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Freedom of religion (establishment &

1st Amendment free exercise clauses), speech, press,

assembly, and petition.

Right to arm bears. Supported by

2nd Amendment National Rifle Association interest group
& Republican Party.

No "unreasonable" searches and seizures.

4th Amendment Exclusionary rule (Weeks v. US, Mapp v.

(1) No Self-Incrimination (Miranda)

(2) No Double Jeopardy (defendant cannot be tried again on the
5th Amendment same, or similar charges)
(3) No deprivation of life liberty or property without "due
process of law" (fair treatment)

The right to counsel in criminal trials. Gideon v.

Wainwright held that states must provide indigent
6th Amendment defendants with a free lawyer ("public defender").
Right to jury in criminal trials.

7th Amendment Right to jury in civil trials.

Government cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment.

Meaning of "cruel" based on "evolving standards of decency that
8th Amendment mark the progress of a maturing society." Categorical bans on
death penalty: juveniles, retarded, non-murder crimes...

Unenumerated Rights Amendment. Citizens have

unenumerated rights in addition to those stated in the
9th Amendment Constitution. Not been developed by Supreme Court
(too open ended)

Powers not expressly given to federal government

by the Constitution are reserved to states or the
10th Amendment people. Also known as "reserved powers
amendment" or "states' rights amendment"

Abolished slavery. First of three

13th Amendment "Reconstruction Amendments" passed
after Civil War (1865-70)
(1) All persons born in the U.S. are citizens; (2) no person can be
deprived of life, liberty or property without DUE PROCESS OF
14th Amendment LAW; (3) no state can deprive a person of EQUAL PROTECTION
of the laws. Second of three "Reconstruction Amendments"
passed after Civil War.

States cannot deny any person the right to vote

because of race. Third of three "Reconstruction
15th Amendment Amendments" passed after Civil War. First Voting
Rights Amendment (with 19, 24 & 26)

16th Amendment Power of Congress to tax income

Established the direct election of

17th Amendment senators (instead of being chosen by
state legislatures)

States cannot deny the right to vote

19th Amendment
based on gender

22nd Amendment Limits the president to two terms.

Gives Washington DC electoral college

23rd Amendment votes as if it were a state (DC still has no
representation in Congress)

24th Amendment Abolishes poll taxes

States cannot deny the right to vote

26th Amendment
based on age (18+)

An independent organization set up to influence the outcome of

an election; can receive unlimited "soft money" donations but
527 Organization cannot directly advocate for a particular candidate or have any
connection to a candidate. Rendered obsolete by Citizens
Democratic party leaders (superdelegates) secure
nomination of VP Hubert Humphrey even though he did
1968 DNC not compete in any state primaries. Controversy led to
the Fraser-McGovern Commission and related reforms.

The ability of an agency to determine how it will execute (carry

out) laws. Major source of independent power for agencies. (Ex.
Administrative Discretion The FDA decides how to determine safety of food & drugs, the
U.S. Attorneys decide whether or not to prosecute suspects)

Government or business policies favoring a historically disadvantaged

minority group (university admissions, hiring decisions); raises 14th
Affirmative Action Amendment equal protection problems (reverse discrimination);
limited by Bakke v. University of California (race can be "plus factor" in
admissions but no racial quota system)

Family (most important); TV/media (growing in

importance); friends/peers; school (formal
Agents of Socialization socialization). How we develop (absorb) opinions &

2 main parties (because of electoral rules)

American Party System with other smaller and less powerful third
parties (spoiler, splinter, extremist)

A set of basic, foundational values and beliefs about

government that is shared by most citizens. Key
American Political Culture elements: democracy, equality before the law, limited
government, capitalism & private property

Major anti-discrimination law for

Americans With Disabilities Act
disabled; requires access (ramps, braille,
(1990) etc.); unfunded mandate

Literally, a "friend of the court" brief, filed by an individual or

interest group to present arguments / points of view in addition
Amicus Curiae Brief to those presented by the immediate parties to a case
(lobbying). Solicitor General files Amicus Briefs for U.S.

Belief in the abolition of all government

(maybe through violent means)

A group who opposed the ratification of the

Constitution in 1787. They opposed a strong central
Anti-Federalists government (tyranny) and supported states' rights. "I
smell a rat!"
The losing party in a court case who
appeals the case to an appellate court.

The jurisdiction of courts to hear appeals from lower trial or appellate

courts. Appellate courts determine whether cases were decided correctly by
Appellate Jurisdiction the court below. Circuit courts have mandatory AJ (they have to hear
appeals from District Courts). Supreme Court has discretionary AK (they can
choose to hear appeals from Circuit Courts and State Supreme Courts).

The party opposing an appeal from a

lower court to an appellate court.

The power of the President & Senate to appoint important

government officers (federal judges, agency directors, etc.). President
Appointment Power nominates candidate, which then must by confirmed by simple
majority in the Senate (check on President's power). Subject to
senatorial courtesy rule for local appointments (district judges)

Decide how to spend money allocated to each spending

category by Budget Resolution; 12 subcommittees for
Appropriations Committees major areas of budget (ex. defense, energy, agriculture);
major source of earmarking

Set up the 1st independent American government (1783-88).

Nonbinding "league of friendship" among sovereign states with
Articles of Confederation weak central government to help with common defense &
cooperation (like the European Union). Replaced by our current
constitution in 1788.

Negative ad attacking opposing candidate (ex., swift

boat veterans, willie horton); proliferating with
Attack Ad independent SuperPAC spending (you ain't seen
nothin' yet!)

Head of the Justice Department and the

Attorney General chief law enforcement officer of the
United States

Equal protection clause requires "one man, one

Baker v. Carr vote" principle for redistricting (legislative
districts must be roughly equal in population)

"Copy-cat" behavior. People often do things just because other

people do them. In primary elections, it is when people support
Bandwagon Effect the candidate everyone else seems to be supporting (poll
leaders). Leads to Primary Frontloading (states want to have the
most impact in the primary process)
Laws that punish individuals or groups
Bill of Attainder without a trial. These laws are always

First ten amendments to the Constitution; major

source of civil liberties; applies to states via selective
Bill of Rights incorporation doctrine; promised to Anti-Federalists
to secure ratification of Constitution

Banned soft money donations to political parties (loophole from

FECA); also imposed restrictions on 527 independent
Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act expenditures (issue ads only, not direct advocacy for a
candidate). Declared unconstitutional by Citizens United case.
Also known as McCain-Feingold Act.

Anyone can vote in any party primaries (like open primary) but
voters not limited to one party (can vote for example in
Blanket Primary Democratic presidential primary and Republican senate primary).
Least amount of party control over process.Declared
unconstitutional (violates party's freedom to associate)

Grants ($) given to the states by the federal government for a general
purpose (like education or road-building). Unlike categorical grants,
Block Grants states have discretion to decide how to spend the money. Example =
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) (States develop and
implement welfare programs using federal money).

Overrules Plessy v. Ferguson (no stare decisis).

Brown v. Board of Education (1954) Racial segregation violates 14th Amendment Equal
Protection Clause ("separate is inherently unequal")

1974 campaign finance case declared some federal

limits on campaign contributions in FECA violated
Buckley v Valeo First Amendment (ex. maximum spending limit and
limits on candidates' spending their own money).

House & Senate standing committees that begins

budget process in Congress by setting overall
Budget Committee budget size and amounts that will be spent on
different topics (ex. defense, education)

The Presidency is a "bully pulpit" - a good position from which to

inspire Congress & the nation, with the help of the media, to
Bully Pulpit follow his political agenda. Example = FDR's fireside chats,
Obama's televised State of the Union Address...

