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1. 1st Amendment
1. Prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding
the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the
freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or
prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
b. 3rd Amendment
1. Prohibits quartering of soldiers in private homes without the owner's consent
during peacetime.
2. Technically this means that during wartime soldiers can be quartered if a law is
passed by congress. This amendment is one of the few that are greatly
misunderstood by the majority.
3. The only amendment to have never been a subject of a SCOTUS case because
Congress has never passed legislation on this topic
b. 9th Amendment
1. Protects rights of the people not enumerated in the Constitution.
b. 10th Amendment
1. Reinforces the principle of federalism by stating that the federal government
possesses only those powers delegated to it by the states or the people through the
2. Only for the states
b. 16th Amendment
1. Permits Congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states
or basing it on the United States Census.
b. 20th Amendment
1. States that the terms of the President and Vice president from March 4 to January
20 and the terms of the members of Congress from March 4 to January 3
b. 21st Amendment
1. Repeals the 18th Amendment and prohibits the transportation or importation into
the United States of alcohol for delivery or use in violation of applicable laws.
b. 22nd Amendment
1. Limits the amount of times President can be elected to office(two terms).
b. 27th Amendment
1. Delays laws affecting Congressional salary from taking effect until after the next
election of representatives.
2. Ratified 202 years after it was proposed because a college student suggested it in
a paper
b. Agenda setting
1. Process where mass media determines what we think and worry about.
b. Amendment Process
1. Proposing Amendments:
1. Two-thirds of both houses of Congress vote to propose an amendment
(used 27 times)
2. OR two-thirds of state legislatures ask Congress to call for national
convention to propose amendments (used 0 times)
b. Ratifying Amendments:

1. Three-fourths of state legislature approves it (used 26 times)

2. OR ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it (used 1
time, 21st amendment to end prohibition)
2. Article I
b. Defines Legislative Branch, powers, members, and workings.
b. Section 8 is Enumerated Powers
b. Longest article shows that founders wanted to strictly control Congress; feared
an all-powerful parliament/congress more than an all-powerful king/president
b. Section 9 and 10 states that the
cannot be suspended, prohibits bills of attainder and ex post facto laws, and
prohibits titles of nobility.
b. Article II
1. Defines Executive Branch, powers, duties, and means of removal.
2. President the lead of the federal bureaucracy
b. Article III
1. Defines the Judicial Branch
2. The Supreme Court and lower federal courts are given the power to interpret the
3. Describes the jurisdiction of federal courts.
4. The accused has a right to trial by jury.
5. Describes crime of treason by telling us how the crime would be tried.
b. Articles of Confederation
1. First constitution of the United States.
2. Extremely weak central government (since people were afraid of establishing a
government that may become as powerful as a monarchy)
3. Its failures made it certain that a stronger federal government was required
4. Maintain peace, cant regulate money, can have army officers, can regulate post
5. One vote per state
6. No judicial branch
7. The only thing that stayed the same between the constitution and this was the
habeas corpus.
b. Bicameral
1. A legislative divided into two houses. The U.S Congress & every American
legislature except Nebraskas are bicameral
b. Bill of Attainder
1. A government decree that a person is guilty of a crime that carries the death
penalty, rendered without the benefit of a trial
2. Legislative branch passes an act that would incriminate you
3. Article I Section 9 and 10 prohibits bills of attainder
b. Bill of Rights
1. Starts with Congress shall not which limits government because the bill of
rights lists what government can and cannot do
2. First 10 amendments to the Constitution, dealing with basic protection of civil
Protection of Free Expression (Amendment 1)








