U.S. Government: Congress, President and Courts Study Guide
Midterm Study Guide
*** In this study guide, the notes should be very simple to understand. Anything highlighted/ bolded is a keyword or subject you should focus on. The print around it is to better help you understand the subject.
The framers (creators of the constitution) wanted tax bills to start in the house because it has a smaller constituency, and they are reelected more frequently. In other words, People who hated the taxes could just remove them and it makes sense because the American Revolution started all because of taxes.
House Of Representatives:
∙ Based on population. (So more populated states have more representatives.) ∙ They are elected/ change more frequently.
Don't forget about the age old question of What planets are terrestrial and jovian?
∙ Taxation policies begin here.
*** Since the total amount of members in the House of Representatives are based on population size, members can change when a population goes up or down. This process is called Reappointment. (This process happens every 10 years.)
∙ Make laws.
∙ 2 Members allowed per State. (Meaning Senate will always have 100 members.) ∙ Represents their state. (Of course)
∙ They deals with foreign policy due to their ability to create bills/ treaties.
Bicameral means to have two branches or chambers. This word describes our congress which is divided by the "House of Representatives" and the "Senate.
Redistricting: Is when congressional district boundaries are redrawn in the state. Incumbency: Means you held office a long time.
Incumbent: Simply means "your duty"
Executive Branch (President)
Chief in Commander: Is a head of state or officer in supreme command of a country's armed forces.
(Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and sometimes "Chief Diplomat.")
Executive Office of President: We also discuss several other topics like What is the climate in new zealand?
∙ Council of Economic advisors If you want to learn more check out What is the indus valley civilization?
∙ National Security Council
∙ The White House Office
∙ Office of Management and Budget
*** The office of management and budget is listed, but not considered a part of the executive office for the president. ed.
Powers of the President:
∙ Can submit the budget to the federal Government
∙ Lobby members of congress to support/ oppose pending legislation
∙ Define the whole agenda of congress.
Expressed and Inherent Presidential Powers
Executive Order: The ability to issues decrees that carry out the force of law. (Cannot declare War)
Purpose of Executive Orders: To create and guide federal bureaucracy in implementing policy.
∙ Limits to a justices ability to influence:
∙ Congress Policy preferences
∙ The policy concerns of the population
∙ Other Justices Policy Preferences We also discuss several other topics like Why genes on the same chromosome violate independent assortment?
Special Presidential Powers:
∙ Emergency Power
∙ Executive Privilege
∙ Executive Order
Informal Presidential Powers:
∙ Political Skill
*** Congress grants Presidents statutory
Foreign Policy the President Controls:
∙ National Security Council (NSA)
∙ The State Department
*** In the role of party leader, the president chooses the national party chair, raises money and acts as a mascot. EX: (Party Leader, Chief economist, and Chief Legislator.)
Impeachment: To formally accuse the president (and other high figures) of treason, robbery, etc. We also discuss several other topics like What refers to a process in which new ways of understanding and responding to things at a specific time?
*** Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are best known for their stories that traced the Watergate burglaries.
Presidential Election Process: We also discuss several other topics like What is the meaning of pyrimidines in biochemistry?
1.) Citizens choose delegates through voting
2.) Party nominees are chosen at the national convention
3.) Election campaign for President/ Vice President begins
4.) state electors cast their (ballots based on the vote tallies from election day.) 5.) State electors for each state meet in their state capitols to cast votes. 6.) Results are announced in congress
Balancing Ticket is when a political candidate chooses a running mate, usually of the same party, with the goal of bringing more widespread appeal to the campaign.
Bully Pulpit: The president uses office to push for legislation or to speak on his/her opinion. Cabinet: People the president has chosen to lead important parts of the executive branch.
The members of the cabinet usually consists of The heads of the:
∙ "Environmental Protection Agency."
∙ "National Security Adviser" (NSA)
∙ Director of "The Office of Management and Budget."