5-4 Supreme Court declared that Florida vote recount violated

equal protection clause (some votes would be examined more
Bush v. Gore closely than others); ended Gore's challenge to 2000 election
results. Power of judicial review (effectively decided 2000
Group of important advisors to the President (Heads of
Department agencies, VP and other VIPs chosen by president).
The Cabinet Created by Washington, example of an informal amendment to
the Constitution based on custom / tradition.

The fifteen largest and most influential agencies of

the federal bureaucracy (e.g., Department of State,
Cabinet Departments Treasury, Justice...) Headed by Secretary or Attorney
General (Department of Justice)

Mobilize party base (ideologues)

Focus on key interest groups (group benefit voters)
Campaign Tactics Focus on candidate's personality / experience (image voters)
Spin the last four years (retrospective / nature-of-the-times

Rule of judicial self restraint to limit power of judicial

review; the Court will only consider real
Case or Controversy Requirement controversies including real, adverse parties (no
advisory opinions)

Assistance given to individual constituents by

congressional members, like helping an elderly
Casework person figure out how to get Medicare benefits.
Major incumbency advantage.

A grant ($) given to the states by the federal government for a specific
purpose or program. The federal government tells the states exactly
Categorical Grant how to spend the money (no state discretion unlike block grants).
Example = Medicaid. Most common type of federal grant because it
gives Congress the most control over the states.

1942 case establishing "fighting words"

Chaplinsky v U.S.
category of unprotected speech.

A major principle of the American system of government. Helps

maintain separation of powers so that no one branch gets too
Checks and Balances powerful. Explained in Federalist 51. Examples: President vetos
laws; Senate confirms appointments & treaties; Congress
impeaches president & judges...

Chief Justice from 1953-1969; led activist liberal court;

known for cases expanding rights of criminal
Chief Justice Earl Warren defendants (Mapp v Ohio, Gideon v Wainwright,
Miranda v Arizona)

In office from 1801-1835 (longest serving CJ).

Supported increased power of federal government.
Chief Justice John Marshall Decided McCulloch v. Maryland, Gibbons v. Ogden,
and Marbury v. Madison.
Current Chief Justice (appointed by Bush in 2005);
Chief Justice John Robers moved court in conservative direction; known for
pro-corporation cases (Citizens United)

Intermediate federal appellate courts. Cover

Circuit Courts 13 "circuits" across America. Hear appeals
from District Courts in their jurisdiction.

A 2010 decision by the United States Supreme Court holding that

independent expenditures are free speech protected by the 1st
Citizens United v FEC Amendment and so cannot be limited by federal law. Leads to
creation of SuperPACs & massive rise in amount of third party
electioneering (Citizens for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow)

Intentional breaking of a law to protest against

Civil Disobedience the law. Thoreau vs. Mexican-American War,
Rosa Parks & MLK vs. Jim Crow segregation.

Laws dealing with private rights of individuals

Civil Law (defamation, breach of contract, negligence).
Violation results in damages or injunction.

Prohibits discrimination based on race or gender in employment

or public accommodations (restaurants, hotels). Created EEOC
Civil Rights Act of 1964 to enforce. Based on Congress's interstate commerce clause
power (discrimination impacts interstate commerce). The most
important federal civil rights law.

Government bureaucracy; non-elected agents ("worker bees")

that work for executive agencies to execute the law; hierarchical
Civil Service organization, job specialization, detailed rules & procedures,
administrative discretion. Massive growth since New Deal &
WWII (2.5m people = nation's largest employer)

Allows an entire class of people who have been hurt in a similar

manner by the same person or corporation to join together in
Class Action Lawsuit one legal suit. (Example: AT&T overcharging 10 million customers
1 cent a month for a year).

Used in Schenck v. US (1919) to determine whether

speech is unprotected "incitement" to illegal activity.
Clear & Present Danger Test Replaced by stricter "imminent lawless action" test in
Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969)

Only registered party members can vote in

Closed Primary the party primaries. Maximum party control
over process, used in most state primaries.
Rule in the House of Representatives that prohibits
any amendments to bills or says that only members
Closed Rule of the committee reporting the bill may offer

A procedure used in the senate to limit

Cloture debate on a bill (end a filibuster);
requires 60 votes.

Constitutional power of the president - "supreme

commander" of the nation's armed forces. Important to
Commander-in-Chief keep military under civilian control, leads to conflict with
Congress over war power (War Powers Act)

Art. 1, Sec. 8 of the Constitution (enumerated power). Congress

has the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among
Commerce Clause the several states ["Interstate Commerce Clause"], and with the
Indians. Interpreted by the Supreme Court very broadly
(Gibbons v. Ogden) until Lopez & Morrison.

Leader of a congressional committee. Usually the longest

serving member of the majority party on that committee
Committee Chairperson (seniority rule). A very powerful position - Controls the
committee calendar, agenda, and hearings. Can pigeonhole
(table) a bill by refusing to schedule debate on it.

Powers that are given to both federal and state

governments. Ex., the power to tax and create
Concurrent Powers courts. Exclusive powers are given only to one level
of government (ex., the power to declare war)

A technique of fiscal federalism used by Congress to

control states. Requires states to do something in
Condition of Aid order to get the money (ex. South Dakota v. Dole,
raise drinking age 21 to get highway money).

Nonbinding union of sovereign states

Confederation (example = European Union, America
under Articles of Confederation).

Central government set up by Articles of Confederation (1781-89). No

executive or judicial branches. Unicameral legislature with no power
Confederation Congress to tax or regulate interstate commerce (intentionally weak to prevent
tyranny). One state one vote, supermajority (9/13) to pass important
laws, unanimous vote to amend (our constitution is unconstitutional!)

A joint committee appointed to resolve

Conference Committees differences in the senate and house
versions of the same bill
Power to tax, borrow & coin money, regulate foreign
& interstate commerce, establish army, declare war,
Congress' Enumerated Powers make all laws necessary & proper for carrying out
the enumerated powers (elastic clause)

Non-partisan legislative support agency

(economists) to analyze President's Budget Proposal
Congressional Budget Office (CBO) & how much programs and budget items will cost.
Goal is to aid the Congressional budget process.

Association of members created to support a

political ideology or regional economic interest
Congressional Caucuses (black caucus, women's caucus, blue dog

Evolved as a way for Congress to handle large and complex

work-load; divides up law-making into major subject areas;
Congressional Committee System major responsibility for debating & marking up bills + oversight
of execution of laws (the bureaucracy)

Rich highly educated white male

Congressional Demographics protestant lawyers & businessmen!
Women VERY underrepresented! (<17%)

Minority state system for allocating electoral college votes (used in

Congressional District System ME & NE). The winner of each congressional district is awarded that
district's electoral vote, and the winner of the state-wide vote is
(Electoral College) awarded the state's remaining two electoral votes. More accurately
reflects voter will, but reduces states' influence in electoral process.

Incumbent= current office-holder running for re-election.

Incumbent reelection rates VERY high (90+%); higher in House
Congressional Incumbency than Senate b/c Senate has stronger challengers. Incumbents
lose because of scandal, general anti-incumbent anger...

The power of Congress to oversee how laws are carried out

("watchdog function" to prevent fraud & waste). Carried out
Congressional Oversight through committee hearings & investigations, approprations
process (how much are we spending on that program again?),

Solves big state-little state debate over representation in federal

legislature at Philly Convention. Created bicameral legislature
Connecticut Compromise with equal representation for states in Senate and proportional
representation in House (seats based on population).

