AP Government Final Exam Review Sheet
Examples of Checks and Balances:
- separation of branches: legislative, executive, judicial
- legislative branch = Congress divided into Senate and House of Rep.
- overlapping of power and shared duties
- judicial review separate to check powers of other two branches
Political Values: Liberal
- classical liberalism: minimize role of government (threat to rights and liberties), stressed
individual rights, protection from governmental harassment
- government protecting individuals fr. abuse by forces - business, market, discrimination
- positive use of govt. to bring justice and equality of opportunity
- right to own private property
- government intervention in economy, protection from bad health care, housing, education
- believe in: affirmative action, worker's health and safety protections, tax increasing with
increased income, union rights to organize / strike, minimum wage
- progress, better future, overcome obstacles, trust in govt.
- people are equal
Political Values: Conservative (Burns: 84-85)
- small govt., especially national govt., with exception for national defense
- people need strong leadership institution, firm laws, strict moral codes
- failures are responsible for their misfortune, need to deal to solve their own problems
- status quo = change in moderation
- pro-business; against high taxes, antitrust, trade, environmental regulations on corporations
- govt. = family values, protect nation fr. foreign hostilities, preserve law and order, enforce
private contracts, foster competitive markets, encourage free / fair trade
- opposed New Deal (30's), War on Poverty (60's), civil rights / affirmative action programs
- help should be cared for by family and charities; faith in private sector
- government social activism = expensive, inefficient, counterproductive; private giving,
individual voluntary efforts for social / economic programs
- strong govt. action against porn and drugs
- stringent limitations abortion
- New Right, ultraconservatism, Radical Right (1980's): freedom, protection of US interests
abroad, organized school prayer; oppose job quotas, busing, homosexuality tolerance
- Christian Coalition: pro-family, anti-abortion, anti-gay, right to prayer in public schools
religious symbols in public places
primary in which only person registered in party holding primary may vote
selection of VP candidate
- choice of vp nominee made at convention, timely announcement to enhance media
- balance ticket: woman VP (Mondale), from different region
primary function of PAC's:
political arm of interest group legally entitled to raise funds on voluntary
basis from members, stockholders, or employees in order to contribute funds to
favored candidates or political parties
- seek influence by giving money and political aid to politicians
- persuading officeholders to act or vote a certain way
- interest groups want to influence election of legislators and what they do in office
- categories based on interest representing: corporations, trade / health org., labor unions,
ideological organizations, etc.
Bakke vs. UC Regents (1978): affirmative action of UC system = unconstitutional
Distribution of income during
Who can we elect directly in elections?
- president (and VP)
- senators by 17th amendment
- house representatives
Congressional conference committees: committee appointed by president officers of each chamber
to adjust differences on particular bill passed by each but different forms
- both parties represented = majority party with more members
- bargaining process to create identical measure for submission to chambers
- acceptance / rejection by chamber report = negotiations but no amendments
- House has more impact on final outcome in conference committees by approving initial bill
first and setting agenda on issue
Why Supreme Court Justices have life tenure (Fed. #78)
- life tenure instead of frequent elections prevent justices from ruling to keep their jobs or
meet up to the public's current moods
Why are committees more important in the House than in the
Committees are more important in the House than in the Senate because the House involves more representatives where the way things are done affects what is done (Pg. 248). Therefore, they assign different types of bills to different calendars for quicker action and the different committees provide opportunity for legislators to be involved as well as develop expertise(??).
