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by: Jamel Steuber DVM


Jamel Steuber DVM
GPA 3.69

S. Thompson

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S. Thompson
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jamel Steuber DVM on Thursday September 17, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to POL 201 at University of Miami taught by S. Thompson in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 33 views. For similar materials see /class/205725/pol-201-university-of-miami in Political Science at University of Miami.

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Date Created: 09/17/15
Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 1 CHAPTER 11 CONGRESS Constitutional Foundations of Modern Congress 0 Empowering Congress 0 Legislative branch is the center of law making in the federal government 0 Article I Section I gives congress the power to make laws 0 Article I Section 8 Enumerated Powers powers of the federal government speci cally mentioned in the constitution I Elastic clause aka necessary and proper clause 0 Gives congress power to make whatever laws are necessary and proper to carry out its enumerated responsibilities 0 Constraining Congress 0 Congress is a bicameral body I Divided into two chambers so that legislation can only after patient deliberation I Article I Section 9 7 prohibits certain actions 0 Bills of attainder o EX post facto laws 0 The granting titles of nobilities o The suspension of the right of habeas corpus I Separation of powers creates potential con ict between the president and congress especially when divided party government exists 0 Bicameralism and Representation 0 Equal representation of the senate interms of population has negative impacts on democracy in the US I Election of senators is by the state legislatures not the people 0 Senate I Term 6 years I Elections 13 elected in November of evennumbered years I Number per state 2 I Total Membership 100 I Minimum age requirement 30 yrs I Unique powers 0 Advice and consent for judicial and upper level executive branch appointments 0 Trial and impeachment cases 0 Advice and consent for treaties 0 House of Representatives I Term 2 years I Elections entire membership elected in November of even numbered years I Number per state varies by size of state population minimum 1 I Total membership 435 I Minimum age requirement 25 yrs I Unique powers Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 2 o Origination of revenue bills 0 Bringing of impeachment charges 0 Federalism 7 infuses localism into congressional affairs Representation and Democracy 0 Styles of Representation 0 Each member of the House and Congress chose between those two styles of representation I Delegate tries to mirror perfectly the views of hisher constituents usually house members I Trustee acts independently trusting his or her own judgment of how to best serve the public interest usually senators 0 Choice usually based in the relative safety of they seats and how often they must face the electorate 0 Race Gender and Occupation in Congress 0 Descriptive representation statistical representation I Representation re ects the demographic composition of the population as a whole 0 Women and racial minorities are significantly underrepresented in congress particularly in the Senate I Black representation reached its peak post Civil War but diminished after the Jim Crow laws Very few African Americans were elected to congress until 1960s Hispanics have now replaced African Americans as the largest minority group in the population Female representation in congress is quite low considering women make up half the worlds population 0 Occupation I Most members of Congress tend to come from highincome families I Lean heavily toward legal or business occupations o In 2008 3A of the members of the house had legal or business backgrounds 0 Only 15 came form working class ranks I The demographic disparity between American population and congress suggest a violation of the norm of political equality 0 Not well represented in congress 0 Women African Americans Hispanics Gays Lesbians Bluecollared workers The poor 0 Congress does not believe anyone is misrepresented OOOOO Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 3 o Believes constituencies district of a legislator tends to listen to all constituents citizens who live in the district of an elected official 0 The Electoral Connection 0 Equal representation gives extraordinary power to the states with smaller populations A coalition of 51 senators from the 26 smallest states representing 18 of the American population can pass a bill in the senate The district as the house s electoral unit I Reapportionment the reallocation of house seats among the states done after each national census to ensure that seats are held by the states in proportion to the size of their populations 0 Occurs ever 10 years I Redistricting the redrawing of congressional district lines within a state to ensure roughly equal populations within each district I Neighborhoods towns and counties can be strung together in odd looking ways in order to take full partisan committed member of a party seeing issues from the point of view of the interests of a single party advantage of the redistricting process 0 AKA Gerrymandering redrawing electoral district lines to give an advantage to a particular party or candidate I In states with divided party control where neither party has sufficient strength to get its way the two parties have increasingly made bipartisan redistricting arrangements that protect their own incumbents I 1965 Voting Acts right passed in 1982 encouraged the states to create House districts in which racial minorities would be in the majority o Majorityminority districts districts drawn to ensure that racial minority makes up the majority of the voters o The creation of these districts has contributed to the increase in the