Services a congressperson provides for his/her

Constituent Services constituents (ex., helping with government claims
like social security & veterans benefits)
A nation's basic law, creates political institutions,
assigns or divides power in government and often
Constitution provides certain guarantees to citizens. Can be
written or unwritten.

A emergency budget extension measure that

Congress passes when a full budget law has not
Continuing Resolution been completed by the beginning of the new fiscal
year (October 1). Avoids government shutdown.

System of federalism where federal & state governments help each other
perform governmental duties. Also known as marble-cake federalism. E.g.,
After hurricanes federal and state agencies work together to provide relief.
Cooperative Federalism Can cause confusion and/or conflict among among different levels of
government. Best explanation of how federalism works today (instead of
dual federalism)

EOP agency; three economists who advise president

Council of Economic Advisors about general economic date, issues and policy
proposals. Must be confirmed by senate.

Three economic experts to help president

Council of Economic Advisors understand and develop economic policy;
must be confirmed by senate

The argument that judicial review is problematic

because it allows unelected judges to overrule the
Counter-Majoritarian Difficulty decisions of elected representatives, thus
undermining the will of the majority.

Laws dealing with offenses against society (murder,

Criminal Law rape, arson). Prosecuted by the government,
violation results in fines or prison sentences

Election in which existing patterns of party loyalty

Critical Election shift. Ex. Northern Democrats switch parties in 1860 to
vote for Republican Party (Lincoln).

1990 case declining to extend the constitutional right

to privacy to include the right to die (assisted suicide).
Cruzan v. Missouri Three states currently allow assisted suicide. It is a
serious crime everywhere else.

A sum of money paid in compensation

Damages for loss or injury in a civil case
Thomas Jefferson's statement of political liberalism
Declaration of Independence (limited government to protect life liberty and pursuit
of happiness; right to revolution).

False and malicious (mean) writings ("libel") or speech

("slander") about a living person. Not protected speech
Defamation under 1st Amendment but check out NY Times v. Sullivan
(very difficult for "public figures" to prove defamation)

An individual or group being sued by a

Defendant plaintiff or charged with a crime by a

Federal law defining marriage as man-woman &

declaring that no state is forced to recognize same-
Defense of Marriage Act (1996) sex marriage (unconstitutional exception to full faith
& credit clause?)

Demographics: Racial minorities, Jews, Women (gender gap),

Labor Unions, Poor
Democratic Party Ideology: Center-left coalition... support liberal economic &
social policies (government aid, gay marriage, no death penalty,
tax on wealthy). (liberalism is a dirty word in America)

Major supporters of Democratic Party =

Democratic Party Coalition (modern) African-Americans, Jews, Women, Labor
Union members, poor people

Cabinet-level agency in charge of the

Department of Defense armed forces and military policy. HQ =
The Pentagon. (Secretary Panetta)

Federal department responsible for enforcing

Department of Justice federal laws (includes FBI, Civil Rights Division,
Antitrust Division, Drug Enforcement Administration...)

Cabinet-level agency in charge of

Department of State foreign policy & international affairs.
(Secretary Clinton)

Head of one of the 15 cabinet-level agencies

("Secretary" of Justice is called Attorney General).
Department Secretary Divided loyalty between President and agency they
command. Must be confirmed by Senate.
The lifting of government rules & restrictions
Deregulation on business, industry, and professional
activities; major goal of Republicans

The idea that politicians can only represent

Descriptive Representation people like them (ex. only women can represent
women, blacks represent blacks, etc.)

The effort to reduce the size & power of the federal

government by returning (devolving) power to the
Devolution Revolution states. Associated with economic conservatives,
President Reagan & the Tea Party.

Federal trial courts. Limited jurisdiction (primarily to hear cases

involving constitution and/or federal law). Must follow Supreme
District Courts Court & their Circuit Court precedents (stare decisis). Federal
government represented by U.S. Attorney's Office.

When policymaking institutions of government (President, Senate,

House) are divided among the parties (e.g., Democratic
Divided Government President, Republican Congress). Requires more compromise;
can lead to gridlock.

The list of cases that the Supreme Court

Docket has agreed to hear (granted certiorari
to) in a term (usually 70-100 cases)

Established by CJ Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland. Congress

has the power to make all laws that are "necessary and proper"
Doctrine of Implied Powers for carrying out its enumerated powers. So it can create a
National Bank to carry out its power to coin money. Major cause
of growth of federal power.

Compromise gay policy in military from

Don't Ask Don't Tell
1993; finally ended by Obama in 2011.

System of federalism that strictly separates federal power (ex. foreign

relations) and state power (ex. protect against crime). Each level of
Dual Federalism government is dominant within its own sphere. Probably how the
Founders thought America would work (enumerated federal powers +
reserved state powers). Also known as "layer-cake federalism."

Practice of congressmen of securing

("appropriating") federal money ("pork") for projects
Earmarking that will benefit their constituents. Major incumbent
advantage & source of budget increases
Belief in limited government intervention in the free
market. Supports tax and spending cuts,
Economic Conservatism deregulation & privatization. Reaganomics or "trickle
down economics."

Belief in strong government intervention in

Economic Liberalism the economy to promote stability &
prosperity (example, Keynesian fiscal policy)

Activity that seeks to influence the outcome of an

election. Independent electioneering (SuperPacs &
Electioneering 527s) is protected free speech and so cannot be
limited by government.

Phase 1: Invisible Primary (year prior to election year) - exploratory committees, straw
polls, media exposure...
Phase 2: Front-Loaded Primaries, including Super Tuesday (Jan-Feb of election year)
Election Timeline Phase 3: Remaining primaries & caucuses (March-June of election year)
Phase 4: Nominating Convention (July/August)
Phase 5: The General Election Campaign (from Labor Day)
Phase 6: Election Day (November)

Constitutional system for electing president and vice president. Each state has electors =
to number of senators + representatives (DC also has 3 because of 23rd Amendment).
Electoral College Citizens of state vote for candidate. Winner gets all electoral college votes (except Maine
& Nebraska which uses proportional system). Winner of majority of electoral college votes
becomes president. If no majority then President picked by House from top 3 candidates.

Constitutional Amendment (won't happen)

Electoral College Reform Proportional allocation of electors (reduces importance of state)
Tell electors to vote for winner of national popular vote?

A lessening of the importance of party loyalties in

voting decision (more independent voters, more split
Electoral Dealignment ticket voting, more divided government). Perhaps
occurring now?

Changes in the two party system (either a new party replaces old party or
coalitions that make up the two main political parties change over time).
"Hard realignment" occurs in one critical election (ex., Republicans replace
Electoral Realignment the Whigs in 1860), "soft realignment" occurs or over time (ex., African
Americans switch from Republican Party to Democratic Party during Civil
Rights Era)

Belief that American democracy is a sham; we

Elite Theory really live in a plutocracy. The Constitution was
written by rich white men for rich white men.

Mandatory nondenominational school prayer

violates Establishment Clause (see also Santa Fe
Engle v. Vitale (1992) School District v. Doe striking down student-led
prayer at school football games)
Proposed constitutional amendment requiring full equal
Equal Rights Amendment treatment for men and women (ex. allow women special forces).
Proposed by Congress in 1972 but never ratified

FCC rule requiring media stations to

Equal Time Rule offer advertising time to all candidates if
they offer it to one candidate.