Protection of Personal Beliefs (Amendment 1)
Protection of Privacy (Amendments 3 and 4)
Protection of Defendants Rights (Amendments 5, 6, 7, and 8)
Protection of Other Rights (Amendments 2, 9, and 10)
Block Grants
A Block Grant is a large grant given by the federal government to a state or local
government with only general provisions as to the way it is to be spent
Generally used by governments for community and social service programs
State govts have a lot of discretion of where grant should be spent
Categorical Grants
A Categorical Grant is a grant issued by the federal government which may be
spent only for narrowly described purposes
Caucus (Congress)
A group of members of Congress sharing some interest of characteristic. Most are
composed of members of both parties and from both houses. They push for
legislation by gathering votes.
Caucus (Nomination process)
Caucus (Nomination process)
A group discussion where people give their opinions on who the party
should nominate as their candidate, not as popular as primaries and can
last several hours
Method of choosing delegates, who in turn vote for the partys presidential
In the past, party bosses arbitrarily chose the delegates who the bosses
thought would vote the way they want
1. This led to creation of McGovern-Fraser Commission
You have the official endorsement of your party.
Candidate who runs against the incumbent
Checks and Balances
The system in which the three branches of government balance and keep each
other in check. Its purpose is to prevent any one branch from gaining too much or
abusing power.
Child Labor Amendment
The Child Labor Amendment is a failed amendment that would give Congress the
power to regulate the labor of children under the age of 18. Ratified by 28 states
out of the 38 needed for it to officially become an amendment.
failed because help from children is needed for farm work, so if Congress banned
child labor, then there would be a detrimental impact on the agriculture industry
Senators can vote cloture on a filibuster debate to end it, but most are too scared
to do that out of worry that when they want to filibuster a bill in the future, cloture
will be voted on them
Closed Primary
A primary in which only people who are registered members of the party can vote

b. Coattails
the tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit in an election by the
presence on the ticket of a more popular candidate
b. Commerce Clause
The Commerce Clause is found in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution and
states that Congress has the power to regulate foreign commerce as well as
interstate commerce. After Gibbons v. Ogden, it was made clear that the
Commerce Clause gave Congress the power to also regulate commerce
(specifically navigation) within states as well.
Gibbons v. Ogden much more important than it seems, establishes Federal
Govt. as having final word over states.
Governed the meaning of federalism after the civil war
b. Committee system
Committees dominate congressional policymaking
They regularly investigate problems and the executive branch
They control the congressional agenda and guide legislation
iv. Every bill first goes to a committee b/c the House/Senate only considers bills with
favorable committee reports
v. There are four types of Committees: (1) standing committees (most important),
(2) joint committees, (3) conference committees and (4) select committees
Standing committees are permanent subject matter committees
Joint committees are study committees with members from both houses
Conference committees work out differences when two versions of a bill
come up in both houses; members from both houses, create a compromise
Select committees are temporary for a specific purpose (Watergate
b. Concurrent system
Powers that are shared by the federal and state governments. Among them are the
powers to collect taxes, build roads, operate courts of law, and borrow money.
b. Confederal Government (Confederation)
A system in which many decisions are made by an external member-state
legislation; decisions on day-to-day matters are not taken by simple majority but
by special majorities, consensus, or unanimity. Changes to the Constitution also
require unanimity
Power emanates from constituent parts (states)
None currently exist but past ones were Holy Roman Empire and kind of the US
under the Articles of Confederation
iv. EU kind of, but not really
v. the Swiss confederation is just named that for historical purposes
b. Conference Committee
Congressional committees formed when the Senate and the House pass a
particular bill in different forms. Party leadership appoints members from each
house to iron out the differences and bring back a single bill
b. Constituency







The population base a congressional member represents i.e the representatives

district(s) and the senators state.
A person that a Congressman represents within his or her district
Cooperative Federalism(marble cake)
Type of federalism where the federal and state governments collaborate and
interact collectively in order to solve common problems, instead of making
policies separately.
TR and FDR key to development by expanding national governments scope into
areas previously not regulated or only regulated by states
a state of owing money
Delegate(national convention)
A person sent or authorized to represent others, in particular an elected
representative sent to a conference.
Democratic Party
one of the two major parties. The original party was named DemocraticRepublican Party and was founded in 1828.
The transfer of power and certain responsibilities from the federal government to
smaller, local governments.
Since the 1990s there was a mistrust of the government, budget deficit and want
for experimentation--> leading to devolution
Dual Federalism(layer cake)
The relationship between the national and state governments during the first part
of the nations history; federal and state governments remained separate and
National Gov: exclusive control over foreign policy, military policy, postal
system, monetary policy
State Gov: exclusively responsible for schools, law enforcement, road
Incumbents can earmark funds for future projects, part of the pork barrel method
of an incumbent trying to get reelected
They target specific districts.
Electoral College
Institution that officially elects President and Vice President
Electoral vote: The vote of a senator or member of house of representatives
Enumerated Powers
Given to the Federal government
lay and collect taxes
borrow money
iv. establish naturalization law
v. raise armies and navies