number of racial minority representatives in Congress The creation also undermined Democratic party 0 O o strength in other districts by taking traditionally Democraticoriented minority group voters away from previously Democratic dominated districts in order to form maj orityminority ones 0 Republicans have been eager to support minority group efforts to form their own districts 0 The incumbency factor I Incumbents in congress current of ce holders win at very high rates especially in the House I Redistricting process has been fashioned to protect incumbents I Incumbents have the advantage of attracting and spending much more campaign money than their rivals Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 4 Franking privilege public subsidization of mail from the members of congress to their constituents o Allows them to mail newsletters legislative updates and other self promoting literature free of charge I Because members believe time spent in their districts helps their electoral chances they spend a lot of time back home I Incumbents use also their offices to service the district through 0 Casework service performed by members of congress for constituents 0 Pork pork barrel projects designed to bring to the constituency jobs and public money for which the members of congress can claim credit How representative 0 Women and members of minority racial and ethnic groups are vastly under represented 0 People in smaller states have more voice than people in large states 0 12 smallest states with only 5 of the American population elect almost 1A of all senators 0 Members of congress vote in a manner that is consistent with the public opinions in their districts and states about 23 the time 0 Congress produces laws that are consistent with national public opinion at the same rate I But in some cases congress does not follow public opinion even on highly visible issues 0 Congress is very good at shaping public opinion in their districts and at shaping legislation in ways that seem to address public concerns without actually doing so How Congress Works Congress is a vital center of decision making and policymaking in our national government Congress is the most in uential and independent legislative body among the Western democratic nations House and Senate are very different institutions 0 Their bodies differ in size the kinds of constituencies House members and senators represent the terms in office and their constitutional responsibilities Congressional leaders lack the normal tools of organizational leadership to force compliance with their wishes o Nor can they control the size of their paychecks and benefits Political parties in congress 0 At the start of each new Congress each party conference caucus all the members of a political party in the house or senate meets to select its leaders approve committee assignments including committee and subcommittee chairs and reach agreement on legislative objectives for the sess1on Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 5 I The majority party in the house selects the Speaker of the House I The senate selects the president pro tempore usually the most senior member and the majority leader I Minority party in each chamber also selects its leaders 0 From 1932 elections during the Great Depression to 1994 congress was Dominated by the Democratic party 0 Form 1995 through 2006 especially in the House Republicans controlled the congressional agenda 00 Democrats regained control in 2006 in both the House and the Senate Party affiliation is the best predictor of the voting behavior of the members of Congress I The more signi cant the issue the more partisan it becomes I Partisanship is increasing 0 Once factor is the regional bases of parties particularly the historic transformation of the Deep South from a solidly Democratic region at the congressional level to a solidly Republican one I Members of Congress have been facing even more partisan divided electorate and interest group environment I It remains to be seen if Barack Obama s postpartisan style will ease partisan con ict in congress 0 Republicans tend to come from church going districts 0 Democrats contain more union members and racial minorities I Congressional Leadership 0 As Congress becomes more partisan party becomes ever more important in shaping the actions of house and senate leaders I The leader of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House Next in line of succession to the presidency immediately after the vice president Until 1910 the Speaker had many powers 0 Right to appoint committees and their chairs 0 Chair of the powerful Rules Committee I Controlled the ow of legislation in the House 0 Bc of speaker uncle Joe 1910 resulted in the removal of the chair of Rules committee The Democratic caucus staged a revolt against the committee in 1974 which restored some powers to the speaker 0 Making committee assignments 0 Power to refer bills to the committee 0 Control House agenda 0 Appoint members to committees 0 Hold a oor debate In 1995 Republican caucus gave even more power to control the House legislative process to their first speaker since 1954 Newt Gingrich 0 Leader 0 Congre Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 6 Today s speaker has more power and in uence inthe legislative branch than any other representative or senator I Can replace conference members Appoints members to the Rules committee Exercises strong in uence over the appointment of chairs of other committees and referral of bills to committees for hearings and review Appoints leaders of the majority party s organizations Power to recognize or not recognize people to speak during the oor debate In charge of the House s schedule Selects a majority leader and a majority whip o The whip is the majority leaders deputy that carries out many of the tasks of getting bills passed 0 The minority leader party selects a minority leader I Acts as chief