Find study materials for any course. Check these out:
Browse by school
Make your own
To login with Google, please enable popups
To login with Google, please enable popups
Don’t have an account?
To signup with Google, please enable popups
To signup with Google, please enable popups
Sign up withor
Articles of Confederation: Were they effective? Why or Why not?
March 1, 1781
Not effective, weak –Ask for taxes but states didn’t have to comply, could declare war but had no revenue
No national system of courts, Congressional action required consent of 9 states, unanimous vote for amendments
ž Combined the Virginia and New Jersey Plans to make the Connecticut Plan
ž Bicameral legislature –House of Representatives (based on population –Virginia plan), the Senate (2 votes per state –New Jersey plan)
ž 3/5 compromise for blacks
— Important Principles of the U.S. Constitution
1. Control by the people
2. Separation of powers
3. Checks and Balances
4. State's Rights
Arguments for Federalism
— We can more easily access our government, grooms experienced political leaders, Encourages competition among states.
Diffusion of innovation, Lottery
— States are laboratories of democracy, test different laws at state levels first
Oregon: Death with Dignity –pill that kills you
— States create laws good for the individual state.
Why is this important? Each state is different with different people, requiring different laws
— * Promotes inequality among states:
Crime laws = no health money, Health laws = lots of crime
¡ Where does Oklahoma stand? Health: 44th, Education: 47th , 4th in teen pregnancy, Incarceration: 62% higher than the national average, Good access to preschool programs
— * Interferes with national goals and plans.
¡ Example: housing association discrimination
Diffusion of Innovation Theory
One state passes a law then the surrounding states like it and also passes it.
How can States get around the Supremacy Clause?
Implementation –they don’t implement or carry out the law
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824): Commerce Clause.
Missouri v. Holland (1920): Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, If the treaty is valid, then it is clearly a necessary and proper action to carry out the treaty-making power.— United States v. Lopez (1995): Possession of a gun in a school zone is not an economic activity that has an effect on interstate commerce
v Laws and programs states are forced to implement, even if those things cost money.
50 mil or more- the mandates has to be identified.
Examples: NCLB Act: 2001; ADA: 1990
Supreme Court and Federalism today: Commerce Clause Power; Court Cases
Supreme Court: determines who has the power.
o U.S. v. Morrison (2000)
94: Violence Against Women Act- allowed to sue for damages in a federal court.
Female student at Virginia Tech is assaulted (Male students are ultimately excused from punishment) She sues in federal court
Does Congress have the authority? –No, since the statute did not regulate an activity that substantially affected interstate commerce.
New Federalism issue: Disaster Relief
79: Federal Emergency Management Agency is created by Carter
coordinate disaster response in the U.S. that overwhelms the resources of local and state authorities
Who should be handling disasters? National or state/local?
Local/state authorities are first response to disasters then if necessary the National steps in
Why do we like our representatives but not Congress as a whole?
Due in large part to the personality of our representative
How well we relate to them makes a difference
We want to relate on policy issues and personal issues
Trustee vs. Delegate
Trustee: Acts according to their own conscience –Can be helpful when dealing with complicated issues
Delegate: Acts according to what the voters want –What if the voters are uninformed?
3 activities Congressional members engage in relating to re-election
1) Credit Claiming
Especially in the House; run every two years
3) Position taking
More media focus on the Senate
4 Groups elected officials modify their behavior for
1) Geographic: actual district
2) Re-election: those guaranteed to vote for the member
3) Primary: weak vs. strong support
4) Personal: politically/emotionally supportive friends
Homestyle: What is it? What does it depend on?
Homestyle: Behavior at home vs. behavior in D.C.; How often a member visits the home district
Depends on certain things: Personal/Professional goals, How close the district is to D.C., Where the family lives
Oversight Function: Ways Congress makes sure laws are being carried out
Congress follows up on the laws to make sure they are being carried out the way they were intended.
Committee hearings: to evaluate programs/check for problems
Budget control: power of the purse
Evaluating potential agency heads
Speaker of the House: Functions and current Speaker of the House
John Boehner (Most power)
Leader of the majority party
Preside over meetings, appoint to committees, schedule legislation
Power comes from information and support from members
Key Figures in the Senate: who serves a ceremonial function and who really has power?
Vice President: President of the Senate; ceremonial –Joe Biden (D) -Can vote to break a tie
President Pro Tempore: also ceremonial –Patrick Leahy (D)
Majority Leader: guide strategy –Harry Reid (D)
Minority Leader: rallies against the majority party –Mitch McConnell (R)
Perks of being in office
Cut back on the “fun” perks
Staff –House: 18 per Representative; Senate: 30 per Senator
Franking –Signature as postage
President/Vice President not elected directly by the voters.
Elected by "electors" chosen by popular vote in their state.
Parties create lists of potential electors who pledge to vote for the party's candidate.
