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PSC 101 Tuman Midterm Study Guide

by: Stephanie Smith

PSC 101 Tuman Midterm Study Guide PSC 101

Marketplace > University of Nevada - Las Vegas > Politica science > PSC 101 > PSC 101 Tuman Midterm Study Guide
Stephanie Smith


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All midterm review questions answered.
Intro American Politics
John Tuman
Study Guide
political, political science
50 ?




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This 8 page Study Guide was uploaded by Stephanie Smith on Tuesday August 16, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PSC 101 at University of Nevada - Las Vegas taught by John Tuman in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Intro American Politics in Politica science at University of Nevada - Las Vegas.

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Date Created: 08/16/16
101 Midterm Review 1. Compare the political value of order, freedom, and equality. How do “liberals” and “conservatives” view these values? order - Established ways of social behavior. Maintaining order is the oldest purpose of government. how / whether gov should control social order is very controversial Both freedom and equality are positive terms that politicians have learned to use to their own advantage. Consequently, freedom and equality mean different things to different people at different times, depending on the political context in which they are used. Order, in contrast, has negative connotations for many people because it symbolizes government intrusion into private lives. Freedom freedom of - An absence of constraints on behavior, as in freedom of speech or freedom of religion; synonyms with liberty freedom from - Immunity; “freedom from fear” and “freedom from want” Equality political equality - Equality in political decision making: one vote per person, with all votes counted equally. social equality - Equality in wealth, education, and status. equality of opportunity - The idea that each person is guaranteed the same chance to succeed in life. equality of outcome - The concept that society must ensure that people are equal, and governments must design policies to redistribute wealth and status so that economic and social equality is actually achieved. Some analysts argue that equality in wealth, education, and status—that is, social equality—is necessary for true political equality. equality of outcome requires more gov intervention than any other for of equality and clashes more directly with the concept of freedom The clash between freedom and order forms the original dilemma of government; the clash between freedom and equality forms the modern dilemma of government. the difference between liberals and conservatives stems from a difference in attitude about the purpose of the gov conservatives - Those who are willing to use government to promote order but not equality. liberals - Those who are willing to use government to promote equality but not order. From class notes: 1) Conservatives: social issues: While valuing freedom (over equality), social conservatives place weight on a broad view of order - a moral order. Economic freedom is important, but they are willing to restrict social freedom when it comes into conflict with their vision of a moral order and identity. economic issues: Value freedom - particularly economic freedom - over order and equality. Interested in smaller government, less taxation, and regulation. Are willing to tolerate some freedoms. 2) Liberals: Social issues: Liberals value freedom on social issues, although sometimes they use an “equality frame” to them 2. What is political socialization? What are some of the factors that shape political socialization? Political Socialization - Process through which individuals acquire and form political values Refers also to formal or informal learning about politics - parties, issues, candidates, elected officials ect. Note: research suggests political knowledge varies in the population Socialization may influence how we perceive our economic interests, and the candidates and issues we support Sources of political socialization 1) Family -strong association between parents’ values, party and that of their children 2) Ethnicity, Race, and Gender These variables tend to influence individual experiences they also have an impact on socialization, attitudes, values, (and even party ID) 3) Schools 4) Neighborhood, Community, & Region 5) Religion 6) Occupation, associations (eg unions), clubs 7) Social Media Political Values and Ideology: Some Examples Overview: freedom, order, and equality -the particular way in which individual conceive of freedom, order, and equality varies by socialization freedom of vs freedom from Moral order vs Hobb’s conception of order Political equality supported by everyone, equality of result very controversial 3. Discuss the theory of pluralism. What assumptions do pluralists make about US politics? What role do interest groups play in the pluralist model? How do pluralist theories explain political outcomes in the US? B) Pluralist Model of Politics - goal is to explain why things are the way they are in American politics 1) Assumptions of the theory -Citizens are not directly involved in everyday politics -interest groups are the key actors in politics -groups exist on a fairly