AP Government Key Terms

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  1. Activation
    • 1 of 3 key consequences of electoral campaigns for voters.
    • Voters contribute with cash, door to door advertising or just voting.
  2. Actual group
    Part of the potential group consisting of members who actually join.
  3. Adarand Constructors v Pena
    1995 supreme court decision: federal programs classifying people by race are unconstitutional.
  4. Administrative discretion
    The authority of administrative actors to choose from various responses to a given issue
  5. Advertising
    According to David Mayhew it's 1 of 3 main activities done by members of Congress to increase the likelihood of their reelection. Includes contacts between members and their constituents between elections
  6. Affirmative action
    Policy designed to give special attention compensation to a (previously) disadvantaged group
  7. Agenda
    Another term for policy agenda
  8. Agents of Socialization
    Families, schools, TV, peer groups and other influences that contribute to political socialization by shaping formal and especially informal learning of politics.
  9. Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990
    Law that requires employers/public facilities to make accommodations for disabled people and prohibits discrimination against them in employment
  10. Amicus curiae briefs
    Legal briefs submitted by a "friend of the court" to raise additional points of view/presenting additional information.
  11. Anti-Federalists
    Opponents of the US constitution who argued it was a class based document, would destroy fundamental liberties and weaken the states,
  12. Antitrust policy
    Policy designed to ensure competition and prevent monopoly.
  13. Appellate jurisdiction
    Jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts. They don't review factual record only the legal issues involved
  14. Appropriation bill
    An act of Congress that funds programs withing limits est. by authorization bills usually for a year.
  15. Arms race
    A tense relationship starting in the 1950s between the US and USSR over having the best weapons.
  16. Articles of Confederation
    1st constitution of the US adopted by congress in 1777 and enacted in 1781, establishing a national legislature, Continental Congress but most authority was with the states
  17. Authorization bill
    Act of congress establishing, continuing or changing a discretionary gov. program or an entitlement. Specifies program goal and max expenditures
  18. Balance of trade
    Ratio of what is paid for imports to what is earned. When more is imported there is a balance of trade deficit
  19. Balanced budget amendment
    Proposed amendment to the constitution that would instruct congress to hold a national convention to propose to the states a requirement that peacetime federal budgets be balanced.
  20. Barron v Baltimore
    1833 supreme court decision: the bill of rights restrained only the national government not the states and cities. 100 years later Gitlow v New York decided states must respect some 1st amendment rights
  21. Beats
    Specific locations that news frequently comes from.
  22. Bicameral legislature
    Two party system.
  23. Bill
    Proposed law drafted in precise legal language. Can be drafted by anyone but has to be submitted by a House of Representatives, or Senate
  24. Bill of rights
    1st ten amendments to the constitution drafted in response to anti-federalists.
  25. Blanket Primaries
    Elections to select party nominees where voters are presented with a list of candidates from all parties.
  26. Block grants
    Federal grants given more or less automatically to states or communities to support broad programs in areas such as community development and social services.
  27. Broadcast media
    TV and radio, compared to print media
  28. Brown v Board of Education
    1954 supreme court decision to desegregate schools.
  29. Budget
    Policy document allocating burdens and benefits
  30. Budget resolution
    A resolution binding congress to a total expenditure level, supposedly the bottom line of all federal spending for all programs
  31. Bureaucracy
    According to Max Weber: a hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle and behaves with impersonality.
  32. Cabinet
    Group of presidential advisers not mentioned in the Constitution, but every president has had one.
  33. Campaign strategy
    The master game plan candidates lay out to guide their electoral campaign.
  34. Capitalism
    An economic system in which individuals and corporations not the government own the principal means of production and seek profits. Pure capitalism means noninterference from the gov.
  35. Casework
    Activities of members of Congress that help constituents as individuals.
  36. Categorical grants
    federal grants that can only be used for specific purposes of state and local spending. Often with strings attached like "nondiscrimination provisions"
  37. Caucus (Congressional)
    Group of members of Congress sharing some interest or characteristic. Most are composed of members from both parties and houses.
  38. Caucus (State party)
    Meeting of all state party leaders for selecting delegates to the national party convention Usually organized as a pyramid
  39. Censorship
    Government regulation of media content
  40. Census
    A valuable tool for understanding demographic changes. Constitution requires go conduct an "actual enumeration" of the population every ten years
  41. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    Agency created after WWII to coordinate US intelligence activities abroad. Got involved in conspiracy, intrigue and meddling.
  42. Chains
    Another term for newspaper chains
  43. Checks and balances
    Important part of the Madisonian model designed to limit government's power by requiring that power be balanced among the different gov instituions.
  44. City manager
    An official appointed by the city council who is responsible for implementing and administrating the council's actions.
  45. Civic duty
    Belief that in order to support democratic government a citizen should always vote
  46. Civil disobedience
    Form of political participation that reflects a conscious decision to break a law believed to be immoral and to suffer the consequences
  47. Civil law
    Body of law involving cases without a charge of criminality. Concerns disputes between two parties and consists of both statues and common law.
  48. Civil liberties
    Legal constitutional protections against government. These are specified in the bill of rights
  49. Civil rights
    Policies designed to protect people against arbitrary or discriminatory treatment by the government officials or individuals
  50. Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Law that made racial discrimination in hotels/restaurants illegal and forbade job discrimination
  51. Civil rights movement
    Began in the 1950s, organized black and whites to end the policies of segregation and establish equal opportunities politically and economically.
  52. Civil rights policies
    Policies that extend government protection to particular disadvantaged groups.
  53. Civil service
    System of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service
  54. Class action suits
    Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated.
  55. Clean air act of 1970
    A law intended to clean up the nation's rivers and lakes. Requires municipal, industrial and other polluters to secure permits from EPA for discharging waste products into waters
  56. Closed primaries
    Elections to select party nominees in which only people who have registered in advance with the party can vote for that party's candidates. Encourages loyalty to parties.
  57. Coalition
    Group of individuals with a common interest upon which every political party depends.
  58. coalition government
    When two or more parties join together to form a majority in a national legislature more common in the multiparty systems of Europe
  59. Coattails
    Another word for presidential coattails
  60. Cold War
    War by other than military means usually emphasizing ideological conflict.
  61. Collective bargaining
    Negotiations between representatives of labor unions and management to determine acceptable working conditions
  62. Collective good
    Something of value that cannot be withheld from a group member
  63. Command and control policy
    According to Charles Schultze: existing system of regulation whereby government tells business how to reach certain goals, checks that commands are followed and punishes offenders
  64. Commerical speech
    Communication in the form of advertising. It can be restricted more than any other form of speech but has been increasingly protected by the Supreme court
  65. Commission government
    Form of municipal government where voters elect individuals to serve as city commissioners and have legislative responsibilities to approve city policies and executive responsibilities to direct a functional area of city government
  66. Committee chairs
    Most important influencers of the congressional agenda, playing dominant roles in scheduling hearings, hiring, appointing subcommittees and managing committee bills.
  67. Committees (Congressional)
    Another term for conference committees, joint committees, select committees and standing committees.
  68. common law
    the accumulation of judicial decisions applied in civil law disputes
  69. Comparable worth
    The issue raised when women are aid less than men for working at jobs requiring comparable skill
  70. Conference committees
    Congressional committees formed when the senate and the house pass a particular bill in different forms.
