Exam 3

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Senate's tradition of unlimited debate as a delaying tactic to block a bill



The allocation of seats in the House of Representatives to each state after a census


Enumerated Powers

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  • Power specifically granted to the national government by the Constitution.
  • Article I, Section 8


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Division of a legislature into two separate assemblies


What are the Powers of Congress?

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Affirmed Ruling on a case

To declare that a court ruling is valid and must stand


Executive Privilege

  • Right of executive officials to withhold information from or to refuse to appear before a legislative committee

Inherent Power

  • power of the President derived from the Constitution that "the executive power shall be vested in a President", and he should "take care that the laws be faithfully executed"
  • defined as in practice rather than law
  • powers during wartime

Statutory Power

  • power created for the president through laws enacted by Congress
  • example: national emergencies

Iron Triangle

  • 3 way alliance among legislators in:
  • Congress
  • Bureaucrats
  • Interest Groups
  • Ex: Agricultural Policy


  • Organization that is structured hierarchically to carry out specific functions
  • usually divided among their specialization and expertise of the employees

"Kitchen Cabinet"

  • Informal advisers to the President
  • replaces the formal cabinet for advice
  • During Andrew Jackson's term, he would meet in the kitchen with personal friends

"Rule of Four"

  • When at least 4 of the Supreme Justices agree on a case from the US Court of Appeals to be reviewed.


  • the authority of the court to hear and decide a case
  • of a particular geographic area, county or district
  • High Courts: state authority

English Common Law

  • judge-made laws
  • originated in England
  • Decisions of the "Year Books" were used for previous similar cases

Judicial Activism vs. Judicial Restraint

Judicial Activism

  • Federal judiciary should take active roll in its powers to check activities of Congress, state legislatures, admin agencies when they exceed their authority

Judicial Restraint

  • defer to the decisions of the legislative and executive branches, because Congress and President are elected by the people, where as the judiciary is not

Petit Jury

  • trial jury

Merit System

  • selection, retention, and promotion of government employees on the basis of competitive examinations

Sunset Law

  • places government programs on a definite schedule for congressional consideration
  • unless congress specifically authorizes a federal operated program, it will terminate automatically, "sun will set"

Executive Agreement

  • International agreement made by the President, without senatorial ratification with the head of a foreign state

"Agency Capture"

  • agencies have been "captured" by the very industries and firms that they were supposed to regulate and making decisions on interest of the industry and not the general public

Legislative Committee's Most Important

Standing Committee

  • permanent bodies that are established by rules of each chamber & continue from session to session in specific area of legislature policy jurisdiction (ex: agriculture, homeland security, educ. budget)

Conference Committee

Joint Committee

committee for the purpose of the House and Senate to agree on specific wording of legislature acts when the two chambers pass same proposal in different forms...agree on wording.


Ad-Hoc Committee

Specific committee for a specific task, objective & dissolves after completion of task (most committee are these)


Role of US Pres.

Head of State

  • ceremonial head of government

Role of US Pres.

Chief Executive

  • Head of executive branch
  • The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet. The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.

Role of US Pres.

Commander in Chief

  • According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces.
  • Constitutionally bound to enforce acts of congress, federal courts and treaties

Role of US Pres.

Chief Diplomat

  • The president is the chief diplomat of the United States. One of his most important diplomatic powers is to recognize foreign governments. When the president receives foreign diplomats, he endorses them in the public's eye.

Role of US Pres.

Chief Legislature

  • A chief legislator most often refers to the president of the United States, who has the authority to influence members of Congress to make laws through veto power, signing a bill, speaking directly to Congress and meeting with individual members of the legislative body.
  • State of the Union Address

Creation of a Bill & becoming Law

  1. Committee consideration: New bills are sent to standing committees by subject matter.
  • In the House: a bill goes to the Rules Committee to have a time limit set, if short time it is said to be a GAG rule
  • In the Senate: senators can talk on the floor as long as they like, fewer restriction, can go into a filibuster, which are forbidden in the House
  1. Those bills that are controversial go to a Conference Committee usually for wording of the bill

Powers delegated to Congress 1

Expressed Powers:

  • powers granted to the government mostly found in Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution within 18 clauses. Expressed powers, also known as the "enumerated powers," include the power to coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, declare war, grant patents and copyrights and more.

Powers delegated to Congress 2

Implied Powers

  • This "Necessary and Proper Clause" (sometimes also called the "Elastic Clause") grants Congress a set of so-called implied powers—that is, powers not explicitly named in the Constitution but assumed to exist due to their being necessary to implement the expressed powers that are named in Article I.

Informal Powers of US President

  • Power to go public, make executive agreements, power of persuasion, make executive agreements, issue executive orders, issue signing statements

Formal Powers of US President

  • veto Power
  • command armed forces
  • pardoning power
  • appointment powers
  • make treaties
  • convene congress

What are the 4 major types of US Federal Government Bureaucracy?

Cabinet Departments

  • State, Treasury, Justice, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Housing, Transportation, Energy, Education, Homeland Security

Independent Executive Agencies

  • not directly located within the Cabinet but reports to the President (Smithsonian, CIA, NASA, SSA)

Independent Regulatory Agencies

  • agency outside major executive department charged with making and implementing rules and regulations within specific area ( FTC, FCC, EEOC)

Government Corporations

  • used primarily for commerical, administers a quasi-business enterprise ( FDIC, AMTRAK, USPS)

Federal Court Structure

  • US District Court - trial courts
  • US Court of Appeals - 13 - also referred to as circuit courts of appeals
  • US Supreme Court - highest level of 3 tiered model of federal court system

US Supreme Court

  • See's very select cases, meets in closed court
  • Rule of 4
  • writ of certiorari, sends this out to the lower court so they know they are reviewing the case
  • Court procedures, oral arguments
  • Decisions & Opinions