level playing field -Politicians have one major interest: reelection 2) Pluralist explanation of political outcomes -politics is a “marketplace” for influence -structure of government allows many points of access -there are many policy domains; each policy areas has its own groups that compete for influence an are usually tied to a congressional committee and a specific agency for department in bureaucracy - Groups ——Committees —— Agency -Demand-side: Groups seek to influence law, policy -Supply-side: Elected officials, others, provide access and votes in exchange for support -The basis of group influence -Politicians: Seek reelection, make strategic calculations about which groups to ally with (the more a politician thinks that a group can influence his ability to get reelected, the more likely he is to meet their needs) -Factors that determine a group’s potential influence -Size (membership) -Density of group membership in an electoral district -Cohesiveness of the group (do group members follow signals sent by group leaders when they vote?) -Resources at group’s disposal (offices, lobbyists, etc.) -Competitiveness of the election -Outcomes may change over time -Politics is an “iterated” game - groups that have influence at one point in time may suffer setbacks later on; this fluidity adds legitimacy to the system 4. Discuss “elite” model of US politics. What are some of the main points made by elite models? elite theory - The view that a small group of people actually makes most of the important government decisions. Elite theory US Capitalist system Market Economy -Owners and workers -Elite model assumes that ownership is heavily concentrated -social class 5. Analyze the US Constitution, with a focus on the principles of: separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, and republican government. republicanism- A form of government in which power resides in the people and is exercised by their elected representatives federalism - The division of power between a central government and regional governments. separation of powers - The assignment of lawmaking, law-enforcing, and law-interpreting functions to separate branches of government. checks and balances - A government structure that gives each branch some scrutiny of and control over the other branches. -Overview -not assumed to be self-enforcing; citizens and people in government must enforce what the constitution says -Main Principles 1. Separation of Powers -Congress: Propose, make laws -Article I, Section 7: Congress (House) proposes revenue bills -Article I, section 8: Congress’ enumerated powers (examples: taxation, borrowing, regulate commerce, currency, post, declare war, determine structure of federal courts below Supreme Courts, etc.). Also establishes its implied powers. -President: Enforce laws (and other powers) -Article 1, Section 3: Laws are faithfully executed, commission officers, appoint ambassadors -Article 1, Section 2: Examples: Commander of military; pardons; make treaties (subject to senate approval), fill vacancies while Congress is in recess, etc. -Judicial: Interpret Laws (and the constitution) -Article 3, Section 1; Provides court’s “original jurisdiction” Court’s power of judicial review established in the case of Marbury v Madison (1803) 2. Checks and Balances Executive: President may veto legislation (Article I, Section 7); executive orders (Article II, Section 1) Congress: House and Senate may over-ride a veto with a vote of 2/3 in each house (Article I, Section 7); impeachment power (Article I, Sections 2 & 3) Judicial: Judicial review (Marbury establishes this as an implied power, given Article III). 3. Federalism Article IV, Section 2: Supremacy Clause - federal laws and treatises are supreme and must be followed; if state laws are not consistent with federal, then federal, then federal must be followed. Example: Obergefell v Hodges (2015), striking down state laws and constitutions which prohibited same sex marriage; roy Moore, Chief Justice of Alabama SC, initially resisted the ruling, but came under criticism. 10th Amendment 4) Republican Form of Government Representation; prohibition on hereditary offices; no official religion or religious test Direct election of Representatives (Article I, Section 2) and Senators (Article I, Section 3 - modified via 17th amendment, 1913) Indirect election of the President (Article II, Section 1, Electoral College; 12th Amendment) Article I, Section 9 - Prohibition on titles/nobility Article VI - No religious test ever as requirement for office. Amendment 1: No establishment of religion 6. Discuss the formal process that is required in order to amend the US Constitution. 