
holding a political office for which one is running
term limits
legally prescribed limits on the number of terms an elected official can serve
the process, occurring after every decennial census, that allocates congressional seats among the fifty states
the process of redrawing election districts and redistributing legislative representatives
apportionment of voters in districts in such a way as to give unfair advantage to one racial or ethnic group or political party
the resources available to higher officials, usually opportunities to make partisan appointments to offices and to confer grants, licenses, or speial favors to supporters
pork barrell [or pork]
apprppriations made by legislative bodies for local projects that are often not needed but that are created so that local representatives can win re-election in their home districts
private bill
a proposal in Congress to provide a specific person with some kind of relief, such as special exemption from immigration quotas
a gathering of House Republicans every two years to elect thier House leaders. Democrats call their gathering the caucus
caucus (political)
a normally closed meeting of a political or legislative group to select candidates, plan strategy, or make decisions regarding legislative matters
Speaker of the House
the chief presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The Speaker is the most important party and House leader, and can influence the legislative agenda, the fate of individual pieces of legislation, and members' positions within the House
majority leader
the elected leader of the majority party in the Hosue of Representatives or in the Senate. In the House, the majority leader is subordinate in the party hierarchy to the Speaker of the House
minority leader
the elected leader of the minority party in the House or Senate
a party member in the House or Senate responsible for coordinating the party's legilative strategy, building support for key issues, and counting votes
standing committee
a permanent committee with the power to propose and write legislation that covers a particular subject, such as finance or agriculture
select committee
a (ususally) temporary legislative committee set up to highlight or investigate a particualr issue or address an issue not within the jurisdiciton of existing committees
joint committee
a legislative committee formed of members of both the House and the Senate
conference committee
a joint committee created to work out a compromise on House and Senate versions of a piece of legislation
ranking given to an individual ont he basis of length of continuous service on a committee in Congress
staff agency
a legislative support agency responsible for political analysis
caucus (congressional)
an association of members of Congress based on party, interest, or social group, such as gender or race
a proposed law that has been sponsored by a member of Congress and submitted to the clerk of the House or Senate
committee markup
session in which a congressional committee rewrites legislation to incorporate changes discussed during hearing on the bill
closed rule
a provision by the House Rules Committee limiting or prohibiting the introduction of amendments during debate
open rule
a provision by the House Rules Committee that permits floor debate and the addition of new amendments to a bill
a tactic used by member of the Senate to prevent action on legislation they oppose by ocntinuously holding the floor and speaking until the majority backs down. Once given the floor, senators have unlimited time to speak, and it requires a vote of three-fifths of the Senate to end a filibuster
a rule allowing a majority of two-thirds or three-fifths of the members of a legilative body to set a time limit on debate over a given bill
the president's consitutional power to turn down acts of Congress. A presidential veto may be overriden by a two-thirds vote of each house of Congress
pocket veto
a presidential veto that is automatically triggered if the president does not act on a given piece of legislation passed during the fianl ten days of a legislative session
party unity vote
a roll-call vote in the House or Senate in which at least 50 oercent of the members of one party take a particular position and are opposed by at least 50 percent of the members of the other party
roll-call vote
a vote in chich each legislator's yes or no vote is recorded a the clerck calls the names of the members alphabetically
a legislative practice whereby agreements are made between legislators in voting for or against a bill; vote trading
the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies
the amounts of money approved by Congress in statutes (bills) that each unit or agency of government can spend
executive agreement
an agreement, made between the president and another country, that has the force of a treaty but does not require the Senate's "advice and consent"
the formal charge by the House of Representatives that a government official has committed "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors"
a representative who votes according to the preferences of his or her consituency
a representative who votes based on what he or she thinks is best for his or her constituency
expressed powers
specific powers granted by the Consitution to Congress and to the president
delegated powers
constitutional powers that are assigned to one governmental agency but that are exercised by another agency with the express permission of the first
inherent powers
powers claimed by a president that are not expressed in the Constitution, but are inferred from it
commander in chief
the role of the president as commander of the national military and the state national guard units (when called into service)
War Powers Resolution
a resolution of Congress that the president can send troops into aciton acroad only by authorization of Congress, or if American troops are already under attack or serious threat
executive privilege
the claim that confidential communicaitons between a president and close advisers should not be revealed without the consent of the president
legislative initiative
the president's inherent power to bring a legislative agenda before Congress
executive order
a rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect and formal status of legislation
White House staff
analysts and advisers to the president, often given the title "special assistant"
Kitchen Cabinet
an informal group of advisers to whom the president turns for counsel and giudance. Member of the official Cabinet may or may not also be members of the Kitchen Cabinet
Executive Office of the President (EOP)
the permanent agencies that perform defined management tasks for the president
a claim by a victorious candidate that the electorate has given him or her special authority to carry out promises made during the campaign
the complex structure of offices, tasks, rules, and principles of organization that are employed by all large-scale institutions to coordinate the work of their personnel
the efforts of departments and agencies to translate laws into specific bureaucratic routines
rule making
a quasi-legislative administrative administrative process by which government agencies produce regulations
administrative adjudication
applying rules and precedents to specific cases to settle disputes between regulated parties
merit system
a product of civil service reform, in which appointees to positions in public bureaucracies must onjectively be deemed qualified for those positions
the largest subunit of the executive branch. the secretaries of the fifteen departments form the Cabinet
independent agency
an agency that is not part of a Cabinet department
government corporation
a gocernment agency that performs a service normally provided by the private sector
regualtory agencies
departments, bureaus, or independent agencies whose primary missions is to impose limits, restricitons, or other obligations on the conduct of individuals or companies in the private sector
iron triangle
the stable, cooperative relationship that often develops among a congressional committee, an administrative agency, and one or more supportive interest groups.