spokesperson and legislative strategist for the opposition Seeks out members of the majority party who might be willing to vote against the House leadership on key issues ship in the Senate Senate selects a majority leader Schedules the business of the senate The Senate remains a body of independent relatively equal members loosely tied together by threads of party loyalty ideology and mutual concern about the next election Not an environment conducive to decisive leadership ssional Committees Where many of the details of legislation are hammered out and where much of the oversight of the executive branch takes place Democrats and republicans give much more power to the Speaker and some additional powers to the majority leader in the senate Results in a dramatic decline in the power of committees and committee chairs in the legislative process and an increase in the in uence of the parties and their leaders Congress has committees to process the huge ow of business that comes before it They serve as screening devices allowing only a small percentage of the bills put forward to take up the time of the House and Senate Standing committees relatively permanent congressional committees that address specific areas of legislation Hearings the taking of testimony by a congressional committee or subcommittee Markup the process of revising a bill in a committee Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 7 Select committees temporary committees in congress created to conduct studies or investigations they have no power to report bills Joint committees congressional committees with members from both the House and the Senate 3 39 39 Ad hoc 39 made up of members of both the House and Senate representatives set up to reconcile differences and provisions of bills Committee assignments are determined by party leaders in each house Guided by the members seniority and preferences 0 Lawmakers are more likely to gain a position on one of the elite committees The most senior member of the minority party automatically becomes the ranking minority member 0 Appointment of committee chairs in the House remains rmly in the hands of majority party leaders today 0 Appointment of the committee chairs in the Senate is based mainly on seniority then by the ideological and policy conformity 0 Committee chairs tend to become party leaders 0 6 yr term limit for committee chairs 0 Committee chairs remain the most in uential and active members within their committee 0 Rules and norms in the House and Senate I In the senate the norm reciprocity deferral by members of congress to the judgment of subjectmatter specialists mainly on minor technical bills was always less prevalent than it was in the house A senator has more prestige visibility and power than a member of the house Legislative life is much more rulebound in the house of representatives because of its large size 0 Tends to me more hierarchical o Leaders inthe House have more power 0 Majority party exercises more control over legislative affairs 0 Procedures are structured 0 Individuals have a hard time being heard 0 Geared more towards majority rule The senate tends to be a more open and uid place 0 Lodges less power in its leaders than the House 0 Each senator is more of an independent operator than his or her House colleagues Differences between the House and Senate are especially apparent in oor debate 0 In the senate bills are scheduled not by a powerful committee but by unanimous consent legislative action taken without Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 8 objection as a way to expedite business used to conduct much of the business of the Senate Each senator has the power to place a hold a tactic where a senator can prevent action on a bill based on an implied threat of refusing to agree to unanimous consent on other senate matters or willingness to filibuster the bill on a bill or nomination 0 Their use is regulated by a majority leader who decides on whether to grant holds and how long they can be in effect Senates traditions allows for unlimited number of amendments and unlimited debate where in the House they have a limited debate and limited number of amendments o Filibuster a parliamentary device used in the senate to prevent a bill from coming to a vote by talking it to deat made possible by unlimited debate 0 Cloture a vote to end a filibuster or debate I Requires votes of 35 of the senators How a Bill becomes a Law 0 Only 6 of bills that are introduced are enacted 0 To make a law is difficult to block a law is easy 0 Members of the House and Senate have 2 principle functions I To make laws and keep laws from being made 0 Introducing a Bill I Written in the executive branch or by interest groups I In the House a bill is introduced by putting it in the hopper a box watched over by house clerks In the Senate a bill must be announced to the body after being recognized by the presiding officer I The bill is then assigned a number with the prefix H R in the House or S in the Senate 0 Committee action on a bill I Presiding officer in the Senate or the Speaker of the House send the bill to the appropriate committee Committee is based on subject matter of the bill Where they decide to send the bills often determines whether the bill will survive the legislative process and what form it will take in the end I Committees normally pass bills to subcommittees for hearings Many bills die at this stage A bill quietly killed in committee can reach the oor only by a device called a discharge petition petition signed by 218 House members to force a bill that has been before a committee for at least 30 days while the House is in session out Laurasia Mattingly s POL 201 Study Guide 9 of the committee and onto the oor for consideration which is rarely successful I Mark up the rewriting of a bill 0 Floor action on a bill I In the House major bills must first go to the Rules Committee which decides where