You are on page 1of 318

Instructor’s Manual

to accompany

Fiorina • Peterson

The New American Democracy
Third Edition

Tom Caiazzo
Collin County Community College

New York Boston San Francisco
London Toronto Sydney Tokyo Singapore Madrid
Mexico City Munich Paris Cape Town Hong Kong Montreal

Instructor’s Manual to accompany Fiorina/Peterson, The New American Democracy, Third Edition
Copyright ©2003 Pearson Education

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Instructors may reproduce portions of this book for
classroom use only. All other reproductions are strictly prohibited without prior permission of the publisher, except
in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

ISBN: 0-321-10861-2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10-DPC–05 04 03 02






















The New American Democracy


The United States has more elections than any other government. Thus, the United States
leans more towards the popular form of representative democracy rather than the
responsible form.

With so many elections at different times, it would seem that there is a continuous
permanent campaign going on in America. The mass media and polls contribute to this
trend. Still, most Americans don't vote most of the time and even fewer contribute to
campaigns or work in party organizations.

When the majority of voters are united and determined, they can usually overcome the
advantages of the few that regularly participate in politics. Any discussion of reforming
American government should take into account that the trend toward the popular form of
representative democracy may be part of the problem instead of the solution.


1. Discuss how and why Bill Clinton was elected in 1992.
Also, explain why he accepted the GOP-sponsored welfare reform bill in 1996.

2. Explain why elections are the key ingredient in American politics.

3. Discuss the various types of elections in America and why turnout varies among them.

4. Explain Aristotle's classification of governments, representative democracy, and the
popular and responsible models.

5. Elaborate on the effects of primary and poll proliferation on the American political

6. Explain the significance of minority and majority relationships to elections in


7. Discuss the benefits of an electoral democracy.

8. Compare and contrast voting and electoral patterns in the United States with other

9. Review the pros and cons of constitutional reform as a democratic dilemma.


aristocracy oligarchy
constituency popular democracy
democracy permanent campaign
direct democracy popular mandate
electoral incentive primary election
general election recall election
government referendum
initiative representative democracy
local election responsible democracy
national election single-issue voter
non partisan election state election


I. Elections in America

The United States has more elections that select more officials for public offices than
any other country on earth.

Elections for national officials are held every two years, with all 435 members of the
U.S. House and one-third of the U.S. Senate up for election. There are also numerous
elections for state officials and local officials (including school board members). In
fact, in 37 states, such as President George W. Bush's home state of Texas, even
judges are elected.

Since many of these half-million elected officials had to first win a party's
nomination, there are even more elections. In addition some states, like California
and Colorado, allow voters to vote on laws and amend their state constitutions.


II. Government and Politics

In spite of all the voting opportunities Americans have, their governments frustrate

Citizens believe that government costs too much, delivers too little, and wastes their
tax dollars.

Since government has so much power, it is natural and healthy for Americans to have
some suspicion of it.

Ultimately, government is neutral. It can be used for good or for evil. Often it is a
mixture of both. After all, we have a government because men often act out of selfish
motives. As James Madison put it, "If men were angels, no government would be
necessary. "Government is one solution to the inevitability of conflict among people
living in the same community.

III. Types of Government

The type of government a person lives under makes a difference in
the quality of life they experience. Aristotle classified governments
into three basic types: government by one person, government by
the few and government by the many.

A. Government by One Person

There are several names for government by one person: autocracy, monarchy, and
despotism, just to name a few.

Whether or not government by one person is viewed as good or bad depends a great
deal on the ruler’s motives. Those who rule in the interest of the citizens of the
country are viewed as good, while those who rule with merely there own interests in
mind are viewed as bad. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Iraq are some countries today that
have the latter form of government.

If the maxim "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" is based on
fact, citizens would have to totally trust one person before placing all governing
power in his/her hands.

B. Government by the Few

direct democracy. citizens play a less active role in making governing decisions. C. Although different groups in an oligarchy can serve as a check on each other (unlike an aristocracy). Britain is a good example of the responsible model. In the popular model of representative democracy. the centralization of power in such governments still makes them subject to the high probability of corruption. D. or oligarchy. voting retrospectively. vote prospectively. Popular and Responsible Democracy in the United States Every real world democracy has both popular and responsible elements. While aristocracies are rare today. One form. the voters are aware of the issues. IV. In another form. The United States resembles a popular model. and thus issue mandates to those winning the elections. representative or indirect democracy. Because they feared majority tyranny. is government by all of the people. Yet. if rulers are selected by heredity. if rulers are determined by wealth. In the responsible model of representative democracy. or membership in a political party. Critics of the responsible model refer to it as elitist democracy. military power. even though the framers included elements of the responsible model in the Constitution of 1787. This type of government is generally called aristocracy. Voters in this model need not be well informed since they merely grant or deny consent at elections. Government by the Many Government by the many is called democracy. It takes different forms. the framers included checks in the Constitution to contain majorities. each tends to resemble one model more than the other. citizens elect representatives who make governing decisions in the name of the people in free and open elections. several oligarchies exist. each national office was assigned a separate constituency. Furthermore. The New American Democracy 4 . China is one example.

A. The Permanent Campaign The new American democracy is marked by the presence of what has been called the permanent campaign. In addition. Generally speaking. Campaigns have become candidate-centered rather than party-centered. the Republican Party leans to the right of the ideological spectrum (conservative) while the Democratic Party leans to the left of the ideological spectrum (liberal). the decay of party organizations. Today. American politics has evolved in the direction of greater popular participation. It seems as if there is always an election of some kind approaching. D. Spread of Primaries 5 . This trend has accelerated dramatically in recent decades. and for mayor at still another. political parties serve an important democratic function. Separation of Elections A century ago. developments in mass communications. the proliferation of primary elections. At least five factors have contributed to the permanent campaign: the separation of election days. Since the ratification of the Constitution of 1787. there are primary elections and initiative and referendum elections. B. but the trend in the past half century has been to separate election days. most officials were elected on the same day. Decay of Party Organizations By providing voters with a choice. they can no longer deliver the vote for candidates. Most Americans now turn out to vote for president at one general election. for governor at another. C. a situation where the next election campaign begins as soon as the last one has ended. and advances in polling techniques. In the past these parties were so powerful that their organizations were called machines.

Candidates today have numerous outlets through which to communicate with voters (rather than relying on the party). E." etc. advances in polling have taken the guess-work out 6 . F. Since all primaries occur before the general election. Inexpensive long-distance telephone rates. "Save the Dolphins. These groups are sometimes known as single-issue interest groups. which are elections for selecting a party's nominee for office. G. and in the early history of the United States. candidates for office were nominated by party leaders. After 1968 presidential primaries (for selecting delegates to the party's national conventions) took on a new importance due to their proliferation. labor. and the Internet are all examples." "Right to Life. The Proliferation of Polls A final explanation for the shift toward a more popular democracy is the advent of polling. and agricultural organizations. they shorten the interval between one election and the next. Profusion of Interest Groups The social movements of the ‘60s and technological developments have resulted in an increase in interest groups. C-SPAN. there are now thousands of generally smaller. Mass Communications Technological advances in communications also have helped to make campaigns continuous.e. more narrowly focused organizations. i. This system was replaced with primaries. radio talk shows. Instead of just a few large business. In most countries. Better communications have obliterated the distance that once separated elected officials from the voting public. the proliferation of cable television channels. While politicians since the early years of the republic have been concerned with public opinion. that characterized the decades prior to the 60s.

raising scandals and repeated calls for reforming the system. Voter Participation The largest turnout is in presidential elections. Groups who turn-out to vote the most (such as older voters) seem to be more successful in getting the government to adopt policies they want. Minorities and Elections To say that American democracy is moving in a popular direction is not to say that a majority of the people govern. H. V. Primaries Turnout for primary elections is less than turnout for general elections.000 a week (for six years). the figure is $15. The media also spend a great deal of time discussing public opinion.000 every week of their term to fund their reelection efforts. yet in the 1996 presidential election about only percent of registered voters and in the 2000 presidential election 51 percent voted. for U. In large states. A. too. One consequence of this emphasis is more fund.S. Turnout is lower for congressional elections and much lower for local elections. Money The permanent campaign has greatly increased politicians' need for money. incumbent governors must raise $50. Senators. of what the voters are thinking. making the quest for money continuous. B. 7 . The result is the advancement of the permanent campaign by making electoral implications visible from the beginning.

To get volunteers. D. causing the public to respond. the majority often gets its way. Majorities and Elections While contributors and single-issue groups may typically have more political influence than others. In short. This causes ideological differences between presidential candidates. not the solution. The groups and interests these individuals represent also seem to have an advantage in politics. VI. candidates seek volunteers. Campaign Resources To save on campaign expenses. causing more of the same problems. They also know that challengers (those who may run against them in an upcoming election) will be informing the public of their actions. Since politicians are always cautious about what the public thinks. since leaders are never sure which potential issue will explode. candidates may appeal to single-issue voters. the public still has latent power due to the fact that politicians know that any issue could suddenly be highlighted by the press. Reform? In spite of the fact that many people seem to be frustrated by American government. and the multiple opportunities for bias increase the opportunities to manipulate public opinion. more committed. C. which are accentuated during primaries. VII. Uninformed or Misinformed Citizens Most people are not that interested or involved in politics. and more extreme in their issue positions than citizens who don't vote. Even when not united and determined. 8 . Those who vote in primaries are usually more involved. they tend to be cautious in handling all of them. most proposed reforms proposed would move America closer to the popular model of representative democracy. popular influence on government may be part of the problem. when the majority is united and determined.

why are so many other countries copying our system. Since national politicians represent so many diverse constituents. they should be more careful about the standards used in evaluating their political system. First and foremost. Comparatively. The Benefits of an Electoral Democracy: A Pretty Good Government One irony of the new American democracy is that while citizens have more opportunities than ever before to influence their government. Americans can vote more. VIII. Americans have been growing increasingly unhappy with it. Thus. 9 . But comparative analyses suggest that not much would be gained by substituting the institutions of any other country for the ones that the United States now has. and encounter a government that discriminates less and protects them better against foreign aggression. reforms that shift American politics in a still more popular direction may worsen problems rather than improve them. politicians want to get elected and then reelected. and why do we have to guard the borders to keep people out? Tyranny still exists in the world. Americans stay frustrated. less popular democracy. speak out more. This does not mean that America cannot learn from other countries. Even when things don't seem that bad. the wish for perfection in government and politics often makes people unhappy with their government and their leaders. Only when comparing the United States with other countries do we see that American democracy. "the best is the enemy of the good." In other words. has extraordinary capacities as well. The simplest way to do this would seem to be to keep constituents happy. One explanation might be found in the maxim. for all its faults. Thus. If American politics is so bad. a few reformers recommend moving back toward a more responsible. While Americans should not think that their government is blameless because it is not tyrannical. the result is often what is currently called gridlock.