1st Amendment clause: Congress cannot "establish" a

religion. Accomodationists (establishment = government-
Establishment Clause funded religion) vs. Separationists (establishment = ANY
involvement with religion); Lemon test

Requires financial disclosure for elected public

officials and placed 1 year restriction on former
Ethics in Government Act government officials' lobbying activities (the
revolving door problem)

Evidence obtained in violation of 4th

Exclusionary Rule Amendment is not admissible in criminal
trial. (Weeks v. U.S., Mapp v. Ohio)

Non-treaty agreement between the U.S. president and other

nations that does not require Senate ratification (but is not
Executive Agreement binding on future presidents). Since 1939, executive agreements
have comprised more than 90% of the international agreements
(because senate ratification is a real drag!)

Commander-in-chief of armed forces; pardon

Executive Enumerated Powers power (except for impeachment); treaty power;
appointment power; veto power

Ten organizations that advise the President. Includes

Executive Office of the President the Office of Management and Budget, the Council
of Economic Advisors, and National Security
Council. Top positions must be confirmed by Senate.

Regulations & orders from the President to an agency

Executive Orders about how to execute a law. They are one of the
ways presidents can try to control the bureaucracy.

The President's self-declared power to keep executive

communications confidential, especially if they relate to national
Executive Privilege security. Informal amendment to Constitution (by tradition). Can
lead to conflict with other branches (Watergate).
A poll of voters exiting the polls (voting
Exit Poll locations) to attempt to predict the outcome of
the election. May create a bandwagon effect.

Laws that punish conduct that was not illegal

Ex Post Facto Laws when it was performed. These laws are always
unconstitutional. Also known as a retroactive law.

Old FCC rule requiring media stations to

Fairness Doctrine provide different viewpoints for any
controversial political issue

Electors that don't vote for the person they promised to vote for;
Faithless Elector Occurred 156 times (never affected outcome of election)
Major problem with Electoral College

Elector who does not vote for the candidate they

promised to vote for. These have never determined
Faithless Elector outcome of presidential election but is a major
problem with electoral college system

Federal agency that regulates the radio,

Federal Communications
television, wire, satellite and cable
Commission communications.

First major federal law (1971) to regulate federal elections. Created

Federal Election Commission (FEC). Required disclosure of sources of
Federal Election Campaign Act campaign funds (transparency), set limits on contributions to
candidates (individuals = $1000, PACs = $5000), spending limits for
candidates, limits on independent expenditures.

A system of government in which power is divided between one

central government and several regional governments (dual or
Federalism cooperative). Used in USA and a few other countries. Most
countries have unitary governments.

Topic = factions (interest groups); minority factions

Federalist 10 controlled by majority; majority faction controlled by
greater size of USA + virtuous leaders

Separation of powers & checks &

Federalist 51
balances protects against tyranny
Written in 1788 by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay to support
Federalist Papers ratification of the Constitution. Fed 10 (factions) & Fed 51
(separation of powers, checks & balances)

Supporters of the new constitution in 1787. Supported

a strong central government. Hamilton, Washington,
Federalists Marshall. Became first political party (vs. Jefferson's

One major category of unprotected speech

Fighting Words Doctrine (basically verbal assault); Exception created
in Chaplinsky v. NH (1942)

Use of unlimited time for debate in the Senate to kill bills by

making (or threatening to make) long speeches. No filibuster in
Filibuster House (House Rules Committee places time limits on all
debates). Broken by cloture motion (60 votes)

Federal government using money

Fiscal Federalism (grants) to influence & control states.

Article V; the (very difficult) process of adding or deleting words

to the constitution (27 times since 1788); propose by 2/3 vote of
Formal Amendment Process Congress or Constitutional Convention (never used); ratify by
3/4 vote of state legislators or state convention (only used once)

The right of congresspeople to send job-

Franking Privilege related mail to their constituents without
paying postage. Incumbency advantage.

A Democratic Party commission after 1968 that made changes to

delegate selection process for National Convention to make the
Fraser-McGovern Commission nomination process more democratic (by using primaries &
ending superdelegates) and introduced affirmative action policy
in delegate selection (more women & minorities).

Gives all citizens the right to inspect all records of

federal agencies except those containing military,
Freedom of Information Act intelligence, or trade secrets; increases
accountability of bureaucracy

1st Amendment clause; Government cannot make a law

prohibiting the free exercise of religion. Beliefs are 100%
Free Exercise Clause protected but religious practices are not exempt from neutral
laws that affect everyone (ex., polygamy & illegal drugs)
1st Amendment Clause: Congress shall make no law abridging
freedom of the press. No prior restraints unless major national
Free Press Clause security threat (Pentagon Papers Case). Major protection against
libel (NY Times v. Sullivan).

1st Amendment clause; Congress can make no law

abridging freedom of speech (including symbolic
Free Speech Clause speech); Gitlow v. NY incorporates clause into 14th

States must recognize laws & judicial decisions of

Full Faith & Credit Clause other states (ex., marriage, child support payments);
public policy exception for gay marriage?

Belief / observation that women are more likely to support

Democratic / liberal candidates & issues than men. Women are
Gender Gap more likely to support spending on welfare & education, and to
oppose higher levels of military spending.

Election in which the winner becomes

General Election
an elected government official.

The drawing of district boundaries by the state

Gerrymandering legislature to benefit a party, group, or
incumbents. Major types are political & racial.

Commerce clause case (1824). Decision greatly enlarged

Congress' interstate commerce clause power by broadly
Gibbons v Ogden defining the meaning of "commerce" to include virtually all types
of economic activity. Pair with Lopez & Morrison cases (limiting
commerce power).

A federal legislative agency that audits (investigates) other

agencies of the federal government and reports it's findings to
Government Accountability Office Congress (makes sure they are not spending more money than
the government has appropriated for them).

Corporation set up and run by the

Government Corporation government; provides a service to the
public (ex. US Postal Service)

A government organization that, like regular

corporations, provides a service to the public and
Government Corporations typically charges for its services. The U.S. Postal Service
is an example. Privatization would abolish GCs.
Jim Crow era state laws that discouraged African Americans from
voting by saying that if your grandpa couldn't vote, then neither
Grandfather Clause can you. The newly-freed slaves grandpas couldn't vote, so
neither could they. Declared unconstitutional in 1915.

Electioneering and issue advocacy by ordinary & unpaid citizens

(the roots of American political system). Examples include Tea
Grassroots Activism Party, youth activism in Obama 2008. Compare with "Astroturf
Activism" - fake grassroots efforts (paid for by political interests).

Political action on the local level by ordinary citizens

(the roots): fundraising, volunteering, get-out-the-
Grassroots Politics vote activities (knocking on doors); important
function of local party organization

The right to challenge the legality of your detention by

government (to have a judge determine whether or not the
Habeas Corpus government can detain you). This right can be temporarily
suspended by Congress in times of rebellion or unrest.

The short period (days or months) following an

Honeymoon Period election when a president's popularity and
ability to influence Congress is at its highest.

Media tends to cover elections like a sporting event because it

generates excitement (who is ahead, who is behind) & it is easy to do
Horse-Race Journalism (poll data). HRJ is bad because it reduces time spent on analysis of
issues & it can create a bandwagon effect in coverage of elections
("Romney looks like he will win this one...")

Deputy leadership position. Connects

House and Senate Whips leaders with "rank and file" members, and
tries to encourage party unity & discipline

Powerful House standing committee that reviews all bills coming

from other House committees before they go to the full House
House Rules Committee (gatekeeper function); sets time limit for debate decides whether
amendments can be added (open or closed rule).