  71. congressional budget and impoundment control act of 1974
    An act designed to reform the congressional budgetary process. Supporters hoped that it would also make Congress less dependent on the president's budget and better able to set and meet its own budgetary goals.
  72. Congressional Budget Office
    Counterweight to the president's office of management and budget. the CBO advises Congress on the probable consequences of budget decisions and forecasts revenue
  73. Connecticut Compromise
    Compromise reached at the constitutional convention that established two houses of Congress: the house of representatives where representation is based on state's share of US population and the senate where each state has two representatives
  74. Consensus
    Agreement. Reflected by an opinion distribution in which a large majority see eye to eye
  75. Consent of the governed
    According to John Locke: the required basis for government. The Declaration of Independence reflects Locke's view that governments derive their authority from the consent of the governed
  76. Constitution
    A nation's basic law. Creates political institutions, assigns or divides powers in government and often provides certain guarantees to citizens
  77. Constitutional convention
    A method of amending a state constitution in which voters may approve the calling of a convention of state citizens to propose amendments.
  78. Constitutional courts
    Lower federal courts of original jurisdiction created by congress by the judiciary act of 1789
  79. Consumer price index
    The key measure of inflation that relates the rise in prices over time
  80. Containment doctrine
    A foreign policy strategy advocated by George Kennan that called for the US to isolate the USSR, contain its advances and resists its encroachments
  81. Continuing resolutions
    When congress cannot reach agreement and pass appropriate
  82. Convention
    Also: National Party Convention
  83. Conversion
    1 of 3 key consequences of electoral campaigns for voters where the voter's mind is actually changed
  84. Cooperative federalism
    System of government where powers and policy assignments are shared between states and the national government. Includes share of cost, administration and even blame
  85. Council-manager government
    Form of government where voters elect a city council to make public policy for the city. The council appoints professional city managers to administer public policy
  86. Council of Economic Advisers (CEA)
    A 3 member body appointed by the president to advise him/her on economic policy
  87. Council of governments (COG)
    Councils in many areas of the country where officials from various localities meet to discuss mutual problems and plan joint cooperative action
  88. Country
    A political subdivision of state government that serves as the administrative arm of state government at the local level
  89. Court of last resort
    The final appeals court in a state often known as the state supreme court
  90. Craig v Boren
    1976 supreme court decision: gender classification cases would have a heightened of middle level of scrutiny. I.E. less deference than more routine classifications and more deference than racial classifications
  91. Credit Claiming
    According to David Mayhew 1 of 3 primary activities undertaken by members of congress to increase the probability of their reelection, involving personal and district service
  92. Criminal law
    The body of law involving a case in which an individual is charged with violating a specific law.
  93. Crisis
    A sudden unpredictable and potentially dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager
  94. Critical election
    An electoral "earthquake" whereby new issues emerge new coalitions replace old ones and the majority party is often displaced by the minority party.
  95. Cruel and unusual punishment
    Court sentences prohibited by the 8th amendment
  96. Culture of poverty
    Negative attitudes and values toward work, family and success that condemn the poor to low levels of accomplishment.
  97. Dartmouth College v Woodward
    1819 supreme court case: Dartmouths charter as well as the charter of any corporation is a legal contract that cannot be tampered with by a government
  98. Dealignment
    See party dealignment
  99. Debate
    See presidential debate
  100. Debt
    See federal debt
  101. Deficit
    An excess of federal expenditures over federal revenues
  102. Delegate
    See instructed delegate
  103. Democracy
    A system of selecting policymakers and of organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the publi'c preferences
  104. Democratic theory
    See traditional democratic theory
  105. Demography
    The science of population changes
  106. Dennis v United States
    1951 case: government can jail American Communist Party leaders under the Smith Act (a law forbidding advocacy of the violent overthrow of the US government)
  107. Deregulation
    The lifting of restrictions on business industry and professional activities for which government rules had been established ant that bureaucracies had been created to administer
  108. Détente
    A slow transformation from conflict thinking to cooperative thinking in foreign policy strategy and policymaking
  109. Dillon's Rule
    The idea that local governments have only hose powers that are explicitly given them by the states This means local governments have very little discretion over what policies they pursue of how they pursue them.
  110. Direct democracy
    Procedures such as the initiative the referendum and the recall by which voters can have a direct impact on policymaking and the political process by means of the voting booth
  111. Direct mail
    A high tech method of raising money for a political cause or candidate. Involves sending information and requests for money to people whose names appear on lists of those who have supported similar views of candidates in the past
  112. Direct primaries
    Primaries used to select party nominees for congressional and state offices
  113. District courts
    the 91 federal courts of original jurisdiction. They are the only federal courts where no trials are held and juries may be empaneled.
  114. Dual federalism
    system of government where both the states and the national government remain supreme within their own spheres, each responsible for some policies
  115. Due process clause
    Part of the 14th amendment guaranteeing that persons cannot be deprived of life, liberty or property by the US or state governments without due process of law
  116. Earned income tax credit (EITC)
    A negative income tax that provides income to very poor individuals in lieu of charging them federal tax
  117. Efficacy
    See political efficacy
  118. 8th amendment
    Forbids cruel and unusual punishments
  119. Elastic cluse
    The final paragraph of Article I, Section 8 of the constitution which authorizes Congress to pass all laws necessary and proper to carry out the enumerated powers. See also implied powers
  120. Electioneering
    Direct group involvement in the electoral process. Groups can help fund campaigns, provide testimony and get members to work for candidates and some form political action committees
  121. Electoral college
    A unique American institution created by the constitution that provides for the seletion of the president by electors chosen by the state parties.
  122. Electoral mandate
    a concept based on the idea that the people have spoken. It's a powerful symbol in American electoral politics, according legitimacy and credibility to a newly elected president's proposals.
  123. Elite
    The upper class in a society that utilizes wealth for political power.
  124. Elite theory
    A theory of government an politics contending that societies ar3e divided along class lines that an upper-class elite will rule, regardless of the formal niceties of governmental organization.
  125. Endangered species act of 1973
    Law requiring federal government protection for hundreds of endangered species regardless of economic effect on the surrounding towns or regions
  126. Engel v itale
    1962 supreme court decision holding that state officials violated the 1st amendment when they wrote a prayer to be recited by NY schoolchildren
  127. Entitlement programs
    Policies for which expenditures are uncontrollable because Congress has in effect obligated itself to pay X level of benefits to Y number of recipients.
  128. Entrepreneur
    See political entrepreneur
  129. Enumerated powers
    Powers of the federal government that are specifically addressed in the constitution.
  130. Environmental impact statement
    A report filed with the EPA that specifies what environmental effects a proposed policy would have.
  131. Environmental Protection Agency
    An agency of the federal government created in 1970 and charged with administering all the government's environmental legislation.
  132. Equal opportunity
    A policy statement about equality holding that the rules of game should be the same for everyone.
  133. Equal protection of the laws
    Part of the 14th amendment emphasizing that the laws must provide equivalent protection to all people.
  134. Equal results
    A policy statement about equality holding that government has a duty to help break down barriers to equal opportunity.