regulate commerce
b. Enumerated Powers (expressed/delegated powers)
Powers that belong to the national government. Among them are the power to
print money, regulate interstate and international trade, make treaties and conduct
foreign policy, and declare war.
Strictly spelled out; all other powers not listed automatically go to the states
Article 1, Section 8
b. Equal Rights Amendment
Proposed amendment that guaranteed equal rights for women. Wasnt ratified
because it was proposed at the time of the Vietnam War and women generally
didnt want to be drafted.
people have also argued how vague the amendment is that it could potentially
open the door to any lawsuit
in 1984 Mondale tried to establish this Amendment again
iv. Phyllis Schlafly was strongly against ERA
v. no longer pending before the states because it has a deadline written into it
b. Ex Post Facto Law
An ex post facto law is a law that changes the legal consequences of an action
committed before the passing of this law.
Someone cannot be arrested for something that was made illegal if the person
committed the crime when it was legal to do so.
Article I Section 9 and 10 prohibits ex post facto laws
b. Executive Privilege
The privilege claimed by the President, and other members of the executive
branch, to withhold information from the public.
Not explicitly mentioned in the constitution, but the Supreme Court has ruled it to
be apart of the separation of powers.
Legitimacy of executive privilege was confirmed in US v. Nixon
b. Extradition Clause
States must abide by judicial ruling of other states and must return criminal over
to the state in which the crime was committed in.
b. Federalism
A system of government under which the national government and local
governments (state governments, in the case of the United States) share powers.
Clean Air, GI Bill, Highway Act, Motor Voter = Increase federalist expansion
The Federalist Papers
o Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of newspaper
articles supporting the Constitution. These essays were designed to persuade the
states of the wisdom of a strong central government coupled with autonomous
political power retained by the states
o States must be able to make decisions independent of the government
o Citizens have 2 separate citizenships, one of their state and one of the US
o Supporters of state constitution
54. Federal Mandates
a. civil rights and environmental protection
b. Mandates increased because citizens use federal court to change local practice

c. Government uses mandates in areas they spend less money on

54. Federal Grant
a. Good to states because they have access to the taxing power of the federal
b. Grants for transportation went down since 1960
c. Attractive to states because of
i. Budget surplus
ii. federal income tax was flexi
up to the state to distribute
56. First Lady (First Gentleman)
a. Unofficial term for the wife (or husband) of the head of state or chief executive,
including the President.
b. Usually serves as an advisor to the President and plays a role in social activism.
56. Filibuster
a. A strategy unique to the Senate whereby opponents of a piece of legislation try to
talk it to death, based on the tradition of unlimited debate. Today 60 members
present and voting can halt a filibuster.
56. Fiscal Federalism
a. the pattern of spending, taxing, and providing grants in the federal system; it is the
cornerstone of the national governments relations with state and local
b. National government has a considerable influence due to money
c. Funded mandates, revenue sharing and categorical grants
56. Creative Federalism
a. Shared cost between state and national government set guidelines
56. Formula Grant
a. showed a skew in funding toward state and city with low population
56. Framing
a. influencing how people perceive a certain issue.
b. Emphasizing how important an issue is
56. Franking Privilege
a. A perk of being a member in Congress
b. Free use of mail
c. access to machines that duplicate members signature in ink
d. Technology Franking:
- track interests of individual voters -> file info into database -> email or phone
voters to converse on issues they care about
call of thousands of voters with recorded message inviting them to a conference
all together can gather info on topics of voter interest ->advantage over challenger
63. Frontloading
a. Recent tendency of states to hold early primaries for media attention
63. Fugitive Slave Clause
a. Clause 3, Section 2, Article IV