The Big Departments in Cabinet:
∙ War (defense)
Supreme Court: Last Resort Court. It considers issues related to the US constitution and National Laws.
∙ Members are called "Justices.")
∙ Current Chief Justice: John Roberts
Marbury v Madison: led up to the supreme court's power of power of Judicial Review. Judicial Review: Supreme Courts ability to decide something is "Unconstitutional."
Supreme Court can deal only with cases that involve:
∙ Ambassadors to foreign countries
∙ Public Ministers and Counsels
∙ Two or more States
*** The Supreme Court accepts 1% of all appellate requests.
Supreme Court Review Order:
1. Court Reviews Cert Memos
2. Court votes on issuing a writ
3. Justices Vote on weather they want to hear it.
4. If four members vote to hear it, then it happens
5. The function of US special courts is to help administer federal laws.
Parts of a Cert Memo:
∙ Argument summary from both sides
∙ A description of the cases facts
∙ A recommendation.
(Yes, they attach a note stating weather they feel the supreme court should accept the case.)
To Become part of the Supreme Court Docket:
1.) Petitioner files writ certiorari
2.) Rule of 4 is evoked
3.) legal/ amicus curiae briefs are filed
4.) Arguments are presented to the court
5.) Deliberation conference ensues.
6.) Final decision is announced.
As a "Collegial Court" the supreme court is made of a panel that must work closely to come to a conclusion. ed.
Adversarial Judicial System: Two sides present facts and one side wins.
Amicus Curiae Briefs: The only way a non member of the court can influence a decision. *** During Oral arguments, only the Supreme Court and attorneys are allowed to speak. ed.
Concurring Opinions: is a term that states you agree with the verdict, but not the legalities/ logic.
Dissenting Opinion: This is the opinion that explains WHY it disagrees with the majority opinion.
*** The "minority group" drafts the dissenting opinion and the one who writes should continue discussing the issue with the court.
Written Brief: Both sides of an augment write the outcome they desire. (The Justice that writes on behalf of the Supreme should, obviously, remain respectful of the minority group.)
The Courts (In General)
Law Established rules that bind all people, organizations, government powers. Trial court considers the facts/ evidence of a case.
*** The goal of law is to create a peaceful, stable society and to punish those in violation of societal rules.
Jurisdiction: A courts legal authority to hear/ resolve a case.
Original Jurisdiction (only granted by)
∙ District Court (makes up part of the federal court)
∙ Special/ Appellate Court
∙ Supreme Court
*** The district court must hear all presented cases. Only the supreme Court has the power to reject cases. ed.
Appellate Courts: Make sure the lower courts correctly applied/ interpreted the law.
Appellate Jurisdiction: Same as original jurisdiction, only your choices are also based on the past cases.
Article 2: Section 2: meant that Federal courts can only deal with cases involving federal questions and diversity of citizenship
Constitutional law: is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state
Strategic Model: When a judges decision is limited by institutional factors. Circuits: Geographical Region
Precedent Cases are what judges use to identify how something was established in the past. Legal Model: Focuses on legal norms and principles.
Stat Decisis requires Judges to abide by legal precedent.
Attitudinal Model: When a Judge bases a decision on ideological preference. The Supreme Court has Discretionary Jurisdiction over this model. ed.
US Code: Consists of all laws ever passed by congress.
Certiorari: A request to make certain
Bench Memo: Outlines important issues in a simple case summary.
Purpose of Administrative Law
∙ To govern bureaucracy and federal law.
∙ Ease implementation of vague and ambiguous legislative acts
The Process of Introducing a Bill:
1.) Introduction: Congress creates a bill.
2.) Committee Review: Legislators review the bill.
3.) House and Senate Approval: The majority of congress must approve the bill.
4.) Conference and Committee reconciliation: When different versions of the bill has passed. The committee reconciles it.
5.) Presidential Approval: President signs it.