The framers of the Constitution designed the document to. that would have meant rule by the least educated.IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. thwart majority rule. Aristotle's Typology of Government Perverted Non-Perverted (Rulers think only of themselves. Of course. This would make an interesting chalkboard/PowerPoint presentation to discuss. students perhaps will not be so shocked by Aristotle's classification.) One tyranny monarchy Few oligarchy aristocracy Many democracy polity Students will be surprised to see that democracy is considered to be a perverted form of government. it would have meant unrestrained rule by the least educated. the word means "people rule. Furthermore. at times. The authors refer to Aristotle without really giving his full typology of governments." and in Aristotle's time. In addition. what the framers expected was more along the lines of what Aristotle called a polity. Viewed in this way. is not unrestrained majority rule.) (Rulers make decisions based on the good of all. 10 .) These points can be tied in with the discussion in this chapter over the differences between the two types of representative democracy: popular and responsible. Democracy in America. the Bill of Rights (added in 1791) is a significant check on numerical majorities. (That word does not appear much anymore except in some political literature. In addition.

the people commonly intend [notice the emphasis] the public good. As Publius states in another essay. One advantage of a representative democracy over a direct democracy is "to refine and enlarge the public views by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom may best discern the true interests of their country. ". (B) "A republic." 11 ... The rulers are to "refine and enlarge the public views. will be more consonant to the public good than if pronounced by the people themselves convened for the purpose. and at the same time to preserve the spirit and the form of popular government. is saying the framers were concerned with allowing majority rule. by which I mean a government in which the scheme of representation takes place. The authors point out the differences between responsible and popular representative democracy." not give the majority exactly what it wants." Here." Here we see the framer’s belief in representative government as a cure for the problems that had beset direct democracies in the past.. (Refer to the full essays to complete the thinking of the framers. "Under [a representative democracy] it may well happen that the public voice. The Federalist Papers could also be used in connection with this chapter. therefore. is then the great object to which our inquiries are directed. opens a different prospect and promises the cure for which we are seeking..." (Federalist 71) (C) Publius takes a strong stand for responsible representative democracy in Federalist 10 stating. pronounced by the representatives of the people.. clearly. Below are a few quotes to demonstrate their thinking." The "such a faction" reference is to "majority factions. we see the framers coming down on the side of the responsible model of representative democracy.But their good sense would despise the adulator who should pretend that they always reason right about the means of promoting it.2.) (A) "To secure the public good and private rights against the danger of such a faction. but at the same time designing the government so that the numerical majority did not ignore the rights of others or the good of the community as a whole.." Publius.. The framers (as revealed in the Federalist Papers) had definite opinions on this subject.

or to every transient impulse which the people may receive from the arts of men. Of course the framers did believe that in the end. when the American public is united and determined. This is not how moderns think." These quotes would indicate that the framers came down on the side of responsible representative democracy rather than popular representative democracy. it usually prevails (as the framers would have intended). the effect may be inverted. who flatter their prejudices to betray their interests. "On the other hand. and the "deliberate sense of the community. Hence the need for things like checks in the Constitution. from the framers point of view. it also provides an opportunity for rulers (and government) to ignore the public's wishes and not respect the rights of citizens. not be in favor of making the government more popular. the people should be able to decide governing policies. but Publius clearly thinks that representatives may be better able to make decisions for the good of all than the majority of citizens acting on their own." as measured by the strict wishes of the numerical majority. any discussion of reforming American government today would. But as the authors of the text state." While representative democracy might provide a cure for the problems of direct democracy. They merely took steps to bias the system of governance in favor of deliberate rule. there is a difference between the "sense of the community. This was the problem faced by the framers--how to reconcile their faith in representative democracy with their lack of faith in people holding positions of power. 12 . but it does not require an unqualified complaisance to every sudden breeze of passion. (D) "The republican principle demands that the deliberate sense of the community should govern the conduct of those to whom they entrust the management of their affairs. Of course in the next sentence Publius is quick to point out." (Federalist 71) To Publius. Thus.

22 13 .LISTING OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number.2. 14 T2 Growth in the Number of Presidential Primaries.4. 1. unnumbered. 19 T3 Today's Media Love to Conduct Their Own Polls. followed by the text page. 1. T1 Two Models of Democracy.

14 .

CHAPTER TWO Establishing a Constitutional Democracy OVERVIEW The Constitution was written to rectify difficulties the country experienced under the Articles of Confederation. When disputes arose over selecting the president. Anticipating the need for changes. and created the Supreme Court. Summarize the main components of the "colonial experience with democracy. Ratification of the Constitution was done in special state conventions. Those opposed to ratification. Distinguish between proprietary and royal colonies." 3. Antifederalists. The Connecticut Compromise resolved the issue of bicameralism in Congress. Review key philosophical contributions of Locke and Hobbes and how American political thinking was reflected by the Declaration of Independence. 2. Discuss how the taxation issue fomented rebellion in the colonies. which was promised after the Constitution went into effect. the framers included an amending procedure. 5. 4. Explain what procedures were used to ratify the Constitution and who the Federalists and Antifederalists were. established an independent executive. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Explain the nature of voting qualifications prior to the Revolutionary War. Those arguing for ratification were called Federalists. It granted Congress greater powers. review Whig political theories. Incorporated into the Constitution were ideas of Thomas Hobbes and John Locke: consent of the governed and separation of powers. 6. Also. 15 . the delegates settled for the electoral college. demanded a Bill of Rights.

Constitution. 8. Delineate the key provisions of the Articles of Confederation. KEY TERMS advice and consent Mayflower Compact Annapolis Convention Necessary and Proper Clause Antifederalists New Jersey Plan Articles of Confederation Patriots Bill of Rights patronage Cabinet proprietary colony checks and balances royal colony colonial assembly Shays's Rebellion colonial council Second Continental Congress Connecticut Compromise separation of powers Constitution Stamp tax Declaration of Independence stamp Act Congress divine right Supremacy Clause electoral college taxation without representation Federalist Papers Three-fifths Compromise Federalists Tories First Continental Congress Virginia Plan judicial review Whigs 16 .S.7. 9. the key decisions and compromises made by delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. and the nature of the ratification debate between the Federalists and Antifederalists. Review the means by which the Constitution can be amended and be sure to explain why so many proposed amendments are never ratified. Delineate and explain the main flaws and accomplishments found in the U.

but their power was primarily due to the ability to appoint those sympathetic to them to government positions. before leaving their ship.OUTLINE I. and by 1790 all of the original 13 states had ratified the Constitution. they agreed to be governed by consent (Mayflower Compact). Governors could veto laws passed by the legislature. they believed rulers had a right to rule due to God's will. 17 . Yet the Pilgrims who sailed to a British colony aboard the Mayflower in 1620 rejected the notion of rule by divine right. Those favoring ratification. lacked strong national leadership. known as Antifederalists. As outlined in Article VII. Those opposing ratification. A. for example). known as Federalists. the Constitution was approved by the necessary nine states in 1788. George Washington was elected president in 1789. Legislatures countered this influence through control of taxes and the salaries of governors and appointees of the governor. The Colonial Experience With Democracy When the British began colonization of what is now North America. Thus. Governance of the Colonies Colonial governments were typically ruled by an appointed governor and a legislature composed of an assembly (elected by qualified colonists) and a council (appointed by British officials). II. The First National Election The framers stipulated that the Constitution would not go into effect until it was ratified in nine states in special ratifying conventions. included several prominent citizens (George Washington and Ben Franklin.

known as Patriots. They objected to British taxes since they were not represented in parliament. III. indentured servants. B. the foundations for the American democratic experiment were established during the colonial era. 18 . the colonists responded in 1774 by calling the First Continental Congress. they engaged in acts of violence. In spite of these restrictions on voting. Taxation Without Representation This democratic spirit flourished as the colonists began to oppose British practices. Voting Qualifications Colonists did not allow women. Furthermore. IV. Theory of Rights and Representation A. Spread of Democratic Ideals During Revolutionary War A. and the official war for independence began. The Second Continental Congress passed the Declaration of Independence on July 4. fired upon British soldiers in 1775 in what became known as the shots heard round the world. slaves. Those colonists who took the lead in opposing the British. B. Eventually. The Declaration of Independence The Declaration of Independence expressed a strong belief in government by consent and the protection of God-given rights. property restrictions for voting in some colonies disenfranchised one-fourth to half of the male population. After seven years of fighting. the British recognized the independence of the colonists (now states) in 1783. or aliens to vote. The Continental Congresses When the British took steps to punish the colonists for these acts. Fighting erupted throughout the colonies. 1776.

B. A More Participatory Democracy A group of British citizens who opposed British patronage and corruption were called make law (composed of two chambers) b. and (3) rights and representation. Consent of the Governed Writing in 1651. Thomas Hobbes provided a philosophical justification for government by consent. states became more democratic than colonial governments. Government After Independence After apply the law (exercised by independent judges) 3. executive. judicial power . They eased voting restrictions and gave governors short terms. V. executive power . John Locke provided a justification for separation of powers (legislative. 2. legislative power . Colonial Interpretation of Whig Theory Harrington's ideas found acceptance in America and were articulated in Thomas Paine's very popular pamphlet called Common Sense. 1. who wrote about the importance of representation and the rights of qualified voters. American Political Thinking Three primary views epitomized the political thinking of Americans at this time: (1) consent of the governed. One of the more prominent was James Harrington. enforce the law c. a. 19 . Separated Power Forty years later. and judicial). (2) separated power. One result was the decrease in the number of wealthy serving in state legislatures.

Two major factors divided the delegates: small states vs. The Virginia Plan The delegates chose as the basis for their initial discussions the Virginia Plan.southern states. large states and northern states vs. What powers it did have the states also had. state disputes over trade. The Constitutional Convention When attendance was too poor at the Annapolis Convention for any reforms to be proposed. B. The Articles of Confederation (1781-1789) The Second Continental Congress proposed a national government (the Articles of Confederation) in 1777. A. especially those that deal with fiscal issues.VI. The Articles created only one national institution: a Congress in which each state had one vote. 20 . Most of the delegates attending agreed that the national government needed to be strengthened. It went into effect in 1781 when ratified by all 13 states. incidents of domestic unrest (like Shay’s Rebellion) and threats from foreign countries caused men like James Madison to call for a new national constitution. principally because states remained sovereign and Congress had very few significant powers. Every state but Rhode Island sent delegates to the convention. VII. Government under the Articles Problems caused by different state currencies. Provisions of the Articles The national government created by the Articles was weak. A. the call went out for a convention in Philadelphia to meet in May of 1787. the constitutional proposal supported by delegates from large states.

the delegates approved the Connecticut Compromise. VIII. but it would retain the single house in the Congress with each state having one vote. The House can impeach the president for committing high crimes and misdemeanors. They refused to place any term limits on either Representatives or Senators. The Connecticut Compromise To settle the differences between these two proposals. and Judiciary). B. Like the Virginia Plan. President. Representatives in both houses would vary from state to state based on a state's population. It also called for Congress to elect an independent executive and the creation of an independent Supreme Court. B. Congress The delegates granted several significant powers to Congress. and the Senate can acquit or convict and remove an impeached president. A Government of Separated Powers A. The Executive The delegates created a position for a president who must frequently act in concert with Congress or the Senate to exercise powers. state representation would be based on population. C. In the House of Representatives. it called for three independent branches (Congress. 21 . Congress would be composed of two houses. Voters would elect representatives to the House for two year terms and state legislatures would elect Senators to six year terms. It called for a Congress composed of a House (elected by voters) and a Senate (elected by state legislatures). The New Jersey Plan The smaller states countered with their own proposal: the New Jersey Plan. In the Senate. every state would have an equal vote.

The Electoral College When large and small states differed over how to elect the president. the delegates did not include a Bill of Rights. the delegates gave this power to Congress. They also included the Fugutive Slave clause (Article 4) and the 1808 slave trade clause (Article I) to appease any southern dissent. In exchange for this. IX. Each state can decide how electors are chosen. Congress created lower federal courts in 1789. Southern states agreed to grant Congress the authority to tax imports. The Judicial Compromise The delegates created a Supreme Court. and would create an aristocracy. Refusing to create lower federal courts. The Bill of Rights Thinking that protection of rights would be a state responsibility. 22 . The delegates also specified that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land which all judges (federal and state) are bound by oath to uphold. leaned toward monarchy. The number of electoral votes a state has is based on its total representation in Congress. E. A compromise was reached on the subject of how to count slaves for purposes of representation in the House of Representatives: Each slave would count as three-fifths of a non-slave (the three-fifth's compromise). Compromising on the Issue of Slavery The delegates refused to ban slavery but did put a 20 year limit on continuing the slave trade. X. C. The Antifederalist-Federalist Debate Antifederalists were also theoretically opposed to the Constitution. They thought it gave too much authority to the national government. To alleviate criticism for this. D. the delegates compromised and created the electoral college. the Federalists promised to add a Bill of Rights to the Constitution if states ratified it. appointed by the president (with consent of the Senate) for an unspecified term ("good behavior").

dividing power between the nations and states and a bicameral Congress. This procedure is so difficult that only 27 amendments have been ratified (with the Bill of Rights containing 10 amendments added in 1791). Modern historians debate the framer’s intent in designing the Constitution as they did. and failure to list the rights of citizens. In defense of the Framers. Of the four different methods. the most frequently used is for Congress to propose (two-thirds vote) and state legislatures to ratify (three-fourths of states). Some classroom dialgue should be exercised here. The authors of those essays thought the threat of tyranny could come from outside or within the country. the framers provided for a method of formal amending. certain parts of the 1787 Constitution could be criticized: continuation of the slave trade (until 1808). The Constitution: An Assessment The debate over the Constitution endured far beyond the ratification period. The Federalists answered these concerns in a series of newspaper articles. Bailyn and Wood see the framers as motivated by the ideals of the Whigs. XI. 23 . This threat explained why the Framers instituted a set of checks and balances. In contrast. some of the failures were designed to help guarantee ratification. failure to extend the right to vote. A. Constitution.S. In his book "The Economic Interpretation of the U. The most frequent type of amendment is those expanding the right to vote. A Step Backward? Both views could probably overstate their case. now known as the Federalist Papers. From a democratic perspective. Charles Beard argues that the framers were motivated by a desire to help the powerful and wealthy. Amendments to the Constitution Realizing the Constitution would need to be changed. XII.