How many per state? –Number of U.S. Senators (always 2) PLUS the number of U.S. Representatives
158 occasions: Electors have voted for president/vice president candidates opposite of what voters in the state wanted.
State can punish; can’t change the vote.
Power based on reputation
Ability to influence based on status
Status gives the president bargaining power
Does not transfer from on president to the next
Power based on public approval
We consider this person a symbol of our nation
They need us to like them
Approval ratings tell them how we feel
Current rating: 45% approve of Obama
Rally ‘round the Flag effect
A tragic incident (devastation) occurs and we look to our president
We need our president to tell us what to do
3 Reasons for going public
1. Generate support for themselves
2. Generate support for a policy
3. Increase job performance ratings
Demographics of Justices: race, gender, religion
4 women (currently three sit)–First appointed 1981
2 African American justices–First appointed 1967
1 Hispanic justice –Appointed in 2009
No openly LGBT justice
91 Protestant, 12 Catholic, 8 Jewish, 1 with no known affiliation
All have been lawyers; 2/3 judges
Marbury v. Madison: What is it? Why is it Significant?
Judicial Review was first interpreted
Marbury: Last minute appointment by Adams at the end of his presidency; Appt. were never finalized
Question before the Court: Is Marbury entitled to his appointment? Is his lawsuit the correct way to get it? Is the Supreme Court the place for Marbury to get what he requests? Yes; yes; and it depends.
When the Constitution--the nation's highest law--conflicts with an act of the legislature, that act is invalid.
Activist/ Restraint Justices
Activist: Should play a big role in checking the actions of other branches of government -Liberal viewpoint
Restraint: Should yield to the decisions made by the legislative and executive branches (Justices aren’t elected) -Conservative viewpoint
Checks on Supreme Court Power
*Rewriting laws: law tug of war
Congress passes a law, Court declares it unconstitutional, Court writes a new variation of the law, Supreme Court will have to declare that law unconstitutional
*Implementation: is the ruling actually carried out at the local, state, or federal level?
Example: mental health funding
Failed amendments: school prayer/abortion
Strict vs. Broad Construction
Strict Construction: closely follow what is actually written in the U.S. Constitution. -Conservative viewpoints
Broad Construction: should consider context: what is going on in our society, what do the people need given the circumstances. -Liberal viewpoints
Characteristics of a Bureaucratic organization
• Positions differ in their relative amount of power (The “org chart”)
• Few appointed employees
• Specialization –The benefits of division of labor –Bureau is organized around specific tasks
Employment trends for Federal Employees
*Executive –2,756,233 –98% *Judicial –33,762 –1% *Legislative –30,465 –1%
Relationship between bureaucrats, congress, and lobbyists
*The Iron Triangle
It comprises the policy-making relationship among the congressional committees, the bureaucracy, and interest groups
Shay’s Rebellion: What was it? What brought it about? What was the impact of the rebellion?
Daniel Shays –military leader/farmer, seized county courthouses and disrupted the trials of debtors in Springfield, Massachusetts
Showed the government that they were vulnerable to rebellion, and couldn’t provide adequately for the public welfare
Categorical Grants –For specific things –Ex: Medicaid, Food Stamps, Highway projects, Unemployment, EPA –National government prefers these
Block Grants –For certain areas –Ex: Mental Health, TANF –less specific, States prefer these
Affordable Care Act: Did this give government more or less power?
· Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act –People must have insurance
The Individual Mandate penalty is a tax for the purposes of the Constitution's Taxing and Spending Clause and is a valid exercise of Congressional authority.
Current Approval Ratings
81% of America disapproves of the job Congress is doing
Nickelback/Genghis Khan: more popular, but still more popular than Lindsay Lohan
Age: House: 57; Senate: 62
Education/Occupation: College education—21 House members, 1 Senator: high school diploma
Religion: Most identify as Christians
Gender/Race: Women: 82 in House, 20 in Senate
42 African American House members; 2 Senators.
37 Hispanic or Latino Members : 33 House; 4 Senate.
11 total Asian American or Pacific Islanders.
1 Native American House member.
Around 40% of Congress are millionaires.
70%: high school education or less
Median income: 53K
Roles of the President
*Head of State: ceremonial; symbolic
*Chief Executive: head of the executive branch: Pardons: release from punishment; Reprieves: postponement of execution or sentence; Appointments/Removals
*Commander in Chief of the armed forces: The football: nuclear control; War Powers Resolution:
*Chief Diplomat: Recognize foreign governments, make treaties, executive agreements
*Chief Legislator: influences the making of laws
Example: Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement; Establish an legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet
Constitutional power of the President: in what area does the president have the most power?
*Dominant in military powers
*Congress has more power over domestic law
Going Public –Reaching out to the Public
Use this too much = decrease in impact
More impact if it something important to us.