  135. Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
    A constitutional amendment originally introduced in 1923 and passed by congress in 1972 and sent to the state legislatures for ratification stating that equality of rights shall not be denied on account of sex
  136. Establishment clause
    Part of the 1st amendment stating that congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion
  137. European Union
    An alliance of the major western European nations that coordinates monetary, trade, immigration and labor practices making its members one economic unit
  138. Exclusionary rule
    The rule that evidence no matter how incriminating cannot be introduced into a trial if it was not constitutionally obtained
  139. Executive agency
    See independent executive agency
  140. Executive orders
    Regulations originating from the executive branch. Executive orders are one method presidents can use to control the bureaucracy more often though presidents ass along their wishes through their aides
  141. exit poll
    Public opinion surveys used by major media pollsters to predict electoral winners with speed and precision
  142. expenditures
    Federal spending of revenues. Major areas of such spending are social services and the military
  143. Extradition
    A legal process where by an alleged criminal offender is surrendered by the official of one state to official sof another
  144. Facilitator
    According to George Edwards the effective leader who works at the margin of coalition building to recognize and exploit opportunities presented by a favorable configuration of political forces
  145. Factions
    Interest groups arising from the unequal distributions of property or wealth that James Madison attack in Federalist Paper No. 10. Today's parties or interest groups are what Madison had in mind when he warned of the instability in government caused by factions
  146. Federal debt
    All the money borrowed by the federal government over the years and still outstanding.
  147. Federal Election Campaign Act
    Law passed in 1974 for reforming campaign finances. created Federal Election Commission (FEC) provided public financing of presidential primaries and federal elections, limited presidential campaign spending required disclosure and attempted to limit contributions
  148. Federal Election Commission
    6 member bipartisan agency created by the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974 who finance laws and enforces compliance with their requirements
  149. Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act
    Passed in 1946 requiring congressional lobbyists to register and state their policy goals. Only applies to groups whose principal purpose is lobbying
  150. Federal Reserve System
    Main instrument for making monetary policy in the US, created in 1913 by congress to regulate the lending practices of banks and thus the money supply. 7 members appointed to 14 year terms by the president with the consent of the Senate
  151. Federal Trade Commission
    Independent regulatory agency traditionally responsible for regulating false and misleading trade practices.
  152. Federalism
    A way of organizing a nation so that two levels of government have formal authority over the same land and people.
  153. Federalist papers
    Collection of 85 articles written by A Hamilton, John Jay and J Madison under the name Publius to defend the constitution in detail.
  154. Federalists
    Supporters of the US constitution
  155. Feminization of poverty
    Increasing concentration of poverty among women especially unmarried women and their children
  156. 15th amendment
    The constitutional amendment adopted in 1870 to extend suffrage to black men
  157. 5th Amendment
    Constitutional amendment designed to protect the rights of persons accused of crimes including protection against double jeopardy, self incrimination and punishment without due process
  158. Filibuster
    Strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to talk it to death. 60 members present and voting can stop a filibuster
  159. 1st amendment
    The constitutional amendment that established the 4 great liberties: freedom of the press, of speech, of religion and of assembly
  160. Fiscal federalism
    Pattern of spending, taxing and providing grants in the federal system it's the cornerstone of the national government's relations with state and local governments
  161. Fiscal policy
    Policy that describes the impact of the federal budget-taxes, spending and borrowing on the economy
  162. Food and Drug administration
    Federal agency formed in 1913 and assigned the task of approving all food products and drugs sold in the US
  163. Foreign policy
    Involves choice taking, like domestic policy but additionally involves choices about relations with the rest of the world
  164. Formula grants
    Federal categorical grants distributed according to a formula specified in legislation or in administrative regulations
  165. 14th amendment
    After civil war, no more slavery
  166. Fragmentation
    Situation in which responsibility for a policy area is dispersed among several units within the bureaucracy making the coordination of policies both time consuming and difficult
  167. Free exercise clause
    1st amendment provision that prohibits government from interfering with the practice of religion
  168. Free-rider problem
    Problem faced by unions and other groups when people do not join because they can benefit from the group's activities without officially joining
  169. Frontloading
    Recent tendency of states to hold primaries early in the calendar in order to capitalize on media attention.
  170. Full faith and credit clause
    A clause in Artcle IV Section 1 of the constitution requiring each state to recognize the official documents and civil judgments by the courts of other states
  171. Gender gap
    The regular pattern by which women are more likely to support Democrats, social services and less on military spending
  172. Gibbons v ogden
    1824 interpreted broadly the clause in Article I section 8 of the constitution giving Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce, encompassing virtually every form of commercial activity
  173. Gideon v Wainwright
    1963 case holding that anyone accused of a felony where imprisonment may be imposed has a right to a lawyer
  174. Gitlow v New York
    1925 case: freedoms of press and speech are fundamental personal rights and liberties protected by the due process clause of the 14th amendment from impairment by the states as well as the federal government
  175. Government
    Institutions and processes through which public policies are made for a society
  176. Governmental corporation
    Government organization that like business corporations provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services.
  177. Governor
    Elected chief executive of state government who directs the administration of state government and the implementation of public policy in the state
  178. Gramm-Rudman-Hollings
    Named for its sponsors, aka the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Act legislation mandating maximum allowable deficit levels each year until 1991 when the budget was to be balanced. in 1987 the balanced budget year was shifted to 1993 but the act was abandoned in 1991
  179. Grandfather clause
    Used to deny black voting rights in the south. People could be exempt from the literacy tests if their grandfather voted.
  180. Grants
    See categorical grants and block grants
  181. Gregg v Georgia
    1976 supreme court case decision that upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty, and not cruel or unusual.
  182. Gross domestic product
    Sum total of the value of all the goods and services produced in a nation
  183. GS (General Schedule) rating
    A schedule for federal employees ranging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience
  184. Hatch act
    A federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics
  185. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs)
    Organizations contracted by individuals or insurance companies to provide health care for a yearly fee. Limits the choice of doctors and treatments
  186. High tech policies
    A policy where the behavior of citizens and policymakers and the political agenda itself are increasingly shaped by technology
  187. Home rule
    Municipalities are permitted b the states to write their own charters and change them without permission of the state legislature within limits
  188. House Rules Committee
    An institution unique to the house of representatives that reviews all bills 9except revenue, budget and appropriations bills) coming from a House committee before they go to the full house
  189. House Ways and Means Committee
    The house of representatives committee that along with the Senate Finance Committee writes the tax codes subject to the approval of congress as a whole
  190. Hyperpluralism
    Theory of government and politics contending that groups are so strong that government is weakened. The extreme version of pluralism
  191. Impeachment
    Political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the constitution. House of representatives can impeach the president by a majority vote
  192. Implementation
    Stage of policymaking between the establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for the people whom it affects.
  193. Implied powers
    Powers of the federal government that go beyond those enumerated in the constitution.
  194. Incentive system
    According to Charles Shultze a more effective and efficient policy than command and control, in the incentive system market like strategies are used to manage public policy
  195. Income
    The amount of funds collected between any two points in time.
  196. Income distribution
    The shares of the national income earned by various groups
  197. Income tax
    Shares of individual wages and corporate revenues collected by the government.
  198. Incorporation doctrine
    The legal concept under which the Supreme Court has nationalized the Bill of Rights by making most of its provisions applicable to the states through the 14th amendment
  199. Incrementalism
    The legal concept that the best predictor of this year's budget is last year's budget plus a little bit more (an increment)
  200. Incumbents
    Those already holding office
  201. Independent regulatory agency
    A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules supposedly to protect the public interest.