bills will appear on the legislative calendar and the terms under which bills will be debated by the house Floor debate in the senate where rules do not limit debate is much more free wheeling Senate committees are less in uential than House committees The threat of a hold or a filibuster means that that minority in the Senate plays an important role in determining the nal shape of legislation 0 Conference Committee I Before the bill goes to the president the bill must be rewritten so that a single bill gains the approval of both chambers of Congress I If and only if both houses approve it the bill is forwarded to the president 0 Presidential Action I If the president approves the bill he signs it and it becomes a law I If he takes no action after 10 days it becomes a law I He can also veto the bill and return it to congress o The veto can be overridden by 23 vote of each house in congress I A president can kill the bill at the end ofa congressional session ifhe takes no action and congress adjoums it after ten days know as a pocket veto Oversight congressional responsibility for monitoring the actions of the executive branch agencies and personnel to sure conformity to federal statues and congressional intent Impeachment house action bringing formal charges against a member of the executive branch on the federal judiciary that may or may not lead to removal from the office by the senate Samantha Nasti POL201 Chapter 14 7 Page 1 Chapter 14 The Courts The Foundations of judicial Power The Power of judicial Review a b c judicial review power of the Supreme Court to declare state and federal laws and actions null and void when they con ict with the Constitution The legislative branch is unlikely to restrain itself without the helping hand of the judiciary Hamilton believed the power of judicial review was inherent in the notion of the separation of powers and was essential to balanced government Marbury vs Madison 39 john Marshall claimed the power of judicial review for the US Supreme Court in this case The court has been much less constrained about overruling the laws of the states and localities The court has been more inclined to review and overturn congressional actions especially in cases involving federalism and the powers of Congress under the commerce clause trimming back the power of the federal government relative to the states L i ii The US Court System Organization and jurisdiction Our country has one judicial system for the national government the federal courts and another in each of the states In each state courts adjudicate cases on the basis of the state39s own constitution Constitutional Provisions III IV a b C The 0 y court mentioned in Article III is the Supreme Court Three tiered political system i Bottom 94 US Federal district courts with at least one district in each state ii Middle 13 courts of appeal iii To Supreme Court Article 111 states a few guidelines which are very important i Requires federal judges serve during good behavior39 until they retire or die in of ce ii Congress cannot reduce the salaries of judges once they are in office Federal District Courts a Most cases in the federal court system are rst heard in one of the district courts i Courts of original jurisdiction the authority of a court to be the rst to hear a particular kind of case ii Also existing are trial courts two types of juries Grand juries groups of citizens who decide whether there is suf cient evidence to bring an indictment against accused persons 2 Petit trial juries juries that hear evidence and sit in judgment on charges brought in civil or criminal cases iii Civil cases antitrust cases brought by federal government to commercial and contract disputes between citizens of two or more states iv Criminal cases include violations of federal criminal laws such as bank robbery drug traf cking and kidnapping US Courts oprpeal a US is divided into 12 geographicalcircuit courts that hear appeals from federal district courts b 13 h circuit court the US Court of Appeals for the federal circuit located in DC that hears cases from all over the nation on patents and government contracts c Cases cannot originate in these courts but must come to them from district courts i Also known as appellate courts d At the appellate level lawyers do not examine witnesses or introduce new evidence instead they submit briefs which set out the legal issues at stake i Briefs documents setting out the arguments in legal cases prepared by attorneys and presented to courts 6 A while later the panel issues a ruling accompanied by an opinion that sets forth the majority side39s reasoning for the decision i Opinion explanation of the majority39s reasoning that accompanies a court decision f Once appellate decisions are published they become precedents that guide the decisions of other judges in the same circuit g judges tend to move away from them only when necessary and only in very small steps h The decisions of the 12 geographic circuit courts determine the meaning of laws for the people who live in the states covered by each circuit The Supreme Court a b Congress decides how many judges sit on the Supreme Court i 1869 Congress set the number at its present nine members eight associate justices and the chief ju t1c The Supreme Court is both a court of original jurisdiction and an appellate court Samantha Nasti POL201 Chapter 14 7 Page 2 i Some cases must first be heard in the Supreme Court c Supreme court also serves as an appellate court for the federal appeals courts and for the highest courts of each of the states d Congress determines much of the appellate jurisdiction of the Court Appointment to the Federal Bench Federal judges appointed for life I The appointment process a Federal judges assume of ce after they have been nominated by the president and con rmed by the State b Nominations for district court judgeships are subject to what is called senatorial courtesy the right