7. Discuss examples of some rights and freedoms protected by the US Constitution, with a focus on speech, the press, religion, assembly and rights of the accused. Examples of Civil Rights and Liberties 1. Press, Speech, Assembly Amendment I 2. Religion Amendment I 3. Rights of the Accused and Other Individual Rights Amendment IV (Speech and Seizure) Amendment V (Grand Jury; due process; double-jeopardy; self-incrimination; just compensation for taking of property) Amendment VI (Speedy trial; impartial jury; confront witness; right to counsel) Amendment VIII (bail, cruel and unusual punishment) 4. Due process / Equal Protection Amendment XIV (Due process, equal protection); only gradually used to apply other rights to states in 20th century 5. Voting Rights for African-Americans, Women Amendment XIX, granting women the right to vote 8. Analyze some of the main differences between the US and Nevada constitutions. I. Comparing US Constitution and the Nevada Constitution A. Frequency of Legislative Sessions 1. Article 4, Section 2 - Nevada = biennial (every other year) legislative sessions 2. Legislature approved joint resolution to change to annual session (SJ resolution 8, 2013, passed 2015). Voters will decide whether to amend the Nevada Constitution (Article 4, Section 2) B. Term Limits for Elected Offices in Legislative Branch 1. Article 4, Section 3: Assembly - limited to 12 years (6 terms, 2 years each; adopted by amendment in 1996); Compare US Constitution, Article 1, Section 2 on US House of Representatives 2. Article 4, Section 4: Senate - limited to 12 years (3 terms, 4 years each; adopted by amendment in 1996); Compare US Constitution, Article 1, Section 3 on Senate. 3. Pros and cons of term limits a) pro: break up attachment of interest groups to particular legislator b) con: legislatures do not develop expertise C. Possibility of Divided Executive due to Elections 1. In Nevada, there are more constitutional positions in the executive branch which are directly elected. Article 5, Sections 17, 19: Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Controller, and Attorney General are elected directly, as with the Governor (limited to two terms). Opens possibility of “divided executive” - our Governor is a Republican, but the Secretary of State, Treasurer, Controller, and Attorney General are all Democrats. 2. In US, President nominates and Senate approves cabinet level positions, similar to our elected statewide offices in executive branch. (Article 2, Section 2). Some presidents nominate individuals from the other party (example: Chuck Hagel, a Republican who is Secretary of Defense) but no requirement to do so. D. Direct Election of Judges 1. Article 6 of Nevada Constitution (7 Supreme Court justices, serve six year terms - but elected in staggered elections (two positions up in 2014; two in 2016; three in 2018)). 2. Compare US Constitution, Article 2, Section 2 (President nominates; Senate approves) 3. Judges have more autonomy if they are not elected. When they are elected they can receive a backless from voters who are unhappy with them. When it is constitutionally necessary but politically unpopular to protect the rights of the minority, the appointment system protects them. E. Rights 1. Trial by Jury in Civil Cases: a) Article 1 Section 3: 3/4 of jury to reach decision b) 7th amendment of US Constitution - doesn’t specify; current statues = unanimous decision (6-12 jurors) 2. Right to bear arms a) Article 1, Section 11: keep and bear arms for lawful purpose; recreation b) 2nd amendmetn, District of Columbia v Heller (2008) and McDonald v Chicago (2010) established that 2nd amendment applied to individuals to bear arms. 3. Taking of Property without Compensation a) Article 1, Section 8, subsection 6 of Nevada Constitution: “Private propery shall not be taken for public use without just composition having been first made, or secured, except in cases of war, riot, fire, or great public peril, in which case compensation shall afterward be made.” b) US Constitution, 5th Amendment, interpreted differently (“… nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation”). 9. Discuss the US Congress. What is the legislative process? Discuss the steps in the legislative process. What role, if any, do committees play in the legislative process? A) Legislative Process A) Identifying Issues A) Media attention - bears no relationship to scope of problem (ie odds of being killed in plane crash or terrorist attack are infinitesimally small, but they are covered by media like crazy) B) Interest Group pressure C) Executive pressure B) Proposing legislation A) Senator or House Representative agrees to write and sponsor bill (usually in consultation with staff, groups). These may be bills, or joint, concurrent, or simple resolutions. B) In the House, it is placed in the “hopper”; in the Senate, placed in the presiding officer’s desk or by introducing on floor. C) The clerks then assign the bill a number (“H” for House, and “S” for Senate). D) Then there is the first reading of the bill on the floor. C) Committee and subcommittee work A) After the first reading, the bill is referred to committees for mark-up and review. Each standing committee has a calendar. They may hold hearings or other fact- finding sessions. B) Committees may amend the bill (sometimes resulting in a new bill number), or revise the bills. C) Committees vote (by majority) after amendments and debate on whether to refer the bill. They may also table the bill (which may then result in referral to subcommittee, or back to House floor (for example). A) There is a rule that can force a bill out of committee and onto the floor D) Debate and voting A) Bills making it out of committee are “reported” - that is, they are reported with a committee summary and explanation of the previsions of the bill. Then the bill is placed on the calendar. B) The House Rules Committee establish the timing and rules for debate; after debate, there is a second reading of the bill. It is also published in the THOMAS