2. the framers were able to allow the document to adapt to modern problems and concerns. but it is hard to see how they could have prohibited slavery and also gained ratification for the document. In doing so. filled first by Washington. different interests could compete such that majority tyranny would be prevented (whether old interests of the Framers or newer interests today). The Stain of Slavery The framers' refusal to ban slavery allowed that institution. This has prevented the need for constant revision in the document. The Constitution Today The Constitution created a framework that facilitates a popular democratic experiment.B. to continue. C. Second. that provided strength to the new national government. it facilitated the country's economic development by outlawing state currencies and eliminating state tariffs. and all of its problems. First. 1. it created a unified nation capable of defending its member states and citizens. The discussion of Reparations for African-Americans can also be discussed. Constitutional Ambiguity: A Virtue By relying on ambiguous language in drafting the Constitution. 24 . Achievements The Framers did draft a document that contributed to the solution of two of the immediate problems facing the United States. Please see John Hope Franklin's book: "From Slavery to Freedom" about the impact of slavery. They also created a presidency.

The Declaration of Independence: If one word had to be used to summarize the meaning of the Declaration of Independence it would be liberty. The two documents served different purposes. The Declaration of Independence vs. See." The Constitution does not mention equality (until the 14th Amendment ratified in 1868). and the pursuit of happiness). Below are some additional specific contrasts between the two documents: Equality: The Declaration of Independence refers to the "equality of man.” [Note: This is typically the approach taken by history texts. citizens were concerned with stability. the Constitution was a reaction to the failures of the Articles of Confederation.S. and because of this there are striking contrasts between them. that the Constitution of 1787 stated "all men are created equal” or recognizes inalienable rights. Constitution: The one word that summarizes the purposes of the Constitution is “stability. but there is an alternative view. In short. They often confuse the two. thinking. Constitution Students do not always perceive the different purposes served by the Declaration of Independence and the U. The document was intended to justify revolution because the colonists thought their liberties were being violated. The U.S. Martin Diamond's persuasive text. the U. Thus the document stresses that there are such things as inalienable rights (such as life. liberty.IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. Constitution. The Convention was called because of such actions in the states as Shay’s Rebellion. for example. “The Founding of the Democratic Republic”] As the students learn when reading Chapter Two of the text. 25 . for example.S.

regardless of population. a majority of Congress cannot propose an amendment to the Constitution. itself. 26 . that the state may constitutionally deprive people of life. But even the 14th Amendment. until ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913). Finally. Nor may a majority of Americans ratify an amendment. and property as long as due process is followed.] If one accepts these views (for arguments sake or because one thinks them true). and practice has borne out. make for interesting class discussion. Another undemocratic criticism of the Constitution is that It guarantees every state. seen specifically in the long list of complaints against the British). two Senators. Also.Natural Rights: The Declaration of Independence states that people have God-given inalienable rights. Democracy: Conventional wisdom has it that the Declaration of Independence endorses democracy and the Constitution of 1787 is undemocratic. all federal judges are appointed. the young. Furthermore. liberty. which makes specific reference to states not depriving people of life. the difference between the two documents is obvious. see Martin Diamond's book mentioned above. liberty. or property without due process of law. later amendments make reference to rights (especially amendments one through nine). women. The Constitution makes no reference to either God or inalienable rights. The democratic aspect of the Declaration comes primarily from the reference to legitimate government originating from the consent of the governed (and the entire historical context. [This view would. which weren't even directly elected by the people until the ratification of the 17th amendment. Logic would dictate. Of course. For specifics. and whomever else they want to deny the vote. allowing states to disenfranchise blacks. the qualifications of voters is not specified in the Constitution of 1787. The undemocratic aspects of the Constitution include filters for electing the president (the electoral college) and the Senate (state legislatures.

Constitution (not in the document as written in 1787 nor in any amendments).S. it is because Americans have seen fit to amend it. 27 . they will often name the things they learned in secondary school: democracy. including this one. more democratic: 13th (1865) . the Constitution gives Congress authority to punish those found guilty of treason. What's NOT in the Constitution (and the Importance of the Federalist Papers) Most texts.S. while the Constitution makes no reference to it. judicial review. Use a class session to discuss what is NOT in the Constitution. Constitution. Senators 19th (1920) .no denial of vote based on race 17th (1913) . are granted electoral votes 24th (1964) . [Note: It can also be a good time to talk about methods of constitutional interpretation. In fact. more stimulating) technique. one hopes. although it would also be appropriate to discuss that during the chapter on the judiciary. so the argument goes.C.popular election of U. if the Constitution is a democratic document today. The Declaration specifically recognizes the right.S.prohibition of slavery 14th (1868) . this can be taught using a unique (and hence. checks and balances. Here is a list of amendments that have made the Constitution. separation of denial of vote based on sex 23rd (1961) – citizens of Washington. inform students what is in the Constitution in the chapter on the Constitution. and federalism. For a good change of pace. (In Article III. D.] Constitutional Principles: If students are asked (and it can be both fun and stimulating to ask this in class) what are the basic ideas or principles of the U. None of these things are in the U. This is also a good time to introduce them to some specifics in the Federalist Papers.poll taxes prohibited 26th (1972) – voting age lowered to 18 Revolution: A final contrast between the two documents is the right of equality 15th (1870) .) 2.

" Democracy or Republic?: In other words. How do we. This is democracy. Although our framers are accused of creating a republic rather than a democracy. relief is supplied by the republican principle. After introducing the reader to the problem of factions. Factions can be either a majority faction or a minority faction. Federalist Papers 47-51 are devoted to these two concepts and an entire lecture could be spent on what is said there about them. simple majority rule will defeat it. for sure. "If a faction consists of less than a majority. The answer for that can be found in the Federalist Papers. the latter are not a problem. Under the Constitution. of course. Separation of Powers: The words "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" do not appear in the Constitution. These are ideas that can be found in the Constitution. These two concepts are central to understanding the Constitution. Constitution in spite of the fact that the word “democracy” does not appear in that document. as Madison saw it. If a sinister faction consists of a numerical minority. both how it works and what motivated the framers in designing it. 28 . Madison did this in one section of Federalist 10. Why? Madison states. and it will operate under the U. Madison states that factions cannot be prevented but their effects can be controlled.S. here republican is used as synonymous with simple majority rule. democracy is rule by simple majority. The majority will prevent it from imposing its will on the rest of society. Federalist 10: Simply put and from a procedural point of view. (Some state constitutions do have entire Articles devoted to explicitly recognizing these concepts). And. they just are not explicit. but it is somewhat odd that the things we think of as most important to the Constitution are not to be explicitly found there. know they are there. explicit is the key word here. Here are some highlights. This is not to say that these ideas are not expressed in the document or permeate the document. sometimes they used the words interchangeably.

Having rejected Jefferson's notion of occasional or periodical conventions to correct imbalances among the three departments. the framer’s design for keeping the departments separate was by uniting them. whether of one. Madison concludes the series in the often-quoted Federalist 51." In Federalist Papers 49 and 50. in the same hands. Madison critiques two of Jefferson's ideas for keeping the departments separate. The classic quote in support of separation of powers appears in Federalist 47. is encroaching. and judiciary. In Madison's words. "The accumulation of all powers. In describing the legislative branch in Federalist 48. the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed [this was done by giving the national government greater powers than had existed under the Articles] and in the next place oblige it to control itself [this was done by checks and balances]. executive. a few. the degree of separation can never in practice be duly maintained. he states: “But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the other. legislative.” He states the calculus of establishing a good government: "In framing a government. "unless these departments be so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others [what we call "checks and balances"].” 29 ." How does one keep the departments separate? That is a problem. In both cases. The branch to be feared the most is Congress. because power. Give each a bit of the powers of the other." Checks and Balances: Paradoxically. self-appointed. Madison describes it as "everywhere extending the sphere of its activity and drawing all power into its impetuous vortex. or elective. in the framer’s point of view. may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. and whether hereditary. or many. Madison rejects the ideas as unworkable (relying instead on checks and balances).

"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. 30 .] In this Essay." At the same time. For example. Early on in the essay Hamilton notes that the Constitution is a limit on what the government may do (by specifying the powers of government). students can see the concept of separation of powers and checks and balances. What is the fuel that drives the system? Madison states. Then Hamilton makes this statement which is clearly an endorsement of judicial review: "Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice. at the same time that each will be controlled by itself. federalism helps prevent tyranny of the majority by permitting the creation of a large republic." Here and throughout the Federalist Papers. Yet they rejected these two types and created a third: federalism. whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Hamilton asserts that the Constitution is a fundamental law. It also contains specific limits on what the government can and cannot do. "The different governments will control each other. although not used by that name." Federalism: The framers there were aware of only two ways of establishing the legal relationship between the central government and the states: confederation (as in Articles of Confederation) and national (or what today is called unitary). ex post facto laws are prohibited. can be seen in Madison's Notes of the Constitutional Convention. and each level is subdivided into different branches. In Federalist 51. There are two levels of government (national and states) to which to appeal. Judicial Review: The theory of judicial review is discussed in Federalist 78. see Farrand's edition. [The framer’s belief in judicial review. This fragmentation of government helps prevent tyranny. Madison notes that federalism provides the citizens of the United States with a double security.

1. T4 Key Points in the Democratization of the United States. followed by the text page. 2. 40 T5 North America at the Time of the Writing of the Constitution.3. 2.LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. 49 T6 Amending the Constitution: A Two-Stage Process. 2.4. 61 31 .

32 .

Discuss why the debate over the power relationships in a federal union have been a pervasive and persistent issue in American politics.CHAPTER THREE Federalism: Division of Power Among National. 3. nullification. spending clause. and Local Governments OVERVIEW The framers combined elements of a confederation and national (now called unitary) system when drafting the Constitution: It is called federalism. categorical and block grants. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. 33 . Review and itemize the various types of local governments. Questions over this dual sovereignty have been litigated a great deal. state and local governments remain vital components of the federal system. commerce clause. Discuss the political relationship between states and their local governments. a new era of federalism began: cooperative (marble-cake) federalism. 4. Explain what problems exist with the implementation of grants in the political system. In recent years. Despite the expansion of federal power. 5. One aspect of this was the national government giving state and local governments money in the form of categorical grants. devolution. 6. Define and/or explain the following: necessary and proper clause. The Supreme Court has interpreted three clauses in particular in such a way as to expand national powers: the necessary and proper. and implementation. In the 1960s. State. the commerce. Republicans have advocated shifting the emphasis of federalism to block grants. Explain the difference between cooperative federalism and the earlier concept of dual sovereignty. 2. and the spending clauses.