  202. Industrial policy
    An economic policy that advocates the federal government's support of key strategic industries, such as the making of computer chips and protection of these industries from foreign competition
  203. INF treaty
    The elimination of intermediate range nuclear forces (INF) through an agreement signed by president Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev during the May 1988 Moscow summit
  204. Inflation
    The rise in prices for consumer goods.
  205. Initiative
    A process permitted in some states whereby voters may put proposed changes in the state constitution to a vote if sufficient signatures are obtained on petitions.
  206. Instructed delegate
    A legislator who mirrors the preferences of his or her constituents
  207. Interdependency
    Mutual dependency where the actions of nations reverberate and affect one another's economic lifelines
  208. Interest group
    An organization of people with shared policy goals entering the policy process at several points to try to achieve those goals
  209. Intergenerational equity
    The issue of distribution of government benefits and burdens among the generations and over time. Affected groups include children, the working and middle class and the elderly
  210. Intergovernmental relations
    The workings of the federal system the entire set of interactions among national, state, and local governments
  211. Internal Revenue Service
    The office established to collect federal income taxes, investigate violations of the tax laws and prosecute tax criminals.
  212. Investigative journalism
    The use of in-depth reporting to unearth scandals, scams and schemes which at times puts reporters in adversarial relationships with political leaders
  213. Iron triangles
    Entities composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups and gonressional committees or subcommittees which have dominated some areas of domestic policy making
  214. Isolationism
    A foreign policy course followed throughout most of the US history where they stay out of other nation's conflicts especially European wars
  215. Item veto
    The power possessed by 42 state governors to veto only certain parts of a bill while allowing the rest of it to pass into law
  216. Joint chiefs staff
    The commanding officers of the armed services who advise the president on military policy
  217. Joint committees
    Congressional committees on a few subject matter areas with membership drawn from both houses
  218. Judicial activism
    A judicial philosophy where judges make bold policy decisions even charting new constitutional ground.
  219. Judicial implementation
    How and whether court decisions are translated into actual policy, affecting the behavior of others.
  220. Judicial interpretation
    A major informal way where the Constitution is changed by the courts as they balance citizen's rights against those of the government
  221. Judicial restraint
    A judicial philosophy where judges play minimal policymaking roles, leaving that strictly to the legislatures
  222. Judicial review
    The power of the courts to determine whether acts of Congress and by implication the executive are in accord with he US Constitutoion
  223. Justiciable disputes
    A constraint on the courts requiring that a case must be capable of being settle by legal methods.
  224. Keynesian economic theory
    Emphasizes that government spending and deficits can help the economy weather its normal ups and downs. Proponents advocate using the power of government to stimulate the economy when it is lagging
  225. Korematsu v US
    1944 case deciding that the Japanese internment camps were constitutional
  226. Labor union
    An organization of workers intended to engage in collective bargaining
  227. Laissez-faire
    Principle that government should not meddle in the economy
  228. Legislative courts
    Courts established by Congress for specialized purposes like the Court of Military Appeals.
  229. Legislative oversight
    Congress's monitoring of the bureaucracy and its administration of policy performed mainly through hearings
  230. Legislative proposal
    Method of state constitutional revision where the state legislature offers a proposed change to state voters for approval
  231. Legislative turnover
    Rate at which incumbent state legislators leave office by choice or by defeat during a bid for reelection
  232. Legislative veto
    Ability of congress to override a presidential decision. Supreme court potentially has the power to find it in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers
  233. Legislators
    elected representatives of state citizens who serve in the state legislature and make public policy
  234. Legitimacy
    Characterization of elections by political scientists meaning that they are almost universally accepted as a fair and free method of selecting political leaders
  235. Lemon v Kurtzman
    1971 decision establishing that aid to church related schools must have a secular legislative purpose, have a primary effect that neither advocates nor inhibits religion and not foster excessive government entanglement with religion
  236. Libel
    the publication of false of malicious statements that damage someone's reputation
  237. Liberalism
    A political ideology whose advocates prefer a government active in dealing with human needs, support individual rights and liberties give higher priority to social needs than to military needs
  238. Lieutenant governor
    Often the 2nd highest executive in state government who is elected with the government as a ticket in some states and is elected separately in others
  239. Limited government
    The idea that certain things are out of bounds for government because of the natural rights of citizens. Limited government was central to John Locke's philosophy in the 17th century and it contrasted sharply with the prevailing view of the divine rights or monarchs
  240. Line item veto
    The power possessed by 42 states governors to veto only certain parts of a bill while allowing the rest of it to pass into law
  241. Linkage institutions
    The channels or access points through which issues and people's policy preferences get on the government's policy agenda. IN the US elections, political parties, interest groups and the mass media are the three main linkage institutions
  242. Litigants
    The plaintiff and defendant in a case
  243. Lobbying
    According to Lester Milbrath a "Communication by someone other than a citizen acting on his own behalf, directed to a governmental decision maker with the hope of influencing his decision
  244. Local charter
    An organizational statement and grant of authority from the state to a local government much like a state or federal constitution.
  245. Majority leader
    The principal partisan ally of the Speaker of the House or the party's wheel horse in the Senate. S/he his responsible for scheduling bills, influencing committee assignments and rounding up votes on behalf of the party's legislative positions
  246. Majority rule
    A fundamental principle of traditional democratic theory. In a democracy choosing among alternatives requires that the majority's desire be respected
  247. Mandate theory of elections
    The idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out his or her platforms and politics. Politicians like the theory better than political scientists do
  248. Mapp v Ohio
    1961 decision ruling that the 4th amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizures must be extended to the states as well as the federal government
  249. Marbury v Madison
    The 1803 case in which Chief Justice John Marshall and his associates first asserted the right of the supreme court to determine the meaning of the US constitution
  250. Mass media
    TV, radio, newspapers, magazines and other means of popular communication.
  251. Matching funds
    Contributions of up to $250 are matched from the Presidential Election Campaign Fund to candidates for the presidential nomination who qualify and agree to meet various conditions such as limited their overall spending
  252. Mayor-council government
    1/3 common forms of municipal government where voters elect both a mayor and a city council.
  253. McCarthyism
    The fear prevalent in the 1950s that international communism was conspirational, insidious, bent on world domination, and infiltrating US government and cultural institutions. Named after Senator John McCarthy and flourished after the Korean War
  254. McCleskey v Kemp
    1987 case: upheld the constitutionality of the death penalty
  255. McCulloch v Maryland
    1819 supreme court decision that established the supremacy of the national government over state governments.
  256. McGovern-Fraser Commission
    A commission formed at the 1968 democratic convention in response to demands for reform by minority groups and others who sought better representation
  257. Means-tested programs
    Government programs available only to individuals below a poverty line
  258. Media events
    Events purposely staged for the media that nonetheless look spontaneous
  259. Medicaid
    A public assistance program designed to provide health care for poor Americans
  260. Medicare
    A program added to the Social Security system in 1965 that provides hospitalization insurance for the elderly
  261. Melting pot
    The mixing of cultures/ideas/peoples that has change the American nation
  262. Merit plan
    A hybrid system of appointment and election used to selected judges in 17 states. The governor appoints the state's judges from a list of recommended persons, an appointed judge has a trial run and a retention election is held.