website. C) Voting E) Executive Action F) Oversight 10. What are some of the factors that explain congressional reelection? What is Congressional redistricting and reapportionment? Also, review the different types and function of congressional committees. A) Structure A) House of Representatives A) Number of representatives A) 435, fixed since 1929; elected every 2 years B) Number per state varies A) CD1: Dina Titus (D) B) CD2: mark Amodei (R) C) CD3: Joe Heck (R) D) CD4: Crescent Hardy (R) E) Current seats, by party (114th Congress, 2015-16; Republicans: 247, Democrats 187). B) Impact of reapportionment A) Changes in State population (gains, losses) can influence number of seats in House allocated to each state (reapportionment) C) Redistricting A) Role of State legislatures B) Special Meters, court challenges (in 2011, NV District Court judge (James Russel) took over when Governor twice vetoed maps and did not call Special Session). C) Shawv Reno (1993), 5-4 decision, race may be taken into account to provide minority representation, but these plans are subject ot strict scrutiny. Districts that are based solely on race unlikely to withstand judicial scrutiny. D) Shelby County Alabama v Holder (2013), 5-4 decison, 9 states in South, with history of discrimination, no longer required to submit elections laws of redistricting plans for prelearance because Section 4 of the Voting rights Act is unconstitutional (based on old data). joint committee - A committee made up of members of both the House and the Senate select committee - A temporary congressional committee created for a specific purpose and disbanded after that purpose is fulfilled. conference committee - A temporary committee created to work out differences between the House and Senate versions of a specific piece of legislation. 11.What is redistricting and reapportionment? Also, review the different types and function congressional committees. (see above question) 12. Discuss and review the President’s formal powers, including her or his “inherent powers” and powers derived from the Congressional delegation of power. 13. Review the process of electing a president. What role does The Electoral College play? How are Most Electoral College votes determined, and how does this affect the strategies of presidential candidates running for election? Our elections are not national, they are federal (meaning state by state) Election based on decision in the electoral college I. President and Executive Branch A. Electing the President - the role of the Electoral College 1. How many votes? 538 electoral college votes (one for each member of House and Senate, and pursuant to 23rd amendment, 3 for DC; 435+100+3=538); note: reapportionment affects distribution of electoral college votes. 270 to win election. see p 247 of book. a) National polls are useless in predicting the president - state polls matter 2. Who are the electors? Political parties choose slates of electors for each candidate (some variation). Few restrictions on who may be elector (Article 2 = Representatives, Senators, and others holding position in Federal government barred; 14th amendment barred individuals who negated in rebellion again US). States may impose some requirements (for example, in Nevada, the elector must be a legally registered member of party that selects him/ her. 3. When do the electors vote? Electors vote in each state, in December, on the Monday following the second Wednesday in December, with a winner take all system (except in Maine and Nebraska). 4. Bound by the popular vote? Electors are not bound by the US Constitution or Federal stated to follow popular vote (but 26 states, and DC do impose such a requirement). 5. In Nevada, NRS 298.075 states: “The Secretary of State shall provide to each presidential elector a ballot for the office of President and a ballot for the office of Vice President. The presidential elector shall mark the applicable ballot provided by the Secretary of State fro the person who received the highest number of votes at the general election for the office of President and the person who received the highest number of votes at the general election for the office of Vice President. The presidential electro shall sign and legibly print his or her name on the ballots and present the ballots to the Secretary of State.” Only those who follow this procedure will have their votes recorded by the NV Secretary of State for the Electoral College vote; ballots that don’t conform are invalid, and that Electro will be considered a “vacant” position and replaced. 6. What if there is no majority? 12th amendment establishes procedure if no majority (House of Reps decides President by majority, with each state delegation = 1 vote of top 3 candidates; Senate chooses VP, with each Senator choosing from top 2 candidates). 7. Presidents who lost the popular vote but won the electoral-college vote a) Rutherford Hayes 1876 b) Benjamin Harrison 1888 c) George Bush vs Gore 2000 14. How is the Executive Office of the President structured? What are cabinet level positions, and how are they determined? 15. Discuss some of the factors the shape a president’s job approval rating in public opinion surveys. In addition, analyze some of the informal roles played by the US president in our political system.


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