S. federalism has long been thought ideally suited to U. KEY TERMS block grant laboratories of democracy categorical grant marble-cake federalism commerce clause McCulloch vs. The Federalism Debate: It's New But It's Old Federalism divides fundamental governmental authority between at least two different levels. 34 . Most countries today operate under the unitary system. Federalism has become more popular in countries undergoing major political change. conditions. Review the nature of state and local elections as well as why turnout is lower in these elections when compared to presidential elections. Maryland cooperative federalism necessary and proper clause devolution New Deal Dillion's rule nullification dual sovereignty spending clause federalism supremacy clause general revenue sharing unfunded mandates implementation unitary government intergovernmental grant War on Poverty judicial review OUTLINE I. For several reasons.7.

while Democrats tend to favor the national level. guarantees on state boundaries. The Contemporary Debate Throughout U. When Congress does this. The Constitution was a compromise between these competing views. disputes have repeatedly occurred between those favoring a strong national government and those favoring more power to the states. B. 35 . Federalism and the Ratification of the Constitution During ratification. and continuing today. The Antifederalists succeeded in a specific enumeration of Congress' powers. this debate has focused on the desirability of unfunded mandates (the imposition of federal regulations on state and local governments without appropriating enough money to cover their cost). This trend continues today. some independent powers assigned to the states. Republicans tend to advocate more power being exercised by state and local governments. and a promise of a Bill of Rights (including one amendment that recognized state reserved powers).S. the Federalists favored a strong national government. differences of opinions have existed over the distribution of powers between the national level of government and the state and local levels of government. The Federalists favored the necessary and proper clause and the supremacy clause. II. After Republicans took control of both houses of Congress in 1995. they followed up on their platform of devolution and passed a federal law banning any new law that was not adequately funded (and reduced the size and scope of many federal programs). It is in Congress' interest to pass unfunded mandates.A. The Evolution of Federal Theory Because the Constitution was a compromise of opposing viewpoints. history. they can take credit for doing something about a problem while not having to raise taxes to pay for it. The Antifederalists opposed a strong national government. In recent times.

" that "the right of interposition. A Nullification advocate. B. III. some states believed they could nullify national laws that threatened state or individual liberties. Necessary and Proper Clause 36 .. A. But the nullification issue reappeared over tariffs in the 1830s and later over slavery. The Supreme Court has played an important role in this struggle. Maryland. state right. southern states asserted they had a right to secede. nullification. Who wins control of Congress can determine the kinds of federal laws that are passed (having an impact on federalism). veto. John C. Through the exercise of judicial review. When President Lincoln opposed the spread of slavery in the western territories. I conceive to be the fundamental principle of our system." Moreover. Court Interpretations of the Meaning of Dual Sovereignty The following three clauses have provided much of the basis for the expansion of federal power. Calhoun writes in "Union and Liberty. the outcome of the Civil War decided once and for all whatever individual sovereignty meant. the framers believed that creating two sovereigns (national and state) could help prevent tyranny of the majority and help protect individual liberty. A. Dual Sovereignty Contrary to Thomas Hobbes’ political theory. The Supreme Court rejected the notion of states nullifying national laws in the 1819 case of McCulloch vs. it can declare state or national laws unconstitutional. it did not mean that state legislatures could declare decisions of the national government null and void. Elections also impact the balance of power. The Doctrine of Nullification So strong was the notion of dual sovereignty in the early years of the republic. or by any other name.

the Court exempted manufacturing from congressional regulation. Some thought there was nothing Congress could not regulate in the name of regulating commerce. As an exercise of its power to regulate commerce. Commerce Clause The meaning of the constitutional phrase giving Congress the power to regulate commerce among the states has been hotly debated. The result was that Congress' power was greatly expanded. the Supreme Court defined commerce in such a way that Congress' powers were limited. The Court ruled that Congress lacked the authority.. Spending Clause The spending clause grants Congress the power to collect taxes to "provide for the. at least since the 1930s. Cooperative Federalism 37 . Chief Justice John Marshall expanded the powers of Congress by broadly interpreting the words "necessary and proper" (hence.S. C. U.. the clause has been called the elastic clause). Congress passed a federal law making it a crime to possess a gun within 1. declaring it unconstitutional. 1991) indicated that the clause did not give Congress any power it claimed. A recent decision by the Supreme Court (New York vs.000 feet of a public school. has also interpreted this clause in such a way that Congress' authority is vast.. In the 1930s. The Court has also upheld Congress attaching reasonable regulations to money it allocates to state and local governments. A recent decision of the Supreme Court indicated there are limits to this broad authority." The Supreme Court. The Court ruled that Congress could not order states or local governments to bury its nuclear waste. in the name of regulating commerce. the Court reversed many of these earlier commerce decisions. to pass the law. It also would not permit regulation of intrastate commerce that affected interstate commerce. It is this authority that has resulted in the theory and practice of cooperative federalism. In the latter portion of the eighteenth century. B. For example.general welfare. IV.

The War on Poverty programs from the 1960s is an example. C. It’s a more interactive relationship This idea was endorsed strongly in the 1960s with the passage of numerous intergovernmental grants. First. scholars reexamined the intergovernmental grant program. they would not be as effective as originally thought. and a maximum discretion for local officials. for various reasons. but supplementing categorical grants). The governments work together to provide the most efficient method. 38 . Categorical Grants Some politicians (particularly Democrats) view intergovernmental grants as a way of advocating a particular political philosophy. during the Nixon administration. Congress transformed the large categorical grant program known as AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependent Children) into a block grant. Under the Reagan administration. and general revenue sharing was eliminated. Congress passed general revenue sharing (not replacing. The notion of cooperative federalism. Block Grants Congress responded to the implementation theorists’ criticisms of intergovernmental grants by replacing many categorical grants with block grants: with broad objectives. Problems of Implementation When problems developed over the War on Poverty programs. In 1996. they advocate a particular type of grant. Some concluded that when implementing these grants. These grants are specific about how the money given to state and local governments can be spent. B. the categorical grant. Thus. several categorical grant programs were converted to block grants. stands for the idea that all levels of government could and should perform all governmental functions together (hence. also known as "marble-cake" federalism. a minimum of federal restrictions. such as the LBJ led Great Society programs A. the marble cake analogy).

Local Elections Most local governments are run by elected officials. V. and sanitation services. there are nearly 30. The number of municipal governments has also increased in recent years. Limits on Local Government Local governments face several dilemmas. it runs the risk of attracting more poor people to its community and driving away the better off. the basic unit of local government is the county. Local governments also serve as laboratories of democracy.000 special districts. Local Government Local governments maintain roads. The recent devolution of responsibilities to state and local governments means that they play an even more important role. A. Turnout in local elections is low. One explanation is that voters can move to a better local if they are displeased. One criticism of these grant programs is that wealthier states get as much aid as poorer states. The Number and Types of Local Governments There are nearly 70. and their wide variety gives people a choice. take care of the parks. 39 . though special-district heads are often appointed. One argument in favor of federal grants is that they are necessary to maintain properly funded social programs. B. fire. In most states. D. Popularity of Local Government Americans have more trust in their local governments than in the federal government. Finally.000 units of local government. run the schools. partially due to the fact that local politics is generally less contentious (except in big cities). C. and do many other things. provide police. If a local government tries to provide substantial services to the needy.

All states have a multi-tiered court system. B. The amount that states and their local governments spend on government services varies considerably. The traditional pattern of Democrats being strong in the South and Republicans being strong in the North has broken down in recent years. States having more Democrats in their legislature spend more on social services. There was. State Governments The basic design of most state governments bears a strong similarity to that of the national government. Wealthier states spend more on public services. the role of governors has grown. and an independently elected governor. a bicameral legislature (except Nebraska). Reapportionment and Professionalization 40 . C. State Elections Most state officers are held by Republicans or Democrats. a reaction in some states against this professionalization. Local governments also find themselves competing with one another to attract businesses. in the 1990s. A. Variation in State Government Responsibilities The size and range of state responsibilities have grown dramatically in recent decades. VI. Recent Developments at the State Level In recent years. 1. The differences depend on the wealth of a state as well as elections. state political institutions have become more modern. State governments have become increasingly professionalized in recent decades. The most recent pattern is for Democrats to dominate the state legislature and Republicans to control the governor's office. and states have begun to develop their own economic policies.

one has to become familiar with the language he used. In some states. citizens reacted to the increasing professionalism by enacting term limits. Since 1950. This was the form presently in operation (Articles of Confederation) when the framers were drafting the Constitution. The Resurgent Governors Being governor of a medium-to-large sized state has often been the springboard to running for the presidency. It was the equivalent to what is called today a unitary system. California's legislature is one of the best examples of this. State legislatures have become more professional. cutting salaries. The word federalism does not appear in the Constitution. reapportionment becomes a major battle in the states. many states have strengthened the office of governor by lengthening terms. along with the other framers. Thus. IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. Supreme Court in the 1960s ordered states to reapportion. 2. State Economic Action In the 1980s and 1990s. Wyoming one of the worst. states passed tax incentives for businesses and pursued international avenues of trade. many states resumed the active roles they had played in the nineteenth century in economic development. and enhancing the governor's veto power. and reducing staffs and budgets. which they also called confederal or just federal.S. 41 . turnover rose significantly. 3. He. To understand Madison's answers. First was confederation. The other form was called national or consolidation. and every 10 years. How is it manifest in that document? It was this question that James Madison (writing as Publius) addressed in Federalist 39. Once the U. reducing term limitations. were aware of two methods of arranging the two levels of government (nation-state).

it had characteristics of both a federal and a national system. Madison looked to five components of the Constitution to answer the question. the central government may act directly on the citizens of the states. (b) Each state has an equal number of Senators. B. and the presidency. Since Congress. will be able to act directly on the citizens (such as taxing them). This made the Senate characteristic of a federation. In a national scheme. People aren't being represented in the Senate. (a) The number of Representatives a state had was determined by its population. Since it was based on a state's representation in Congress (House and Senate). C. states are. under the Constitution. 42 . Sources of power of national officers Here Madison examines the House of Representatives. the Senate. the government characterizes a national system. (c) The source of the president's power was the electoral college. "Did the framers create a federal (confederation) system or a national (unitary) system?" A. it exemplified a federal system. Operation of Government In a confederation scheme of government. Ratification Since the Constitution was ratified by states rather than adding up votes for and against the Constitution nationwide. This made a Representative a national officer. the central government cannot act directly on the citizens of the subgovernments states).

is. E.. Martin vs. the system is federal. Since." Notice. Amending Article V of the Constitution describes two ways of proposing amendments to the Constitution and two ways of ratifying the Constitution. Gibbons v. Section 8). Ratification of amendments is done by states. powers of the central government are specifically listed and others are retained by the subgovernments (states). 2.neither a national nor a federal Constitution. In a national system the powers of the central government are indefinite.D. Hunter's Lessee (1816): The Marshall Court ruled that state court decisions in civil cases could be appealed to the federal courts. but a combination of both. McCulloch vs. and in that sense. Madison does not have a name for the system the framers created. The text makes reference to some Supreme Court cases impacting federalism. the system characterizes a federal system. Cohens vs.. the House is national and the Senate federal. 43 . Extent of Powers In a confederation. proposal of amendments has traits of both national and federal. Below is a brief synopsis of major Supreme Court decisions affecting federalism including several that do not appear in the text. Ogden (1824): The Marshall Court ruled that Congress' power to regulate commerce among the states was broad enough to include all aspects of economic activity. as mentioned above. Virginia (1821): The Marshall Court ruled that decisions of state courts in criminal cases could be appealed to the federal courts.. But the method of proposal that has always been used to amend the Constitution is by Congress. Maryland (1819): The Marshall Court ruled that the necessary and proper clause meant Congress had implied powers that were appropriate to exercising the enumerated powers (rather than Jefferson's more strict notion of indispensable to exercising enumerated powers). Since the powers of Congress are enumerated (Article I. Madison ends his essay with the following conclusion "The proposed Constitution. It later came to be called federalism..

Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation (1937): This is the "switch in time that saved nine" case in which the Court reversed itself and rejected its earlier dual federalism position and began recognizing that Congress could regulate intrastate commercial activities if they affected interstate commerce. Hammer v. stating that in future cases it would leave such decisions to the political process (since the framers had designed federalism into the political process). Heart of Atlanta Motel vs. and restaurants) from refusing to serve people on the basis of race. Garcia vs. The Congress based its authority to pass this portion of the law on its power to regulate commerce among the states. Both cases dealt with intergovernmental immunity. San Antonio Metropolitan Transit Authority (1985): The Court overruled its Usery decision from just nine years earlier. United States (1964): The Court upheld the 1964 Civil Rights Act that prohibited certain public accommodations (public hotels. The Court threw out its traditional-nontraditional standard. based on Usery would have made it exempt). Wickard vs. the city of San Antonio unsuccessfully argued that it was immune from the federal Fair Labor Standards Act since mass transit was a traditional state function (which. motels. In Garcia. Filburn (1942): The Court upheld the New Deal legislation known as the Agriculture Adjustment Act. Even miniscule economic activity (planting of 11 acres of wheat) could be regulated by Congress because of the cumulative affects on interstate commerce. Sandford (1857): The Taney Court ruled that States had reserved powers that kept Congress from interfering with the states authority to recognize slavery (an early statement for dual federalism). National Labor Relations Board vs. Dagenhart (1918): The Court ruled that Congress could not indirectly regulate child labor by prohibiting items manufactured by children from interstate commerce (following the doctrine of dual federalism).Dred Scott vs. 44 . Evidence was presented to Congress that showed that blacks would not travel (across state lines) as much if they could be denied service in public accommodations.