Important House standing committee

House Ways and Means Committee
responsible for initiating all taxation bills.

Pluralism gone wrong; belief that government is

Hyperpluralist Theory paralyzed by too many interest groups demanding
things too many things from government
Use American power to promote democracy and
Idealism (foreign policy) peace around the world. Associated with Woodrow
Wilson & Jimmy Carter. (Compare with realism)

Constitutional process for removing executive officers & judges for "treason,
high crimes & misdemeanors" (whatever Congress thinks is impeachable). Two
stages: (1) House decides to impeach (accuse) target (simple majority); (2)
Impeachment Process Senate holds trial to convict (2/3 majority). Andy Johnson and Bill Clinton
were impeached but not convicted. Nixon resigned as Articles of
Impeachment were being drafted!

Name recognition, campaign

Incumbent Advantages contributions, credit-claiming (pork &

Federal agencies that aren't large or important

enough to get department status. Directors
Independent Executive Agencies appointed by President w/ advice & consent of
Senate. Ex. NASA, CIA, EPA

Electioneering by third parties (527s or SuperPacs) to help a

candidate get elected (without coordinating with candidates).
Independent Expenditures Protected by Supreme Court in Citizens United as free speech
and so cannot be limited by federal law.

Independent agencies created by Congress to regulate

Independent Regulatory important aspects of the nation's economy. Commissioners
appointed by President but not removable except "for cause" (to
Commissions protect independence). Most independent and least accountable
part of the federal bureaucracy.

Changing the meaning of the Constitution without

changing the actual words (which requires a formal
Informal Amendment Process amendment through Article V process). Examples =
Supreme Court opinions, laws, traditions.

Some states allow citizens to come up with their own ideas for
laws to put on an election ballot. If the proposition passes it
Initiative becomes a law. Requires many voter signatures to get on the
ballot. Most direct form of democracy (citizen law-making)

A judicial order to a party to do or stop

Injunction doing something (example: a restraining
order to stay away from a specific person).

Informal raising of support (and

Invisible Primary
money) before first primaries
Creation of powerful (iron) relationship of mutual benefit &
support among congressional committee, government agency
Iron Triangle and regulated interest group(s). Can lead to corruption and
"agency capture" (where the agency is controlled by the target of
regulation). Problem exacerbated by revolving door.

Old as Washington, a belief that America

Isolationism should not seek to become engaged in
foreign affairs.

The first major opening up of American suffrage (voting rights)

by Jackson's new Democratic Party in 1830s. Franchise extended
Jacksonian Democracy to all white men (not just rich white men). Achieved by state
legislation not constitutional amendment.

Era in the South after Civil War (1865) until 1950s. African
Americans were freed from slavery and could legally vote
Jim Crow Era (Amendments 13, 14, 15) but were still subjected to discriminatory
state laws enforcing segregation and kept from voting by laws
(ex. poll taxes, literacy tests) and by violence (KKK)

Father of political liberalism (limited government to

protect life liberty & property; right to revolt if
John Locke government becomes a tyranny); he greatly influenced
Jefferson & the Declaration of Independence.

One General from each of the 4 armed service

branches (army, navy, air force, marines) and, since
Joint Chiefs of Staff 1/2012, the National Guard. The JCS are key military
advisors to the President.

Congressional committees to discuss & supervise

Joint Committees certain topics, with membership drawn from both
houses. (ex., Committee on Library, Taxation)

A philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges

allow their personal views about public policy (liberal or
Judicial Activism conservative) to guide their decisions. Activist judges are
comfortable declaring laws unconstitutional.

Political ideology (litmus test);

Judicial Appointment Factors acceptability to Senate (not too radical);
judicial experience; diversity

A philosophy of judicial decision-making whereby judges give

significant deference to the decisions made by elected
Judicial Restraint representatives in the legislative and executive branches.
Restrained judges are uncomfortable declaring laws
The power of the Supreme Court to declare laws
and actions of local, state, or national governments
Judicial Review unconstitutional. Established in Marbury v. Madison
(informal amendment to Constitution)

The right & power to make decisions in a particular area. Federal

courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Before a federal court
Jurisdiction can hear a case it must establish that it has the power to hear
this type of case (primary jurisdiction is to hear cases involving
the federal constitution and/or federal law).

Belief in aggressive government intervention to

Keynesianism combat recession & promote economic growth,
especially by massive federal spending ("stimulus")

Internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII does

not violate 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause
Korematsu v. United States (1944) (gets strict scrutiny but national security is a good
enough reason to justify the racial discrimination).

Person holding office after his or her replacement has been

elected to the office, but before the current term has ended.
Lame Duck Lame Duck Presidents may find it hard to influence Congress
(why work with a guy who is about to leave?)

State laws making sodomy (gay sex) a crime violate

equal protection clause (fails rational basis test
Lawrence v. Texas (2003) because only possible reason for law is

Congress making sure the Executive

Legislative Oversight Branch and the Bureaucracy is correctly
executing (carrying out) laws.

Power of Congress to veto executive decisions &

Legislative Veto actions; declared unconstitutional in INS v.
Chadha (1983) (violates separation of powers)

Lemon Test for Establishment Clause

(1) Primary purpose and effect of law must be secular;
Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971) (2) Law cannot create "excessive entanglement" of
government with religion (subjective standard)

Belief in as much freedom and as little government as

possible (tolerates some government to provide stability
Libertarianism & security). Supports free market economy, no
government regulation of morality, low taxes.
Law giving president power to veto portions of
budget bill; purpose = reduce size of national deficit;
Line Item Veto declared unconstitutional (violates separation of

Allows president to veto bad parts of a bill but keep the rest.
Like a scalpel. Especially useful for cutting out pork from
Line-Item Veto spending bills. Declared unconstitutional (impermissibly
changed the detailed law-making process established in Article

A method to deny blacks right to vote during the Jim Crow Era
by requiring reading or civics test in order to vote. Could be
Literacy Test selectively applied. Rationale: only the educated should vote.
Prohibited by the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The act of trying to influence a politician or

bureaucrat. Usually lobbyists are highly paid insiders
Lobbying with access to people in power (revolving door).
Major weapon of corporate interest groups.

Get-out-the vote activities (grassroots organization).

Can be very unorganized. The initial point of entry for
Local Party Organization those seeking involvement in politics (volunteers,
organizers, or candidates)

You support my bill, I'll support yours.

Logrolling Trading favors by legislators to help pass
their bills.

1961 case incorporating 4th Amendment

Mapp v Ohio (and exclusionary rule) into 14th
Amendment DPC, binding on states.

Chief Justice John Marshall famously announces the

existence of the power of judicial review: the power of
Marbury vs. Madison the Supreme Court to declare laws and actions of local,
state, or national governments unconstitutional.

The process by which a congressional

Marking Up committee debates, amends, and/or
rewrites bills.

(1) CJ Marshall establishes doctrine of implied powers (Congress can

create a national bank because it is necessary & proper to carrying out
McCulloch v. Maryland (1824) the enumerated power to coin money); (2) Supremacy clause prevents
state (Maryland) from taxing the National Bank. Very important case
enlarging power of federal government.
An error in collecting polling data.
Measurement Error Example = response bias or confusing

5th Amendment self-incrimination clause requires government

agents to warn suspects of their right to remain silent and/or
Miranda v. Arizona (1966) contact an attorney before questioning them when they are in
custody. Statements made without Miranda Warning are
inadmissible in court (like the exclusionary rule for evidence)

Belief in limited government intervention to combat

recession & promote economic growth. Major tool =
Monetarism increasing or decreasing money supply to avoid
inflation & maintain price stability.

