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Transcript
Basic Types of Government:
 Republic: a political system or form of government in which people elect
representatives to exercise power for them
 Presidential: somebody who holds the top official position in an organization,
club, or society
 Parliamentary: a nation’s legislative body, made up of elected and sometimes
nonelected representatives
 Confederation: a group of states that are allied together to form a political unit in
which they keep most of their independence but act together for certain purposes
such as defense
Constitutional Concepts:
 Checks and Balances: The phrase "checks and balances" was also coined by
Montesquieu. In a system of government with competing sovereigns (such as a
multi-branch government or a federal system), "checks" refers to the ability, right,
and responsibility of each power to monitor the activities of the other(s);
"balances" refers to the ability of each entity to use its authority to limit the
powers of the others, whether in general scope or in particular cases
 Judicial Review: the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a
government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic
principles of justice.
 Popular Sovereignty: doctrine that government is created by and subject to the
will of the people, who are the source of all political power.
 Separation of Power: model of democracy that involves the separation of
political power between 3 branches of the state: The Executive, the Legislature,
and the Judiciary. In the "separation of powers" model, each branch is prevented
from exerting power in the field of responsibility of another branch. Nonetheless
each branch of the state may be empowered to exert checks on the actions of the
other branches.
 Representative Government: a form of democracy and theory of civics in which
voters choose (in free, secret, multi-party elections) representatives to act in their
interests, but not as their proxies—i.e., not necessarily according to their voters'
wishes, but with enough authority to exercise initiative in the face of changing
circumstances.
 Limited Government: most commonly government where its functions and
powers are prescribed, limited, and restricted by law, usually in a written
constitution.
Development of the Constitution:
 Shay’s Rebellion and impact of it: an armed uprising in Western Massachusetts,
United States, that lasted from 1786 to 1787. Many of the rebels, known as
Shaysites or Regulators, were small farmers angered by high debt and tax
burdens. The rebellion started on August 29, 1786. A state militia that had been
raised as a private army defeated the main Shaysite force February 3, 1787. Most
of the rebels were treated leniently. The lack of an institutional response to the
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uprising led to a re-evaluation of the Articles of Confederation and the
negotiations for a new Constitution.
Weaknesses of the A.O.C.: the confederal government was unable to settle state
disputes on issues like trade and had no power to tax directly.
Virginia Plan(Madison) vs. N.J. Plan(Paterson):
o V: proposal for the structure of the United States Government at the
Constitutional Convention of 1787. Proposed by Edmund Randolph, but
written largely by James Madison, it called for a strong central "national"
government.
o N: Was created in response to the adoption of the Virginia Plan's call for
two houses of Congress, both elected with proportional representation.
The less populous states were adamantly opposed to giving most of the
control of the national government to the larger states, and so proposed an
alternate plan that would have given one vote per state for equal
representation under one legislative body.
o When the Connecticut Compromise was constructed, the New Jersey
Plan's legislative body was used as the model for the United States Senate.
Things Founders didn’t complete in Philadelphia: NOT SURE****
Basic goals of the:
o Federalists: Statesmen and public figures supporting ratification of the
proposed Constitution of the United States between 1787 and 1789. The
Federalist Papers are documents associated with their movement.
o Anti-Federalists: opposed the creation of a stronger national government
under the Constitution and sought to leave the government under the
Articles of Confederation intact.
Basics of the Seven Articles of the Constitution:
 Principle of Federalism: a political system in which several states or regions
defer certain powers, for example, in foreign affairs, to a central government
while retaining a limited measure of self-government
 Powers given in:
o Article 1: establishes the legislative branch of government, U.S.
Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The Article establishes the manner of election and qualifications of
members of each House. In addition, it outlines legislative procedure and
indicates the powers of the legislative branch. Finally, it establishes limits
on federal and state legislative power.
o Article 2: describes the presidency (the executive branch): procedures for
the selection of the president, qualifications for office, the oath to be
affirmed, the powers and duties of the office, and procedures for selection.
