POS Midterm

Term Definition
Autocracy a form of government in which a single individual rules (king or dictator)
Oligarchy a form of government in which a small group of landowners, military officers, or wealthy merchants controls most of the governing decisions
Totalitarian a system of rule in which the government recognizes no formal limits on its power and seeks to absorb or eliminate other social institutions that might challenge it (North Korea, Stalinism)
Veto Power the control over what a group will consider for discussion
Principle-Agent Theory the relationship between someone with authority and someone to whom he or she delegates the authority; may be affected by the fact that each party is motivated by self-interest, yet their interests may not align
Collective Action the pooling of resources and the coordination of effort and actively by a group of people (often a large one ) to achieve common goals
Agenda Power the control over what a group will consider for discussion
Public Good A benefit that, first, may be enjoyed by anyone if it is provided and second may not be denied to anyone once it has been provided r
Free Riding enjoying a benefit while letting others bear the costs of providing it
Representative Democracy -the transmission of authority to some other official or body for the latter's use- elected officials are like the peoples' agents-the people are called "principals'
Informal Bargaining politicians make informal deals to help each other out off the books
Tragedy of the Commons the idea that a common access facility, owned by no one because it is available to everyone will be overused.
Selective benefit benefits that do not go to everyone but are distributed selectively – only to those who contribute to the group enterprise
Great (Conneticut) Compromis An agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that gave each state an equal number of senators regardless of its population but linked representation in the House of Representatives to population
Three-Fifths Compromise An agreement reached at the Constitutional Convention of 1878 stipulating that for purposes of the apportionment of congressional seats, only three-fifths of slaves would be counted
Judicial Review the power of the courts to determine whether the actions of the president, the Congress, and the state legislatures are or are not consistent with the Constitution. The Supreme Court asserted the power to review federal statutes in Marbury v Madison
Supremacy Clause a clause of Article VI of the Constitution that all laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme laws of the land and superior to all laws adopted by any state or any subdivision
Federalists supported the Constitution and preferred a strong national government; property owners, creditors, merchants; elites are best fit to govern and excessive democracy is dangerous; believed in filtration; Hamilton, Madison, Washington
Anti-Federalists opposed the Constitution and preferred a decentralized federal government; farmers, debtors, shopkeepers; gov should be close to the people; elites are dangerous; rHenry, Mason, Gerry, Clinton
Federalist Papers defended the principles of the Constitution and sought to dispel fears of a national authority
Ratification to approve and sanction formally (federalist vs antifederalist)
Charles Beard According to him, America's founders were a collection of securities speculators and property owners whose only aim was personal enrichment
amending formula set of conditions required to make changes to the constitution: A constitution is the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state or group is governed.
Shay's Rebellion series of protests in 1786 and 1787 by American farmers against state and local enforcement of tax collections and judgments for debt.
First Colonial Convention meeting of delegates from twelve of the Thirteen Colonies that met on September 5 to October 26, 1774 at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, early in the American Revolution
Constitutioanl Convention the convention in Philadelphia (1787) of representatives from each of the former Colonies, except Rhode Island, at which the Constitution of the United States was framed.
Declaration of Independence statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as thirteen newly independent sovereign states, and no longer under British rule.
New Jersey/Virginia Plan New Jersey plan. noun, American History. 1. a plan, unsuccessfully proposed at the Constitutional Convention, providing for a single legislative house with equal representation for each state. Compare Connecticut Compromise, Virginia plan.
Dual Federalism referred to as divided sovereignty; political arrangement in which power is divided between the federal and state governments, with state governments exercising those powers accorded to them without interference from the federal government
McCulloch vs Maryland a landmark decision by the Supreme Court of the United States. The state of Maryland had attempted to impede operation of a branch of the Second Bank of the United States by imposing a tax on all notes of banks not chartered in Maryland.
Gibbons v Ogden was a landmark decision in which the Supreme Court of the United States held that the power to regulate interstate commerce, granted to Congress by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution, encompassed the power to regulate navigation.
New Federalism New Federalism is a political philosophy of devolution, or the transfer of certain powers from the United States federal government back to the states.
Expressed Powers powers listed in the constitution
Implied Powers Implied powers are powers of U.S. government which have not been explicitly granted by the Constitution but that is implied by the necessary and proper clause to be delegated for the purpose of carrying out the enumerated powers.
Necessary and Proper Clause "elastic clause," the necessary and proper clause simply states that Congress has the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers
Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power "to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes."
Interstate Compact A voluntary arrangement between two or more states that is designed to solve their common problems and that becomes part of the laws of each state. Was first used to settle american colonies
Home Rule the government of a colony, dependent country, or region by its own citizens.
privileges and immunities prevents a state from treating citizens of other states in a discriminatory manner.
Reserved Powers section of the Bill of Rights that basically says that any power that is not given to the federal government is given to the people or the states.
Police Power capacity of the states to regulate behavior and enforce order within their territory for the betterment of the health, safety, morals, and general welfare of their inhabitants.
Concurrent Powers nations with a federal system of government that are shared by both the federal government and each constituent political unit (such as a state or province).