Gerrymandering is redrawing a district to win an election for a specific party.
Elastic clause: Allows Congress the power to pass all laws "necessary and proper" for carrying out the enumerated list of powers. (This is technically breaking the constitution for the greater good.)
∙ They can regulate stem cell research, because it has underlined benefits to the country. ∙ They can restrict big business, if it has underlined consequences for the country. ∙ They can expand law enforcement for cases like terrorism (for either reasons above.) ∙ Etc.
Agency Review: Small committee asking executive committee to for comments on the law proposed.
Domestic Policy: Decisions related to issues only applicable to the US.
∙ Incumbency Grants one access to more money and media attention.
∙ Redistricting makes incumbency less important.
∙ Racial Gerrymandering is a necessary action that prevents one race from dictating the results of an election.
∙ Pocket Veto is when the president doesn't accept or reject the bill. He just ignores it and lets it die.
∙ Constituent is another word for "voter."
∙ Unanimous Consent is what defines the "rules of debate" in Senate. ∙ The president can choose to approve or disapprove a law. (However, He may not make revisions or create laws.)
∙ Todays bills are handled by a part of congress called; "The lead committee" ∙ If the senate wants to halt the passage of a bill, a filibuster takes place. ∙ To stop a filibuster, sixty senators must agree to invoke a cloture.
∙ Interest Groups influence congress decisions by representing them (which is lobbying), Protesting for a subject they advocate (Which is GrassRoots Activism), Or simply paying them...
∙ Franking is a federal law that allows congress the privilege of sending free main to any other congress member and person in the state they are representing.
∙ IF a problem is specific to one area of legislature, a select committee is created to combat it.
∙ Legislation is proposed literally via wooden box at the front of the house chamber. ∙ The seniority system is when Members who held office the longest receive preference when chairs for senate is chosen.
∙ When a congressman says "I'll vote for your bill if you vote for me." It's called "logrolling"
∙ People who pay attention to politics, they are referred to as the Attentive Public. Civil Rights Movement
Civil Rights: Rights guaranteed to all who abide by the law. (Under the equal protection and due process clauses in the fifth and fourteenth Amendments.)
Civil Rights Movement Affected
∙ Voting Rights
∙ Mass Marches
∙ Voter Registration Drives
Intersectionality: To experience multiple forms of oppression at the same time.
Inherent Characteristics in Political Science:
∙ National Origin
**** People debate/ disagree with age disabilities and sexual orientation being on the list above.
A few Accomplishments from Civil Rights Movement (In Order)
1.) Ending Segregation in Public Schools
2.) Barring Racial Discrimination is Employment and Accommodation.
3.) Desegregating Housing
Defacto Segregation: Caused by living in a neighborhood with others of your own race or religion.
Du Jure Segregation: Unconstitutional, but supported by the law.
Suspect Classification: Term refers to distinctions based on race, religion, origin, or gender... (These differences are irrelevant to the issue and serve as a reason to discriminate.)
Ordinary Scrutiny Test: Test used to decide if someone is being discriminated against based on age.
Intermediate Scrutiny Test: Test used to decide if someone is being discriminated against based on sex.
Strict Scrutiny Test: Test used to decide if someone is being discriminated against based on race, religion, or ethnicity.
∙ Discriminates if it can achieve a public Interest.
In 1873 the legality of sex based discrimination was determined by the Ordinary Scrutiny Test and a Rational Basis Test.
Arguments Presented by OPPOSERS of the Equal Rights Amendment
∙ It's another copy of the fourteenth amendment.
∙ Passage of the Amendment would make women subject to being drafted. *** Marches during the civil rights movements went from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
*** Emmett Till was a 14 year old black boy whose tortured corpse was pubished in "Jet Magazine."
Montgomery Bus Boycott
∙ Got the supreme court to rule segregation unconstitutional.
∙ Got media attention and public sympathy.
