American Government and Politics Final Exam Review Guide Flashcards
What are the three major powers of any government?
Legislative, Executive, and Judicial
All government authority and power is controlled by one man
Government ran by the people
What are the theories on the origins of government?
Force, evolution, divine right, and social contract
What are the purposes of the US government? Where can we find them?
Establish order, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, secure the blessings of liberty; found in the preamble of the U.S. Constitution
List the key foundations of American government?
Worth of the Individual, equality of all persons, necessity of freedom, majority rule with minority rights
Define: Limited Government
Government must act within the framework of the U.S. Constitution
Define: Limited Government
Government must act within the framework of the U.S. Constitution
What important documents did the founding fathers use to help them create the American government?
Magna Carta, English Bill of Rights, Petition of Right, Declaration of Independence
What type of parliamentary government was reflected in the American colonies?
Two chamber legislature, and upper house and a lower house
Describe the Framers of the Constitution: (professions, school, race, religious background)
White, educated, wealthy merchants, lawyers, and plantation owners
Describe the Virginia Plan and New Jersey Plan:
Virginia Plan was the large state plan that called for a 2-chamber legislature and representation based on population while the New Jersey Plan called for a 1-chamber legislature with representation being equal among the states.
Describe the “Great” / Connecticut Compromise
Created Congress with a 2-chamber legislature made up of the Senate (upper house) and the House of Representatives (lower chamber). Upper house would be based on equal representation while the lower chamber was based on population. They share the legislative power of government.
List the basic principles of the Constitution
Limited and ordered government, judicial review, separation of powers, checks and balances
Explain the difference between Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers
Checks and balances allows for each branch to play a role in the power of the other two while separation of powers splits the powers of government into separate working branches independent of each other.
List the four methods to add an Amendment to the Constitution, and which is used most often
Proposed by Congress (2/3 vote in both chambers) and ratified by ¾ of state’s legislatures or conventions
Government existing on multiple levels, national and state
Define delegated powers
Powers specifically granted to federal government by the U.S. Constitution
Define expressed powers
Powers specifically detailed by the U.S. Constitution
Define implied powers
Powers deemed necessary and proper by Article I section 8 clause 18.
Define inherent powers
Powers understood to belong to the federal government
Define reserved powers
Powers given to the states according to the 10th Amendment
Define concurrent powers
Powers that belong to both the federal and the state governments
Describe the difference between a term and a session of Congress
Term of Congress last two years because it pertains to the time in which all the members of Congress are the same and a session is the time in which they are in Washington doing their job.
What is the main role of Congress?
Make federal laws
Describe what Congress has the power to Tax
Imports, goods sold within the United States
Explain the process of Eminent Domain
Allows government to seize private property to serve a government purpose; must provide just compensation
Define: State of the Union Address
President addresses both chambers of Congress on his plan for the upcoming year
Who is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and the Senate?
- Presiding officer of the House: Speaker of the House
- Presiding officer of the Senate: Vice President
Define: President Pro Temp
Presiding officer of the Senate when the Vice President is absent
Describe the purpose of a Conference Committee
Consists of members of the House and the Senate and is put together to create a finalized bill when different bills are created by the House of Reps and the Senate.
List the steps for how a bill becomes a law
Introduced by a sponsor, brought to a committee, comes out of committee and is brought to the floor of its original chamber for debate and vote, final bill read in its’ original chamber, goes to the opposing chamber (same routine followed), brought to the President’s desk for signature, if President vetoes Congress may override with a 2/3 vote in both chambers.
When enough members of either chamber are present to have a vote
Used in the Senate to defeat a proposed bill from being passed. Used heavily during the Civil Rights era by racist southern representatives
. What is officially needed for someone to take the oath of office for the Vice President if the office becomes vacant?
Approval of the Senate
How are the President and Vice President elected? What determines the states # of votes?
Elected by the Electoral College. Number of votes per state in the Electoral College are equal to its representation in Congress
Describe the process of appointment by the President
President has the power to appoint federal judges and executive officials with the consent of 2/3 vote of the Senate
48. Describe the Military powers of the President
President is the commander-in-chief of the United States military
Explain the legislative powers the President can take over Congress
President has the power to veto bills passed by Congress
What jurisdiction does the Supreme Court exercise?
Both original and appellate jurisdiction; has the power to hear any case that it chooses to hear.
Which federal court has Original jurisdiction over most cases in Federal Court?
Lowest level; district court
Under what circumstances can a case be brought in federal court?
If it is a federal law; deals with federal officials; or with citizens of different states
Who are a group of people eligible to vote?
The electorate; Constituents
Define: Split Ticket Voting and what are its effects?
Shows that people are moving away from political party affiliation and voting for both Democrats and Republicans on the same ticket.