  263. Merit principle
    The idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talents and skill
  264. Miami Herald Publishing Company v Tornillo
    1974 case where the Supreme Court held that a state could not force a newspaper to print replies from candidates it had criticized, illustrating the limited power of government to restrict print media
  265. Miller v California
    1973 Supreme court decision that avoided defining obscenity by holding that community standards be used to determine whether material is obscene.
  266. Minimum wage
    The legal minimum hourly wage for large employers.
  267. Minority leader
    The principle leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives or in the Senate
  268. Minority majority
    The emergence of a non-Caucasian majority, as compare with a White generally Anglo-Saxon majority.
  269. Minority rights
    A principle of traditional democratic theory that guarantees rights to those who do not belong to majorities through persuasion and reasoned argument.
  270. Miranda v Arizona
    1966 Supreme court decision that sets guidelines for police questioning of accused persons to protect them against self incrimination
  271. Mixed economy
    An economic system where the government is deeply involved in economic decisions through its role as regulator, consumer, subsidizer, taxer, employer and borrower.
  272. Monetarism
    An economic theory holding that the supply of money is the key to a nation's economic health. Monetarists believe that too much cash and credit produces inflation
  273. Monetary policy
    Based on monetarism monetary policy is the manipulation of the supply of money in private hands by which the government can control the economy
  274. Motor voter Act
    Passed in 1993 and in effect for the 1996 election requiring states to permit people to register to vote at the same time they apply for drivers licenses
  275. Multinational corporations
    large businesses with vast holding in many countries. Many of the are larger than most governments
  276. Municipalities
    Another name for cities, also known by the legal term municipal corporations; denotes a government created by charter granted from the state government or by home rule charter approved by local voters
  277. NAACP v Alabama
    The Supreme court protected the right to assemble peaceably in this 1958 case when it decided NAACP didn't have to reveal its membership list and thus subject its members to harassment
  278. Narrowcasting
    As opposed to the traditional "broadcasting" the appeal to a narrow, particular audience by channels such as ESPN, MTV and C-SPAN which focus on a narrow particular interest
  279. National chairperson
    One of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. S/he is responsible for the day to day activities of the party and is usually selected by the presidential nominee
  280. National committee
    One of the institutions that keeps the party operating between conventions. Its composed of representatives from the states and territories
  281. National convention
    The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a presidential ticket and write the party's platform
  282. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    The law passed in 1969 that is the centerpiece of federal environmental policy in the US. NEPA established the requirements for environmental impact statements
  283. National health insurance
    A compulsory insurance program for all Americans that would have the government finance citizens' medical care. first proposed by President Harry S Truman the plan has been soundly opposed by the American Medical Association
  284. National Labor Relations Act
    1935 law aka the Wagner Act that guarantees workers the right of collective bargaining, sets down rules to protect unions and organizers and created the National Labor Relations Board to regulate labor management relations
  285. National party convention
    The supreme power within each of the parties. The convention meets every four years to nominate the party's presidential and vice-presidential candidates and write the party's plate form
  286. National primary
    A proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries systems who would replace these electoral methods with a nationwide primary held early in the election year
  287. National Security Council
    An office created in 1947 to coordinate the president's foreign and military policy advisers. Its forma members are the president, vice president, secretary of state and secretary of defense and its managed by the president's national security assistant.
  288. Natural rights
    Rights inherent in humans not dependent on governments which include life, liberty and property
  289. Near v Minnesota
    1931 case holding that the 1st amendment protects newspapers from prior restraint
  290. New Deal Coalition
    A coalition formed by Democrats who dominated US politics from the 1930s-60s including urban working class, ethnic groups Catholics and Jews, the poo, Southerners, black people and intelectuals
  291. New Jersey Plan
    Proposal at the Constitutional Convention that called for equal representation of each state in Congress regardless of the state's population
  292. New York Times v Sullivan
    1964 case establishing guidelines for determining whether public officials and public figures could win damage suits for libel
  293. News leak
    A carefully placed bit of inside information given to a friendly reporter,
  294. Newspaper chains
    Newspapers published by massive media conglomerates that account for almost 3/4 of the nation's daily circulation
  295. 19th amendment
    The constitutional amendment adopted in 1920 guaranteeing women the right to vote
  296. Nomination
    The official endorsement of a candidate for office by a political party
  297. Nonrenewable resource
    Minerals and other resources that nature does not replace when they are consumed, such as oil and coal.
  298. North Atlantic Treaty Organization
    NATO created in 1949 an organization (US, Canada, most W European nations and Turkey) who agree to combine military forces and to treat a war against one as a war against all
  299. Office of Management and Budget
    An office that grew out of the Bureau of the Budget created in 1921 consisting of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals.
  300. Office of Personnel Management
    The office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government using elaborate rules in the process
  301. Olson's law of large groups
    Advanced by Mancur Olson a principle stating that the larger the group the further it will fall short of providing an optimal amount of a collective good
  302. Open primaries
    Elections to select party nominees where voters can decide on Election Day whether they want to participate in the Democratic or Republican contests
  303. Opinion
    A statement of legal reasoning behind a judicial decision. The content of an opinion may be as important as the decision itself
  304. Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
    An economic organization consisting primarily of Arab nations that controls the price of oil and the amount of oil its members produce and sell to other nations. They caused the oil boycott in the winter of 1973-1974
  305. Original intent
    A view that the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of the framers.
  306. Original jurisdiction
    The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first usually in a trial. These are the ourts that determine the facts about a case
  307. Oversight
    The process of monitoring the bureaucracy and its administration of policy mainly though congressional hearings
  308. Parliamentary governments
    Governments like the one in Great Britain that typically select the political leader from membership in the parliament
  309. Party compeition
    The battle of the parties for control of public offices. Ups and downs of the two major parties are one of the most important elements in US politics
  310. Party dealignment
    The gradual disengagement of people and politicians from the parties as seen in part by shrinking party identification
  311. Party eras
    Historical periods where a majority of voters cling to the party in power which tends to win a majority of the elections
  312. Party identification
    A citizen's self-proclaimed preference for one party or the other
  313. Party image
    The voter's perception of what the Republican of Democrats stand for such as conservatism or liberalism
  314. Party machines
    A type of political party organization that relies heavily on material inducements such as patronage to win votes and to govern
  315. Party platform
    A political party's statement of its goals and policies for the next 4 year. Drafted before the party convention by a committee whose members are chosen in rough proportion to each candidate's strength.
  316. Party realignment
    The displacement of the majority party usually during a critical election period
  317. Patients' bill of rights
    A controversial proposal before congress that would give patients certain rights against medical providers particularly HMOs including the right to sue
  318. Patronage
    One of the key inducements used by political machines. A patronage job, promotion or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone
  319. Pendleton Civil Service Act
    in 1883 and act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage
  320. Per curiam decision
    A court decision without explanation in other words without opinion
  321. Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA)
    The official name of the welfare reform of 1996
  322. Planned Parenthood v Casey
    A 1992 case where the court loosened its standard for evaluating restrictions on abortion from one of strict scrutiny of any restraints on a fundamental right to one of undue burden that permits considerably more regulation
  323. Plea bargaining
    A bargain struck between the defendant's lawyer and the prosecutor to the effect that the defendant will plead guilty to a lesser crime in exchange for the state's promise not to prosecute the defendant for a more serious crime
  324. Plessey v Ferguson
    1896 decision that provided a constitutional justification for segregation by ruling that a Louisiana law requiring equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races was not unconstitutional
  325. Pluralist theory
    A theory of government and politics emphasizing that politics is mainly a competition among groups, each one pressing for its own preferred policies.