National American Women's Suffrage Association Events (In order)
∙ NAWSA urges voters to boycott candidates who oppose them.
∙ Woodrow Wilson wins reelection.
∙ Arrested activist engage in a hunger strike.
∙ President Media Pressure Increases NAWSA support.
∙ Nineteenth Amendment is ratified.
*** Women have been fighting for voting rights since the mid 1800's. ed.
The General Women's Rights Movement (In Order)
∙ Women win the right to vote. (19th Amendment.)
∙ Litigation and Legislation expand Women's Rights.
∙ Feminists help low income women overcome economic barriers
After the 19th Amendment, Educated Women still lived in fear because...
∙ Choosing a career meant giving up marriage.
∙ The careers available were limited to teaching, nursing, social, or missionary work.
Issues Women had during the Civil Rights Movement (1960's)
∙ Men had more educational opportunities.
∙ Women could not have credit cards unless a man cosigned the loan.
∙ Men had better employment and higher pay.
Declaration of Sentiments: Listed rights that men had, but women did not. (1971) Ordinary Scrutiny Test was used to prove inequality against women as unconstitutional.
ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) Arguments
∙ The constitution should be amended to explicitly guarantee equality of rights under the law regardless of sex.
∙ The test should be used in sex based discrimination cases.
1973 Rehabilitation Act: Discriminated against the disabled in federally funded programs.
Americans With Disabilities Act: Extended the ban on discrimination against disabled people.
∙ Employers must consider reasonable accommodations for them.
∙ Public schools MUST consider access.
Voters Rights Act of 1965
∙ Mandated federal intervention in any county in which less than 50% of voters were registered.
∙ Banned related discriminatory practices.
Minor v. Happersett: Case that had the supreme court decide "voting rights should be up to the states."
1950 Internal Security Act: Racist act against mostly Asians. It gave the government permission to Imprison citizens deemed enemies to the country.
1952 Immigration and Nationality Act: Allowed Asian Americans to become citizens.
Commission on the Status of Women: Urged the Supreme Court to interpret the 14th Amendment for women too. (They didn't, so the 19th was created later.)
Japanese American Citizens League (Benefits)
∙ Congress repealed the 1950 Internal Security Act
∙ Regan signed a bill granting them 1.2 billion in reparations.
LATINO AND NATIVE AMERICANS
Indian Self Determination and Education Assistance Act: More control of assets and greater autonomy for Indian tribes.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act: Federal Laws enacted to support Indian self determination.
Latino Americans Include
∙ The Caribbean
∙ Central America
∙ South America
The 1968 walkout staged by Latin Americans was a protest that didn't do anything... (nobody cared.)
Most employers violate discrimination laws towards Latinos because they tend to assume they are undocumented.
The Equal Protection Clause was at the core of Brown v. Board of Education and Corpus Christi Independent School District v. Cisneros: is the Latin American version of the same case.
Constitutionally imposed restraints are called civil liberties.
The Civil Rights have always existed, but started making the most progress in the early twentieth century.
Craig v. Boren (1976): Established the heightened scrutiny test.
Indian Removal Act: Forced natives to move west of the Mississippi.
Indian Rights Association was the earliest group that actively campaigned for full Native American suffrage.
Early 20th Century African Americans gained momentum after two big events:
∙ Men returning from Vietnam
∙ Supreme Court admitting that some acts of segregation were unconstitutional.
*** For the first century of American History, black people were the topic of debate... In just about every debate. ed
What Touched the hearts of the general White Population during the Civil Rights Movement?
∙ Urban Riots in Watts.
∙ MLK assassination is Tennessee.
What you need to know about The NAACP
∙ 1930's NAACP Argued that the States violated the equal protection clause by not giving blacks access to schools.
∙ NAACP focused on the inequalities brought to us by the separate but equal laws.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 title VII mandated employment and was created to prohibit discrimination in all personnel decisions. And that led to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.