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American Fed. Gov. FINAL NOTES

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American Fed. Gov. FINAL NOTES P SC 1113

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American Federal Government
Dr. Gary Copeland
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by . on Thursday April 28, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to P SC 1113 at University of Oklahoma taught by Dr. Gary Copeland in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 95 views.


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Date Created: 04/28/16
American Federal Government Final notes Key terms, topics, overview Terms: Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (FEC)- congress wanted to regulate political fundraising to keep big money out of politics Citizens United v. FEC- the case that created super PACS (unlimited fundraising for political campaigns) Interest Groups- an organization of people. goal: influencing public policy. methods: independant activism from membership, can be “pressure groups” or “advocacy groups,” seek to represent interests of particular issue or group of people Examples: labor unions, trade associations, professional associations Invisible primary- AKA “money primary” candidates gain endorsements and promises of money, before they announce that they’re running open elections- neither is up for reelection incumbent elections- one candidate is up for reelection; second term Negative ads tend to be more effective; stick in our heads better Judicial review: supreme court can rule acts of congress as unconstitutional majoritarian pluralism- type of interest group that seeks to represent the general public’s interests equally. biased pluralism- represents interest groups that tend to advocate interests of businesses and corporations over the general public. Safe seat: one party has an advantage due to electors FCC- regulates media and communications Iron triangle - relationship between interest groups, congressional committees and bureaucracies that facilitates working together for interests Issue networks: Interest groups, congressional committees, and bureaucracies work together to include experts to influence policy more openly than an iron triangle does. PACs (Political Action Committees) support a party or candidate in order to financially support that interest through campaign contributions that are limited Super PACs- same as PACs but with unlimited amounts of money allowed, and few restrictions otherwise: for example, they don’t have to reveal who is donating this money for months, and may even be able to avoid doing so for longer Collective action problems- acting in your best interest may be against collective interest which ultimately goes against your best interest (forming groups is better) Rent seeking: an approach that tried to maximize profit by manipulating marketplace through government action rather than by creating wealth Free rider problem: when there is a collective good such as, safe highways, national security, etc. certain people advocate for it. However, whether you advocated or not, you still get to drive on those safe highways and enjoy the benefits of that advocacy, therefore, no one really wants to do it. The question for interest and advocacy group is: how to get people to participate. One answer is by offering Selective incentive which includes expressed and material benefits for those who advocate with a group Gerrymandering- redistricting or setting districts in such a way that shifts the population of voters to the advantage of political parties. party convention- delegates gather every four years to decide collectively which candidate from their party should appear on the ballot for the presidential election Political dealignment- former supporters of a political party may not vote for a candidate just out of loyalty to their party. Realignment- former supports of a party vote in mass numbers for the opposing party for a long period of time Party-in-government- actual politicians in office Party-as-organization- supporters of candidates and elections Party-in-the-electorate- voters who identify with a party and have sense of loyalty to their party. direct primary- candidates are selected for nomination by the people for the primary, rather than by caucusing leaders Conventional participation- using the normal political process to accomplish goals: signing petitions, making campaign contributions, going to rallies Unconventional- superseding the normal political process in favor of more anti- esablishmentarianistic approaches: protests, demonstrations, social media -PUBLIC OPINION- Question to consider: Do we want our representatives in government to vote how we would or do we want them to make educated judgements for us, seeing as we don’t know all the information. Voluntary polls- don’t represent population. Push poll- leading questions, pretends ask for your opinion on information, but really wants to persuade you. McCain was victim of this, affected outcome Straw poll- asks voters about opinion on candidates; attempts to see how well candidates are doing among voters Nonattitudes- sometimes, despite not knowing much about the topic, or not having a strong opinion either way, a participant will choose an answer in that moment Double negative questions- “do you not agree that polling is not biased” confuses the participant and sways the answer. Wisdom of the crowd: As individuals, we are just guessing, but collectively we tend to get it right; errors cancel each other out First ever televised debate: kennedy-nixon debate -THE COURTS- There are certain limits on the court's authority Some of which include,  that they must have jurisdiction over a case  The case must be legitimate and brought to them (they cannot seek out a case),  they lack enforcement powers  and there are checks and balances limiting their powers  Advisory opinion not allowed  No hypothetical cases, must be real dispute  Must be something the court can solve- must be justiciable Enacted law - used and adopted by the people or legislative bodies. Can be statues, regulations and constitutions that may guide law. Common law- developed by courts- have precedential influence over future court Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857)- Dred Scott was a slave who sued for his freedom and lost the case in a ruling that determined that African Americans could not sue the fed gov. Because they were not considered citizens Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)- Homer Plessy sued his trial judge imprisonment for sitting in a “whites only” railway car, on the basis that this law was in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)- Supreme Court unanimously decided that segregated public schools were in violation of the 14th amendment and stated that resistant schools must desegregate with “all deliberate speed.” Voting laws: 15th amendment 1870- right to vote for African American men 19th amendment 1920- right to vote for women 26th amendment 1971- right to vote for citizens 18 years and older loose constructionists believe that the Constitution was worded vaguely because it was meant to be interpreted differently as the needs/values of the nation changed. They favor the elastic (necessary and proper clause) because it expresses the need for a power that can be flexible to changing times. strict constructionist- believe that the Constitution should be taken literally, that it was designed to “stand the test of time,” and that the power of the government should not be expanded; that it is expressed specifically and that those limits are important. Senatorial courtesy- senators whose states have vacancies in the federal bench have a say on who is nominated for that position Plea bargain-Plea bargains help to reduce criminal sentences, but it is a class issue because if you can’t afford the best attorneys, sometimes innocent people will plea bargain out of fear of losing with a bigger punishment. ( 95% of convicted felons were convicted via this method) Justice is not always found because most cases settled outside of court in this way. Courts do encourage plea bargaining because it is less work, and our system cannot afford to hear every case in court.


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