Exam 2 Study Guide
Exam 2 Study Guide Political Science 110
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This 12 page Study Guide was uploaded by Kirsten Swikert on Tuesday March 29, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to Political Science 110 at Western Kentucky University taught by Jeffrey Budziak in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 48 views. For similar materials see American National Government in Political Science at Western Kentucky University.
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Date Created: 03/29/16
The Role of the President in a Democracy • What does it mean to be an executive? o In charge, you’re the head o A person with senior managerial responsibility in an organization • The dual roles of the president today o Head of State: symbolic representation of the country o Head of Government: individual primarily responsible for making government function o The US is the only country to do this, give one person both roles • Presidents are also charged with making a variety of groups happy o Example of presidential constituencies: § National Constituency: the president’s greatest asset, only the president can claim to speak for the nation § Partisan Constituency: must satisfy party faithful § Congressional Constituency: must keep members of Congress happy to achieve legislative goals Article II of the Constitution • Article II of the Constitution is broken into four sections o 1: Vesting Clause and the Electoral College § “the executive power shall be vested in a president of the USA” • Many presidential scholars suggest that this creates inherent executive powers. It means that the executive powers are all given to the president, there are certain powers that this person must have and that are expected of them to have. • Ex: o Executive Orders: directives afforded weight of law unless contradicted by Congress (managing the bureaucracy), this is not just the president making a law, he is telling the bureaucracy how to implement a policy Congress has created. o Executive Agreements: agreement by heads of government not ratified by legislature, the president cannot do something going completely against Congress § The Electoral College • Creates a unique system of choosing the president • States designate a number of “electors” equal to their representation in Congress (House+Senate) o Only these individuals directly vote for the President o Purpose? Framers don’t trust too much democracy; it is in place because the electors are more involved or know more about politics. Electors in most states cannot vote against the popular vote of their state. • To win the presidential election, you must have the majority of votes in the Electoral College, if you don’t the vote is sent to the House of Representatives o 2: Powers of the President § While most of the powers of the president are outlined in Article II, the first power actually stems from Article I § Every bill that makes it through the House and Senate is presented to the President, who has the power to pass or veto it • If the president should veto it, the bill will be sent back to the house it originated in and must receive 2/3 votes to be passed with objections to the other house where it must receive 2/3 votes again to become a law § Pocket veto: letting a bill sit for 10 days (Sunday’s excepted) so that it is automatically passed § President is Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, has the power to pardon people in a federal court for offences against the United States (except in Impeachment cases), and has the power to make formal treaties with the advice and consent of the Senate and as long as 2/3rds of the Senator’s agree o 3: Obligations of the President § take care that the laws be faithfully executed o 4: Impeachment of the President § The President, VP, and civil officers of the US shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors • Formal Powers of the presidency: powers explicitly listed in or derived from the Constitution The Informal Powers of the Presidency • Informal powers: powers the President has that are not explicitly stated or derived from the Constitution • Examples of informal powers: Neustadt’s Presidential Power o Power to persuade: president’s ability to convince others to cooperate with his/her goals o Power to recommend: ability of the president to purpose policies § Ex: Obamacare, Office of Management and Budged (executive department charged with creating the President’s budget) § Why does congress go along with it: we all had a say in voting for him so we must support him, campaigning • Potential limitations on informal powers o Klein’s The Unpersuaded: Who listens to a President? Working with the Bureaucracy • Formal powers over the bureaucracy o “…he shall nominate…all other officers of the United States” (Article II, Sect. 2) • Informal powers over the bureaucracy o Executive office of the president: organization that help implement presidential policy objectives o Office of management and budget: oversees the budget of departments and agencies Working with Congress • Formal powers over Congress o “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States” (Article I, Section 7, Clause 2) • Informal powers over Congress o Power to persuade: try to convince members of Congress to support the presidential agenda The Existence of “Two Presidencies?” • Modern Presidency o Presidential powers have evolved to deal with an increasingly complex world o Some commentators have suggested this had led to the existence of “two presidencies” in practice § Primary distinction: domestic vs foreign affairs • Foreign affairs: commander in chief and chief of state • Domestic politics: power to persuade, power to