b. Slave in one state is a slave elsewhere. If a slave escapes to another state he/she
must be returned as a slave to the original state
63. Full Faith and Credit Clause
a. Federal government must protect states from foreign invasion and domestic
rebellion, and must prevent states from subdividing or combining to form new
states with Congressional consent. In turn, the States are required by the
Constitution to accept court judgements, licenses, contracts, and other civil acts of
all the other states.
63. Elbridge Gerry
a. The man behind gerrymandering which is when boundaries of congressional
districts are deliberately modified for electoral purposes thereby producing a
contorted or unusual shape.
63. Gerrymandering
a. redistribution in which an electoral district or constituency boundaries are
deliberately modified for political purposes
63. Gibbons v. Ogden
a. deals with Interstate Commerce clause and the Supremacy clause
b. They were once friends, but then Ogden sued Gibbons over an annoying fee to
navigate his steamboat from NJ to NY.
c. expanded scope of federal government because it can now regulate anything and
everything that affects interstate commerce
d. Increased congress's power to pass laws because of commerce clause
63. House Majority Leader
a. The principle partisan ally of the Speaker of the House of the partys manager in
the Senate. The majority leader is responsible for:
b. scheduling bills
c. influencing committee assignments
d. rounding up votes in behalf of the partys legislative position
63. House Minority Leader
a. Principal leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives
63. House of Representatives
a. initiating revenue bills
b. impeaching officials
63. Impeachment
a. A legislative power which allows the legislature to press formal charges against a
member of government (typically applies to the President)
i. This is similar to being indicted.
b. House of Representatives decides whether or not to proceed with the
i. They press the charges and state the articles of impeachment
b. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Senate serve as the jury for the
trial, if the impeachment does follow through and a trial is confirmed
c. The Senate will vote on a verdict (2/3 vote needed)
d. Article 2 Section 4 states impeachable offenses and demeanors that all civil
officers of the United States should not do in order to avoid impeachment
63. Implied powers

a. Literally what you think it would mean: Powers that Congress has that arent
literally written out in the Constitution, but are implied.
b. Used by Justice John Marshall in McCulloch v. Maryland to justify his decision
63. Inaugural address
a. speech given during this ceremony which informs the people of his/her intentions
as a leader. Political inaugurations often feature lavish ceremonies, in which the
politician publicly takes his or her oath of office in front of a large crowd of
63. Income Tax
63. Incumbent
a. Candidate who was president last term and is running again
b. Candidate who was a politician last term and is running again.
63. Incumbent Advantage
a. More experience, already well-known by voters, has the ability to outspend the
b. For Senate, there is more competition between the incumbent and challenger
because Senate incumbents receive more attention from the media and can be held
accountable for controversial issues as a result
c. Senate incumbents have less personal relations with their constituents
63. Iowa Caucus
a. First caucus of all the states. Plays a pivotal role in the success of candidates,
because typically if someone wins they are likely to keep winning in other states
(it shows the idea that we love winners and will vote for them)
63. Issue Politics
63. Joint Committee
a. Congressional committee on a few subject-matter areas with membership drawn
from both houses
63. Limited government
a. The legitimacy of the government is based on the consent of the governed
b. The Bill of Rights -> what the government cannot do to you
c. Government intervention is very limited
63. Mandate Theory of Elections
a. The idea that the winning candidate has a mandate from the people to carry out
his or her platforms and politics.
63. Mandate
a. vs coattails: the tendency of lesser-known or weaker candidates to profit in an
election by the presence on the ticket of a more popular candidate
- FDR had great coattails; many people in lesser positions were voted into
office just because he was popular and they were of the same party.
b. mandate: The idea that when a candidate wins by a large margin, the public has
given him full endorsement.
2. Unfunded mandate