State of the Union is required for the Constitution; Time of Crisis is important for the people of America
Prior to 1950 Bargaining; Post 1950 Going public –it puts pressure on Congress by appealing to the people (thanks to improved media)
Threats to Presidential Power
5. Agency Backlash: Failure to implement policies important to the president
Role of the Vice-President
-Not much power; Often there to draw voters the president cannot draw himself.
-Depends on what the president asks the V.P. to do.
-Break a tie in the Senate
-Roles granted by laws:
-National Security Council membership
-Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
-Takes over if the president dies or becomes unable to serve
Appointment/Confirmation process: How does it work? How long are they appointed for?
Justices –Appointed by the president
Confirmed by the Senate
Judicial review: What is it? Where is it found in the Constitution?
Judicial Review: determine if laws are constitutional, or unconstitutional
Does a law violate a provision in the U.S. Constitution?
This power is not found in the U.S. Constitution
3 Reasons public opinion checks Supreme Court power
1. Public opinion may influence which judges are nominated and confirmed.
2. Court depends on other branches to enforce rulings, if public opinion is contrary to what the Court rules, elected officials in other branches may not carry out the decisions.
3. When the Court reinforces public opinion by ruling in a way the public likes, they are increasing their legitimacy in the eyes of the public.
What are the 2 largest expansions of the Federal Government?
Expansion of Authority Expansion of Budget
* remember United States Postal Service and Homeland Security
—The society is emphasized.
Why is civic engagement low?
Would we make better decisions if we had more political knowledge? Why?
Halo Effect might increase depending on who gives the survey.
How does public mood impact our opinion?
What are the persisting impacts of early experiences?
What we learn about morality early on:
4 theories regarding adult political life
On-line running tally
How do we perceive deception? Are we good at it? Who do we rely on to help us find deception?
What are three major ways campaigns today differ from those in the past?
Importance of Money
Media focus: personality vs. policy
Impact of money on elections: our assumptions vs. reality
Developments since WWII that have impacted our ability to gather political information
Prospective and retrospective voting
Who votes in American elections (what impacts whether or not a person votes)?
Party Identification: ½ of all voters vote on party, Done out of loyalty, Issue stance identification
What increases voter turnout?
First Ads: 1952 - Ads are often used to highlight the differences in candidates
Daisy girl: only aired once, first ad with seriously negative message
Humor is used to prevent backlash and soften the blow of a negative ad (first use in 1968)
Scott then brought a new suit in federal court
Answer: Dred Scott was a slave
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Free Exercise Clause
Functions of political parties
Functions of political parties
- Recruit candidates to run for office
- Finding good candidates
- Run campaigns
- Present policy alternatives
- Operate the government
- Actually serving in office
- Oppose the party in power
Independents: why is this party on the rise?
Who is most likely to be a Democrat?
Who is most likely to be a Republican?
Explanations for the two party system
Impacts of third parties
3 major concerns about uninformed voters
2.More anti-democratic views
(Civil liberties less valued)
Why don’t young people vote?
Other possible reasons:
Plessy v. Ferguson(1895)
He refused to move to the car reserved for blacks and was arrested.
Answer: The state law is within constitutional boundaries
Brown v. Board
Privacy rights and court cases associated with them
Griswold V. Connecticut (1965)
Counseled about unwanted pregnancy which was illegal, Violation of right to privacy
Roe V. Wade - abortion illegal
Right to Privacy allows women to choose
Lawrence V. Texas - 2 gays in bed
Privacy to act within a personal relationship
Security vs. Liberty: what happens when threats increase?
When dangers increase liberties decrease
- example, 9/11 and airport security
USA Patriot Act - if suspected terrorist you can be searched
Tinker V. Des Moines (1969) - Wore black armbands, got expelled - upheld 1st amendment
Texas V. Johnson (1989) - upset veteran burned the US flag - upheld 1st amendment
Virginia V. Black (2003) - burned crosses in people's front yards - not okay by the 1st amendment
**Can't say things that hurt people or present a clear and present danger
1 Average person finds it violates community standards
2 Prurient interest in sex
3 Patently offensive sexual content
4 Lacks literary, artistic, political, or scientific merit
- People want to feel like they know something that others don't
- They use it to make sense of confusion, make sense of evil things we don't understand
- They don't trusts the government, a cover-up is what we expect
*High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program
- Goal: To direct signals into the ionosphere to find out how we can improve the reliability and performance of communication and navigation systems.
* Suppress clean energy technology - Powerful people in the energy industry want to cover alien technology up so we can’t replicate it
* Create a religious crisis - Could contradict dates in the bible, or certain stories people have founded their beliefs on
* Cause panic among frightened citizens - slowly releasing info through pop culture i.e. movies, music, and tv shows
Sign up for free and study better.
Get started today!