recommend, veto, pardon, appointment • Example: o Lyndon Johnson: domestic policies (Civil Rights Act of 1964, Voting Rights Act of 1965), foreign affairs (presided over protected, unpopular involvement in Vietnam) o George H.W. Bush: foreign affairs (desert storm), domestic policies (increased taxes which put the economy into a recession) Bureaucracy • A hierarchically structured organization • Functions of government bureaucracy o Primarily responsible for implementing legislative choices • Characteristics o Hierarchy: a clear chain of command exists o Specialization: dividing tasks to be handled by experts o Professionalism: staff (bureaucrats) are professionals, not elected officials o “red tape”: complex procedures and administrative rules • History and Organization o Early America (1789-1828) § No career public servants § Staffed by amateurs § Andrew Jackson: dismissed nearly entire bureaucracy filled with appointees opposed to Democratic Party policies • Spoils system: based on the notion of patronage o Civil Service Reform § Motivations for reform • Corruption, inefficiency, and greed in the bureaucracy • The assassination of President Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker § Ex: The Pendleton Act • First steps to a bureaucracy that today is less political and more professional o Organization: § Cabinet departments: primary division among the federal bureaucracy § Managed by a cabinet secretary with several levels of undersecretaries • President has complete discretion to hire and fire secretaries § Vary by size and function o In addition to departments, bureaucracies can be organized in a number of different ways § Independent agencies: government organizations with narrow policy focus and independence from departments • Ex: Federal Election Commission, Social Security Administration § Government corporations: companies created and owned by Congress • Ex: postal service, Amtrak § Independent regulatory boards: organizations that regulate specific industries or services • Ex: Federal Communications Commission, Food and Drug Administration • Growth of the Federal Bureaucracy o Past: § 1989: 3 departments (state, war, treasury) with 50 total employees § 1929: share of GDP was 11% o Today: § 15 departments with a total of 2.7 million employees (not counting military) § Share of GDP exceeds 35% • The “Iron Triangle” Congressional Committees The Bureaucracy Interest G The Responsibilities of Congress • Congress has divided responsibilities o Policy making: responsibility of Congress to create policies that govern the US o Representation: responsibility of Congress to represent their constituents § Constituency service: working for your constituents • Examples of constituency service o Policy goals: ensuring their districts get a share of federal projects and money (Pork Barrel Legislation) o Constituent assistance: constituents encountering difficulties with the federal government frequently turn to their Congressperson’s office for help Article 1 of the Constitution • Broken into 4 parts o Sections 1-7: The Operations of Congress § HofR: must be 25 years old, a citizen of the US for 7 years, cannot live in the state elected for § Senate: must be 30 years old, a citizen of the US for 9 years, cannot live in the state elected for § Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members o Section 8: The Enumerated Powers of Congress § Enumerated powers: powers specifically listed as given to Congress § Implied powers: powers of Congress implied by the Constitution • Power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper § Inherent powers: powers inherent to existence of national legislature • Regulate elections, immigration, national defense o Section 9: The Limits of Congressional Power o Section 10: The Limits of State Power The Organization of Congress • Defining feature of Congress: it’s organization o Most clearly structured of all three political branches • Organization is based primarily on two factors: o Political party: used to determine the leadership positions of both Houses and Committees § Majority party: party with a majority of the seats in the legislative body § Minority party: all other parties o The committee system: system of small groups designed to make Congress more efficient in creating policy • The House of Representatives o 435 members, representation based on population of state o Reelected every 2 years o Speaker of House: most important person in Congress § Responsibilities: appointing members to joint and conference committees, scheduling legislation for action, referring bills to committee § Historically, a very powerful position • Most important power: the ability to schedule floor action on legislation o Majority/Minority leader § Elected by party to act as the spokesperson § Frequently work with members of government not in Congress o Majority/Minority Whip § Assist party leaders by passing information from leadership to membership § Puts pressure on members to vote as leadership believes they should • The Senate o 100 members, 2 per state o Reelected every 4 years o The president of the Senate § Constitution specifies Vice President presides over the Senate and casts tie-breaking votes • Not true in practice o President Pro Tempore: normally the longest serving member of the majority party § A ceremonial position o Majority/Minority Leader § Similar to those in the House, have the right to be recognized first in floor debate o Majority/Minority Whip § Similar to those in the House o Unlimited debate § Filibuster: continues talking because they don’t want a bill passed (can read the phone book, bible, etc.) § Way to end a filibuster: a cloture • Requires 60 votes to end the debate The Committee System • Congress