b. Requirements that direct state/local govs to comply w/ federal rules under threat
of penalties in order to maintain receiving federal grant money. Some mandates
though are imposed on the state without the federal gov providing the adequate
means to implement it
b. Exs: 1990 Congress passes Americans with disabilities Act & 1970 Clean Air Act
b. Majority-Minority Districts
1. districts in which a racial or ethnic minority makes up a large enough share of the
electorate to ensure that the community has a good chance to elect the candidate
of their choice
b. Minority Majority
1. emergence of a non-caucasian majority
2. predicted that by 2045, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, and Asian
Americans together will outnumber White Americans
b. Marbury v. Madison
1. Established judicial review - the power of the Supreme Court to declare laws and
executive actions unconstitutional
b. McCulloch v. Maryland
1. James Madison created the second bank of the US.
2. Maryland tried to put a tax on the bank. Their justification during the case was
that the National Bank was within the property of Maryland, so Maryland had the
power to tax any form of a business within its property.
3. The Cashier of the Bank of the US in Maryland refused to pay the tax and felt that
the second National Bank was necessary and proper in carrying out federal
4. Supreme Court decided that Congress had the right to create the bank, and also
ruled that a state did not have the power to impose tax on any form of business
within its borders, especially the National Bank, since it is a part of the federal
5. National supremacy over states
b. National convention
1. The supreme power within each of the parties.
2. Main task is to write the partys platform and then nominate its candidates for
president and vice president.
b. Necessary and Proper Clause (Article I, Section 8)
1. Allows Congress to make all laws that appear necessary and proper to
implement its delegated powers (Also called the elastic clause).
b. New Deal Coalition
a. Urban dwellers (cities like Philly, Chicago) went from Republican to Democratic after
New Deal realignment
b. The coalition included people/groups such as labor unions, Catholics and jews, African
Americans (basically minorities), etc.
c. Made the Democratic Party a clear majority for decades until L.B.Johnsons Vietnam War
policies. (around 1964)Coalition: Group of people with a common interest which every
political party depends on.
92. New Federalism
a. Downsize federal governments

b. Given the name by Richard Nixon

c. Basically just devolution, which is the movement to return powers the federal
government has to the states
d. i.e. speed limits
92. New Hampshire Primary
a. first primary of the year and an indicator of the elections frontrunner
92. nullification
a. a legal theory that a state has the right to nullify, or invalidate, any federal law
which that state has deemed unconstitutional.
b. The theory of nullification has never been legally upheld by federal courts
c. Emphasized by John C. Calhoun
d. Evident in virginia + kentucky resolution
95. Open primary
a. Allows voters to decide on Election Day who they want to vote for
95. Party dealignment
a. People are politicians are veering away from parties and party identification is
95. Dealignment
a. When fewer people identify themselves with a major party, usually become
95. Party machines
a. A form of political party that relies on granting its members a material reward in
turn for votes; urban.
95. Party realignment
a. when new coalitions form for each party, and the coalitions endure for many
years. This is rare and is associated with times of National Crises (like the Great
95. Patronage
a. A political job granted to someone because they support the party rather than their
education or values.
95. Political party: A body of people trying to control the government by being elected into
1. Often difficult to lead and disagreements occur often.
2. Three headed political giant
1. Party in the electorate: largest component, anyone can be a party member.
2. Party as an organization: has national offices, employees, laws and
budgets, has state/local headquarters, maintains the party between
elections. Party boss.
3. Party in government: Elected officials who claim to be party members,
officials do not always agree on rules, lead speaker/representative for the
a. A party realignment is what happens when the balance of power between a
country's political parties changes greatly. Their electoral coalitions (the groups of
people who vote for them) change dramatically.







