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Study Guide for the Midterm

by: Amanda Rewerts

Study Guide for the Midterm PSC 2218

Amanda Rewerts
GPA 3.35
Legislative Politics
Sarah Binder

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About this Document

ID Questions for the Midterm that has passed. I picked out the biggest terms from the notes and then wrote the significance and definition.
Legislative Politics
Sarah Binder
Study Guide
50 ?




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This 4 page Study Guide was uploaded by Amanda Rewerts on Wednesday March 4, 2015. The Study Guide belongs to PSC 2218 at George Washington University taught by Sarah Binder in Spring2015. Since its upload, it has received 189 views. For similar materials see Legislative Politics in Political Science at George Washington University.

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Date Created: 03/04/15
Structural Advantage Republican voters are more distributed geographically while democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas This allows GOP candidates to pick up more seats in the house Significant because it gives GOP advantage in controlling the House which is apportioned by districts lncumbency Advantage The marginal vote cushion that incumbents enjoy due to the fact that they re in incumbents Not reelection rates but a strong correlation between the two lncumbency advantage emerged during the mid1960s The court case associated with this trend is Wesberry v Sanders when the Supreme Court dictated redistricting after every 10 year census Other factors include increased constituency services created after WWII that allowed MCs to claim politically neutral credit the ease of which incumbents can fundraise the advent of television changing campaign tactics increased perks of office including for travel staff communication local office etc Some argue that incumbency advantage is disappearing due to the polarization of districts which mean that candidates can win solely on the partisan voters of their districts RetrospectiveProspective Evaluations Retrospective evaluations is when voters use past experience with a candidate to determine if they want to vote for them eg how did they vote Prospective evaluations are when voters consider how the candidate will act in the future on certain issues to determine whether they will vote for them or not lnstitutionalization The process over time for organizations to become more complex over time This is important because it helps explain the complexities of The House and Senate chambers of Congress Over time it is expected that rules and routines of process become cemented and part of the nature of the organization even those that are considered detrimental Examples include how the Speaker wasn t originally the leader of their party and committees weren39t even in existence in the first Congresses and parties didn t have so much influence over the legislative process Previous Question Motion A motion to end debate and vote on the question at hand that required a simple majority to end PQM has a complex history during 1811 it had no uniform meaning and could mean ending debate and voting or postponing the vote During the development of Congress in the early Republic the House maintained the PQM which allowed the majority to over time grant themselves more power by silencing the minority with the PQM The Senate erased the PQM from their rules by the suggestion of Aaron Burr since at the time PQM was a redundant postponement method The consequences of the chambers decisions led to a House passing the Reed Rules of 1890 which gave the majority expansive powers and control of the floor agenda while in the Senate a minority can easily block legislative action Committees Committees are a delegation of legislators who consider and oversee issues agencies programs and activities within a certain jurisdiction Committees didn t exist in the Continental Congress or the Confederation Congress but emerged in the early years of the current Congress however they were temporary and only created for a specific issue Standing committees started to form in the 1810 s as legislators realized the usefulness to develop expertise increased workload rise in oversight of the executive branch and interchamber competition Heavily brought on by Speaker Henry Clay who would appoint people who agreed with him to write the bills Now committees cover almost all areas of governance and have massive influence over the language of bills and their fate Heavily politicized Lawmaking vs Representation This term deals with the conflicting interests of national representatives as they must both consider the interests of the nation lawmaking and appropriately representing their constituents representation Many times lawmaking won t share the same goals as representing which creates problems for legislators when they don t know which one to choose Cloture Rule 22 In the Senate there is no rule that allows a simple majority to end debate on a bill instead they have cloture which requires 60 votes to end debate on a motion or bill and then 30 hours must pass until a vote is taken After cloture is invoked only amendments that are germane to the bill can be added and can t be filibustered This cloture process is important because it highlights the difficulties a small majority can have on the legislative process of the Senate It is very difficult and takes a lot of time for a majority in the Senate to actually turn the gears of the Senate If a majority of 60 senators does not exist the minority can essentially filibuster bills to death resulting in endless gridlock A consequence of the elimination of the PQM Continental CongressCongress of the Confederation Continental Congress lasted between 17741781 during the Revolutionary War and before the Articles of Confederation The Continental Congress had no explicit constitutional powers colonies had equal votes regardless of population there were no agenda setting power for the president of the Congress and there was no formal authority to impose its decisions on the colonial governments The Congress of the Confederation lasted between 17811789 and also had equal voting between states heavily influenced by state governments and had no power to tax Failed for multiple reasons including no committee system and poor institutional design needed 7 states to pass routine bill and needed 9 for serious affairsgt nothing got done These Congresses were important because their flaws heavily influenced the Framers decisions on how the current Congress should operategt popular and state representation internal organization expressed constitutional powers Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution has within it critical powers including expressed powers the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause Congress has the power under the Constitution to settle all interstate disputes furthermore the commerce clause allows Congress to regulate all interstate commerce while the necessary and proper clause allows Congress to make all laws that are necessary to carry out its duties Under Section 8 the power and scope of Congress has increased vastly and has altered Congress in ways unforeseeable to the Framers House Apportionment House Apportionment is the process of assigning House seats to States It occurs every 10 years after the population census and is based on 435 seats Allocates seats based on a mathematical formula that tries to ensure equal proportions This is important because it reflects the population trends in America both in terms of growth decline and migration Over time Northern and NE states have been losing seats as the population moves and increased in Western and Southern states Senate Malapportionment The overrepresentation and underrepresentation of voters due to the rule of the Senate that give each state 2 senators regardless of size This means that voters in larger states like California and Texas have the same voting power as small states like Montana and Vermont This has lead to rural states being overrepresented and also adds to structural advantage discussed above Gerrymandering Gerrymandering is the process of drawing districts to give one party demographic an advantage or disadvantage There are 4 types Packing which tries to maximize the of party voters in CDs Cracking which tries to split up similar voters race across CDs Partisan gerrymandering which favors the majority party then finally bipartisan gerrymandering which favors incumbents regardless of party Also Bleaching where they try to pack minority voters blacks into 1 or 2 districts so that white voters can have more seats Gerrymandering is named after Elbridge Gerry who famously made a CD in Massachusetts that resembled a salamander RedistrictingRepresentation Issues 0 Colesgrove v Green 1946 said that the courts shouldn t intervene in redistricting cases 0 Baker v Carr 1962 states that redistricting cases do bring up issues that are justiciable under the 14th Amendment and that cases can intervene o Wesberry v Sanders applied onemantoonevote to Congress and made redistricting a decennial process Onemantoonevote the idea that every voter should be equally represented Descriptive Representation representation by someone who looks like you gt may increase constituents trust in the legislator and may increase the legitimacy and quality of legislatures policy decisions 0 Substantive representation Representation of one s interests Focuses on how members serve the interests of their constituents rather than on who represents them Assumes that interests of blacks can be well represented by whites 0 Voting Rights Act of 1965 Eliminated voting restrictions based on race Shaw v Reno 1993 This is a Supreme Court case that allowed white voters to challenge the constitutionality of two North Carolina majorityminority congressional districts A Court majority argued that oddshaped districts drawn to elect a black legislator might violate the constitutional rights of white voters The case is significant because it was the Court s first decision establishing that racial gerrymandering could violate white voters constitutional rights Swing ratio gauge the biases and responsiveness of a electoral system


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