It also provides for the office of Vice President of the United States, and
specifies the Vice President's only constitutional responsibility: he acts as
President of the Senate.
o Article 3: describes the court system (the judicial branch), including the
Supreme Court. The article requires that there be one court called the
Supreme Court; Congress, at its discretion, can create lower courts, whose
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judgments and orders are reviewable by the Supreme Court. Article Three
also requires trial by jury in all criminal cases, defines the crime of
treason, and charges Congress with providing for a punishment for it,
while imposing limits on that punishment.
o Article 4: describes the relationship between the states and the Federal
government, and amongst the states. For instance, it requires states to give
"full faith and credit" to the public acts, records and court proceedings of
the other states. Congress is permitted to regulate the manner in which
proof of such acts, records or proceedings may be admitted. The
"privileges and immunities" clause prohibits state governments from
discriminating against citizens of other states in favor of resident citizens
o Article 6: establishes the Constitution, and the laws and treaties of the
United States made in accordance with it, to be the supreme law of the
land. It also validates national debt created under the Articles of
Confederation and requires that all legislators, federal officers, and judges
take oaths to support the Constitution.
Recognize powers given to Congress in Article 1, Section 8(enumerated):
Section 8 begins the enumerated powers of the federal government delegated to
Congress. The first is the power to tax and to spend the money raised by taxes, to
provide for the nation’s defense and general welfare. This section was
supplemented by the 16th amendment, which permitted Congress to levy an
income tax.
Qualifications for: NOT SURE
o House: seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned among the
states on the basis of population, as determined by a census conducted
every ten years. Each state, however, is entitled to at least one
representative. The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the
House is that it may consist of no more than one member for every thirty
thousand people.
1. Must be at least 25 yrs old
2. seven years a citizen of the United States
3. shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he
shall be chosen
o Senate: each state is equally represented by two members, regardless of
population; as a result, the total membership of the body is currently 100.
Senators serve for six-year terms that are staggered so elections are held
for approximately one-third of the seats (a "class") every second year. The
Vice President of the United States is the presiding officer of the Senate
but is not a senator and does not vote except to break ties.
1. be at least 30 years of age
2. have been a citizen of the United States for 9 years
3. when elected, be a resident of the state from which he or
she is chosen
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o President:
1. must be a natural-born citizen of the United States
2. at least 35 years old
3. been a resident of the United States for 14 years
Who gets the power of veto, override, tax, create federal courts, declare war,
set pay, interpret power of eminent domain, full faith and credit, extradition,
federalism? CONGRESS
o power of veto: Able to veto an executive decision
o override: I’m assuming the same thing.
o eminent domain: the power of the state to appropriate private property
for its own use without the owner's consent.
 the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution requires that just
compensation be paid when the power of eminent domain is used,
and requires that "public use" of the property be demonstrated.
Most courts have interpreted "just compensation" to be the fair
market value of the condemned property.
o full faith and credit: mutual understanding between courts of the 50
states of the United States to recognize, honor and enforce one another's
actions.
o extradition: formal process by which a criminal suspect held by one
government is handed over to another government for trial or, if the
suspect has already been tried and found guilty, to serve his or her
sentence
o federalism: the idea of a group or body of members that are bound
together with a governing representative head.
Things not allowed in the original articles:
o Habeus Corpus: a prerogative writ ordering that a prisoner be brought to
the court so it can be determined whether or not he is being imprisoned
lawfully.
o Bill of Attainder: was an act of legislature declaring a person or group of
persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a
trial. The United States Constitution in Article 1 Section 9 explicitly
forbids Congress to pass any bills of attainder
o Ex Post Facto: a law that acts retroactively, affecting facts or legal
relationships that existed prior to the enactment of the law. In reference to
criminal law, it is an attempt to criminalize an action that was legal when
committed
Basics of
o Jus Soli: a right by which nationality or citizenship can be recognized to
any individual born in the territory of the related state.
o Jus Sanguinus: a right by which nationality or citizenship can be
recognized to any individual born to a parent who is a national or citizen
of that state.
Basics workings of Electoral College:
o Number of Modern states needed to win: 270
Political Groups (Beliefs and Biases):
 US Liberal vs. Conservatives:
o Liberals:
 an ideology, or current of political thought, which strives to
maximize liberty. Liberalism seeks a society characterized by
freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on the power of
government and religion, the rule of law, the free exchange of
ideas, a free market economy that supports private enterprise, and a
system of government that is transparent, a liberal democracy with
open and fair elections, where all citizens have by law equal rights
and an equal opportunity.
o Conservatives:
 any of a number of political philosophies supporting traditional
values or an established social order. As the word implies,
conservatives seek to conserve the existing social order or to
reinstate a social order from the past.
