Government in America: AP Govt.; Chapter 14-15 Flashcards

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Government in America
Chapters 14, 15
updated 5 months ago by natlop102605
political science
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Iron Triangle

Known as a sub-government; a mutually dependent and advantageous relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcomittees


Components of federal bureaucracy

Cabinet departments, Independent regulatory commissions, government corporations, and independent executive agencies


Functions of Fed Bureauc., Cabinet Departments;

Manages specific policy areas and has its own budget and staff, each department having a unique mission (Energy, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor)


Functions of fed Bureauc., Independent regulatory commissions;

Government agencies with responsibility for making and enforcing rules to protect public interest in some sectors of the economy, and judging disputes over these rules.


Functions of Fed Bureauc., Government Corporations

Like business corps, provides a service that could be delivered by the private sector and typically charges for its services (US postal service, Amtrak)


Functions of Fed Bureauc., Independent executive agency

Government agencies not accounted for by cabinet departments. Their administrators are appointed by the president and serve his pleasure (NASA, NSF)


Pendleton Act

passed in 1883, created a federal civil service where hiring and promotion is based on merit and rather than patronage


Civil Service

System of hiring and promotion bureaucracy members based on merit principle and to create a nonpartisan government service


Spoils system

"To the victor belongs the spoils"; presidents staff with friends and allies, people with connections, large donations, and previous congressional campaign work


Weber's characteristics of bureaucracy: __________ authority structure

Hierarchical: where power flows from the top down and responsibility flows from the bottom up.


Weber's characteristics of bureaucracy: _________ specialization

Task; experts instead of amateurs perform technical jobs


Weber's characteristics of bureaucracy: _______ principle

entrance and promotion are awarded on the basis of demonstrated abilities rather than connections (who you know)


Weber's characteristics of bureaucracy: Impersonality

Treat all clients impartially. (equal)


Bureaucratic enforcement of rules

Enforces rules and guidelines either in court or through its own administrative procedures ; Waits for complaints, Sends inspectors, or requires application for permit or license



The lifting of government restrictions on business, industry, and professional activities


Incentive v Command and Control

A rewarding system in which policy makers employ market-like strategies to regulate industry with rewards.


Incentive v Command and Control

Typical regulation system where the government tells businesses how to reach certain goals, checks that commands are followed, and punishes offendors.


Hiring/Firing of Cabinet Heads

Normally appointed by the president followed by senatorial approval. (advice and consent)


Hiring/Firing of Cabinet Heads

The cabinet head can either resign, or the president can dismiss due to differences in policymaking (cabinet turnover)


Civil service protections

Sheltered from political firings as a prerequisite, entitled to appeals for firings,


Standard Operating Procedures

For everyday decision making that save time, making bureaucrats bring efficiency and uniformity in running complex organizations, providing fairness and making personnel interchangeable(army)


Congressional checks on bureaucracy: Influence...

Appointment of agency heads, even if law does not require it (advice and consent), which they do often.


Congressional checks on bureaucracy: Alter....

an agency's budget, congressional power of the purse can cut, add, or demand money be spent a certain way through laws.


Congressional checks on bureaucracy: Hold....

hearings, which committees and subcommittees hold as an oversight, that usually the certain committee of the department's creation is responsible for.


Congressional checks on bureaucracy: Rewrite....

legislation, (or make more detailed) in which congress can overturn agency rules or limit authority to make them.


Presidential checks on bureaucracy: Appointing....

agency heads and subheads to influence policymaking in their preferred way.


Presidential checks on bureaucracy: Issuing...

executive orders on agencies that carry force of law and used to implement statutes, treaties, and provisions of the constitution (bush, 9/11 and homeland)


Presidential checks on bureaucracy: Alter.....

Agency budget, usually by the office of management and budget with threats to cut or promises to add.


Presidential checks on bureaucracy: Reorganize....

Large and strong agencies, not done often but saw major organizations in 2002 after 9/11


Joint/shared influence by con/prez on bureaucracy

Altering budgets and Appointing agency heads.


Independent regulatory bodies

designed to be insulated from the influence of politics, therefore being less responsive to congress and other agencies, and has protentional of acting in public interest


Causes of bureaucratic discretion/power

rules that do not fit a particular case and bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public(Street-level),


Privatization (Pros/Cons)

Provides special skill that the government lacks, cuts the federal work force, better service at lower cost, less public scrutiny(freedom act)


Privatization (Pros/Cons)

Small businesses subjects of government corporations, all about profits rather than public good, decisions about which companies often reflect political considerations rather than assessments of either effectiveness or efficiency


Marbury v. Madison

1803 case where CJ John Marshall and associates first asserted the right of the supreme court to determine the meaning of the U.S. constitution and established judicial review (Judociary act 1788)


Judicial review

Power of the courts to determine whether acts of congress and the executive are in accord with the constitution


Why the "least dangerous?"

In Federalist 78, Hamilton says the judiciary is least dangerous because it has no control over an army and lacks spending power


Weakness of Supreme Court

Has neither force or will, no spending or army power, no direction of strength or wealth of society, has merely only judgement, must depend on the arm of the executive


Showdown with FDR

Because he could not get his New Deal policies through conservative justices, He proposed congress expand size of the court with the argument that most justices were too old (Nine Old Men) (Court-packing plan)


Congressional checks on SC power

Power of the purse, Congress can impeach, congress confirms nominations, congress decides number of justices, creates courts, can pass legislation to impact courts or amend constitution


Presidential checks on SC power

Appointing nominees for vacant supreme court positions


Writ of certiorari

If four justices agree to review a case, the SC issues this to the lower courts; it is a formal document calling up the case


Amicus Curiae

Legal documents sent by "Friend of the court", which attempt to influence courts decision, raise additional points, and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties (submitted by interest groups but must be attorney)


Role of Solicitor General

3rd ranking official in department of justice, in charge of appellate court litigation of the federal government


Functions of Solicitor General

to decide whether to appeal cases the government lost, review and modify briefs presented in government appeals, to represent the government in the supreme court, submit an amicus curiae brief to cases govt is interested in


Types of jurisdiction: Original

hear the case first, usually in a trial, they determine the facts of a case


Types of jurisdiction: Appellate

Hears cases for appeal brought from lower courts, and do not review facts but only legal issues


Judicial terms of office

Most serve a lifetime tenure, but legislative courts, such as the court of military appeals, federal claims, international trade, and tax, have fixed terms of office


Characteristics of dual court system: Federal

Address cases involving the constitution, federal laws, treaties or cases where the U.S. is a government party.


Characteristics of dual court system: State

Address day-to-day cases, cover over 90% of legal matters.


Getting to court: Standing

Plaintiffs must have serious interest in a case, which depends on whether they have sustained or are likely to sustain a direct or substantial injury from another party or action of government


Getting to court: Class action suits

Lawsuits in which a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people in similar circumstances, usually for civil rights


Getting to court: in forma pauperis

to bring forth a suit without incurring the cost of the suit, usually given to lower income people


Judicial philosophies: judicial restraint

An approach in decision making which judges play minimal policymaking roles to defer to legislatures whenever possible


Judicial philosophies: Judicial activism

An approach to decision making in which judges sometimes make bold policy decisions, even charting new constitutional grounds


Judicial philosophies: Strict constructionist

one who interprets the constitution narrowly, to limit and restrict powers only to specific government appointed people