Full Faith and Credit Clause addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state."
States' Rights the rights and powers held by individual US states rather than by the federal government.
Block Grants a grant from a central government that a local authority can allocate to a wide range of services.
Unfunded Mandates statute or regulation that requires a state or local government to perform certain actions, with no money provided for fulfilling the requirements.
Categorical Grants issued by Congress and may be spent only for narrowly defined purposes. the main source of federal aid to state and local government, can be used only for specific purposes and for helping education or categories of state and local spending.
Grants-in-Aid an amount of money given to a local government, an institution, or a particular scholar.
Miranda Rule concept in criminal law that applies to police interrogations of person who have been taken into custody.
Establishment Clause free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble,
Lemon Test (Lemon v Kurtzman) used to asses whether a law violates the Establishment Clause. The "Establishment Clause" was intended to prevent any governmental endorsement or support of religion.
Obscenity (Miller v California) was a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court wherein the court redefined its definition of obscenity from that of "utterly without socially redeeming value" to that which lacks "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value."
Free Exercise Clause pertains to the right to freely exercise one's religion. It states that the government shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion.
Clear and Present Danger a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, or assembly.
Near v MInnesota 1931), was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision that recognized the freedom of the press by roundly rejecting prior restraints on publication, a principle that was applied to free speech generally in subsequent jurisprudence.
NYT Co. v US (Pentagon Papers)
Palko v Connecticut (1937), was a United States Supreme Court case concerning the incorporation of the Fifth Amendment protection against double jeopardy.
Libel a written statement in which a plaintiff in certain courts sets forth the cause of action or the relief sought
Slander the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person's reputation.
Fighting Words and Free Speech united States constitutional law, is a limitation to freedom of speech as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Due Process fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen's entitlement.
Exclusionary Rule (Mapp v Ohio) (1961), was a landmark case in criminal procedure; Supreme Court decided that evidence obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment may not be used in criminal prosecutions
Grand Jury a jury, normally of twenty-three jurors, selected to examine the validity of an accusation before trial.
Double Jeopardy the prosecution of a person twice for the same offense.
Eminent Domain right of a government to take private property for public use
Right to Privacy (Griswold v Connecticut) 1965), is a landmark case in the United States in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution protected a right to privacy.
Barron v Baltimore (significance) (1833), is a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which helped define the concept of Federalism in the United States in U.S. constitutional law.
Slaughterhouse Cases the law banned all other slaughterhouses from operating in New Orleans. A group of local butchers sued Louisiana in a state court, arguing that the law violated the "privileges and immunities" clause of the newly enacted Fourteenth Amendment.
Bill of Rights the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, ratified in 1791 and guaranteeing such rights as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship.
District of Columbia v Heller (second Amd.) (2008) landmark case in which the Supreme Court held in a 5-4 decision that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution applies to federal enclaves and protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful
Fourteenth Amendment/Civil War Amendments Reconstruction Amendments. The amendment addresses citizenship rights and equal protection of the laws, and was proposed in response to issues related to former slaves following the American Civil War.
Fifth Amendment (as applied to federal gov) amendment to the Constitution, ratified as part of the Bill of Rights, no person is required to testify against himself in a criminal case and that no person be subjected to a second trial for an offense for which he or she has been duly tried previously
Equal Protection A phrase in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requiring that states guarantee the same rights, privileges, and protections to all citizens.
seperate but equal racially segregated but ostensibly ensuring equal opportunities to all races.
plessy v ferguson U.S. Supreme Court case from 1896 that upheld the rights of states to pass laws allowing or even requiring racial segregation in public and private institutions such as schools, public transportation, restrooms, and restaurants.
De Jure and De Facto Segregation means 'a state of affairs that is true in fact, but that is not officially sanctioned'. In law, and in government, the terms de jure and de facto are used instead of 'in law' and 'in practice', respectively.
Intermediate Scrutiny and Gender U.S. constitutional law, is the second level of deciding issues using judicial review. The other levels are typically referred to as rational basis review (least rigorous) and strict scrutiny (most rigorous).
affirmitve action an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.
Brown v Board of Education (1954), was a landmark United States Supreme Court case in which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.
Romer v Evans (1996), landmark Supreme Court case dealing with sexual orientation and state laws. It was the first Supreme Court case to address gay rights since Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), when the Court had held that laws criminalizing sodomy were constitutional.
Lawrence v Texas (2003) is a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court. The Court struck down the sodomy law in Texas and, by extension, invalidated sodomy laws in 13 other states, making same-sex sexual activity legal in every U.S. state and territory.
Gideo v Wainwright (1963), the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution requires the states to provide defense attorneys to criminal defendants charged with serious offenses who cannot afford lawyers themselves. The case began with the 1961 arrest of Clarence Earl Gideon.
Strict Scrutiny It is part of the hierarchy of standards that courts use to determine which is weightier, a constitutional right or principle or the government's interest against observance of the principle.