. in some cases. to dispose of nuclear waste.S. if the residence is not a commercial enterprise [even if the home is insured by a company that operates nationally or natural gas from other states]. 75 45 . any building." LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. T7 Major Events Shaping American Federalism. Jones vs. New York vs.. which makes it a federal crime to "maliciously damage or destroy by means of fire or an explosive. Lopez (1995): The Court ruled that Congress could not prohibit guns within a 1. U.S. United States (2000) A homeowner cannot rely on a federal law.1. vs.000 foot radius of public schools on the grounds that it was regulating interstate commerce. In this case Congress had ordered states. followed by the text page.used in interstate or foreign commerce or in any activity affecting interstate or foreign commerce. 3. Congress cannot merely issue an order to states. U. (1992): The Court ruled that while Congress can issue conditions or regulations that States must follow in order to get federal grants.

46 .

KEY TERMS citizenship equality of opportunity civic republicanism fascism clericalism liberalism communism political culture diversity political socialization equality of condition socialism OUTLINE I. Yet American political views are very homogeneous. Americans: A Contradictory People? Americans are. racially. 47 . In fact.CHAPTER FOUR America: Unity Amidst Diversity OVERVIEW Although America has historically been ethnically. and religiously diverse. and always have been. In spite of the waves of immigrants over the years. it has also shown surprising consensus on core political beliefs. recent scholarship suggests that immigrants strengthen rather than weaken the spirit of individualism in America. more ethnically and religiously diverse than the citizens of other democracies. The political beliefs originate from an acceptance of classical liberalism that emphasizes the rights and liberties of individuals (individualism). Americans tend to agree on fundamentals and share basic assumptions about how a good society should be organized. Americans tend to believe in individual responsibility and hard work. hence their dislike for welfare. the core beliefs of Americans have not changed much. That is.

but then a virulent backlash set in.6 million African- American men and women (constituting about the same proportion of the population as they do today). British. In the Midwestern battleground states and much of the East. the more rapidly economic development would follow. while the Democrats had their deepest roots in the immigrant Catholic communities. In contemporary controversies about multiculturalism. Swedes. Immigration increased considerably in the 1860s and continued at a high rate until World War I. and the Spanish all settled here. Irish immigration became a major political issue. The more rapidly the territory could be populated. although for different reasons. 48 . primarily because they were mostly Catholic and poor. the Republicans had their base in the native stock. French. Beginning in the 1880s. Many Americans found them threatening also. A. A Nation of Immigrants Then After ratification of the Constitution. Protestant communities. the character of European immigration changed. Another non-European group to assume a place in the United States was the Chinese. Different Christian churches from Northern Europe. Social Diversity North America was settled by a diverse people. By the mid-1800s. At first they were viewed positively. both sides exaggerate the homogeneity of the American past. the United States maintained the states' existing policy of free immigration. Ratification of the 14th Amendment gave citizenship to 4.II. Dutch. A national literacy test was adopted in 1917 as a way of disenfranchising the immigrants viewed as most threatening. as hundreds of thousands of people from southern and eastern Europe came to America. these groups often fought bitterly. Another reason for the anti-immigrant feeling was the threat American workers saw from cheap labor.

the absolute number of immigrants (about 9 million) was higher than in any previous decade. This makes American workers more nervous. By 1930. By this time more than 35 million people had left their homes to come to America. There are several economic reasons for why many Americans are concerned about immigration today. States and cities vary as to how much of the burdens or benefits accompanying immigration they experience. Immigration as a Contemporary Issue Immigration again became an issue in the early 1990s. A Nation of Immigrants Now In 1965. California passed an initiative denying state services to illegal immigrants and their children. Thus. The same can be said for the different levels of government. C. which resulted in a rapid increase in immigration from Latin America and the West Indies. In addition. Congress abandoned the national quotas system favoring northern Europeans. the era of the open door had effectively ended. Americans also see immigration today as a threat to the American political culture. 49 . B. In addition to these economic reasons. immigrants today are not entering a rapidly expanding economy. In the 1980s. there was a significant influx of Asians. a higher proportion of immigrants today are older. In 1994. In the 1920s. Due to the restrictions of the 1965 law. Unlike times past. laws were passed decreasing the number of immigrants and restricting them to mostly northern and western Europe. a higher proportion are not working (or paying taxes) but still in need of government services.

Americans believe that hard work and perseverance pay off. Even the poor tend to support these beliefs. and limited government. and the political culture is referred to as liberal. (In contrast. The Tension Between Individualism and Equality Most Americans do not regard economic and social inequality as justification for government action. contrary to current usages of the word. Classical liberalism. The explanation of this seeming inconsistency is that American political culture supports particular kinds of equality: equality before the law (including political equality). This belief is buttressed by two other beliefs: One. American Individualism One strong belief shared by many Americans is that individuals are responsible for their own welfare.) A. skepticism of government (or what is called classical liberalism). emphasized basic human rights. B. equality under the law. with its starting point the individual (instead of the state). 50 . Philosophical Unity The fundamental beliefs and values of Americans are usually dubbed individualist. It provided the philosophical foundation for the American constitutional order. two. emphasizing instead equality of opportunity. The word "liberal" as used here signifies.III. Americans are suspicious of government power and dubious about government competence. some historians think the influence of civic republicanism on America's founding deserves more attention. In essence. this means they believe in equal opportunities to become unequal. Americans do not insist on equality of condition.

Finally. The explanation may be political socialization. there was plenty of land-making it easy for people to exercise their individualism. clergy must compete for members and that means greater attention is paid to the needs of members. Newer Explanations A recent explanation for the basic belief in individualism is that the governing institutions in America (separation of powers and checks and balances for example) often result in gridlock. Traditional Explanations of American Individualism It has been argued by some that individualism in America took root and survived because of the lack of a feudal tradition in America. so Americans have learned that you must rely on yourself rather than government to get things done. This has been true since the founding. Although the institutions of church and state are constitutionally separated in the United States. due to the lack of establishment. Newcomers and people born in America are taught the core beliefs (consciously or unconsciously). First. Third. Why a Liberal Political Culture? Why hasn't the ethnic. could the liberal tradition. What explains the strength and persistence of religion in America? Several explanations have been advanced. there is the historical fact of the religious roots of the original settlers. In addition. actually breed a desire for things religious? V. Others question this explanation given the fact that the frontier was closed by 1890 and given the great influx of immigrants (who lacked the core value of individualism). Religion and American Individualism: Contradiction or Complement? Americans are more religious than people in other developed democracies. racial. 51 . with its emphasis on the individual. there is not now and never has been a political wall between religion and politics. B. and religious diversity in American eradicated the core beliefs and values of its political culture? A. Second.IV. there is a great diversity of religion in America.

An attempt has been made to include not just what might be considered the best questions. 3. officials know the test could be improved and invite suggestions. One subject that could be debated is the appropriateness of the questions.N.S. In fact. you and your students can be the judge. issue of The Washington Post (p. but also some that represent what some might call trivial. What color are the stars of our flag? white 2. It might be a good idea to ask these questions during the first or second class session and then tabulate the answers for discussion of this chapter. What do the stripes on the flag mean? They represent the original 13 states. In other words.] 1. 1997. [Question 21 is covered in the chapter (students might have a different opinion). they did not become individualistic by living in America. C4. district offices given discretion as to how many applicants must answer. with I. What country did we fight during the Revolutionary War? England 52 .S.S. citizens. The answers appear on p. C3). IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION The following questions are taken from the Immigration and Naturalization Service's examination which immigrants must pass before being nationalized U. I. Here are one-third of the questions (along with answers) from the test. The entire 100 questions were published in the November 17. The test is a pool of 100 questions.N. Students could be asked what questions should appear on the test. according to the Post article. Also of special interest is the answer to question 31. Again. they came to America because they were individualistic. Another explanation is that the kind of people (only about 1percent) who made the decision to immigrate to America were predisposed to believe in individualism.

4. vice-president. and departments under the Cabinet members 11. How many representatives are there in Congress? 435 10. What is the legislative branch of our government? Congress 8.the supremacy clause] 53 . What do we call a change to the Constitution? amendment 6. How many changes or amendments are there to the Constitution? 27 7. laws passed by Congress in pursuance thereof. What is the executive branch of our government? president. What are the duties of Congress? to make laws 9. What is the supreme law of the United States? the Constitution [Note: The Constitution (Article VI) states that the Constitution. What are the duties of the Supreme Court? to interpret laws 12. Who elects the president of the United States? the electoral college 5. and treaties are the supreme law of the land . Cabinet.

. Who becomes president of the United States if the president and the vice president should die? Speaker of the House of Representatives 15. S/hemust be a natural born citizen of the United States. Who was the main writer of the Declaration of Independence? Thomas Jefferson 54 . must be at least 35 years old by the time he or she will serve and. According to the Constitution. Name one of these requirements.13. Who said. a person must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible to become president. What is the Bill of Rights? the first 10 amendments to the Constitution 14. How many terms can a president serve? Two. Who selects the Supreme Court justices? They are ominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate 20. "Give me liberty or give me death"? Patrick Henry 16. The Supreme Court also ruled for the 2000 election that one doesn't even have to be a registered voter to run for office. per the 22nd amendment 18. must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. What is the 49th state of the Union (United States)? Alaska 17. 19.

Whose rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? everyone (citizens and noncitizens living in the United States). in Washington. What were the 13 original states of the United States called? colonies 25. What is the basic belief of the Declaration of Independence? that all men are created equal 22. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do? freed many slaves 24. per the 20th amendment 28. 29. Where does freedom of speech come from? the Bill of Rights. Where does Congress meet? in the capitol. In what year was the Constitution written? 1787 27. D. What is the name of the president's official home? the White House 55 . the first amendment 23.21.C. Who has the power to declare war? Congress 26. What is the introduction to the Constitution called? the Preamble 30.

T8 The Population of the United States Is Becoming Less European in Its Origins.31. LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. 110 56 . How many times may a congressman be reelected? At present. followed by the text page.1. per the 20th amendment 32. there is no limit at the federal level. 4. In what month is the new president inaugurated? January.

public policy often does follow public opinion. Another problem is that many Americans are informed. In spite of this. 5. Explain the characteristics of public opinion and why public opinion is often uninformed. as illustrated by the case studies dealing with health care and abortion. Be sure to explain why public opinion can change and why it is so difficult to know the true nature of public opinion. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Explain how public opinion can change fairly quickly. Discuss the relationship between public policy and public opinion. or hold inconsistent opinions on issues. Speculate as to the relative importance of public opinion in the American political system. Citizens acquire their opinions from a variety of sources. and inconsistent. Many measurement problems stem from how questions in polls are worded or framed.CHAPTER FIVE Public Opinion OVERVIEW Public opinion is a basic element of democracy. 6. Delineate and describe the sources of public opinion. 2. unconnected. using examples such as former President George Bush’s popularity after the Gulf War and his subsequent drop in the polls that led to his reelection defeat in 1992. 4. or misinformed. Explain how and why public policy follows public opinion. Accurately measuring public opinion can be very difficult. Politicians who try to be guided by public opinion will find it is difficult to do so. 3. 57 .

Sometimes the learning takes place as a result of explicit teaching. Different life experiences give rise to different views on issues that become matters of public-policy debate. II. Interests Some of the opinions people hold are based on their personal interests or the interests of others like them. B. results in a somewhat more tolerant outlook. It influences politicians either actively (as in popular democracies) or passively (as in responsible democracies). higher education. 58 . and sometimes it results from the less conscious observation or imitation of others. Socialization Socialization is the ways in which people learn beliefs and values. Sources of Public Opinion A.KEY TERMS closed-ended question mass public exit poll open-ended question focus group political elite framing public opinion ideology sampling error information cost socialization issue public survey research OUTLINE I. Education One aspect of education. C. What is Public Opinion? Public opinion is an important element in all kinds of democracy.