b. (rare event) is typically associated with a major crisis or trauma in the nations
history, such as the Civil War and the Great Depression, both of which led to
a. The stance issues and policies a party or candidate have declared for themselves
a. Most votes in an election, but under 50% (ex: Bill Clinton won the 1992 election
with 43% of the popular vote.)
Pocket Veto
a. A veto taking place when Congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to
the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.
Popular sovereignty
a. The people are the rulers of the country
b. The legitimacy of the government is based on the consent of the governed
c. We the People
Pork Barrel
a. The mighty list of federal projects, grants and contracts available to prabhu cities,
businesses, colleges, and institutions available in a congressional district.
b. Funds of these future projects can be earmarked by incumbents
a. A president is the body of the executive branch. He is the elected head of the
republican state. Also known as, head of state, chief executive, chief diplomat.
President Pro Tempore
a. constitutionally recognized officer of a legislative body who presides over the
chamber in the absence of the vice president, the normal presiding officer. Current
is Orrin Hatch
Presidential nomination Process
Privileges and Immunities Clause
a. States may not refuse police protection or access to their courts to a U.S. citizen
just because she/he lives in a different state
Project Grant
a. Federal categorical grants given for specific purposes and awarded on the basis of
the merits of applications
Prospective voting
a. people who vote based on what the candidate will do in the future
Republican Party
a. One of two major political parties today
b. Founded in 1854 on anti-slavery platform
c. Today considered the conservative party, used to represent industrialists
i. The parties have never switched political views, just what was
considered liberal/conservative has changed over the years.
Reserved Powers
a. Powers that belong exclusively to the states
b. 10th Amendment: Anything not directly prohibited to states is allowed to the
Regional primary





a. Series of primaries held in each geographic region that could potentially replace
the current primaries and caucuses.
b. More rational in structure and would decrease the candidates travel
c. But, an advantage would go to the region that has elections first
National primary
a. A type of system to replace the current caucuses and presidential primaries with
nationwide primaries held early in the election year
b. Benefits: It would bring directness and simplicity to the process, and would make
the campaign shorter. The great amounts of media coverage would also increase
the publics understanding of issues.
c. But according to critics, no one would want a candidate that is nominated by 25%
of the vote from among a field of 6 the end there would have to be
a runoff election between two candidates. This would not be a simple process
Retrospective voting
a. Voting based on what the person has done in the past
a. Add an earmark onto a bill that has nothing to do with the bill
b. ex. build a hospital in a random district under the Clean Air Act
Rules of Committee
a. In charge of determining what rules other bills will come to the floor.
Select Committee
a. Congressional committees appointed for a specific purpose.
b. ex: Watergate investigation
c. may be permanent or temporary
a. The senate is a legislative chamber. Makes up the U.S Congress along with the
House of Representatives.
b. The upper house of Congress. Has no time restraints on debate, allowing senators
to filibuster. Smaller than House, considered more senior - a result of the fact that
it used to be the educated house and was not elected by the people.
c. Senate Powers: to ratify all treaties, confirm imp. presidential nominations (ex:
SC nominations), to try impeached officials
d. Party leaders do for the Senate (scheduling) what the Rules Committee does for
the House
Senate Majority Leader
a. Real position of authority in the Senate
b. Rounds up votes, schedules floor action, influences committee assignments
Senate Minority Leader
a. Same as Majority leader, but with significantly less influence--although prepared
to be Majority leader should their party become a majority
Separation of powers
a. Concept that no one faction of the government should be able to acquire too much
power (Charles de Montesquieus philosophy)
Sound bites
a. short video clips, not longer than 10 seconds
b. clip from a politicians speech

c. all that is shown of speech on nightly news

Speaker of the House
a. Oversees the House when in sessions
b. makes committee assignments
c. appoints party legislative leader and their staff
d. has control over which bills are assigned to which of the committees
i. An office mandated by the Constitution. The speaker is chosen in practice
by the majority party, has both formal and informal powers and is second
in line to succeed to the presidency should that office be vacant
b. Standing committee: separate subject matter committees in each house of
congress that handle bill in different policy areas
Standing committee
a. separate subject matter committees in each house of congress that handle bill in
different policy areas
a. Seated automatically into nomination based on their current status
b. This contrasts with convention delegates that are selected based on the party
primaries and caucuses in each U.S. state, in which voters choose among
candidates for the party's presidential nomination.
Supremacy Clause
a. Requires conflicts between federal law and state law to be resolved in favor of
federal law. State laws that violate the Constitution, federal laws, or international
treaties can be invalidated through the supremacy clause
b. Article VI, Clause 2
Third party
a. Parties that are not of the two party system. There are many type:
b. Ideological Party
i. Very specific ideologies that fall outside the Democratic-Republican ideas
ii. Examples: Socialist, Libertarian, and Green parties
b. Economic Protest Party
1. Examples: Greenback party (advocated for paper currency), Populist party
c. Single Issue Party
1. Want to raise awareness about an issue
2. Examples:American Party/Know Nothing Party (anti-immigration) and
Prohibition (anti-alcohol)
d. Splinter Party
1. Break off from a major party
2. Example: Bull-moose party (formed by Theodore Roosevelt)
Ticket splitting
a. Voting for one party in one election and voting for another in another election
b. This is significant because it leads to party dealignment
a. The style of thinking that the leader was elected based on their ability to make
decisions for their people.
a. Legislative body with one chamber.