 Democrats vs. Republicans: NOT SURE
Democrats Republicans
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Voter groups biases: NOT
SURE
Bill of Rights and other Rights Amendments:
 Amendments to the Issue:
o Double Jeopardy: 5th
o Equality for all men: 14th?
o Voting for all women: 19th
o No Illegal search and seizures: 4th
o No Established religion: 1st
o Trial by jury of peers: 6th
o Access to private arms: 2nd
 14th Amendment and Incorporation:
Legislative Branch:
 Recognize the basic steps of Bill-to-Law and put them in order.
1. Introduced by a member of the House or Senate.
2. subcommittee
3. committee
4. rules committee
5. full House or Senate
6. conference committee (which consists of both the House and the Senate)
7. full House and Senate
8. President
 What kind of people get elected to Congress:
 Powers of the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader:
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o Speaker: The Speaker does not normally personally preside over debates,
instead delegating the duty to other members of Congress. Aside from
duties relating to heading the House and his or her political party, the
Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and
remains a representative of his or her congressional district.
o Senate Majority Leader: serve as the chief Senate spokesman for his or
her party and to manage and schedule the legislative and executive
business of the Senate.
Differences in the House and Senate: The House is generally considered a more
partisan chamber than the Senate. Many of the Founding Fathers intended the
Senate (originally elected by the state legislatures) to be a check on the popularly
elected House, just as the House was to be a check on the Senate. The "advice and
consent" powers (such as the power to approve treaties) were therefore granted to
the Senate alone. The House was granted its own exclusive powers: the power to
initiate revenue bills, impeach officials, and elect the President in Electoral
College deadlocks. However, the Senate can propose amendments to spending
bills, tries impeached officials, and chooses the Vice President in an Electoral
College deadlock. The Senate and its members generally have greater prestige
than the House and its members. Senators serve longer terms, are less numerous,
and (in most cases) represent larger constituencies than members of the House.
Committees and their importance:
Franking: the right, typically granted to certain elected officials by the
government, to send mail for free.
Discharge petition: bringing a bill out of committee and to the floor of the
United States House of Representatives without the cooperation of the leadership.
It requires the signature of a majority of House members
Filibuster: an attempt to obstruct a particular decision from being taken by using
up the time available, typically through an extremely long speech.
Cloture: a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end.
Conference committee: a committee appointed by the members of the upper and
lower house to resolve disagreements on a bill passed in different versions of each
House. It is composed usually of the ranking Members of the committees of each
House that originally considered the legislation.
Why PACs (originally): Political Action Committees; the name commonly given
to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect or defeat government
officials in order to promote legislation, often supporting the group's special
interests.
Recent failures to “Reform” campaign finance: NOT SURE
Executive Branch:
 Exclusive vs. Shared Powers:
 Veto: Article One of the United States Constitution requires that all bills or other
items of legislation passed by both houses of Congress be presented to the
President for his approval. If he returns a bill to Congress within ten days
(excluding Sundays) of its presentation to him, the bill does not become law. A
two-thirds majority of both houses can adopt a law despite a presidential veto.
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Pocket Veto: a legislative maneuver in American federal lawmaking. The U.S.
Constitution requires the President to sign or veto any legislation placed on his
desk within ten days (not including Sundays). If he does not, then it becomes law
by default.
“Line Term” veto: the power of an executive to veto parts of a bill, usually
budget appropriations. This enables an executive to nullify specific provisions of
a bill, rather than only being able to approve or veto a bill in its entirety.
Expansion of the executive powers:
EOP: consists of the immediate staff of the President of the United States, as well
as multiple levels of support staff reporting to the President. The EOP was
established by the United States Congress in 1939 after the Brownlow Committee
recommended that such a support staff for the President be created.
Agencies:
 CBO: a federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States
government. It was created by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment
Control Act of 1974.
 OMB: a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States
(EOP) which is tasked with coordinating United States Federal agencies.
 GAO: he non-partisan audit, evaluation, and investigative agency of the United
States Congress. The GAO exists to support the Congress in meeting its
Constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure
the accountability of the federal government for the American people.