Tried to increase voter turnout by allowing voter registration at

same time as getting or renewing driver's license. Increased the
Motor Voter Act (1993) registration rate, but not the voter turnout rate (people still
apathetic or not motivated to vote)

The modern media trend for TV and radio shows to

target very narrow ideological audiences (ex.
Narrowcasting conservatives watch Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly);
results in greater political polarization

Person responsible for the day-to-day

National Chairperson activities of the party, usually hand-
picked by the presidential nominee.

National party organization that, with Congressional

leaders and President, runs party affairs between
National Committee national conventions, (DNC and RNC, each is
headed by a chairperson).

The meeting of party delegates every four years to choose a

presidential ticket and write the party's platform. Brokered
National Convention Convention occurs if no candidate has won a majority of
delegates in state primaries & caucuses.

Party members that vote at the National Convention to select the

party candidate for president. Pledged delegates follow the
National Convention Delegates wishes of voters in primaries and caucuses. Unpledged
"superdelegates" vote for whoever they want.

Headed by President and/or National Chairperson.

Main function (limited) is to hold the national
National Party Organization convention to select the presidential candidate &
write the party platform.
Consults with the president on matters
National Security Counsel
of defense and foreign policy.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Cold

NATO War military alliance (USA + Western
Europe vs. USSR).

Gives congress the power to do anything that is

necessary and proper to carry out an enumerated
Necessary and Proper Clause power. Also known as the "elastic clause." Leads to
implied powers doctrine (McCulloch v. Maryland)

Series of liberal (Keynesian) economic laws enacted by FDR to

combat Great Depression. Includes Social Security System &
The New Deal federal minimum wage law. Birth of Democratic Party as liberal
party (soft electoral realignment)

Plan at Philadelphia Convention for equal representation

in new Congress (1 state 1 vote). Also known as "small
New Jersey Plan state plan." Opposite of the Virginia "big state" Plan.
Becomes basis of representation in the Senate.

The process by which a political party

Nomination Process nominates ("selects") a candidate to run
in a general election.

Free trade agreement among USA, Canada &

North American Free Trade Mexico. Goal = promote economic prosperity &
Agreement cooperation. Easier perhaps to achieve at regional
level than global level (World Trade Organization).

EOP agency that helps the President prepare annual

Office of Management and Budget budget proposal and evaluates budget priorities and
effectiveness of federal agencies (oversight)

Anyone can vote in any party primaries (but can only

Open Primary vote in the primaries of one party). Less party control
over process. May cause raider effect.

An order from the House Rules Committee

Open Rule that permits a bill to be amended on the
floor (allows "death by amendment")
The stage in Supreme Court proceedings in which
attorneys for both sides appear before the Court to
Oral Arguments present their positions and answer questions posed
by the justices. Good theater (for law nerds).

The jurisdiction of courts to hear a case for the first time (trial).
Trial courts (District Courts in federal system) assess the facts in
Original Jurisdiction a case and the issue the first decision (guilt, innocence). Supreme
Court has OJ over disputes between 2 states.

Power of the president to forgive a federal offense

without penalty or grant release from a penalty
Pardon Power already imposed. Based on kingly power to intervene
in judicial process in exceptional cases.

A meeting of important party members to

Party Caucus (historical) select party candidates. Attacked as corrupt
and anti-democratic so not used anymore.

One way for a state party to select delegates to

send to the National Convention. Consists of a series
Party Caucus (modern) of meetings (local, county, state) among party
members (no "open caucuses").

A political party's statement of its goals and policies for the next
four years, created at National Convention. Lofty rhetoric and
Party Platform specific legislative goals. Can cause splintering (example:
southern whites abandoned Democratic Party in 1948 when it
adopted a pro-civil rights plank.

Law responding to 9/11. Expands anti-

Patriot Act (2001) terrorist powers (wiretapping, surveillance);
4th Amendment concern for civil liberties.

AKA Spoils System. Filling government bureaucracy

Patronage System based on connections & political favors not merit
(cronyism); ended by Pendleton Act (1883)

1883 reform law that replaced the patronage/spoils system in the

federal bureaucracy with a merit-based professional system.
Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act "Important" leadership positions in bureaucracy (Secretaries,
Commissioners, Directors) & federal judges still appointed by

12 states send delegates to revise the Articles of

Confederation; Delegates soon agree to draft
Philadelphia Convention (1787) completely new Constitution with stronger federal
government. Elite conspiracy?
Occurs when a committee ignores a bill and doesn't
Pigeonholing report it out. Also known as "tabling" or "death by
committee." Major cause of bill death.

One who brings a court action

against another (the complainer)

1992 abortion case that applied new flexible test (instead of rigid
trimester framework of Roe v Wade): Does state regulation of
Planned Parenthood v. Casey abortion place "undue burden" on women's right to an abortion?
Court used test to uphold some regulations like waiting periods
and parental notification for minors.

A list of good-paying (sweet) jobs that the

Plum Book new president can fill by appointment
(agency directors and other VIPs)

Belief that American political system basically works;

competing interest groups all get heard at different
Pluralist Theory times and places in government. Federalism helps
(more layers of government).

If a bill is proposed within 10 days of

Pocket Veto congress adjourning and the president does
not sign it , it will die (un-overrideable veto).

The power of a government to make laws protecting

the health, safety and welfare of citizens (example:
Police Powers traffic laws, criminal laws). In America, police powers
are reserved to the states by the 10th Amendment.

An election in which voters vote on a particular policy question

(ban gay marriage, legalize marijuana). Often used to resolve a
Policy Election controversial issue. Only used (so far) at the state level. Three
types of policy election are: recall, initiative, referendum.

A committee set up by a corporation or interest

group to raise and funnels money to political
Political Action Committee candidates. Donation amounts to PACs are limited by
FECA rules (hard money).

A more or less consistent set of beliefs

Political Ideology about what policies government should
Main form = voting. Also joining political party,
Political Participation volunteering on political campaign, campaign
contributions, running for office, protests...

A group of individuals with broad common interests

who organize to nominate candidates for office,
Political Party develop a party platform (policy goals), win
elections, and run government

The process by which individuals acquire (absorb) a

sense of political identity (beliefs & behaviors). Key
Political Socialization agents of socialization include family, media, peers.
Process can be informal (family) or formal (APGOPO)

Tax on voting. Used to discourage African

Americans from voting during the Jim Crow era. Also
Poll Tax used to exclude poor whites. Declared
unconstitutional by 24th Amendment.

A decision in a previous court case that is

Precedent used as the basis for a decision in a
similar case.

POTUS is the symbolic leader of his party. Acts

President as Party Leader as party's chief spokesperson to the public & sets
party's legislative agenda (bully pulpit)

Qualified presidential candidates can receive matching federal

funds in primary and set amount to spend on general elections
Presidential Election Campaign Fund (but cannot raise & spend additional money). Attempt to limit
campaign spending & corruption but rejected by Obama in 2008
(too easy to raise more money by contributions)

Nomination process is too long and too expensive. One reform

idea is to have a single national primary on one day (but this
Presidential Nomination Reform would require runoff election and would hurt less well known
candidates who need time to establish their candidacy)

Detailed budget outline prepared by President &

OMB. Sets priorities in discretionary spending &
President's Budget Proposal proposes changes to entitlement programs. Start of
annual budget process.