All of these are less reliable than scientific polls. Survey Research The Gallup Organization is one of the recognized polling firms. III. B. public opinion became a much more powerful political force. One study found that television and newspaper exposure during a presidential campaign had only marginal effects on preexisting views. A. and Internet polls. IV.500 people can give accurate results (even of the entire nation). call- in surveys. Measuring Public Opinion With the advent of modern survey research in the 1930s. Mismeasuring Public Opinion A unique problem with measuring public opinion is that opinions are subjective beliefs and individuals may not have given much consideration to their beliefs prior to expressing them to a pollster. If selected randomly. The Media Sometimes the media shape’s public opinion and sometimes they do not. 59 . Other methods of gauging public opinion are mail surveys. Alternatives to Survey Research Increasingly. D. A sample of this size would produce results within plus or minus 3 percentage points 95 percent of the time. politicians are relying on focus groups to determine how the public will respond to ideas and proposals. a poll of 1. Survey research is the technical term for the scientific design and administration of public opinion polls. But the key is that there be no selection bias in the selection of the sample.

are informed not because of any benefit but just because they either think it is part of being a good citizen to be informed or find politics or political issues interesting. Those who do criticize citizens for the lack of attention they pay to politics are those that have the luxury to stay informed with minimal effort. The effort required to stay informed competes with family life. 60 . A. people have little or no information. Characteristics of Public Opinion Public opinion is not an objective quantity like body weight or temperature that can be measured with a simple physical instrument. a poll may still produce faulty results due to other factors (like the wording of questions). work. Far more Americans watch sitcoms like “Seinfeld” than watch Ted Koppel's “Nightline. Those with a better education or certain types of occupations find the costs are not as great and hence are more informed than others. Public Opinion Often Is Uninformed On many issues. The Holocaust Poll Fiasco An example of how wording the questions of a poll can affect poll results is the poll conducted on what Americans think about the Holocaust. the level of information is greater. V.” Most people have little time for politics. recreation and relaxation. The Importance of Wording The lesson of the Holocaust poll is that while sample size may be large enough and there may be no selection bias. bearing such information costs will bring them little in the way of corresponding benefits. A. Most people most of the time pay little attention to politics. processing. and storing information is costly. The same with benefits. B. For most Americans. Some people. Gathering. however. When it benefits a person to be informed about a particular issue.

the issues making up liberal or conservative thinking in America are often not logically connected. on the other hand. the meaning of the words liberal and conservative change over time. In recent decades. one fact stands out: The non-ideological nature of public opinion means that elites often read more into opinion polls of average voters. while the ideological views of elites should be viewed as evidence of rigid.B. Public Opinion Often Is Inconsistent It is not uncommon for poll data to reveal An inconsistency in the public's thinking. Regardless of one's views on the desirability of ideological thinking. the other Congress) with its result of gridlock. This is another way of saying that the American people are not very ideological. the American people have never delivered a clear mandate either for the Republicans to cut and retrench or for the Democrats to tax and expand. Furthermore. the 1994 polls showed Americans wanted to balance the budget but not cut government programs. There was some increase in ideological thinking in the 1960s. Both seem to reflect the inconsistency in public thinking. After all. tend to have well-structured ideologies. 61 . emotional commitment. For example. only 3 to 16 percent of average Americans could be accurately labeled as thinking ideologically. but it is still much below the level of elites. Public Opinion Is Not Ideological Even when people have reasonably firm views on issues. Political elites. Americans should not be criticized for their non-ideological thinking. In a study done in the 1950s. commonsensical thinking. One result has been divided government (one party controlling the presidency. Still. those views often are surprisingly unconnected to each other. Perhaps the non-ideological views of most Americans should be taken as evidence for pragmatic. C.

Governing by Public Opinion The uncertainty surrounding the true state of public opinion makes government by public opinion poll immensely difficult. As is often the case. rather. such thinking would appear to be due to lack of information or misinformation. average Americans reject taking an extreme position on abortion. What happened? Public opinion had not really changed. poll results are a matter of how a question is framed. Republicans had won control of Congress for the first time in 40 years and national health insurance was dead. they see a need for restricting it. Several reasons explain why Americans hold such inconsistent opinions. many people in and out of politics misinterpreted what the public wanted or what it would accept. 62 . the apparent inconsistency in the public's attitude toward abortion could be attributed to different wording of the questions used to measure it. but when faced with particular examples. Public Policy and Public Opinion: The 1994 Health Care Debacle In 1992. VI. Unlike the view of elites on both sides of the abortion issue. By 1994. Public Policy and Public Opinion: Abortion Unlike their views on national health care. Americans have stable views about abortion. Another explanation would be that Americans think pragmatically. Large majorities support abortion (1) to save the life of the mother. (2) when pregnancy results from rape and (3) when there is a strong chance of a serious defect in the baby. Often. even if that were what everyone wanted. They value free speech. Often. B. A. it seemed that national health insurance was an idea whose time had come.

Researchers have shown that viewed collectively. The public can. 63 . Following Public Opinion Given the problems of measuring public opinion and the low levels of information. VII. the average American has about many issues. a good topic to flesh out in this chapter is margin of error. public officials who try to follow public opinion may find it difficult. Polling and Margin of Error Although the authors of the text mention sampling error. Also. IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. For those advocating a responsible democracy (as designed by the Framers). One hears a lot about scientific sampling. and does. make informed judgments. this is not comforting. there is not much discussion about it. Margin of error is a statistical device that provides a numerical calculations for how close the results of a poll are to the truth. the public is reasonably rational. American public policy follows public opinion. How Important Should Public Opinion Be? Given all the problems with measuring public opinion and the low levels of information (or high levels of misinformation) that Americans have about many issues. Since students will constantly be exposed to polls. or even misinformation.C. A margin of error should never be applied to any poll except a scientific one. this should not lead one to conclude that public opinion shouldn't matter.

etc. From this point of view. The Digest was a magazine that polled over 2 million people (compared to Gallup's typical 1.A. C. relying on statistical models. but that group of people about whom the pollster is trying to get information. Although the Digest's sample size was one of the largest ever. a poll is scientific if every person in the population is given an equal chance of being selected in the sample. this chapter highlights the science (or.200 people. and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three. Scientific Polling: What makes a poll scientific? Almost every aspect of taking a poll involves matters that can be done scientifically or not. relying in this standard. most Americans approve of the president. So. would defeat Franklin Roosevelt. the Democratic nominee. the lack of) of writing good questions so that the truth is revealed. this means that most Americans approve of the Clinton presidency. Roosevelt defeated Landon in a landslide. Thus. have developed a model for determining when the results of a poll is believable (true). The model states that if the results from a poll would be the same in 95 cases out of 100 then the results should be considered "true. it got a biased sample of mostly well-to-do Republicans. One could be confident that Clinton's approval rating falls between a high of 58% and a low of 52%. pollsters do not mean all people in a country. use sample sizes of about 1. B. the Republican nominee for President. Because it polled from lists of people who had automobiles and phones. it had erred in the selection of the sample. state. 64 . For example. a population could be the student body at a university.. however. By population. This means that their margin of error is about plus or minus three percentage points. actually. Sample Size and Margin of Error: Social scientists." Most pollsters. Either way. when newspapers report that 55% of Americans approve of how Clinton is handling his job as president. A more fundamental aspect of polling in terms of whether or not it is scientific is how a sample is selected. Non-scientific Polling and Bias: A classic case of a poll lacking a scientific sample was the Literary Digest poll conducted during the 1936 presidential election.200) and proceeded to predict that Alf Landon.

since the Reagan presidency. Public opinion is not always stable. For example. in five cases out of 100. it changes frequently and in dramatic fashion. it is common. This is when interpreting a poll gets tricky. more information is given to voters about how polls were conducted. Next. to report on the gender gap: how men and women differ in their presidential approval ratings. the results only apply to when the poll was taken. Several caveats need to be added. D. such reporting is routine. Twenty-five years ago if poll results were given on television or in a newspaper. That is unlikely. First. there is one aspect of polling that gets ignored. the results could be incorrect. Sub-groups and Polling: Often poll data includes not just the overall results of the poll (the number approving or disapproving of the president) but will break the data into subgroups.200 with a plus or minus 3percent margin of error). Polling has come a long way since the Literary Digest debacle. Now. Suppose NBC reports the following poll results (of the typical sample size of 1. On some issues (like presidential approval). 65 . but possible. Not only have polling organizations fine tuned the methods of polling. there would have been no mention of the poll's margin of error. Still.

A good exercise would be to ask students to conduct a poll on this subject. Had the example been differences reported by race. But. (caution: we don't know for sure unless NBC tells us) in the sample.RATING PRESIDENT CLINTON Men Women Favorable 48 52 Unfavorable 52 48 Is it proper for NBC to report that there is a genuine gender gap? No. one has to apply the margin of error to see if the findings are within the rage of being "probably" correct. of course it looks like men and women do differ. But. it is too close to call to make any observations about gender differences and presidential approval ratings of Clinton! Notice. this problem is seldom highlighted when poll results are reported. then the data reported here is within that. Family and Political Socialization This chapter did not discuss to a great extent the important role of family in political socialization. 2. Applying that margin of error to the data reported on gender differences. that the margin of error would be extremely high. Unfortunately. If we assume that there were approximately 600 men and 600 women. The tendency is to assume since NBC reported that the margin of error for the poll was 3 percentage points. some of the racial groups would be so small. 66 . then the margin of error for a group of 600 is 4 percentage points. the margin of error only increased 1 percent for the subgroup in this example. this is data about two sub-groups. hence the margin of error is different. At first glance.

you can supply the students with material.200. you may just tell each student to interview. (If you have a class of 40. Independent or what?" You may.) If you want to emphasize sample selection. then each student could interview 30 students to get a total of 1. any way they can. does your mother think of herself as a Democrat. you will need to select a sample. Republican. want the students to add questions or note other things when conducting the poll. This can be the most involved portion of the project. 67 .200 students (from the campus directory or registrar's enrollment lists). Independent. INTERVIEWS: Personal interviewing is (when done properly) the most accurate way to get polling data. or have them (perhaps in groups) develop their own materials (which could be submitted for a grade). or what?" "Generally speaking. you could ask students to devise a means of random selection of 1. their share of students. do you think of yourself as a Democrat. Republican. or what?" "Generally speaking. will associate more with their mothers and males with their fathers. You will want questions like the following: "Generally speaking. SAMPLE: Next. Most pollsters today use telephone interviews. you need a questionnaire. Independent. At each step along the way in this project. QUESTIONNAIRE: First. Gender would be a natural one since you may hypothesize that females. You decide. does your father think of himself as a Democrat. in addition. If you don't want to emphasize how a sample should be selected. Republican.

followed by the text page. as a whole or in groups) can analyze it. Children learn a particular political view from their parents.5. even. for whom to vote). This usually takes close supervision as any misstep can result in erroneous reporting. RESULTS: Family is the most important institution of political socialization. The idea is to get the information in Tables so that the class (again. 5. Studies by Jennings and Niemi indicate that 59 percent of young people identified with the same party as their parents. LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES: Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. This is important because when individuals do not know how to interpret a political event (or.COMPILING THE DATA: Some students (perhaps those who did not want to do the interviewing) should be assigned the task (assuming you don't want to do it yourself) of compiling the data. 144 68 . they typically acquire their party affiliation from their parents. T9 Americans Are Not Very Knowledgeable About the Specifics of American Government. More particularly. they get their cues from their party.

5. 6. State what typical turnout is for presidential.CHAPTER SIX Individual Participation OVERVIEW In spite of the importance of political participation in a democracy. and declining social connectedness in determining voter turnout. Summarize and critically evaluate the three arguments that assert low turnout is a problem and the three arguments that assert low turnout is not a problem. 2. state and local elections in America. 4. 8. Review those historical factors that have accounted for variation in American voter turnout in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. it is not clear that American politics would look much different if more people voted. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Also. declining mobilization. 69 . Explain in detail how individual motivations and outside mobilization affect voting turnout. explain why turnout is lower in America when compared to other democracies. Although those who tend to vote are better educated and wealthier than those not voting. most American women and men don't bother to vote (with turnout being less than most other democracies). Summarize and explain the roles of personal benefits. Although the difference with other countries is somewhat easy to explain. congressional. Summarize those key pieces of legislation and constitutional amendments that have expanded suffrage throughout American history. Identify the personal characteristics. Specify those factors that initiated a decline in turnout from 1960 to 1992. 7. and background of the voter and nonvoter. 3. the decline in the United States in recent years is more difficult to interpret. attitudes.

