AP Government Unit 4 Exam Study Guide - Jan 6, 2003


Be sure to study all key terms and make sure you are clear about the War Powers Resolution (1973) and The Budget and Impoundment Control Act.


cloture motion: Procedure for terminating debate, especially filibusters, in the Senate.


filibuster: A procedural practice in the Senate whereby a senator holds the floor and thereby delays proceedings and prevents a vote on a controversial issue.


incumbency: Currently holding an office


reapportionment: The assigning by Congress of congressional seats after each census. State legislators reapportion state legislative districts.


committee system: (See page 261) Majority party gets most influential committees. Joint committees (members from both houses). Select or special committees. Standing committees (exclusive, major, and nonmajor). In the House: standing committees are divided into 3 categories: 1) exclusive committees, wherein members may not serves on any other comm.; 2) Major comm. Wherein members can serve on only one of these comm. but can add assignments to 2 nonmajor; 3) nonmajor comm., permit membership in 2 or 3 of these. In the Senate: a senator is usually on 3 standing committees and 7 subcommittees.


divided government: Governance divided between the parties, as when one controls the executive branch and the other the legislative branch.


casework: Work done to benefit constituents.


log rolling: Mutual aid and vote trading among legislators.


pork-barrel legislation: Government benefits or programs that may help the economy of a Congress member’s district.


rules committee: regulates the time of floor debate and sets limitations on floor amendments. A closed rule prohibits amendments and open rule permits debate.


Christmas Tree Bill: Bill that contains non-germane “riders” that benefit constituents (Senate only)


franking privilege: Unlimited free mailing to constituents.


senatorial courtesy: Presidential custom of submitting the names of prospective appointees for approval to senators from the states in which the appointees are to work.


22nd Amendment: two-term (or ten-year) limit 1951


25th Amendment: provides for the succession of the President by the Vice President


impeachment process: Formal accusation against a public official and the first step in removal from office. Majority vote of House to impeach. 2/3 vote of Congress to commit.


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.


Honeymoon effect: A period at the beginning of a new president’s term in which the president enjoys generally positive relations with the press and Congress, usually lasting about six months.


US vs. Nixon: Nixon attempted to invoke executive privilege to withhold tape recordings of phone conversations. Executive privilege was denied to Nixon, but upheld for future Presidents.


executive privilege: A long-recognized doctrine with some constitutional standing that permits a president to withhold sensitive documents and information from Congress and the courts. (Nixon attempted to use this to withhold the phone conversations)


Presidential Powers: the power to veto, to appoint, commander in chief, implement and enforce laws, chief of bureaucracy, recognize foreign nations, pardon, propose budget, develop policies.


Relationship between Congress and the President: Conflicts arise from these differences: constitutional ambiguities, different constituencies, varying terms of office, divided party control of different branches, and fluctuating support.


bully pulpit: Using the Presidential office to get things done. Roosevelt, Bull Moose. (I asked Wally)


stare decisis: the rule of precedent, whereby a rule or law contained in a judicial decision is commonly viewed as binding on judges whenever the same questions is presented.


rule of four: Under "the rule of four," at least four judges must agree that the Court should hear a case before that case is selected for the Court's docket


precedent: Judges are expected to abide by previous decisions of their own courts and by rulings of superior courts.


? Dual Court System: (Page 321?) State and federal courts?


Judicial Review: Supreme court shall be the final authority on the interpretation of the Constitution.


Marbury vs. Madison: Chief Justice John Marshall claimed judicial review, the power to authoritatively interpret the Constitution.


Judicial Activism: Judicial philosophy proposing that the judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect current conditions.


Judicial Restraint: Judicial philosophy proposing that the judges should interpret the Constitution to reflect what the framers intended and the literal meaning.


original Jurisdiction: The authority of a court to hear a case “in the first instance”


independent regulatory agencies: Isolated from political influence. Regulate aspects of nation’s economy to protect the public interest.


Max Weber: "Followers of the noted German sociologist Max Weber contended that a properly run bureaucracy could be a model of efficiency based on rational and impartial management." (Burns 351) "Politics and public administration should be carefully separated. Leave politics to Congress and management to administrators who adhere to the laws passed by Congress."


Pendleton Act: The Pendleton Act of 1883 created a system in which federal employees were chosen on the basis of competitive examinations, thus making merit, or ability, the reason for hiring people to fill federal positions. (Ended spoils system)


Iron Triangles: A mutually supporting relationship among interest groups, congressional committees and subcommittees, and government agencies that share a common policy concern. Iron triangles are composed of bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees. The iron triangle is characterized by mutual dependency, in which each element provides key services, information, or policy for the others. The concept is currently best illustrated by the tobacco triangle, where a congressional committee, an bureaucratic (executive) agency, and an interest group, i.e., the tobacco interests, all inform and stroke each other to further their survival.


Spoils System: System of public employment based on rewarding


Hatch Act: Federal stature barring federal employees from active participation in certain kinds of politics and protecting them from being fired on partisan grounds.


? Why has the Bureaucracy Grown?


The Cabinet departments: (Page 345) Secretaries of state, treasury, defense, interior, agriculture, commerce, labor, health and human services, housing and urban development, transportation, energy, education, veterans affairs, chief of staff of white house, director of the OMB, US trade rep., Chair, Council of Economic Advisers, Administrator, EPA, Counselor, Attorney General.


Budget and Impoundment 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.