  326. Pocket veto
    A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of having submitted a bill to the president who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it
  327. Policy agenda
    The issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actually involved in politics at any given point in time
  328. Policy differences
    The perception of a clear choice between the parties. Those who see such choices are more likely to vote
  329. Policy entrepreneurs
    People who invest their political capital in an issue. According to John Kingdon a policy entrepreneur could be in or out of government in elected or appointed positions in interest groups or research organizations
  330. Policy gridlock
    A condition that occurs when no coalition is strong enough to form a majority and establish policy. The result is that nothing may get done
  331. Policy impacts
    The effects a policy has on people and problems. Impacts are analyzed to see how well a policy has met its goal and at what cost
  332. Policymaking institutions
    The branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. The US constitution established three policymaking institutions the Congress, presidency and the courts
  333. Policymaking system
    The process by which political problems are communicated by the voters and acted upon by government policymakers. It starts with people's needs and expectations for governmental action
  334. Policy voting
    Electoral choices that are made on the basis of the voter's policy preferences and on the basis of where the candidates stand on policy issues
  335. Political action committees
    Funding vehicles created by the 1974 campaign finance reforms. A corporation union or some other interest group can create a PAC and register it with the Federal Election Commission which will meticulously monitor the PAC's expenditures
  336. Political culture
    An overall set of values widely shared withina society
  337. Political efficacy
    The belief that one's political participation really matters that one's vote can actually make a difference
  338. Political ideology
    A coherent set of beliefs about politics, public policy and public purpose. It helps give meaning to political leaders or the policies they pursue. The most common, but not the only, means of political participation in a democracy is voting.
  339. Political party
    According to Anthony Downs a team of men and women seeking to control the governing apparatus by gaining office in a duly constituted election.
  340. Political questions
    A doctrine developed by the federal courts and used as a means to avoid deciding some cases, principally those involving conflicts between the president and Congress
  341. Political socialization
    According to Richard Dawson the process through which an individual acquires his or her particular political orientations-his or her knowledge feelings and evaluations regarding his or her political world
  342. Political system
    A set of institutions and activities that link together people, politics and policy
  343. Politics
    The process where we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders pursue
  344. Poll taxes
    Small taxes levied on the right to vote, that often fell due at a time of year when poor black sharecroppers had the least cash on hand.
  345. Pork barrel
    The mighty list of federal projects, grants and contracts available to cities businesses colleges and institutions available in a congressional district
  346. Position taking
    According to David Mayhew 1 of 3 primary activities undertaken by members of Congress to increase the probability of their reelection. It involves taking a stand on issues and responding to constituents about these positions
  347. Potential group
    All the people who might be interest group members because they share some common interest. almost always larger than the actual group
  348. Poverty line
    A method used to count the number of poor people, it considers what a family would need to spend for an austere standard of living
  349. Power
    The capacity to get people to do something they would not otherwise do. The quest for power is a strong motivation to political activity
  350. Precedent
    How similar cases have been decided in the past
  351. Presidential coattails
    When voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the president's party because they support the president. Few races are won this way
  352. Presidential debate
    A debate between presidential candidates. The first TV debate was between Richard Nixon and John Kennedy during the 1960 campaign
  353. Presidential Election Campaign Fund
    Money from the $3 federal income tax check off goes into this fund which is then distributed to qualified candidates to subsidize their presidential campaigns
  354. Presidential primaries
    Elections where voters in a state vote for a candidate.
  355. Press conferences
    Meetings of public officials with reporters
  356. Press secretary
    The person on the White House staff who most often deals directly with the press serving as a conduit of information. Press secretaries conduct daily press briefings
  357. Primaries
    Elections that select candidates. In addition to presidential primaries there are direct primaries for selecting party nominees for congressional and state offices and proposals for regional primaries
  358. Print media
    Newspapers and magazines as compared with broadcast media
  359. Prior restraint
    Government's preventing material from being published. Common in some nations, considered unconstitutional in the US
  360. Privileges and immunities clause
    a clause in article IV section 2 of the constitution according citizens of each state most of the privileges of citizens of other states
  361. Probable cause
    The situation occurring when the police have reason to believe that a person should be arrested. In making the arrest police are allowed to legally to search for and seize incriminating evidence
  362. Progressive tax
    A tax where the government takes a greater share of income of the rich than of the poor.
  363. Project grants
    Federal grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of the merits of applications
  364. Proportional representation
    An electoral system used throughout most of Europe that awards legislative seats to political parties in proportion to the number of votes won in an election
  365. Proportional tax
    A tax where the government takes the same share of income from everyone rich and poor alike
  366. Protectionism
    Economic policy of shielding an economy from imports
  367. Protest
    A form of political participation designed to achieve policy change through dramatic and unconventional tactics
  368. Public goods
    Goods such as clean air and clean water than everyone must share
  369. Public interest
    The idea that there are some interest superior to the private interest of groups and individuals, interests we all have in common
  370. Public interest lobbies
    According to Jeffrey Berry organizations that seek a collective good the achievement of which will not selectively and materially benefit the membership or activities of the organization
  371. Public opinion
    The distribution of the population's beliefs about politics and policy issues
  372. Public policy
    A choice that government makes in response to a political issue.
  373. Random digit dialing
    Used by pollsters to place telephone calls randomly to both listed and unlisted numbers when conducting a survey
  374. Random sampling
    The key technique employed by sophisticated survey researchers which operates on the principle that everyone should have an equal probability of being selected for the sample
  375. Rational choice theory
    A popular theory in political science to explain the actions of voters as well as politicians. It assumes that individuals act in their own best interest carefully weighing the costs and benefits of possible alternatives
  376. Reapportionment
    The process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census
  377. Recall
    A procedure that allows voters to call a special election for a specific official in an attempt to throw him or her out of office before the end of his or her term.
  378. Reconciliation
    a congressional process through which program authorization are revised to achieve required savings, usually also including tax or other revenue adjustments
  379. Red Lion Broadcasting Company v FCC
    1969 case upholding restrictions on radio and TV broadcasting like giving adequate coverage to public issues and covering opposing views.
  380. Reed v Reed
    1971 case where the Supreme Court first held up a claim of gender discrimination
  381. Referendum
    A state level method of direct legislation that gives voters a chance to approve or disapprove legislation or a constitutional amendment proposed by the state legislature
  382. Regents of the University of California v Bakke
    1978 case: a state university cannot admit less qualified individuals solely because of their race. The court didn't rule that such affirmative action policies and the use of race as a criterion for admission were unconstitutional.
  383. Regional primaries
    Proposal by critics of the caucuses and presidential primaries to replace these electoral methods with a series of primaries held in each geographic region
  384. Regressive tax
    A tax where the burden falls relatively more heavily on low income groups than on wealthy taxpayers.