To which group does the Constitution give the power to set the date to hold Congressional elections to?
Define: Interest Group
Political group who seeks to persuade the opinions of others to share their political viewpoint on any number of political issues.
Explain the difference between Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Civil liberties are protections from the government like the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th Amendment and Civil Rights are protections given by the government against individuals like the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
Define: Due Process
Guarantee of certain protections when you are accused of a crime from the actions of law enforcement such as right to fair trial and attorney.
Guarantee of certain protections when you are accused of a crime from
the actions of law enforcement such as right to fair trial and
a. Free Exercise Clause
b. Establishment Clause
a. Allows Americans to freely exercise their own religion, free from
b. Forbids the government from establishing or endorsing any religious institution
How has the Supreme Court reasoned on the issue of flag burning as a protected form of Free Speech?
That flag burning is protected free speech
Which group of people are protected by shield laws?
What clause in the Constitution protects an individual’s rights of assembly and petition?
Freedom of expression
Who issues a warrant? What legal standard must be present to issue a warrant?
The courts issue warrants and probable cause must be established prior to gaining a warrant
What does the Exclusionary Rule state about evidence?
If the evidence was gaining illegally by law enforcement then it cannot be used in court
Define: Double Jeopardy
Being tried twice for the same crime in the same court. It is unconstitutional
What rights for a person accused of a crime are protected under the 6th Amendment?
Fair, speedy, and public trial, as well as a right to an attorney
Freedom of Religion, Press, Speech, Assembly, Petition
Right to Bear Arms
Right ot not have to quarter Soldiers and seizures
Right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures
Right to grand jury indictment, no double jeopardy, freedom from self-incrimination, due process of law
Right to be in-formed of charges be present when wit-nesses speak in court, to call defense witnesses, to have a lawyer.
Right to a jury trial in civil cases
Freedom from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment
Guarantee of rights not listed in Constitution
Rights of states and people
Prevents suits against states
Election of the President(Election Procedures)
Abolition of slavery
Right to be free from discrimination in states to have due process of law, to have equal protection of the law
Individual Income Tax
Election of National Senators
Prohibition of alcoholic beverages
Inauguration day is January 20th and Congress should meet at least once every year
Repeal to Prohibition (they can drink again)
Limitation of Presidential term of office
Voters in Washington D.C. given the right to vote for presidential electors
Abolition of poll taxes
Succession of offices of the President
Voting age is set to 18
Limits the power of Congress to increase its own salaries
What is an activist court?
Court that makes decisions that forge new ground such as Roe V Wade or Brown V Board of Education
What is an Amicus Curiae brief?
A brief presented by someone interested in influencing the outcome of a lawsuit but who is not a party to it
What is the Attorney Journal?
Head of the Department of Justice
What did Buckley v Valeo do?
Limit on contributions is constitutional; limit on candidate spending is unconstitutional
What is the Commerce Clause?
The section of the Constitution in which Congress is given the power to regulate trade among the states and with foreign countries.
What is Congressional Oversight?
Review of executive branch decision making and implementation of laws
What is a Constituent?
A person whom a member of Congress has been elected to represent
What are delegates?
A representative chosen to attend the party's national convention; generally they are more activist and ideological than rank and file party members
What is devolution?
The transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states
What is the due process clause?
A clause to the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments that says no person shall be deprived of "life, liberty or property" without due process of the law.
What is the exclusionary rule?
Improperly gathered evidence may not be introduced in a criminal trial
What is the Executive Order?
A rule issued by the president that has the force of law
What is federalism?
Relationship between states and the national government with shared powers
What are Federalists?
Believed in a strong central government in the shaping of the constitution
What is fiscal policy?
A government policy for dealing with the budget (especially with taxation and borrowing)
What is the free exercise clause?
Has been interpreted to outlaw teacher/school organized religious programs, but not student initiated.
What is gerrymandering?
Redistricting done to benefit the majority party (and incumbents)
What did Gideon v. Wainwright do?
A person who cannot afford an attorney may have one appointed by the government
People at the local level; average voters, not professional politicians
What is Habeas Corpus?
The right not to be held in prison without first being charged with a specific crime
What is the iron triangle?
The 3 groups that help shape policy in Congress –congressional committees, bureaucracy, and interest groups
What did Korematsu v. US do?
The court ruled that the ordering of Japanese=Americans into internment camps was constitutional
What is Litmus test?
An examination of the political ideology of a nominated judge
What is a majority Leader and minority leader?
Elected by representative parties to be their spokesmen
What did Marbury v Madison do?
Case that established Judicial Review
What did McCulloch v Maryland do?
Supreme Court decision upholding supremacy of the national government over the sates/implied powers clause.
What did US v Nixon do?
Supreme Court ruling that stated that there is no "absolute unqualified" presidential privilege of immunity.