Ordinary Scrutiny
Incorporation Doctine constitutional doctrine through which selected provisions of the Bill of Rights are made applicable to the states through the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) a proposed amendment to the US Constitution stating that civil rights may not be denied on the basis of one's sex
Roe v Wade the Supreme Court case that held that the Constitution protected a woman's right to an abortion prior to the viability of the fetus; thus, government regulation of abortions must meet strict scrutiny in judicial review.
Browers v Hardwick 1986), Supreme Court decision, overturned in 2003, that upheld, in a 5-4 ruling, the constitutionality of a Georgia sodomy law criminalizing oral and anal sex in private between consenting adults, in this case with respect to homosexual sodomy,
Constituency a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body.
earmark a congressional directive that funds should be spent on a specific project
Delegate v. trustee model of representation how we should understand the role of representatives, and is frequently contrasted with the delegate model of representation.
Bicameralism having two branches, chambers, or houses, as a legislative body.
Incumbancy the existing holder of a political office. It is usually used in reference to elections where races can often be defined as being between an incumbent and non-incumbents. Incumbents have structural advantages over challengers during elections.
Casework (constituency service) In a congressional office, the term casework refers to the response or services that Members of Congress provide to constituents who request assistance.
logrolling he practice of exchanging favors, especially in politics by reciprocal voting for each other's proposed legislation.
impeachment A formal accusation of wrongdoing against a public official. According to the United States Constitution, the House of Representatives can vote to impeach an official, but the Senate actually tries the case.
gerrymandering U.S. Politics. the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.
party vote a vote (as in a legislature) cast along party lines
party caucus a meeting of the members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and to develop party policy. called a conference by the republicans.
Speaker of the House a member of the House, is elected by a majority party caucus.
majority leader he head of the majority party in a legislative body, especially the US Senate or House of Representatives.
minority leader the party member who directs the activities of the minority party on the floor of a legislative body, as of the U.S. Congress.
Whip System Whips are the party's "enforcers", who typically offer inducements and threaten party members to ensure that they participate according to the official party policy.
Standing Committee a permanent committee that meets regularly
Ad Hoc Committee Committee formed for a specific task or objective, and dissolved after the completion of the task or achievement of the objective.
Conference Committee committee of the United States Congress appointed by the House of Representatives and Senate to resolve disagreements on a particular bill
Joint Committee committee made up of members of both chambers of a bicameral legislature.
Oversight of the executive branch oversight by the United States Congress over the Executive Branch, including the numerous U.S. federal agencies.
hearings an opportunity to state one's case.
Mark Up the process or result of correcting text in preparation for printing.
Veto a constitutional right to reject a decision or proposal made by a law-making body.
Pocket Veto an indirect veto of a legislative bill by the president or a governor by retaining the bill unsigned until it is too late for it to be dealt with during the legislative session
Staff Agencies
Seniority the fact or state of being older or higher in position or status than someone else.
closed rule procedural maneuver that prohibits any amendments to bills up for a vote on the House floor, unless they are recommended by the committee reporting the bill
open rule/state rule set of regulations for debate on the floor of the House of Representatives which permits general debate and allows members to offer amendments
Roll Call Votes senator votes "yea" or "nay" as his or her name is called by the clerk
Ammendment an article added to the US Constitution.
Fillibuster an action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.
Cloture a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote.
Rules Committee a legislative committee responsible for expediting the passage of bills.
Delegated Powers powers specifically granted the Federal Government by the Constitution.
Inherent Powers
Commander in Chief an officer in charge of a major subdivision of a country's armed forces, or of its forces in a particular area
War Powers Resolution is a federal law intended to check the president's power to commit the United States to an armed conflict without the consent of the U.S. Congress.
Executive Agreement an international agreement, usually regarding routine administrative matters not warranting a formal treaty, made by the executive branch of the US government without ratification by the Senate.
Executive Privilege the privilege, claimed by the president for the executive branch of the US government, of withholding information in the public interest.
Line-Item Veto the power of a president, governor, or other elected executive to reject individual provisions of a bill.
Executive Order a rule or order issued by the president to an executive branch of the government and having the force of law
Cabinet in the US) a body of advisers to the president, composed of the heads of the executive departments of the government.
National Security Council usually an executive branch governmental body responsible for coordinating policy on national security issues and advising chief executives on matters related to national security.
White House Staff The White House Office is headed by the White House Chief of Staff, who is also the head of the Executive Office.
Kitchen Cabinet a group of unofficial advisers to the holder of an elected office who are considered to be unduly influential.
Executive Office of the President consists of the immediate staff of the current President of the United States and multiple levels of support staff reporting to the President.
Office of Management and Budget largest office within the Executive Office of the President of the United States
Signing Statement
New Deal & Franklin Roosevelt’s impact on the presidency written pronouncement issued by the President of the United States upon the signing of a bill into law
Institutional Presidency A group of presidential advisers, primarily the secretaries of federal departments.
"Going public" reveal details about a previously private concern."Bates went public with the news at a press conference"
Patterns of public opinion on the presidency
Power to grant pardons and reprieves
Power to receive ambassadors
Patterns of partisan & ideological unity in House and Senate
Rates of incumbency & impact on elections

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