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by: Aerion Nelson


Aerion Nelson
Texas State

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Enjoy! Good luck on the test on my Birthday!
Prin of AM Gov
Peter Gazda
Study Guide
American Government
50 ?




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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Aerion Nelson on Thursday October 13, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to POSI 2310 at Texas State University taught by Peter Gazda in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 15 views. For similar materials see Prin of AM Gov in Political Science at Texas State University.

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Date Created: 10/13/16
TEST 2 STUDY GUIDE Congress Chapter 11  There are 435 members of congress  There is a census every 10 years  This census decides if any area needs more congressmen  Reapportionment (Jerrymandering) is when boundaries for congressional districts are decided  This is only allowed for political reasons  If you are already in congress reelection is very common  There is a 92% chance of being reelected Pros of incumbency  Fly home for free  Free mail Cons of incumbency ( an incumbent is someone who is being reelected as congressmen)  There may be someone who runs against you in primary election  If a challenger is on the side of the winning presidential candidate this is a problem  Super PACs donating money to your challenger is a problem Parties & Party leadership  A party caucus is a closed session where they vote on the presidential candidates and this vote is recorded  Parties are very strong in congress  The house leaders are: Speaker of the house, house majority leader, & house majority whip  The speaker of the house is elected by the house membership  The speaker of the house develops party issues and they are said to be very powerful beneath the president  They are allowed to speak first during debates  Majority party leader is the most powerful senator  The vice president runs the senate ( he can only cast a tie- breaking vote)  Senate president runs the senate in the vice president's absence Committees & Committee leadership  Bills that are introduced must be given to the proper committee  Committee members typically mirror the party ratio of the body  Committee chairs are typically senior members of the majority party How a bill becomes a law  It starts with a committee hearing & decision  Then it goes to the committee floor  Next the floor takes action  The committees conference  The president either signs or vetoes the bill  The house & the senate vote on a bill 3 functions of congress 1. Lawmaking  Authorizing federal programs  Not all issues are covered ( fragmentation)  The president has a more prominent role  Deal with narrow problems 2. Representation of their constituents  Represent states & districts they focus on local  Represent the nation they focus on big issues 3. Oversight  make sure the executive branch carries out the law faithfully  Demanding tasks be done adequately Chapter 12: The Presidency  power of the presidency has grown as the federal government has grown  The state of the union address is given on January 21  Invisible Primary is the time before anyone votes before primaries and  caucuses  This time is critical for gaining public support and more momentum  Caucuses are meetings in states where they discuss the candidates and took a vote  Texas does not participate in caucuses  During the National convention suggestions are made for the party platform  Electoral college votes are based on US congressional states + the number of US congressmen (for example Texas has 38 votes 36 congressional seat + 2  congressmen)  swing states can go either republican or democratic when voting these are  the states presidential candidates focus on  vice presidential duties are not listed in the constitution   cabinet appointees are nominated by the president and confirmed by the  senate  the honeymoon period is the beginning of a presidency they select cabinet  members at this time  National Party Convention  the presidential candidate is chosen  the presidential candidate picks their running mate (vice president)  the party platform is chosen  the party heals wounds from the nominating campaign (fixes any issues)  the candidates are presented to the votes  Candidates focus on battleground states  Money and proper use of media are important in this phase  A candidate must be at least 35 years old be a natural born US citizen and have been a US resident for at least 14 years Factors in Presidential Leadership  A powerful president has a decisive election victory and a major national  problem  Presidents have decreased success over time after the honeymoon period Staffing the Presidency  Members of cabinet are appointed by the president and confirmed by the  Senate  The vice president   The Executive Office of the President  White house office Choosing the President  The candidate needs 270 votes in the electoral college to win  Focus on battle ground states The Federal Judicial System  the supreme court is the only court mentioned in the constitution  jurisdiction – is authority to hear a  certain case   Original jurisdiction – is being the 1  to hear a case  Appellate jurisdiction­ is hearing a case that has already been heard in the  lower courts  Writ of certiorari – the supreme court does this stop filibuster and it puts a  limit of 30 hours on that case  To accept writ there has to be a 4/9 vote  Plurality vote­ majority agree   Concurrence­ the person agrees but has something else to add “ I agree but, “  Dissenting ­  the minority vote  The majority opinion becomes law  The supreme court doesn’t take every case they hear about 80 cases a year  There are other courts for example : US district courts, US courts of appeals  and Special US courts ( divorce court, bankruptcy court, immigration court)  People are appointed to the state courts by political appointment  Federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate   Merit vote – is when you thumbs up or down who you want as judge  Presidents nominate people who have similar political views as them  Nearly all recent appointees from appellate courts th  Very few nominees have been rejected after the 19  century  Senatorial courtesy­ if someone is picked from a senators state the name is  run by the senator   Most judicial appointees in the past were white men   Solicitor general – argues to the supreme court on behalf of the US  There are 3 main sources of law : Constitution , legislative laws ( statutes) ,  and legal precedents ( previous similar cases )  Justices vote in line with political attitude  Marbury vs Madison set the stage for Judicial review ( view by the Supreme  court of the validity of legislative action)  A written decision is an opinion   Interest groups file amicus curiae ( friend of the court) briefs   The court can’t move too far from public opinion  Originalism – determine and preserve founders’ intent   Living constitution­ adaptable to change   Judicial restraint – judges should follow precedent   Judicial activism­ judges should interpret the constitution and legislative  laws in light of established principles when elected officials don’t 


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