does most of its work on legislation through committees o Since 1980, some 8000 bills have been introduced in Congress o Only 15% are ever voted on by all members § Most die in committee • Standing committees o Have fixed memberships and persist from one Congress to another o House of Rep: rules committee, appropriations (spending money), ways and means (raising money/taxes) o Senate: appropriations, commerce, foreign relations • Select committees o Temporary committees created to deal with specific issues § Ex: House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976 • Joint committees o Retain membership from both houses • Conference committees o Created to make similar bills passed in both House and Senate identical Theories of Representation • How should our Congresspeople behave? o Trustee model of representation: trust our elected officials to make decisions they think are best o Delegate model of representation: elected officials act only as a mouthpiece for the wishes of their constituency Congressional Elections: Redistricting • Congresspersons are responsible for representing electoral districts o State legislatures have the power to draw electoral district maps (redistricting) o Use the census to determine how many congresspersons each state receives • Issues related to drawing electoral districts o Gerrymandering: states draw legislative district lines in a way to create some type of electoral advantage o Partisan gerrymandering: drawing lines to help a certain political party Electoral district in blue, created because those areas are heavily Latino populated, this allowed for a possible Latino candidate Motivations of Congresspersons • Mayhew’s The Electoral Connection Characteristics of Legal Systems • Civil law systems: legal system operates based on law enacted by a national legislature (statutory law) o Most European countries operate as civil law system • Religious law systems: religious doctrine is responsible for governing certain types of behavior o Frequently combined with civil law into a mixed legal system • Common law system: derived from English legal principles resulting from feudalism o Disputes were resolved locally o Monarchy, wishing to create more uniform authority, established judges who resolved disputes throughout the country… creating common law § Creation of parliament and statutory law had to be incorporated into existing common law o System operates in response to legislative acts, judicial decisions, and unwritten legal traditions • Adversarial system: resolve legal conflicts through clash of opposing sides, moderated by neutral party (judge) • Inquisitorial system: court or part of the court is actively involved in investigating the facts of the case o Judges question witnesses, interrogate suspects, order searches for other or further investigations, and finally declare the verdict and decide on the penalty § Role is not to prosecute the accused, but to gather facts to reach the correct verdict Concepts of Law • Subject matter o Civil law: laws regulating interactions between individuals § A plaintiff sues a defendant § Ex: product liability § Burden of proof: initially, but not always, on the plaintiff § Standard of proof: preponderance of the evidence § Constitutional rights: few; most of Bill of Rights does not directly apply to civil disputes § Remedy: monetary damages, injunction against behavior o Criminal law: laws prohibiting behavior the government as determined to be harmful to society § Burden of proof: always on the state (prosecution) § Standard of proof: beyond a reasonable doubt § Constitutional rights: all rights guaranteed by the Constitution at the federal level, all incorporated rights at the state level § Remedy: fines, community service, or imprisonment Structure of the Federal Judiciary • Article III of the Constitution o Total length 375 words o Section 1: The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office. o Sections 2 and 3: Includes discussion of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction and the punishments for treason • US District Courts o Structure § 94 district courts § Most states have 1 district court, but more populous states have up to 4 (California, NY, Texas) • US Courts of Appeals o Structure: § 12 regional courts of appeals o Appealing a case that was previously heard. Person appealing thinks that the decision of the original case was wrong The Courts Most Important Power • Judicial review: power to decide which laws are (in)consistent with the Constitution • Power of all federal courts, but is not written down anywhere • Ex: Marbury vs Madison o Supreme Court decided they had the power of judicial review The Supreme Court • The decision making process o Merits briefs: summary of written arguments submitted by attorneys o Oral arguments: opportunity for attorneys to argue before judges § Each side typically only gets 30 minutes § Arguments are only audio recorded o Supreme Court conference: justices meet shortly after oral arguments to take a preliminary vote § Begin to exchange drafts of legal opinions • Written decision of the court that states the legal rule created by the majority • Methods of Constitutional interpretation o Original intent: how would the framers answer this question? o Textualism: emphasizes the actual words of the Constitution o Stare decisis: investigates how previous courts have interpreted an issue o “Living Constitution”: examines constitution in a more modern light More things to Study: • read the chapters covered in class (6-9) • read the electoral connection by Mayhew • read Federalist 78 If you need any of the link’s to the readings or a study buddy feel free to contact me
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