  385. Regulation
    The use of governmental authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. Regulations pervade the daily lives of people and institutions
  386. Reinforcement
    1 of 3 key consequences of electoral campaigns for voters where the voter's candidate preference is reinforced
  387. Relative deprivation
    A perception by a group that it is doing less well than is appropriate in relation to a reference group. The desire of a group to correct what it views as the unfair distribution of resources such as income or government benefits is a frequent motivator for political activism
  388. Representation
    a basic principle of traditional democratic theory that describes the relationship between the few leaders and the many followers
  389. Republic
    A form of government that derives its power directly or indirectly from the people. Those chosen to govern are accountable to whom they govern.
  390. Responsible party model
    A view favored by some political scientists about how parties should work. According to the model parties should offer clear choices to the voters, who can then use those choices as cues to their own preferences of candidates. Once in office parties would carry out their campaign promises
  391. Retrospective voting
    A theory of voting in which voters essentially ask this simple question "What have you done for me lately"
  392. Revenues
    The financial resources of the federal government. The individual income tax and social security tax are two major sources of revenue
  393. Right to privacy
    The right to a private personal life free from the intrusion of government. The right privacy is implicitly protected by the Bill of Rights
  394. Right to work law
    A state law forbidding requirements that workers must join a union to hold their jobs. State right to work laws were specifically permitted by the Taft Hartley Act of 1947
  395. Roe v Wade
    1973 case state ban on abortions is unconstitutional
  396. Roth v United States
    1957 case ruling that obscenity isn't within the area of constitutionality protected speech or press
  397. Sample
    A relatively small proportion of people who are chosen in a survey so as to be representative of the whole
  398. Sampling error
    The level of confidence in the findings of a public opinion poll. The more people interviewed the more confident one can be of the results
  399. Schenck v United States
    1919 decision upholding the conviction of a socialist who had urged young men to resist the draft during WWI.
  400. School District of Abington Township Pennsylvania v Schempp
    1963: Pennsylvania law requires Bible reading in schools violated the establishment clause of the 1st amendment
  401. School districts
    Units of local governments that are normally independent of any other local government and are primarily responsible for operating public schools
  402. Scott v Sandford
    1857 case: a slave who escapes to a free state has no rights as a citizen and Congress has no authority to ban slavery in the territories
  403. Search warrant
    A written authorization from a court specifying the area to be searched and what the police are searching for
  404. Secretary of defense
    The head of the department of defense and the president's key adviser on military policy a key foreign policy actor
  405. Secretary of state
    The head of the Department of State and traditionally key adviser to the president on foreign policy
  406. Securities and Exchanges commission
    The federal agency created during the New Deal that regulates stock fraud
  407. Select committees
    Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose such as the Watergate investigation.
  408. Selective benefits
    Goods such as information publications, travel discounts and group insurance rates. That a group can restrict to those who pay their yearly dues
  409. Selective perception
    The phenomenon that people often pay the most attention to things they already agree with and interpret them according to their own predispositions
  410. Self-incrimination
    The situation occurring when an individual accused of a crime is compelled to be a witness against incrimination
  411. Senate Finance Committee
    The Senate committee that along with the House Ways and Means Committee writes the tax codes subject to the approval of Congress as a whole
  412. Senatorial courtesy
    An unwritten tradition whereby nominations for state level federal judicial posts are not confirmed if they are opposed by the senator from the state where the nominee will serve
  413. Senior Executive Service
    An elite cadre of ~11,000 federal government managers established by the civil service reform act of 1978 who are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require Senate confirmation
  414. Seniority system
    A simple rule for picking committee chairs in effect until 1970s The member who had served on the committee the longest and whose party controlled Congress became chair regardless of party loyalty mental state or competences
  415. Separation of powers
    An important part of the Madisonian model that requires each of the 3 branches of government executive legislative and judicial to be relatively independent of the others so that one cannot control the others
  416. Shay's Rebellion
    A series of attacks on courthouses by a small band of farmers led by revolutionary war Captain Daniel Shays to block foreclosed proceedings
  417. Single issue groups
    Groups that have  anarrow interest, tend to dislike compromise and often draw membership from people new to politics.
  418. 16th amendment
    1913 amendment that explicitly permitted congress to levy an income tax
  419. 6th amendment
    Designed to protect individuals accused of crimes. Including the right to: counsel, confront witness, and a speedy/public trial
  420. Social policies
    Polices that manipulate opportunities through public choice. They include policies related to income and policies related to opportunity
  421. Social security act
    1935 law passed during the Great Depression that was intended to provide a minimal level of sustenance to older Americans and thus save them from poverty
  422. Social welfare policies
    Provide benefits to individuals particularly to those in need
  423. Socialized medicine
    System where the full cost of medical care is borne by the national government. Great Britain and the former Soviet Union are examples of countries that have socialized medicine
  424. Soft money
    Political contributions earmarked for party building expenses at the grass roots level. Unlike money that goes to the campaign of a particular candidate such party donations are not subject to contribution limits
  425. Solicitor general
    Presidential appointee and the 3rd ranking office in the Department of Justice. The solicitor general is in charge of the appellate court litigation of the federal government
  426. Sound bites
    Short video clips of approximately 15 seconds which are usually all that is shown from a politician's speech or activities on TV news
  427. Speaker of the House
    An office mandated by the Constitution. The Speaker is chosen in practice by the majority party has both formal and informal powers and is second in line to succeed to the presidency should that office become vacant
  428. Special districts
    Limited purpose local governments called districts or public authorities that are created to run a specific type of service such as water distribution, airports, public transportation, libraries and natural resources
  429. Standard operating procedures
    Better known as SOPs these procedures are used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations. Uniformity improves fairness and makes personnel interchangeable
  430. Standing committees
    Separate subject matter committees in each house of Congress that handle bills in different policy areas
  431. Standing to sue
    The requirement that plaintiffs have a serious interest in a case which depends on whether hey have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct and substantial injury from a party or an action of government
  432. Stare decisis
    A Latin phrase meaning let the decision stand.
