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Flashcards in Midterm 3 Deck (57):

Iron triangle

Interest groups provide campaign contributions for members of Congress and it lobbies for larger budgets of agency
Agency provides gov't contracts for interest group & constituency services for friendly members of congress
Congressional committee/subcommittee supports agency's budgetary requests & programs the interest group favors


House of Representatives Member

Age 25
7-year Citizen
elected for 2 years so they're more responsive to local constituents & interest groups
elected by districts
deal with local interests & specifics



Age 30
9-year Citizen
elected for 6 years
elected equally
2/3 staggered terms so 1/3 of seats are up for election every 2 years
Seek instead of serve existing interests on a national level



Residents in the area that an official is elected from


Constituent services

Questions and issues that are solved by that constituents representative through the use of communication (fb, twitter)


Ways of mobilization

Websites describing achievements
social networking
mailing newsletters
influence on a rep's behalf
present bills


Who gets elected?

Who runs (some candidates encourage more than others)
Incumbency advantage
how districts are drawn (districting, redistricting, gerrymandering issues)



Position they previously served and getting reelected for the same office
Important role in American electoral system
The kind of repa citizens get in Washington



Voters who are put together in the same district for another party to have an advantage over one racial/ethnic/political party during election time


Congressional organization

US Congress both represents and governs
Includes: political parties, committee system, congressional staff (majority & minority leader, whip, speaker of the house) the caucus, and parliamentary rules of House & Senate



Closed political conference for Democrats
For Republicans, it's called conference


Speaker of the house

Chief presiding officer of HofR who shapes legislative agenda
Most important party anf house leader


Conference committees

Temporary joint committees whose members are appointed by heads of both chambers
In charge of working out a compromise but in different versions


Presidential veto

Final test of dedication
May be overridden by 2/3 vote in each chamber


Articles 1,2,3

Legislative executive and judicial


Inherent powers

Presidential powers implied but not directly stated by the Constitution
"Rights, duties, and obligations"


Expressed powers of the President

-Executive agreement
-State of the Union address


War Powers resolution of 1973

Pres. can send troops abroad ONLY by authorization of Congress or serious threat
Limit on presidential power
NIXON's veto was unconstitutional


Declaration of war

Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war
Congress is not declared war since December 8, 1941 in response to Pearl Harbor


Executive agreements

A contract bt 2 countries (kinda like a treaty) but does not require the Senate's "advice and consent"


State of the Union address

Pres's address to Congress recquired by Const each year
Opportunity for Pres to set legislative agenda & direct public attn to his goals (legislative initiative—spoiled brat)


Political value of Vice President

Bring in voters that the Pres. can't cuz of what he lacks in


Origin of Federal Bureaus

Congress passes abroad law establishing and financing new agencies
"Bureau""Cracy" = rule by offices & desks to implement policy


What's required for federal bureaucracies to do their job effectively?

Resources and tools
Communication with others
Effective outreach to the public



Process of putting a decision or plan into effect or execution
Bureaucracy defines what laws will mean by rules and actions


Regulatory agencies

Departments, bureaus, independent agencies who put restrictions & obligations on individuals or corporations in the private-sector
Rules made by regulatory agencies have the force & effect of law


Iron triangle

Relationship among congressional committee, administrative agency, 1+ interest groups


USA patriot act (2001)

Unprecedented powers to detain foreign suspects, carry out wire traps & searches, conduct secret military tribunals, and build an integrated law enforcement and intelligence system
*controversial cuz security vs liberty


Congressional oversight

Constitutionally essential way to make the bureaucracy responsible for holding the agency accountable


Freedom of information (FIOA)

Congress attempting to balance gov't secrecy vs citizens' right to know


Original jurisdiction

The authority to initially consider a case
Trial courts (lowest federal courts) are responsible for discovering facts in controversy and creating a record of judgment (A factual record)
89 district courts in the 50 states staffed by 679 federal district judges


Appellate jurisdiction (Federal appeals courts)

Authority to hear appeals from a lower court's decision (20%)
New facts cannot be presented before appellate courts
13 US Court of Appeals judicial districts with 179 judges
Except for cases selected for review by the Supreme Court, decisions made by appeals courts are final
Each court of appeals has 6-28 permanent judgeships, depending on the workload of the circuit
Candidates are generally suggested to Pres. by Justice Department


How many members does the Supreme Court have?

NINE MEMBERS since 1869: A Chief Justice and 8 associate Justices. They each cast one vote and Congress has the authority to change the quartz size


Chief Justice

Presides over the Supreme Court's public sessions and whose official title is Chief Justice of United States


Senatorial courtesy

The practice where the pres seeks the indication that senators from the candidates own state support the nomination he wants for federal judgeship before he does
Nominees must be considered by Senate Judiciary Committee and confirmed by majority vote in the full Senate
Generally does not apply to Supreme Court appointments, only to district and circuit court nominations
Presidents appoint judges who possess legal experience and good character and whose views are similar to their own


Cases that come first to the Supreme COurt include (4)

1. cases between the US & one of the 50 states
2. cases between 2+ states
3. cases involving foriegn ambassadors or other ministers
4. cases brought by one state against citizens of another state or against a foriegn country


Writ of certiorari

granted whenever 4 of the 9 justices agree to review a decision of a lower court "certworthy" (someone who loses in a lower fed court has within 90 days to get a petition filed)
if a case is not placed on discuss list, it's automatically denied certiorari


Solicitor general

The top gov't lawyer in all cases before the Supreme Court in which gov't is a party


Law clerks

Four clerks assigned to each SUpreme COurt justice hired to research legal issues & assist with preparation of opinions


Law clerks

Four clerks assigned to each SUpreme COurt justice hired to research legal issues & assist with preparation of opinions


Private sector

Sector of economy or a type of commercial activity


Executive order

A rule issued by the president that acts like a law


Council of economic advisers

Analyzes economic trends so Pres. can anticipate events


Signing statements

His way of changing up the interpretation of the law by pointing out benefits


Government corporations

Provide a public service like USPS or Amtrak


State Department's primary mission

Engaging diplomacy


Who impeaches government officials?

House of Representatives


Stare Decisis

"Let the decision stand!"
Doctrine that a previous decision by a court applies as a precedent in similar cases until that decision is overruled



Previous decisions from prior cases that are used to understand how laws applied


Due process

The right of every citizen against arbitrary action by national or state gov'ts
Guaranteed by Const
Hearing appeals from state-level courts


Writ of habeas corpus

For prisoners who have been stripped from their rights
Must raise issues not previously raised in their state appeals
US Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for Federal Court habeus decisions


Supreme Court Justices

All appointed by Pres
Obama appointed Sonia Sotomayer (2009) & Glena Kagan (2010)


Judicial review

Power of the Judiciary to review and, if necessary, declare actions of the legislative & executive branches invalid or unconstitutional (monitors other branches)


Marbury v. Madison

1st US Sup Ct case to apply the principle of judicial review
Played a key role in making the Sup Ct a separate branch of gov't


Dissenting opinions

A decision written by a Justice in the minority who wishes to express their reasoning in the case


Judicial restraint

Judicial philosophy whose adherents refuse to go beyond the clear words of the Constitution in interpreting the documents meaning
A.k.a. "strict constructionists"


Judicial activism

Gives into politics instead
"Hello!! It's the 21st century!"