Unitary system
a. Government where all power emanates from a national government
b. Local powers of gov. are dependent on national government
c. There are only 17 countries that arent unitary
d. Ex. UK
United States v. Nixon
a. When the Court decided that Nixon had to hand over the tapes. Nixon should not
be able to withhold evidence from an ongoing criminal prosecution just because
he is the President. limited the power of any U.S President. "The president is not
above the law"
Valence issues voting: voting for less-important issues, like a candidates image,
reputation, opposite of issues voter
a. When a President denies a proposed bill. Congress can override with a 2/3
majority in both houses.
b. presidential power to reject legislation
c. can be overruled by the legislative branch
Vice President
a. President of the Senate (its the only enumerated job in the Constitution). The VP
cannot vote unless the votes are split equally in the Senate. The VP also usually
leaves everything the the party leaders- most often the Senate majority leader.
Watergate scandal
a. A major political scandal in 1970s.
b. Story: Three thieves broke into the Watergate Complex to steal valuable
information. They put tape on one of the doors to keep it from locking. The night
guard passed by and noticed the tape. He took it off only to come back and see
that there was tape on it again. He knew someone had broken in and called the
police. The police searched the thieves and found the number of Committee of the
Re-election of the President. Suspicious of the presidents involvement (Nixon)
c. Nixon decided to take it upon himself to get rid of the tapes that he recorded
himself on. Someone said that Nixon bribing someone with a million dollars was
on tape. This turned out to be true.
d. When Nixon was ordered in Supreme Court to hand over his tapes, he did
however there was portion missing = SUS.
Ways and Means committee
a. Chief tax-writing committee of the House of Representatives. Deals with tax and
revenue. Members on this committee arent allowed to serve on any other
b. Ways and Means committee along with the Senate Finance Committee writes taxcodes
a. Party leaders who work with the majority leader or minority leader to count votes
beforehand and lean on waverers whose votes are crucial to a bill favored by the
White House Chief of Staff



a. The Chief of Staff is the highest ranking employee inside the executive branch.
The Chief of Staff is responsible for several managerial and and advisory roles.
Winner-take-all system
a. Election system in which a candidate wins the majority or plurality of a state
receives all the electoral votes of that state.
b. Nebraska and Maine are exceptions, each district has their own separate election,
with each district having winner take all.
Writ of Habeas Corpus
a. A court order requiring police officials to produce an individual held in custody
and show sufficient cause for that person's detention.

Enumerated Powers

To lay and collect taxes

Implied Powers

To create tax laws and punish tax invaders

To use tax revenues to fund welfare, public schools, health and
housing programs
To require States to meet certain conditions to qualify for
federal funding

To borrow money

To establish Federal Reserve System of banks

To establish naturalization of

To regulate and limit immigration

To regulate commerce

To establish minimum wage

To ban discrimination

To raise armies and navies

To draft Americans to the military

Key Differences Between the House and the Senate





Term of Office
Centralization of
Political Prestige
Role in

House of Representatives


435 members
2 years
smaller than Senate
more centralized,
stronger leadership


less prestigious
more specialized, more
influence on budget
Small turnover
more important in
determining power
limited debate; limits on
floor amendments


Role of Seniority

10. Procedures

all revenue bills must

originate here; can



must advise and consent over

presidential nominations, approve
treaties, hold impeachment trials
100 members
6 years
usually larger base
less centralized, weaker leadership


more prestigious
influence foreign affairs; less


moderate turnover
less important in determining
unlimited debate (can filibuster)