  433. Statutory construction
    The judicial interpretation of an act of Congress. In some cases where statutory construction is an issue. Congress passes new legislation to clarify existing laws,
  434. Strategic Defense Initiative
    Renamed Star Wars by critics, a plan for defense against the USSR unveiled by Reagan in 1983. SDI would create a global umbrella in space using computers to scan the skies and high tech devices to destroy invading missiles
  435. Street level bureaucrats
    A phrase coined by Micheal Lipsky referring to those bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion
  436. Subgovernments
    Another way of referring to the state and local governments. Through a process of reform, modernizations and changing intergovernmental relations since the 1960s subnational governments have assumed new responsibilities and importance
  437. Suffrage
    The legal right to vote extended to black people by the 15th amendment and to people over the age of 18 by the 26th amendment
  438. Super Tuesday
    Created by a dozen or so Southern states when they held their presidential primaries in early March 1988 These states hoped to promote a regional advantage as well as a more conservative canidate
  439. Superdelegates
    National party leaders who automatically get a delegate slot at the Democratic national party convention
  440. Superfund
    A fund created by congress in the late 1970s and renewed in the 1980s to clean up hazardous waste sites. Money for the fund comes from taxing chemical products
  441. Supply side economics
    An economic theory advocated by President Reagan holding that too much income goes to taxes and too little money is available for purchasing and that the solutions is to cut taxes and return purchasing power to the cosumers
  442. Supremacy clause
    Article VI of the Constitution which makes the Constitution, national laws and treaties supreme over state laws when the national government is acting within its constitutional limits
  443. Supreme Court
    The pinnacle of the American judicial system. The court ensures uniformity in interpreting national laws, resolves conflicts among states and maintains national supremacy in law. It has original jurisdiction and appellate jurisdiction
  444. Symbolic speech
    Nonverbal communications such as burning a flag or wearing an armband. The supreme court has accorded some symbolic speech protection under the 1st amendment
  445. Taft-Hartley Act
    1947 law giving the president power to halt major strikes by seeking a court injunction and permitting states to forbid requirements in labor contracts forcing workers to join a union
  446. Talking head
    A shot of a person's face talking directly to the camera. Because this is virtually unappealing the major commercial networks rarely show a politician talking one on one for a very long time
  447. Tariff
    A special tax added to imported goods to raise the price thereby protecting American businesses and workers from foreign competition
  448. Tax expenditures
    Defined by the 1974 Budget Act as revenue losses attributable to provisions of the federal tax laws which allow a special exemption, exclusion or deduction. They represent the difference between what the government actually collects in taxes and what it would have collected without exemptions
  449. Tax incidence
    The proportion of its income a particular group pays in taxes
  450. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
    Once called Aid to Families with Dependent Children the new name for public assistance to needy families
  451. 10th amendment
    The constitutional amendment stating that the powers not delegated to the US by thee constitution nor prohibited by it to the states are reserved to the states respectively or to the people
  452. Term limits
    Laws to restrict legislation from serving more than a fixed number of years or terms in office
  453. Texas v Johnson
    1989 case: struck down law banning the burning of the US flag under the 1st amendment
  454. Third parties
    Electoral contenders other than the 2 major parties. American third parties are not unusual but they rarely win elections
  455. 13th amendment
    The constitutional amendment passed after the civil war that forbade slavery and involuntary servitude
  456. Ticket splitting
    Voting with one party for one office and with another party for other offices. It has become the norm in America voting behavior.
  457. town meeting
    A special form of direct democracy under which all voting age adults in a community gather once a year to make public policy. Now only used in a few villages in upper New England originally many municipalities in the US were run by a town meeting
  458. Township
    A political subdivision of local government that is found in 20 states and often serves to provide local government services in rural areas. It is a particularly strong form of local government-comparable to a municipality in the NE
  459. Traditional democratic theory
    A theory about how a democratic government makes its decisions. According to Robert Dahl, its cornerstones are equality in coting, effective participation, enlightened understanding final control over the agenda and inclusion
  460. Transfer payments
    Benefits given by the government directly to individuals. Transfer payments may be either cash or Social security payments and retirement payments to former government employees or in-kind transfers such as food stamps and low interest loans for college education
  461. transnational corporations
    Businesses with vast holdings in many countries such as Microsoft, Coca-Cola and McDonalds many have annual budgets exceeding that of many foreign governments
  462. Trial balloons
    An intentional news leak for the purpose of assessing the political reaction
  463. Trial courts
    The lowest trial court system where the facts of a case are considered. These courts hear both civil and criminal matters
  464. Trustee
    A legislator who uses hi or her best judgment to make policy in the interests of the people. This concept was favored by Edmund Burke.
  465. 25th amendment
    Passed in 1967 this amendment permits the vice president and the president's cabinet determined that the president is disabled. The amendment also outlines how a recuperated president can reclaim the job
  466. 24th amendment
    1964 poll taxes are void
  467. 22 amendment
    1951: limits presidents to 2 terms
  468. Uncontrollable expenditures
    Expenditures that are determined not by a fixed amount of money appropriated by Congress but by how many eligible beneficiaries there are for some particular program or by previous obligations of the government. 3/4 of the federal budget is uncontrollable.
  469. Unemployment rate
    As measured by the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) the proportion of the labor force actively seeking work but unable to find jobs
  470. Unfunded mandates
    When the federal governments requires state and local action but does not provide the funds to pay for the action
  471. Union shop
    A provision found in some collective bargaining agreements requiring all employees of a business to join the members as a condition of employment
  472. Unitary government
    A way of organizing a nation so that all power resides in the central government. Most national governments today including Great Britain and Japan are unitary governments
  473. United Nations
    1945 organization whose members agree to renounce war and to respect certain human economic freedoms.
  474. United states v Nixon
    1974 case where the court decided that the doctrine of executive privilege was implicit in the constitution but could not be extended to protect documents relevant to the criminal prosecutions
  475. Unreasonable searches and seizures
    Obtaining evidence in a haphazard or random manner, a practice prohibited by the 4th amendment. both probable cause and a search and a search warrant are required for a legal and proper search for and seizure of incriminating evidence
  476. Unwritten constitutions
    The body of a tradition, practice and procedure that is as important as the written constitution. Changes in the unwritten constitution can change the spirit of the Constitution. Political parties and national party conventions are a part of the unwritten constitution in the US
  477. Urban underclass
    The poorest of the poor in US. Economic opportunities are severely limited in almost every way.
  478. US constitution
    The document written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 that sets forth the institutional structure of US government and the tasks these institutions perform. It replaced the Articles of Confederation.
  479. Veto
    The constitutional power of the president to send a bill back to Congress with reasons for rejecting it. 2/3 vote in each house can override a veto,
  480. Virginia plan
    The proposal at the Constitutional convention that called for representation of each state in Congress in proportion to that state's share of the US population.
  481. Voter registration
    A system adopted by the states that requires voters to register well in advance of election day. Few states allow election day registration
  482. Voting rights act of 1965
    A law designed to help end formal and informal barriers to black suffrage. Under the law, federal registers were sent to Southern states and counties that had long histories of discrimination; as a result 100s of 1000s of black people were registered and the number of black people elected officials increased dramatically
  483. War powers resolution
    A law passed in 1973 in reaction to US fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia, needing presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless congress declares war or grants an extension.
  484. Wealth
    The amount of funds already owned. Wealth includes stocks, bonds, bank deposits, cars, houses, and so forth. Wealth has been less evenly divided than income
  485. Whips
    Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the party
  486. White primary
    One of the means used to discourage black voting that permitted political parties in heavily democratic south to exclude black people from primary elections, thus depriving them of a voice in the real contests. Declared unconstitutional in 1944
  487. Winner take all system
    An electoral system where legislative seats are awarded only to the candidates who come in first in their constituencies. In US presidential elections the system where the winner of the popular vote in a state receives all the electoral votes of the state.
  488. World Trade organization
    International organization that regulates international trade
  489. Writ of certiorari
    A formal document issued from the Supreme court to a lower federal or state court that calls up a case
  490. Writ of habeas corpus
    A court order requiring jailers to explain to a judge why they are holding a prisoner in custody
  491. Writ of mandamus
    A court order forcing action. In the dispute leading to Marbury v Madison Marbury and his associates asked the Supreme Court to issue a writ ordering Madison to give them their commission
  492. Zelman v Simmons Harris
    The 2002 Supreme court decision that upheld a state providing families with vouchers that could be used to pay tuition at a religious school
  493. Zurcher v Stanford Daily
    A 1978 case: a proper search warrant could be applied to a newspaper as well as to anyone else without necessarily violating the 1st amendment rights to freedom of the press
Card Set:
AP Government Key Terms
2014-08-19 06:33:41
APGov Ap Government Key Terms

Key Terms from Government in America
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