One way for a state party to select delegates to

send to the National Convention. Can be closed,
Primary Election open or blanket. Now used by most states instead of
caucus (cheaper, quicker, more democratic).
Election to select party's candidate for each office. It is now the
main way of selecting party candidates. Most democratic
Primary Election method and simpler than caucus. Greatly weakens the power of
party leaders and increases power of ordinary voters.

The tendency of states to move their primaries &

caucuses earlier in the calendar in order to maximize
Primary Frontloading their impact on nomination process (bandwagon

Government censorship of written material

(preventing publication). Almost impossible due to
Prior Restraint 1st Amendment (only when major threat to national
security). See Pentagon Papers Case (NY Times v. US)

Process of ending government services and allowing the free

market (private firms) to provide the service. Purpose = reduce
Privatization government spending & provide more efficient services. Example
= abolishing the postal service. Supported by Republicans.

Literal meaning of 5th & 14th Due Process Clauses: Government

cannot deprive you of life, liberty or property without holding
Procedural Due Process certain procedures (trial, lawyer, right to question witnesses).
Many elements of PDP are specifically protected by 5th, 6th, 7th
& 8th Amendments.

1996 California initiative that banned all

Proposition 209
affirmative action programs.

The state or federal government

attorney in a criminal case.

A type of poll that attempts to influence opinions

Push Poll secretly using a poll (would you vote for McCain if
you knew that he had a black, illegitimate child?)

Short-term patriotic increase in president's

Rally Effect popularity and power during times of serious
international crisis or war (e.g. Bush after 9/11)

A common method of randomizing

Random Digit Dialing
poll sample to maximize accuracy.
Major foreign policy ideology. Act in the
Realism world only to protect and benefit
yourself. (Contrast with idealism)

When a state legislature or independent commission

draws new House district lines (if gain/loss of seats
Redistricting Process after reapportionment process based on census
every ten years)

A state level method of direct democracy that gives voters a

chance to approve or disapprove proposed legislative action or
Referendum a proposed amendment. Occurs when a state wants the voter's
opinion on a controversial issue.

The President may remove any appointed federal officer

whenever he wants for any reason. However, the Supreme Court
Removal Process has upheld Congressional limits on removal power for
Independent Commissioners (can only be removed "for cause").

When a committee finishes the mark-up of a bill

Reporting Out and sends it to the senate or house for debate,
consideration, and final passage.

Representative democracy. Sovereignty

Republic rests with the people, as opposed to a
king or monarch.

One of the two major modern American political parties. It emerged

in the 1850s as an antislavery party and consisted of former northern
Republican Party Whigs and antislavery Democrats. Now the party is conservative (pro-
life, anti-affirmative action, anti-too much government intervention,
anti-taxing on the rich, pro-death penalty)

Demographics: White, Protestants, Corporations, Rich

Ideology: Conservative (cut taxes, cut spending, emd welfare,
Republican Party support traditional marriage...). Center-right coalition (more
conservative than Democratic Party is liberal, especially with rise
of Tea Party faction since 2008)

Major supporters of Republican Party =

Republican Party Coalition (modern)
WASPs, business people, the rich

Establishes a woman's constitutional right to an abortion (in

limited circumstances). Court held that abortion is part of the
Roe v. Wade (1973) right to privacy, which itself is part of the concept of liberty in
the 14th Amendment ("substantive due process"). Major goal for
conservatives to overturn Roe.
How the Supreme Court decides whether to hear a
case. Requires four or more justices to "grant
Rule of 4 certiorari" (agree to hear an appeal). Supreme Court
agrees to hear <1% of cases.

The % margin of error of a survey.

Sampling Error
Randomized polls accurate to 3%.

Temporary congressional committees appointed for

a specific purpose, such as impeachment
Select Committees investigations or the "Super Committee" on the

Judicial doctrine that applies the Bill of Rights (one right at a

time) to state and local governments by incorporating them into
Selective Incorporation Doctrine the concept of liberty in the 14th Amendment's Due Process
Clause (which is binding on the states)

The heads of the minority and majority parties in the

Senate. Less powerful than the Speaker, they set
Senate Leaders legislative agenda for their party and help set the
daily Senate agenda.

Senate will not confirm a presidential nomination for a position

within a state (ex., District Court Judge) without the consent of the
Senatorial Courtesy senior senator of the President's party from that state. Informal
amendment to appointment process (by tradition)

A congressional custom that gives the chair of a committee or

Seniority Rule subcommittee to the member of the majority party with the
longest continuous service on the committee.

The principle of dividing governmental powers

Separation of Powers among different branches of government to
protect against tyranny (Federalist 51).

Failed rebellion in 1786 by poor farmers in MA against state

government & banks that were taking their farms. Showed how
Shays' Rebellion weak the central confederation government was vs. threats to
private property and order. Major factor in creation of
Constitutional Convention in 1787 (Elite theory)

Electoral district with only one representative (single member).

Single-Member Plurality District The representative is whoever wins a plurality of the votes in a
general election (no run-off elections). Senate and House
(SMPD) districts are SMPDs. Discourages third parties, leads to two-party
Government should protect "traditional" (Christian)
views on marriage, gender roles, & social issues.
Social Conservatism Oppose gay marriage, legalization of drugs,

A policial ideology that opposes capitalism and

Socialism supports government control of major aspects of the
economy (ex. electricity, health care).

Belief in government assistance to improve society,

especially for the poor and minorities. Socially liberal
Social liberalism policies include universal health care, public education,
affirmative action, welfare programs

Money that is not subject to campaign finance limits and regulation by the
FEC. All money before FECA was soft money. FECA shut down unlimited
Soft Money contributions to candidates so soft money flowed to political parties.
McCain-Feingold shut down soft money contributions to political parties so
now unlimited contributions flow to 527s and Super-Pacs.

Senior Justice Department attorney. Decides what cases the

government will appeal to the Supreme Court, files amicus briefs
Solicitor General with the Supreme Court in cases the government is interested in,
and represents the United States before the Supreme Court.

Quote or "snippet" from politician's speech used by

media to represent whole speech. Used by
Sound Bites candidates to spread message (slogan); Used by
media to avoid serious (boring) discussion of issues.

Congress is allowed to attach "strings" (conditions of

South Dakota v. Dole (1987) aid) to money given to states (raise drinking age to 21
to get highway funds). Major tool of fiscal federalism.

The leader of the majority party and presiding officer

of the House of Representatives. Key role in assigning
Speaker of the House bills to committee and members to committees &
setting party's legislative agenda

The attempt of politicians to cast their

Spin words & actions in the most flattering
light (propaganda, distortion)

When a 3rd party candidate takes enough votes away from one
of the main party candidates to make him/her lose the election.
Spoiler Effect Ex., Ralph Nader & Green Party may have caused Al Gore to
lose 2000 election to George Bush.
Permanent committees in House and Senate that
Standing Committees handle bills dealing with a particular subject area.
Examples: Defense, Budget, Education.

"Let the decision stand"; the principle that cases

Stare Decisis should be decided in ways consistent with similar
prior cases. Promotes consistency & fairness.

"The decision stands". A rule in deciding cases where judges follow

precedent (how similar cases were decided in the past). Helps promote
Stare Decisis consistency and fairness in the legal process. Lower courts must follow
precedent set by higher courts. Supreme Court can reject precedent if
absolutely necessary (Example: Brown rejects precedent of Plessy).