The 15th Amendment (1870) extended the franchise to black males. six of the 24 states had not provided for popular election of presidential electors.C. every law-abiding. 70 . Just prior to the Civil War. The 26th Amendment (1971) then lowered the voting age to 18. mentally competent citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote in the United States. It gave those residing in Washington. The evolution of voting rights in America reflects the decision made at the Constitutional Convention to not specify voting requirements. D. voting was restricted in most states to white males who owned property. Today. all adult white male citizens had the franchise. The result was that by the 1828 presidential election only two states still did not elect presidential electors and three times as many men voted for electors as had voted in 1824. but to leave them for each state to establish.KEY TERMS compositional effect psychic benefits of voting eligible voting-age population registered voters franchise social connectedness individual motivations for voting social issues mobilization suffrage voting-age population official turnout OUTLINE I. A Brief History of the Franchise in the United States In 1824. The 19th (1920) gave women the right to vote in all states. By 1860. Andrew Jackson took his election to the people. Another extension of voting came with ratification of the 23rd Amendment in 1961. Having lost the presidency in 1824. a vote for president and vice president.

Another factor explaining voting is mobilization. One broad factor has been called individual motivations. This means that people weigh the costs (economic.II. the personal benefits of voting generally do not exceed the costs. unless a voter has a strong sense of duty. This difference in calculation makes about a 5 percentage point difference. Why People Participate: Costs and Benefits Numerous factors influence whether a citizen votes. International Comparisons of Voter Turnout What explains why Americans vote less than citizens in other democracies? One explanation is based on how turnout is calculated. Official turnout in the United States is calculated by dividing the number of people in the United States of voting age into the number of people voting for president. you bear the costs of voting no matter what the outcome. or takes considerable satisfaction in expressing a preference.) and benefits (mostly psychological today) of voting. People are encouraged or mobilized by others who have personal incentives to turnout the vote. If you vote. but the odds of your vote making the difference in national elections is quite slim. III. 71 . Thus. psychological. Other democracies are more exact in the calculating of turnout. etc.

registration is automatic. In most of the world. In the United States it is entirely the responsibility of the individual. and attend political meetings. it has fallen in the United States during the past generation. E. contribute money. Americans are asked to vote much more frequently. IV. Americans consider voting a right they are free to exercise or not. Statistics suggest that if every state used the most liberal registration procedures. Mobilization and Turnout American voters also have less help (than citizens in other democracies) in overcoming the costs of voting. Why Has American Turnout Declined? Turnout is not only lower when compared with other democracies. C. B. Even the risk of being called for jury duty (using voter registration lists) is enough to keep some people from registering to vote. Political parties have declined as mobilizing agents. elections in America are usually on a workday (Tuesday). In addition. Other Personal Costs and Benefits Unlike other countries. national turnout would be about 9 percent higher. Organizations are plentiful in the United States but they are not as deeply rooted here as in other countries. 72 . Other Forms of Participation Although Americans vote at lower levels than citizens in other democracies. Personal Costs and Benefits: Registration More than 30 percent of the American voting-age population is unregistered. voting). The "motor-voter" law (1993) was passed in an attempt to increase voter registration (and hence. Personal Costs and Benefits: Compulsion Voting is "compulsory" in many countries. A. D. they are more likely to work in campaigns.

Lower Personal Benefits Part of the explanation is the fact that Americans don't believe that government is as responsive as in times past. Interestingly. voters do not see as much riding on their decisions as they once did. Declining Social Connectedness Turnout may be lower because of what social scientists call a compositional effect. Thus. Turnout rates of younger Americans were low when they became voters and remain low still. Who Votes and Who Doesn't Turnout rates differ considerably across social and economic groups. Finally. although turnout is not related to trust in government. voters do not see as much importance in voting. V. several factors associated with increasing turnout have gone up. C. Legal reforms making it easier to vote and socioeconomic changes. This explanation treats voting not as a political act but as a social act. Highly educated people vote more than those with little formal education. Another explanation is that elections have become less competitive. another researcher has suggested that turnout is lower because of a lowering in social connectedness. 73 . it is significantly related to trust in people. the greater the tendency to vote (till very old age). B. The older a person gets. More puzzling is that while turnout has declined. The wealthy are far more likely to vote than the poor. Declining Mobilization The change in style from labor-intensive to media-concentrated campaigning may have indirectly contributed to declining turnout. A. When elections aren't close. Research has shown that the decline was not due to falling trust in government.

2.VI. Nonvoters don't vote because mainstream politicians (backed by the two major parties) do not address the real issues that concern nonvoters (like jobs. There is some validity in each argument. health care. encouraging more citizens to vote is asking more to participate in the sham. 2. Low turnout discourages individual development. 74 . Is Low Turnout a Problem? A. ultimately. Three Arguments for Why Low Turnout Is Not a Problem 1. and education). 3. The only argument that is false is that elections don't matter. B. Voting is a sham. VI. If turnout were encouraged. Only by participating in politics can a person develop fully as a citizen and human. Low turnout indicates contentment. those less informed. Research suggests that this argument is overstated. 3. it indicates a healthy polity and contributes to political stability. not estrangement. housing. in biased public policy. Therefore. and less concerned about politics would be voting. resulting. Low turnout produces election results that are unrepresentative (voters are more Republican and more conservative) of the entire electorate. Typically. the preferences of nonvoters vary little with those of voters. about less interested in. Low turnout reflects a "phony" politics. Does Turnout Matter? Good-intentioned and well-informed people disagree and offer persuasive arguments for both sides of the issue. the income distribution. Three Arguments for Why Low Turnout Is a Problem 1.

fec.1 48.8 56.6 75 .9 49.2 40.IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1.7 56.4 Idaho 81.6 57.8 47.2 California 68. what seems to be the relationship between the number of people registered in a state and turnout (something discussed a great deal in the chapter)? [Note: The Web site for this data is www.0 Illinois 76.4 Hawaii 61. % VAP % VAP State Registered TURNOUT ================== ========== ======= Alabama 76. There are several things to look for here.2 Indiana 79.9 Maryland 67.4 District of Columbia 85.3 44.4 Louisiana 81.7 Kansas 75.7 46.8 Arizona 71.9 Maine 05.6 43.1 Delaware 76.0 Kentucky 81. This could be used as a handout for class discussion.9 52.6 44.1 49.7 47.7 48.3 42.0 Florida 73.7 56.1 47.9 Colorado 81.6 Alaska 97.6]. One would be how the actual data fits with the discussion about turnout in the chapter.8 Iowa 83. How many assertions made in the chapter are confirmed by the actual data? How many assertions are not confirmed by the data? Also. Here are data released by the Federal Election Commission on the 1996 presidential election.0 Georgia 70.0 57.7 Connecticut 75.9 71.6 Arkansas 73.

5 Tennessee 70.0 62.2 51.5 58.6 46.2 45.9 South Carolina 65.4 41.S.4 UNITED STATES 74.0 Montana 90.6 59. elections.9 Texas 77.3 47.7 Oregon 81.0 49.4 Missouri 83. 76 .9 Ohio 82.5 49.9 47.4 49.5 Washington 74.4 New York 74.0 Rhode Island 80.3 57.5 South Dakota 85.8 54.9 New Mexico 69.9 Vermont 86.5 45.6 50.4 54.7 West Virginia 68.0 Mississippi 87. Please note that the VAP includes all persons over the age of 18.9 Michigan 94.4 North Carolina 78.3 New Jersey 71.5 44.1 Pennsylvania 74.3 New Hampshire 86.4 54.4 54.8 55. % VAP % VAP State Registered TURNOUT ================== ========== ======= Massachusetts 74.9 Wisconsin N/A 57.0 =================== ========== ======= 1996 VAP refers to the total Voting Age Population of the state as reported by the Bureau of Census.6 57.9 Nevada 64.9 60.6 54.2 Utah 78.0 Virginia 65.2 38.8 49.5 41.0 Nebraska 83.6 64.4 Wyoming 67.3 Oklahoma 81.2 45.5 North Dakota N/A 55.4 Minnesota 89. including a significant number of people not able to vote in U.

Among other things. (Massachusetts used popular election and appointment by the governor.) 1800 – The House of Representatives elected Thomas Jefferson president when he and Aaron Burr tied in electoral votes. Here is a list of significant events in voting in U. history: 1787 . five state legislatures selected the electors and four states allowed the people to elect the electors. North Dakota has no voter registration and Wisconsin has election-day registration at the polls. 1804 ..the Electors [voters] in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature. 1789 .S. The one stipulation was ". It was prompted by the tie between presidential candidates Jefferson and Burr in 1800. 1824 – The House of Representatives elected John Q. the Amendment stipulate that electors must specify when casting their two votes which one is for president and which is for vice president. Adams president when no candidate received the necessary majority.The 12th Amendment was ratified. New York voted too late for its vote to count.In the first presidential election. 1867 . 2." (Article I.. The Constitution did not specify qualifications for voting. making him president.) 1860 – This was the last year a state (of the original 13) allowed the state legislature to elect presidential electors. the only national officials elected by the voters were members of the House of Representatives. The commission (composed of eight Republicans and seven Democrats) granted all the disputed electoral votes to Hayes.Under the Constitution.Congress created a special commission (Hayes-Tilden Commission) to decide how several disputed electoral votes should be cast. leaving each state to set them. 77 . and two states--North Carolina and Rhode Island--had not ratified the Constitution yet.N/A means Not Applicable. Section 2). (Andrew Jackson received a plurality of the electoral and popular votes.

1870 – The 15th Amendment was ratified extending the right to vote to blacks.

1876 – This was the last year any state allowed the state legislature to elect
presidential electors.

1888 - For the only time in American history, due solely to the mechanics of the
electoral college, the presidential candidate receiving the most popular votes
nationwide (Grover Cleveland - D) lost to the electoral vote winner (Benjamin
Harrison - R).

3. Prospective vs. Retrospective Voting

This chapter points out the lack of political information the typical voter
possesses. It then spends a great deal of time going over whether or not
increasing turnout would be a good thing or not.

What it does not discuss is the difference between prospective and retrospective
voting. The difference in these could add an additional perspective to the turnout

Prospective Voting:

Prospective voting used to be called the rational voter model of voting. It
assumes that the typical voter is interested in and knowledgeable about politics.
Here is how the decision for whom to vote is supposed to work in a presidential

Elections- During the campaign, voters become informed about the different
candidates. They would do this because of their interest in the outcome of the
election. To become informed, voters read newspapers, magazines, watch
television programs covering the campaigns, and talk to family, friends and
coworkers about the candidates and the issues dominating the campaign.

At some point, each voter determines which candidate's discussion of what they
will do when elected is most agreeable to the voter's own wishes. Then the voter
knows for whom to vote.

Once elected, if the president does not do what was promised during the
campaign, the voter looks for an alternative candidate to support in the next


If campaigns worked this way, the exercise of voting would be quite rational. But
elections for president in the United States do not work this way.

The reason campaigns don't work this way is that most Americans are not that
interested in politics. Since they aren’t interested, logically they don't take the
time to study candidates during the campaigns- as portrayed in the prospective (or
rational voter) model. So, not being interested, they lack the knowledge to vote
prospectively. Does this mean American voters are irrational? In contrast, what
is better: an uneducated vote or no vote at all?

Retrospective Voting:

While Americans don't vote prospectively, there is some rationality to their
voting. The way they vote is somewhat rational, but it is at the same time
compatible with the level of political interest and knowledge of the average voter.

As alluded to in this chapter, one thing Americans can rely on for voting (because
it does not take much effort to do so) is how they feel about the past president (or
past four year term).

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan, at the end of his presidential debate with President
Jimmy Carter, asked, "Are you better off than four years ago," he was appealing
to the voter's ability and tendency to engage in retrospective voting.