Judicial Branch:
 Power of “review”: the power of a court to review a law or an official act of a
government employee or agent for constitutionality or for the violation of basic
principles of justice.
 US “dual court” system:
 Activism vs. Restraint:
 Writ of certiorari and the granting of writs: the writ that an appellate court
issues to a lower court in order to review its judgment for legal error, where no
appeal is available as a matter of right.
 Majority Opinion:
 Minority Opinion: an opinion of one or more judges in an appellate court
expressing disagreement with the majority opinion.
 Concurring Opinion: a written opinion by some of the judges of a court which
agrees with the opinion of the majority of the court but might arrive there in a
different manner.
 Fed. Court Jurisdiction:
o District: the general trial courts of the United States federal court system.
Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court
of both law and equity.
o Circuit Court of Appeals:
o Claim Court: has limited jurisdiction: it can only hear claims for money
that arise from the Constitution, federal statutes, executive regulations, or
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contracts, express or implied-in-fact, with the United States Federal
Government.
o Supreme Court: holds both original and appellate jurisdiction, but the
latter is used quite a bit more often. Like other federal courts, the Supreme
Court may exercise the power of judicial review, or the power to declare
federal or state laws, as well as the actions of federal and state executives,
unconstitutional. The decisions of the Supreme Court may not be appealed
to any other body
Probable cause: refers to the standard by which a police officer may make an
arrest, conduct a personal or property search or obtain a warrant.
Good Faith Exception: a legal doctrine providing an exemption to the
exclusionary rule. The exemption allows evidence collected in violation of
privacy rights as interpreted from the Fourth Amendment to be admitted at trial if
police officers acting in good faith (bona fides)—that is, they had reason to
believe their actions are legal (measured under the reasonable person test).
Importance of:
o Regents v. Bakke: a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the
United States on affirmative action. It bars quota systems in college
admissions but affirms the constitutionality of programs giving advantage
to minorities.
o Gideon v. Wainright: a landmark case in United States Supreme Court
history. In the case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts
are required by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution
to provide lawyers for defendants in criminal cases unable to afford their
own attorney
o Engel v. Vitale: a landmark United States Supreme Court case that
determined school prayer in public schools, even when relatively nondenominational and voluntary, is unconstitutional.
o US v. Nixon: a landmark United States Supreme Court decision involving
President Richard Nixon and important to the late stages of the Watergate
scandal. It is considered a crucial precedent limiting the power of any U.S.
president.
o Miranda v. Arizona: held that suspects, prior to being interrogated by
police, must be informed of their rights under the Fifth and Sixth
Amendments to the United States Constitution.
o Marbury v. Madison: a landmark case in United States law, the basis for
the exercise of judicial review of Federal statutes by the U.S. Supreme
Court as a constitutional power. The Court ruled that it had the power to
declare void a statute which it considered repugnant to the Constitution.
o Brown v. Board: a landmark case of the United States Supreme Court
which explicitly outlawed de jure racial segregation of public education
facilities (legal establishment of separate government-run schools for
blacks and whites), ruling so on the grounds that the doctrine of "separate
but equal" public education could never truly provide black Americans
with facilities of the same standards available to white Americans.
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o Plessy v. Fergueson: a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in
the jurisprudence of the United States, approving de jure racial
segregation in public facilities, and ruling that states could prohibit the use
of public facilities by African Americans.
o Texas v. Johnson: a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States
that invalidated prohibitions on desecrating the American flag in force in
48 of the 50 states.
o Mapp v. Ohio: a landmark case in the area of U.S. criminal procedure, in
which the United States Supreme Court decided that the Fourth
Amendment protection against "unreasonable searches and seizures" must
be extended to states as well as the federal government.
2 cartoons will be shown about the 2nd Amendment (the Brady Bill sought to
limit access to handguns)
State Governments:
 Texas Legislature is weak
 Governor is weak
 Lieutenant Gov. controls the Senate
 Judges are mostly elected
Essays:
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Choice 1: The relationship between the modern legislative branch’s powers and
the executive’s powers.
Choice 2: Democrats vs. Republicans and the origins of their opposite views.
Choice 3: The importance of the 14th Amendment.