A loose association of states or territorial unites formed for a common purpose
The basic framework of law that prescribes how government is to be organized, how decisions are to be made, and what powers and responsibilities it shall have
Proposal by the large states at the constitutional convention to create a strong central government with power in the government apportioned to the states on the basis of population
New Jersey Plan
Proposal of the smaller states at the Constitutional Convention to create a government based on the equal representation of the states in a unicameral legislature
Connecticut Compromise; Great Compromise
compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia plans formulated by the Connecticut delegates at the Constitutional Convention; called for lower legislative house based on population size and an upper house based on equal representation of the states
Elected representatives of the states whose votes formally elect the President of the US; the # of electors in each state is = to the total # of its senators and representatives in the house. candidate who wins a plurality
The provision in Article VI of the Constitution that states that the Constitution and the laws and treaties of the US are the supreme law of the land, taking precedence over state laws and constitutions.
Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, also called the necessary and proper clause; gives Congress the authority to make whatever laws are necessary and proper to carry out its enumerated responsibilities
separation of powers
The distribution of government legislative, executive, and judicial powers to separate branches of government.
Checks and Balances
The constitutional principle that government power shall be divided and that the fragments should balance or check one another to prevent tyranny.
Proponents of the Constitution during the ratification fight; also the political party of Hamilton, Washington, and Adams
Opponents of the Constitution during the fight over ratification.
The power of the Supreme Court to delcare actions of the other branches and levels of government unconstitutional
The provision in Article VI of the Constitution that the Constitution itself and the laws and treaties of the United States are the supreme law of the land, taking precedence over state laws and constitutions
Powers under the Constitution that are shared by the federal government and the states
An interpretation of federalism in which states and the national government have separate jurisdictions and responsibilities
Funds from the national government to state and local governments to help pay for programs created by the national government
Federal aid to states and localities clearly specifying what the money can be used for.
Federal grants to the states to be used for general activities
Monetary value of all goods and services produced in a nation each year, excluding income residents earn abroad
An organization that tries to win control of government by electing people to office who carry the party label
The process by which one party supplants another as the dominant party in a political system
A gradual reduction in the dominance of one political party without another party supplanting it
The sense of belonging to a political party
A situation in which things cannot get done in Washington, usually because of divided government
statewide elections in which voters choose delegates to the national party conventions; virtually all delegates are pledged to a specific candidate for the party's nomination
caucus nominating system
A system for selecting delegates to the national party conventions characterized by neighborhood and areawide meetings of party supporters and activist; in use in fewer states than are primaries
Procedures available in some states by which state laws or constitutional amendments proposed by the legislature are submitted to the voters for approval or rejection
procedures available in some states for citizens to put proposed laws and constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter approval or rejection
Elected officials from all levels of government who are appointed by party committees to be delegates to the national convention of the Democratic Party not selected in primary elections or caucuses.
As applied to a legislative body, consisting of two houses or chambers
an elected representative who acts in perfect accord with the wishes of his or her constituents
an elected representative who believes that his or her own best judgment, rather than instructions from constituents, should be used in making legislative decisions
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 the population
Redrawing electoral district lines to give an advantage to a particular party or candidate
a political party member in congress charged with keeping members informed of the plans of the party leadership, counting votes before action on important issues, and rounding up party members for votes on bills
Relatively permanent congressional committees that address specific areas of legislation
Temporary committees in congress created to conduct studies or investigations; they have no power to report bills
congressional committees with members from both the house and the senate
ad hoc committees made up of members of both the senate and the house of representatives, set up to reconcile differences in the provisions of bills
a parliamentary device used in the senate to prevent a bill from coming to a vote by "taking it to the death"
A vote to end a filibuster or a debate; requires the votes of three-fifths of the membership of the Senate.
Presidential disapproval of a bill that has been passed by both houses of Congress. The president's veto can be overridden by a 2/3rds vote in each house
Rejection of a bill if the president takes no action on it for 10 days and congress has adjourned during that period
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 office by the Senate
The legal doctrine that a person who is arrested must have a timely hearing before a judge
the totality of the departments and agencies of the executive branch of the national government
spoils system; patronage
the practice of distributing government offices and contracts to the supporters of the winning party
writ of certiorari
an announcement that the supreme court will hear a case on appeal from a lower court; its issuance requires the vote of four of the nine justices
Latin for "a friend of the court"; describes a brief in which individuals not party to a suit may have their views heard
The political-economic doctrine that holds that government ought not interfere with the operations of the free market
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