Source of Supreme Court Caseload
- appeals come by means of discretionary writ of certiorari: formal writ to bring case b4 SC
- cases of broad public significance
- cases where rulings of courts of appeals conflict - supreme court decides which ruling
- (chart on pg. 320) Supreme Court connected to: court of appeals for armed forces, 12
courts of appeals, court of appeals for federal circuit, and state courts of last appeal
Presidents trying to influence Congress (pg. 312)
- bully pulpit: threatening to use position against Congress
- threat of veto: pocket veto and item veto
- social events, leadership meetings, bill-signing committees
- campaign aid: special appearance at fundraising event or visit during campaign
- constituency favors for certain legislator's constituents
- log-rolling: expanded bargaining with Congress where president passes certain
congressional legislation in exchange for support on his initiatives
- appeal to media and public
Presidents and the Judiciary
- presidents appoint, senate confirms; selects with advice and consent of Senate
- considers judges party affiliation, race, gender, and ideology
Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954)
marked the beginning of the judicial era of civil rights. The Supreme Court used Brown v. Board of Education to set aside its earlier precedent of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), overturning the doctrine of "separate but equal." The Court held that school segregation was inherently unequal. The Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education was based on the legal argument that segregation violated the Fourteenth Amendment. In 1955, once again in Brown v. Board of Education (Brown II) (1954), the Court ordered lower courts to proceed with "all deliberate speed" to desegregate public schools; however, desegregation moved very slowly until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which denied federal funds to segregated schools. (HOM)
Civil Rights in the 1950's
- Board vs. Board of Education (1954): separate but equal = unconstitutional
- Civil Rights Act of 1957: federal crime to prevent person from voting in fed. elections
Rights of Free Speech
- clear and present danger: govt. cannot punish person for speech unless it presents
clear and present danger that will lead to illegal acts… shouting fire in crowded theater
- nonprotected speech: libel, obscenity, fighting words, commercial speech
- libel: written defamation of another person
- obscenity: quality or state of work, when taken as whole, appeals to prurient interest
in sex by depicting sexual conduct in offensive way, lacks serious literary, artistic,
political, or scientific value
Gitlow v. New York (1925)
Freedom of speech and
press are among rights granted in the 14th amendment from impairment by the
states. Basically, states’ rights could not deny any individual freedom of
speech or press on a state level anymore because it was protected under the
first and fourteenth amendments. (Book Ref. Page 365)
- rebellion by farmers in western Massachusetts to protest mortgage foreclosures
- demonstrated need for stronger national government
- timing: call for Constitutional Convention
Federal System of Government
- federalism: separation of state and national government
- dual federalism: Constitution gives limited powers (foreign policy, national defense) to
national government, most powers to sovereign states, supreme court as umpire btw.
national govt. and state govt.
- cooperative federalism: deliver govt. goods / services to people, cooperation among
levels of govt. to get job done
- marble cake: all levels of govt. are involved in issues and programs
- competitive: national govt. and 50 states competing to assemble packages of services,
taxes, and seeking support from citizens
- permissive: sharing of power and authority between national / state government
states' portion depends on permission / permissiveness of natl. govt.
- new federalism: Nixon, Reagan, Bush; return fiscal resources and management
responsibilities to states through large block grants and revenue sharing
Voting Tendencies: Jews tend to vote Democrat.
- person who is employed by and acts for an organized interest group or corporation to try to
influence decisions and positions in the executive and legislative branches
Presidential nominating trends
Congressional Standing Committees: permanent subject-matter committees, formed to handle bills in different policy areas. In Congress, the typical representative serves on two committees and four subcommittees, while senators average three committees and seven subcommittees each. During the mid to late 20th Century, prior to Congressional reforms, power in the House of Representatives was primarily concentrated in those senior members who chaired the standing committees.
Powers of the President: treaty, appointment, enforcement of laws
Budget and Impoundment Control Act: Congress’ own financial research (a check on the OMB of the executive branch). Provides budget calendar, report by April 1st. Specified how a president could spend or refuse to spend monies approved by Congress.
Competition in Congressional Races: Competition is scarce. Challengers are reluctant to run for office due to the political scrutiny of candidates as well as the high cost of campaigning. As a result, the Rates of Incumbent Reelection in Congress are extremely high, and the most qualified person for a given position may not necessarily hold the office.
War Powers Resolution: Declared henceforth that a president can commit the armed forces of the US only: 1- after a declaration of war by Congress; 2- by specific statutory authorization; 3- in a national emergency created by an attack on the US or its armed forces. This must be reported to Congress within 48 hours. Unless Congress declares war, the commitment must end in 60 days.
1992 Congressional election: PACs have proliferated in recent years and play a major role in paying for expensive campaigns. PACs contributed $178 million to congressional candidates for the 1992 campaign.
Civil Rights Act of 1964: Provided for the enforcement of: the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the Attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes.
Fourteenth Amendment (Incorporation Doctrine): provides the rationale for the process by which fundamental freedoms have been applied against state action through interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819): the Supreme Court ruled that because of the "necessary and proper" clause in Article 1, Section 8, the national government had additional powers that were implied in that clause. Implied powers are powers of the national government that flow from its enumerated powers and the "elastic clause" of the Constitution. (Burns 63)
Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963): the Court extended the same right to everyone accused of a felony, ruling that defendants in all felony cases had a right to counsel, and if they could not afford to hire an attorney, one must be provided free of charge.
Baker vs. Carr (1962): Supreme Court ruled that a voter could challenge legislative apportionment on the grounds that it violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. (Burns 245)
? Most important influence in a Presidential election: Money? Media? Momentum?
Advantages of incumbency: name recognition, free mailings (franking privilege), greater access to the media, PAC money, campaign experience, casework, credited for allocation of federal money (Burns 245)
The House and Senate Rules: the chairs of the standing committees are held by members of the majority party, but not necessarily the most senior members of that party. Both parties in both houses permitted members to vote on committee chairs. Today, seniority remains the general rule for selecting chairs, but there have been notable exceptions. In order to be debated on the floor, the House Rules Committee must give each bill a rule, or approval for its appearance on the floor (unless the bill is privileged or the rules are suspended), as well as the conditions under which a bill can be debated on the floor of the House of Representatives.. The House Rules Committee can kill a bill even after it has been recommended by a standing committee by refusing to perform any of the above.