A yearly report by the president to Congress

required by Constitution describing the nation's
State of the Union Address condition and recommending programs and policies
(bully pulpit to set legislative agenda )

Links local level to national level. State committee (still mostly

volunteer but might have an office, some paid positions). Major
State Party Organization jobs are (1) to hold primary elections to select candidates; (2) to
support state level candidates in general elections; and (3) to
influence platform of National Party.

A group within a standing committee that specializes in a

subcategory of the standing committee's responsibility.
Subcommittees (Ex. House Committee on Foreign Affairs has
subcommittees on Asia, Europe, Africa, etc.)

Creative/activist interpretation of 5th and 14th Due Process

Clauses. "Liberty" protected by the DPC includes substantive
Substantive Due Process "fundamental rights" like rights protected by Bill of Rights (leads
to incorporation doctrine) and other rights like the right to

Theory of representation that says that anyone can

represent any group (ex. a rich white guy can
Substantive Representation represent the interests of poor black people).
Compare to Descriptive Representation.

Law requiring agency meetings and decision-making

process to be open to the public. One way of making
Sunshine Laws agencies more accountable to Congress and the

"Unpledged Delegates" (usually important party members) at national party

convention (about 20% of total delegates) who, unlike "pledged delegates"
selected in primaries or caucuses, are not committed to a particular
Superdelegates candidate. Used by party leaders to retain some control over candidate
selection. Can be important in close races (like Obama vs. Hillary Clinton in
Organization set up after Citizens United to engage in
independent electioneering. Can receive unlimited donations but
Super-PAC cannot coordinate with a candidate. Causing amount of money
spent on elections to skyrocket (SuperPacs have spent $85
million so far in Election 2012)

The Federal constitution, laws, and treaties are the

Supremacy Clause supreme law of the land. States cannot interfere with
federal power (ex. McCulloch v. Maryland).

Final federal appellate court ("court of last resort").

Hears appeals from Circuit Courts (certiorari petition
Supreme Court / rule of 4). Only hears "important" constitutional

A state that could go either way in a presidential

elections (unlike "safe states"). Target of a lot of
Swing State attention in elections. Also known as "battleground
states" or "purple states" (Ohio, Florida in 2008)

Federal block grant to provide cash assistance for poor

Temporary Assistance to Needy families ("welfare program"). Each state can design its
own program. Replaces Aid to Families With Dependent
Families (TANF) Children (AFDC) which was a categorical grant.

A legal restriction that limits the number of terms a

person may serve in a particular elected office.
Term Limits President limited by 22nd Amendment to 2 terms. No
term limits on congressmen.

Any political party that appears as an alternative to the two main parties of
the Democrats and the Republicans. Often extremist, single-issue or
Third Party candidate-centered. Not major feature of US political system because of
winner-take-all electoral system. Can have spoiler effect (Nader in 2000) or
are absorbed into major party (Tea Party in 2008).

Voting for one party for one office and for another
Ticket Splitting party for other offices. Frequent among independent
voters; leads to divided government.

Major anti-gender discrimination law that applies to

universities and schools that accept federal funding.
Title IX Controversial because many universities cut male sports
programs so as not to violate Title IX.

The ability of a president to negotiate treaties with

Treaty Power foreign nations (requires ratification by 2/3 senate
vote). Overshadowed by Executive Agreements.
Federal laws that require the states to do things
Unfunded Mandates without providing the money to do so. Examples:
ADA (wheelchair ramps), NCLB (AIMs testing)

A state ruled by one central government.

Unitary State This is the system used by most countries.
Compare with federal state.

Replaced the League of Nations after

United Nations WWII. Global organization to maintain
peace and facilitate diplomacy.

Government lawyer that represents the

U.S. Attorneys US government at the district court level

"The supreme law of the land." Written in 1787 at Philadelphia

Convention to replace Articles of Confederation and create stronger
US Constitution central government. Outlines structure & power of 3 branches of
national government. Oldest written constitution still in use (but
amended 27 times plus myriad informal amendments).

Prohibited state legislatures from imposing term limits

of their Representatives and Senators (Court held
US Term Limits v Thornton that the Constitution's Qualifications Clause is the
only limit on congressional service)

Supreme Court declared Gun Free School Zones Act exceeded

Congress's Interstate Commerce Clause power and was
US v. Lopez (1995) therefore unconstitutional. First federal law declared to exceed
commerce clause since the 1930s (Devolution Revolution?)

Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) unconstitutional because it

exceeded Congress' commerce clause power. With Lopez v.
US v. Morrison (2000) United States, two recent cases checking commerce clause
growth of federal power (unchecked since New Deal). Next up:

Supreme Court intervenes in battle between President Nixon and

Congress (impeachment process). President cannot use executive
U.S. v. Nixon privilege as an excuse to withhold evidence in impeachment
process. Leads to Nixon's resignation.

President may veto any bill by returning it to

Veto Process Congress with explanation. Congress can override
with 2/3 vote in both houses (very hard to do)
Back-up president. Only constitutional role = President of
Senate & casts tie-breaker vote in Senate. Typically
Vice President selected to increase odds in election (Biden experience
& foreign policy; Palin youth & Tea Party)

Also known as the Big State Plan.

Virginia Plan Wanted proportional representation in
Congress (based on population).

Low in America compared to other western

Voter Turnout democracies (50-60% for presidential
elections; 40-50% for midterms)

About 50-60% of eligible voters in

Voter Turnout Presidential elections; much less in
midyear elections (30-40%)

Federal law protecting against racial discrimination in voting.

Major accomplishment of civil rights movement vs. Jim Crow.
Voting Rights Act (1965) Bans all discriminatory voting procedures. Requires ballots to be
printed in minority languages. Section 5 = federal policing of
states with history of discrimination (still necessary?)

A law passed in 1973 after Vietnam fiasco requiring (1) president to

notify Congress within 48 hours of sending troops into combat and (2)
War Powers Act begin to remove troops after 60 days unless Congress approves of the
action. Limited effort to reverse erosion of Congress' war powers
since World War II (last formal declaration of war).

Nixon's "friends" broke into Democratic National Committee HQ

during 1972 election, then Nixon tried to cover up White House
Watergate Scandal involvement. Example of media muckraking (Woodward &
Bernstein). Led to resignation of Richard Nixon.

Closest presidential advisor ("Jafar").

White House Chief of Staff PowerfulgGatekeeper in pyramidal system;
does not require senate confirmation

Pyramidal (with Chief of Staff) or Spokes

White House Management Styles and Hub style (less reliance on Chief of

EOP group that includes the President's most trusted

White House Office personal advisors (led by White House Chief of
Staff); members do not need senate confirmation
Member of White House staff that controls flow of
White House Press Secretary information from president, holds daily press
briefings, tries to spin/control media

A form of restricting African American's 15th Amendment rights

during the Jim Crow Era by only allowing whites to vote in the
White Primary primary elections; giving African Americans only the opportunity
to vote for white racist A or white racist B.

Most common state system for allocating electoral college

Winner-Take-All System (Electoral votes (candidate with the most votes wins all of the electoral
votes of that state). Used in all but 2 states. Maximizes states'
College) influence in electoral process but completely ignores votes for
losing candidates (undemocratic).

Economic organization to promote

World Trade Organization
global wealth.

An order by the Supreme Court saying that it will hear a

certain case (rule of 4). Granted in cases that raise
Writ of Certiorari important constitutional questions or where circuit courts
have reached different opinions on a particular issue.