fiscal policy
the government's use of taxing, monetary, and spending powers to manipulate the economy
Federal Reserve System
a sustem of twelve Fedreal Reserve Banks that facilitates exchanges of cash, chekcs, and credit; regulates member banks; uses monetary policies to fight inflation and deflation
revenue agencies
agencies responsible for colelction taxes
a policy of reducing or eliminating regulatory restraints on the conduct of individuals or private institutions
a policy to remove a program from one level of government by delegating it or passing it down to a lower level of government, such as from the national government to the state and local governments
removing all or part of a program from the public sector to the private sector
the effort by Congress, through hearings, investigations, and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of executive agencies
criminal law
the branch of law that regulates the conduct of individuals, defines crimes, and specifies punishment for criminal acts
the individual or organizaiton who brings a complaint in court
the one against who a complaint is brought in a criminal or civil case
civil law
the branch of law that deals with disputes that do not involve criminal penalties
prior case whose principles are used by judges as the basis for their decision in a present case
stare decisis
literally, "let the decision stand." The doctrine that a previous decision by a court applied as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled
trial court
the first court to hear a criminal or civil case
court of appeals
a court that hears appeals of trial court decisions
supreme court
the highest court in a particular stae or in the United States. This court primarily serves an appellate function
plea bargain
a negotiated agreement ina criminal case in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty in return for the state's agreement to reduce the severity of the criminal charge or prision sentence the defendant is facing
Uniform Commercial Code
code used in many states in the area of contract law to reduce interstate differences in judicial decisions
the sphere of a court's power and authority
writ of habeas corpus
a court order that the individual in custody be brought into court and shown the cause for detention
origianl jurisdiction
the authority to initially consider a case
chief justice
justice on the Supreme Court who presides over the Court's public sessions
senatorial courtesy
the practice whereby the president, before formally nominating a person for federal judgeship, seeks the indicaiton taht senators from the candidate's own state support the nomination
judicial review
the power of the courts to review and, if necessary, declare actions of the legislative and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional
supremacy clause
Article VI of the Constitution, which states that laws passed by the national government and all traties are the supreme law of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision
Miranda rule
the requirement, articulated by the Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona, that persons under arrest must be informed prior to police interrogation of tiher rights to remain silent and to have the benefit of legal counsel
the right of an individual or organization to initiate a court case, on the basis or thier having a substantial stake in the outcome
a criterior used by courts to screen cases that no longer require resolution
writ of certiorari
a decision of at least four of the nine Supreme Court justices to review a decision of a lower court; from the Latin " to make more certain"
solicitor general
the top government lawyer in all cases before the Supreme Court where the government is a party
per curiam
a brief, unsigned decision by an appellate court, usually rejecting a petition to review the decision of a lower court
amicus curiae
literally "frind of the court"; individuals or gorups who are not parties to a lawsuit but who seek to assist the Supreme Court in reaching a decision by presenting additional briefs
a written document in which attorneys explain, using case precedents, why the court should find in favor of their client
oral argument
stage in Supreme Court procedure in which attorneys for both sides appear before the Court to present thier positions and answer questions posed by justices
the written explanation of the Supreme Court's decision in a particular case
dissenting opinion
a decision written by a justice in the minority in a particular case in which the justice wishes to express his or her reasoning in the case
judicial restraint
judical philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the clear words of the Constitution in interpreting its meaning
judicial activism
judicial philosophy that posits that the Court should go beyond the words of the Consitution or a statute to consider the broader societal implicaiton of its decisions
class-action suit
a leagl action by which a group or class of individuals with common interests can file suit on a behalf of everyone who shares that interest