of the senior senator from the president39s party in the state where the district court is located to approve the nominee Presidents are interested in nominating judges who share their ideological and program commitments Standing authority to bring legal action because one is directly affected by the issues at han e Executive privilege a presidential claim that certain communications with subordinates may be withheld from Congress and the courts The Supreme Court in Action I Norms of Operation a A set of unwritten but clearly understood rules of behavior called norms shapes how the Court does things i One norm is secrecy keeps con icts between justices out of the public eye and elevates the stature of the Court as an institution ii Seniority determines the assignment of of ce space the seating arrangements in open court and the order of speaking in conference iii Precedent judges must stick closely to this b Separate but equal doctrine principle articulated in Plessy v Ferguson that laws prescribing separate public facilities and services for nonwhite Americans are permissible if the facilities and services are equal to those provided for white i Reversed in Brown v Board of Education of Topeka c Some legal theorists havebegun to talk of superprecedents landmark rulings that have been reaf rmed by the Court over the course of many years and whose reasoning has become part of the fabric of American law 11 Controlling the Agenda a Court has mechanisms to control what cases it will hear so it can focus on important cases b Techniques to keep the numbers down i Cases must be real and adverse must involve a real dispute between two parties ii Disputants in the case must have a standing iii Cases must also be ripe aka other avenues of appeal must have been exhausted and the injury must have already taken place c In forma pauperis describing a process by which indigents may file a suit with the Supreme Court free of charge d Most powerful tool power to grant a writ of certiorari i Announcement that the Supreme Court will hear a case on appeal from a lower court 49 ii Rule of four unwritten practice that requests at least 4 justices of the SC to agree that a case warrants review by the Court before it will hear the case 111 Deciding Cases a Almost all cases granted cert are scheduled for oral argument b Amicus curiae friends of the court a brief in which individuals not party to a suit may have their views heard canbe people interest groups etc c An opinion statement of the legal reasoning that supports the decision of the Court d 3 kinds of opinions 39 opinion of the Court majority opinion that accompanies a Supreme Court decision concurring opinion opinion of one or more of the judges who vote with the majority on a case but wish to set out different reasons for their decision iii dissenting opinion opinion of the judge 5 who are in the minority on a particular case before the Supreme Court Supreme Court as a National Policymaker Structural Change and Constitutional Interpretation a Period 1 1800s to Civil War National Power and Property Rights b Period 2 End of Civil War to Great Depression Government and the Economy i Laissez faire political economic doctrine that holds that government ought not interfere with the operations of the free mar et ii BusinessSupreme Court alliance lasted until the Great Depression NEW DEAL expanding the federal government pm 1quot i39 Samantha Nasti POL201 Chapter 14 7 Page 3 c Period 3 World War II to Mid 1980s Individual Rights and Liberties d Period 4 1991 to Present i Conservative majority control vs Sandra Day O39Connor II The Debate over judicial Activism a judicial activism actions by the courts that go beyond the strict role of the judiciary as interpreter of the law and adjudicator of disputes b judicial Review i Marbury v Madison Iohn Marshall claimed right for the Court of judicial review ii The court dominated by a conservative majority is too requrently reversing the actions of popularly elected bodies 1 Theory Liberals worry that the Court will exercise judicial review on matters such as abortion and af rmative action c Reversing the Decisions of Past Supreme Courts Plessy v Ferguson endorsed legal segregation in the south and was reversed by Brown v Board of Ed d Remedies i Remedy what a court determines must be done to rectify awrong ii Critics claim the federal judiciary39s role is to prevent government actions that threaten rights and liberties not to compel government to take action to meet some policy goal e Original Intent i Of the framers ii Believing that the Court must be guided by the original intent of the framers and the exact words found in the Constitution using strict construction as a way to stay close to its true meaning Strict construction doctrine that the provisions of the Constitution have a clear meaning tat judges must stick closely to Outside In uences on the Court Governmental In uences a President supposed to carry out the Court39s decrees as the chief executive in uences the direction of the Court with his power to nominate judges when there are vacancies b Congress i Senate plays a role in the appointment process and can convey its views to the Court during the course of con rmation hearin 5 ii Congress can change statuses or pass new laws that speci cally challenge Supreme Court Decisions II Political Linkage In uences a Groups and movements Interest groups social movements and the public can in uence the court directly Test cases an action brought by a group that is designed to challenge the constitutionality of a law or an action by government Finding a plaintiff to fit their views Class action suits suits brought by an individual on behalf of a class of people who are in a similar situation b Leaders c Public Opinion i Third factors shape the perceptions of judges and citizens alike major events cultural changes pt I I 1 ii


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