Impeachment Process: Majority vote of the House to impeach, 2/3 vote of Senate to commit.
Interest Groups influence: influence political agenda by financially supporting candidates whose ideological views coincide with those of the interest group.
Boundaries of Congressional Districts is determined by whom: state legislatures
Public Monies are used to finance which campaigns: Monies for public funding of Presidential campaigns are contributed by individual citizens at income-tax time.
? Diversity of public policy is a consequence of: the diversity of political opinions in society, which in turn influences the government's policy agenda.
Increased Presidential Power since post 1945: According the Arthur Schlesinger, the Imperial Presidency results from: The swelling of the presidential bureaucracy, the pressures of the cold war and demands for secrecy in the name of national security have produced a president who is increasingly ISOLATED and UNACCOUNTABLE. Centralization of decisions of war and peace into the presidency -- due to cold war, prolonged war in Vietnam. Decay of the traditional party structure led to the presidency as "the central focus of political emotion." Nixon tried to isolate himself from challenge.
Congressional Oversight of the Bureaucracy: congress ensures that laws and policies approved by congress are faithfully carried out by the executive branch and accomplish what was intended.
Earl Warren Decisions - Brown v. Board, Miranda v. AZ:
Miranda vs. Arizona (1966): set guidelines for police questioning of suspects. Before suspects are questioned, they must be given the Miranda warnings.
Reserved powers clause: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively
Critical elections - 1824: Andrew Jackson and the Democrats; 1860: The Civil War and the Rise of the Republicans; 1896: A Party in Transition (Republicans and the Progressive Era); 1932: Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal Alignment.
Voting Rates of 18-24 yr olds: obviously, the lowest.
Media Coverage of Political Campaigns: Success in the nomination game generally requires money, media attention, and momentum. New Hampshire primaries typically get an overwhelming amount of media attention. Running for the presidency has become a full-time job, and prominent politicians find it difficult to take time out from their duties to run, consequently, there in a greater reliance by the candidates on the mass media in the presidential nominating process.
Electoral College: the electoral system used in electing the president and VP, in which voters vote for electors pledged to cast their ballots for a particular party’s candidates. Created originally out of mistrust of the general populous and its general vote.
Political Parties in the U.S. Two main parties: Republican and Democratic. Third parties in our history include: Anti-Masonic- William Wirt, American (Know-Nothing)- Millard Fillmore, Democratic (Sessionist)- J.C. Breckinridge, Constitutional Union- John Bell, People’s (Populist)- James B. Weaver, Bull Moose- Theodore Roosevelt, Socialist- Eugene V. Debs, Progressive- Robert M. La Follette, State’s Rights (Dixiecrat)- Strom Thurmond (now 100), Progressive (2)- Henry A. Wallace, American Independent- George C. Wallace, National Unity- John Anderson, United We Stand, America (yes, that is the real name)- Ross Perot, Reform- Ross Perot trying a new title, Reform again- Pat Buchanan, and Green- Ralph Nadar.
Regulate interstate commerce: Congress holds this power. Commerce includes production, buying, renting, selling, and transporting of goods, services, and properties. The commerce clause packs a tremendous constitutional punch; it gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign nations, and among the states, and with the Indian tribes.”
Mapp vs. Ohio (1961) Supreme Ct. adopted a rule excluding from a criminal trial evidence that was illegally obtained. (A.K.A. the exclusionary rule) (Book Ref. Page 393)
Line item veto: unconstitutional. This constitutes only vetoing specific parts of a bill and handing it back - now it’s all or nothing baby.
Iron triangle: the relationship between congress, interest groups, and the bureaucracy.
Plurality: A candidate or party wins the most of the votes cast, not necessarily more than half.
Cabinet members influence
Fundamental source of power for the federal bureaucracy:
Establishment clause in the first Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion. (This including any governmental support of religion as interpreted today.)
Griswold vs. Connecticut: personal privacy is recognized as a right.
Roe vs. Wade (1973): the Court divided pregnancy into three stages. In the first trimester, a woman's right to privacy included an absolute right to an abortion free from state interference. (A state cannot forbid abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy). In the second and third trimesters, the state's interest in the health of the mother gave it the right to regulate abortions in certain cases. (Opinion written by Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun)
Legislative Oversight by Congress
Importance of the 14th Amendment: extended rights of equal protection and essentially applied the bill of rights to the states.