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Week 5 notes

by: Lindsey Green

Week 5 notes POSC 1010

Lindsey Green

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These notes are the ones she gives in class
Intro to American Government
Dr. Olson
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lindsey Green on Wednesday April 20, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POSC 1010 at Clemson University taught by Dr. Olson in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see Intro to American Government in Political Science at Clemson University.

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Date Created: 04/20/16
Week of February 15th    Political Parties: ​Key Questions  ● What are political parties? Party systems? Party identification?  ● What factors correlate with identification as a Democrat or Republican?  ● Why has the U.S. had a two­party system through most of its history?  Definitions  ● Political Party: an organization that sponsors candidates for political office under its  name.   ● Party system:​  a stable pattern of competition between/among established political  parties.  ● Party identification (partisanship):psychological attachment to a particular party that  usually leads to voting for that party’s candidates; akin to a brand loyalty.  ● Political Ideology: Consistent set of beliefs about what the government should do for the  citizens.   Party Identification  ● Factors associated with party ID:   ● Gender­ women are more democratic  ● Race & ethnicity­ huge impacts; if you aren’t white you are way more likely to be  democratic (about 90% of african­americans are democrats).   ● Education & income­ more education and more income= more likely to be republican  ● Urban/rural­ people in cities are more likely to be democrats, rural/suburban areas more  likely to be republican.   ● “Religion”­ more religious you are the more likely you are to be republican                                        Week of February 22nd  Key Questions  ● Why has the U.S. had a two­party system through most of its history?  ● Why is money so essential in U.S. elections?  ● What are the sources of money in the U.S. elections?  ● How has the federal government tried to regulate campaign financing?  Why a Two­Party System?  1. The founding conflict was dichotomous:   ● Federalists vs. Antifederalists   ● Federalist Party vs. Democratic Republican Party  ● Democratic Party   ● Democratic Party vs. Whig Party  ● Democratic Party vs. Republican Party  2. Elections only have one winner (single­member districts)  3. Political socialization: we grow up knowing just two “brands”   4. Difficulty for third parties: ballot access, stolen policy ideas   ● Progressive Party: third party during the 1920s, based on protecting the little guy, came  up with the idea of social insurance (social security).   Money in Elections  1. Sources of funding (direct contributions or spending on your behalf)  ● Individual citizens  ● political parties  ● political action committees (PACs)­organization typically tied to a corporation or  interest group  ● Other organizations (including super PACs)  ● Presidential Election Campaign Fund  Why would someone or some group contribute to a political candidate?    Week of March 7th    Today’s Key Questions:  ● “Separated institutions sharing and competing for power”  ● What is reapportionment? Redistricting? Gerrymandering?  ● What is the incumbency effect, and why does it exist?  House Seat Districting  ● Each state with more than one House seat must create geographical Hous​istricts  that are roughly equal in population size, because the Supreme Court has ruled that  members must represent a relatively equal number of citizens.   ● The state legislatures are responsible for drawing the House district maps.  ● Gerrymandering: ​redrawing legislative districts for political gain­ leads to political gain  for one party or the other by grouping certain groups of citizens together.   The Incumbency Effect  ● The incumbent is the person who already has the seat.   ● Americans hate Congress… yet Americans tend to love their own members of Congress  ● Incumbent members of Congress rarely lose, especially in the House  ●   Week of March 21st  ● Stages of policy making    a. Agenda Setting­ unwritten list of priorities for government, set by the President,  members of congress, media, interest groups, ordinary citizens, etc.   b. Formulate Alternative Solutions­ “single payer” healthcare (like in Canada), force  everyone to buy private insurance  c. Choose a solution­ pass a law.   d. Implement Policy­ executive branch  ● Congress ­­­­­­>sends law to Exec Branch­­­­­>finds a way to administer the law  (implement).   ● Presidency  a. Can set the agenda, try can help to formulate alt. Solutions  b. Executive Order­ as long as what the president is doing does not include raising  taxes or spending money, he/she can make an order upon the public.   ● Branches of govt are 3 separate inst. Sharing & competing for power, where does the  presidency fit in this  ● President has 2 roles  a. CEO of Exec Branch­ Head of Gov’t  b. Head of State  Presidential Approval Ratings  ● Gallup Organization­ “Do you approve or disapprove of the way [president] is handling  his job as president?”  ● General trend is steady decline over the course of a 4­year term  ● Mitigating factors: war, state of the national economy, unexpected events  ● Higher approval ratings = more political capital  ● Recent trend: extreme partisan polarization in approval ratings (presidents from either  party cannot get support from citizens from opposite party)  Executive Branch Structure  ● Bureaucrats: civil servants (specialized employees hired to work in the public sector,  based on their personal expertise, to implement laws)  ● Close to 3 million federal bureaucrats and another 1.5 million in the armed forces  ● Non­partisan, not politically accountable   ● Apply same rules to every person and group subject to a particular law  ● spoils system­­ pendleton act ­­ professionalized bureaucracy              Week of April 11th    Key Questions:  ● What is the difference between courts of original jurisdiction and appellate courts?  ● What is legal precedent, and why is it especially significant for the U.S. Supreme Court?  ● What is judicial review?  ● What is the historical importance of the​arbury v. Madison?  Organization of the Federal Courts  ● The U.S. Supreme Court is an​ppellatecourt for cases from the U.S. Courts of Appeals  and from state supreme courts  ● Appellate Court is not the first court to hear the case­ case has to be appealed to it. They  look at the facts of previous decisions and figure out if mistakes were made in the lower  courts.  ● It is the court of original jurisdiction in cases involving ambassadors/ diplomats and  disputes between states.   ● Nine justices (eight justices and a chief justice)  ● Receive ­7,500 appeals per year, iss​rits of certiora (“grant cert”) to ­80 based on  the​ule of four  ● Decide cases in secret; write majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions that become  precedent thanks to our federal judiciary’s tradi​tare decisis(let the decision  stand)  ● Precedent: the decision & the logic driving the decision   Judicial Review   ● The Supreme Court’s power to declare a law or executive branch action unconstitutional  if they deem it to conflict with the words­­ or the intent­­ of the Constitution.   ● The Supreme Court uses judicial review relatively sparingly, and rarely to strike down the  federal laws/ executive branch actions.  ● The power of judicial review is the Supreme Court’s most important check on the other  two branches, but it is not mentioned in the Constitution.     Today’s Key Questions  ● What is judicial review?  ● What is the historical importance of the case Marbury v. Madison?  ● What is federalism?  ● What is the difference between dual and cooperative federalism?  Marbury v. Madison (1803)    Federalism  ● The existence of distinct and separate levels of government (local, state, federal)  ● The implementation of federalism was truly an innovation on the part of the framers  ● National Supremacy: whenever there’s a conflict between state and federal law, federal  law must prevail (McCulloch v. Maryland 1819)  ●   ● Ask yourself: Should individual states get to decide whether to:  ○ Admit refugees from Syria?  ○ Impose the death penalty?  ○ Prevent transgender people from using the bathroom they prefer?  ○ Determine their own educational standards and curricula?  ○ Decide how much pollution should be acceptable in their air and water?  ○ Decide whether to repair interstate highways?  ○ Declare federal policies null and void?  Key Questions    ● What is the difference between civil liberties and civil rights?  ● What is the doctrine of incorporation?  ● What are some examples of civil liberties from the Bill of Rights?  Doctrine of Incorporation  ● The Bill of Rights is a list of civil liberties (citizens freedom from ​oivil ent). C Rights are, instead, citizens freedom to participate equally in society regardless of  personal characteristics.   ● The Bill of Rights originally was designed to limit only the federal government: “Congress  shall make no law..”  ● Thanks to the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment (“No state shall … deprive  any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”)  ● Bit by bit the Supreme Court has interpreted the Bill of Rights to mean “Neither Congress  nor state/local governments shall make any law..”  Amendment 1:​  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion (1947) or  prohibiting the free exercise thereof (1940): Cantwell v. Connecticut; or abridging the freedom of  speech (1925): Gitlow v. New York; or of the press (1931); or of the right of the people  peaceably to assemble (1937); and to petition the government for a redress of grievances  (1963): Edwards v. South Carolina  Amendment 2:  ● Right to keep and bear arms (2010): McDonald v. Chicago  Amendment 3:  ● Freedom from housing soldiers (1982, applies only to states in the jurisdiction of the 2nd  Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals: CT, NY, VT).   Amendment 4:  ● The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,  against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated (1961)  Amendment 5:  ● No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a  presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury (not incorporated)  ● Nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or  limb (1969, overturning palko v. CT)     


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