Evidence indicates that this is exactly what voters did in 1980. In spite of the fact
that the election was often referred to as the Reagan Revolution, voters were not
endorsing Reagan's "vision" of the future. For every voter that voted for Reagan
because they believed in his conservative philosophy, three voters voted for him
because they wanted a change (i.e., voters no longer wanted Carter as president).
This is a perfect example of retrospective voting.

Voters are capable of reflecting on the past four years and deciding (rationally) if
they did or didn't like them (which they didn't when Carter ran for reelection in
1980). If they didn’t like the past four years, they vote for the other major
candidate (Reagan in 1980). If they liked the past four years, they reelect the
president (as they did in 1984).



Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number, followed by
the text page.

T10 The Right to Vote in the United States Has Been Steadily Expanded, 6.1, 173

T11 Turnout in America Has Declined Since 1960, 6.4, 186


Interest Group Participation in American Democracy


Most Americans participate indirectly in politics by joining groups that attempt to
influence government. Successful groups have found ways to overcome the free-rider
problem--the tendency of people to enjoy a group's benefits without contributing in any
way to the group.

Group characteristics and their situations lead them to adopt a variety of political
strategies: lobbying (traditional and grassroots), electioneering, political protests, and
influencing the courts.

It is difficult to say how effective interest groups are. For every success story, there is a
story of group ineffectiveness. Some are concerned about the effectiveness of groups:
they do not represent all interests, the common good gets little attention, and they help
create a politics of extremes.


1. Explain how the Home School Legal Defense Association forced Congress to
eliminate the Miller Amendment, which would have required teacher certification in
specific subject areas.

2. Review the historical evolution of interest groups in America, noting which social,
economic, and political forces were prominent in group formation and proliferation.

3. Delineate the nature and variety of interest groups.

4. Explain how interest groups are both formed and maintained. Be sure to include the
types of incentives that people have as motives for joining an interest group.

5. Discuss the implications of the free-rider problem for interest groups and the methods
by which groups try to overcome this problem.

6. Explain and define lobbying, grassroots lobbying, political action committees (PACs)
direct mail, direct action, amicus curiae, subgovernments, and issue networks.

7. Review how interest groups are evaluated. Be sure to explain pluralism and why it is
out of fashion today.


amicus curiae lobbyist
corporatist pluralism
direct action political action committee
direct mail (PAC)
fiduciary political entrepreneur
free rider problem private goods
grassroots lobbying public goods
interest group selective benefits
issue network social movement
lobbying subgovernment


I. Interest Groups in the United States

Large majorities of Americans participate indirectly in politics by joining or
supporting interest groups. More than 75 percent belong to at least on group. On
average, each belongs to two groups.

A. Growth and Development of Groups

Americans have a long-standing reputation for forming groups. Perhaps James
Madison was correct when he wrote in Federalist 10 that the causes of factions
(groups of individuals with their own interests) were "sown in the nature of man."

Group formation has occurred in waves. Before the Civil War, there were few
national organizations. The first two decades following the Civil War saw the
birth of national agricultural associations and trade unions.

Another wave of group organization occurred during the Progressive Era (c. 1890
to 1917). Most, but not all, of the groups in this wave had an economic basis.


The 1960-1980 wave of group formation is the largest and most heterogeneous.
Thousands of economic groups formed. Numerous nonprofit groups formed as

Innumerable shared interest groups have formed in recent
decades. These include liberal, conservative, citizens,
environmental, consumer and watchdog groups.

B. The Nature and Variety of Interest Groups

One researcher has shown that groups vary a great deal as to level of formal

Also, some are membership groups composed of numerous private individuals
who make voluntary contributions. Others are associations consisting of
corporate or institutional representatives who pay regular dues.

One researcher estimates that almost 80 percent of interest groups represent
professional or occupational constituencies (about half representing profit-sector
and half nonprofit). The other 20 percent of American interest groups reflect the
activities of citizens with particular interests, including those spawned by what are
called social movements.

II. Forming and Maintaining Interest Groups

In spite of the fact that the United States is a nation of joiners, millions of people
do not join or support associations whose interests they share. Who are the

Professor James Q. Wilson has identified three incentives: (1) solidarity, (2)
material, and (3) purposive. People join groups when there are incentives to do
so. Some people join for social reasons. Some join because membership confers
tangible benefits. Some join to advance a group's social and political goals.

A. The Free-Rider Problem

Groups relying on purposive and material incentives face the free-rider problem:
Many people who share a group’s goals do not join or contribute but share in the
benefits of the group's efforts.


The logic of the free rider is that his or her contribution (money or time) will not have much (if any) affect on the group's success and other group members will press on without one's contribution anyway. Coercion One way to overcome the free-rider problem is to make those who benefit from a group's efforts to contribute to the group. 84 . however.S. A milder form of coercion is to get government recognition for your group and its members (such as government certification of certain occupations). Selective Benefits Some groups discourage free riders by providing active group members with tangible benefits. Only groups whose membership is based on social incentives escape the free rider problem. 3. Overcoming the Free-Rider Problem 1. history. to sustain social movements for a long period of time (unless the movement finds a way to institutionalize itself). When this happens. Social Movements Another way in which the free-rider problem is overcome is through a social movement. The implication for democracy is that small groups organized for narrow purposes have an organizational advantage. labor unions rely on closed shops. When they occur. B. Thus. Such groups are called special interest groups as contrasted with public interest groups. These have occurred throughout U. 2. Thus. It is difficult. free-riding thinking breaks down. why contribute? The free-rider problem is most prominent in large groups and those groups that have goals are somewhat remote from the members' everyday lives (the difference between what has been called public goods and private goods). people are less likely to think solely of themselves and think more of what is good for the society. Coercion appears to be a declining means of overcoming the free rider problem.

The have enjoyed explosive growth in the past few decades. (2) the openness of government is today. The reasons are (1) the decentralization of Congress. Thus. B. most lobbyists operate within the law. Electioneering and PACs Another way to influence government is by working in campaigns to get particular people elected to office. Patrons and Political Entrepreneurs A political entrepreneur is an individual or a small number of individuals who takes the lead in setting up and operating the group. People who engage in lobbying are called lobbyists. The term lobbyist has negative connotations. Others are driven by a cause. 85 . Electioneering is probably the fastest growing group tactic. The primary task performed by lobbyists is to provide governmental decision-makers with accurate information. II. Even government has contributed to the formation of groups (through regulations and the need to implement them). and a principal vehicle of this tactic is the political action committee (PAC). Grassroots Lobbying Unlike lobbying. 4. and (3) technological advances. which takes a direct approach. Grassroots lobbying is more prevalent today than in the past. C. How Interest Groups Influence Government A. the attempt might be to influence voters who would then seek to influence their government officials. Actually. grassroots lobbying seeks to influence the governmental decision-maker indirectly. The reason for this is the economic interests of the individual (or the small group of individuals). Far more of them represent business and commercial interests than represent labor or citizen interests. PACs are specialized organizations that raise and spend campaign funds. Lobbying Lobbying is the attempt of group representatives to personally influence the decisions of public officials.

One communications technique that is a product of modern electronic communications is direct mail. and file amicus curiae briefs. generate letters and telegrams to judges. wealth. 2. most PAC contributions are small and most research indicates there is no significant relationship between PAC contributions by politician’s votes. one of the earliest being the Revolution. Litigation Some groups seek to influence policy by selecting cases to litigate. Group Characteristics Size composition. While the media often portrays them as corrupt. Their goal is to build general support for the group and its interests so that it will be more successful in the long run. organizational structure. G. Direct Action American history is full of examples. each group allocates its resources in the way that it considers most efficient. They also stage demonstrations in front of courthouses. F. There is widespread public dissatisfaction with the role of PACs in campaign finance. Why Groups Use Particular Tactics 1. and other factors affect the activities in which groups engage. Situational Characteristics 86 . Of direct action taken by groups. The media (particularly TV) pay a lot of attention to such acts. Forms of direct action are often used by social movements. D. E. Persuading the Public Some groups seek to influence the public even when no specific legislation or regulation is at issue.

and policy experts. There are many more groups to counteract each other. A. subgovernments do not seem as powerful today. Under pluralism. B. change is incremental and moderate. and much looser connections of interest groups. what your group seeks to achieve--interact with characteristics of interest groups to determine what mix of strategies is adopted. One of these actors offers something the other two desire. IV. interaction and importance of group activity in American government. How Influential Are Interest Groups? The answers to this question are varied. Issue Networks Many scholars argue that subgovernments have been replaced by networks: bigger. Congressional committees are not as strong. broader. the mood of the country. The strength of their relationship is summed up in the descriptive phrase "iron triangle. Various situational characteristics--party control of Congress and the presidency. and an interest group. Interest Groups and Democratic Politics Political scientists generally have not held interest groups in as low regard as ordinary citizens." Subgovernments are not as important today. bureaucrats. an executive agency. 87 . They are much more open than subgovernments and much less stable in their composition. the economic situation. III. Also. Subgovernments Scholars coined the word subgovernment for the interaction between three groups: a congressional committee. Some used the word pluralism in a positive way to describe the role. Finally. But the importance of interest groups remains as divided as ever. Some believe interest groups dominate American politics. the media are more interested in investigating stories concerning such relationships. Scholars usually disagree noting that one group can cancel out the affects of another group. the result of competing groups that are representative of Americans. politicians.

groups that have demonstrated they have such data can more easily gain access. Access . the probability that it will be more successful (again. Likewise. A. If a group is very large. however. What makes an interest group successful? There is no one thing that makes one political interest group more successful than another. In fact. those groups with access tend to be more successful.) Although James Madison is often viewed as an early supporter of pluralism (Federalist 10).This refers basically to "who do you know?" If the goal of an interest group is to affect policy-making. for example). These traits tend to make a group more successful. B. it most likely will be sacrificing another important trait for success: commodity that interest groups can have is reliable information. for example) have greater prestige than others. (Leaders of interest groups. For one thing. for several reasons he would probably have second thoughts today. all things being equal. IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1.Some groups (the American Medical Association. then access to the policymaker is critical. the number.As stated in this chapter. group processes reinforce extremism and undercut moderation. 88 . If a group has several success traits. Pluralism is out of fashion today. Leadership Skills and/or Prestige . Information . C. critics point out that not all interests are equally represented by groups. acting as fiduciaries. some groups have charismatic leaders (Martin Luther King. tend to take extreme positions. it is argued that the interests of the nation are not the sum of the interests of its parts. Physicians are among the most respected professionals in America.Generally. all other things being equal) goes up. For another. D. Hence.. Numerical Strength . Here is a list of factors. There is. make a group more successful than others. Policymakers would be more inclined to listen to groups with large memberships. each of which. a law of diminishing returns at work here. it is accurate to say there is power in numbers. Jr. For another.

10. Some issues are general. the authors write: One of the first pluralists. Groups (like Common Cause) that tackle numerous goals of a broad nature (from campaign finance to reforming Congress) often find they are not as efficient. Hence. F. while others are technical in nature. At the very end of the chapter. Group Unity .Groups are interested in different issues. in seeking reelection. To analyze this. Groups with fewer people tend to have greater unity. it is not as important as the media would lead people to believe. Second is the prevalence of logrolling. The text calls them special interest groups. I. Nature of the Issue . When issues are technical. E. 89 . First is the tremendous expansion of society that contributed to the explosion of groups. 2. the rise of professional politicians who. James Madison. no.While money is important and those groups with it tend to be more successful. such as Congress. Defensive .Groups that seek to sustain the status quo tend to be more successful than groups seeking change or reform. groups dealing with highly technical issues tend to be more successful. broker the group deals in return for the electoral support that interest groups provide.Without unity of purpose groups expend a great deal of energy on internal disputes (with little left over for external use). we first must understand exactly what Madison was arguing in Federalist 10. G. thought factions could be constrained by creating the extended republic. It might make for interesting (and thoughtful) discussion to analyze some of the assertions made by the authors at the end of the chapter. Narrow Goals – Groups that focus on narrow goals can focus their resources in a more efficient manner. that make it easier to block the passage of a law than to pass a law. Part of the explanation is the bias built into American political institutions. Logrolling among interests is facilitated by a third development. Money . H. as he explained in The Federalist. He seems either not to have foreseen or to have underestimated several modern developments. voters are less inclined to notice or care.

the people themselves do not make decisions. he defines it as a representative democracy. citizens may intend good. Madison discusses the desirability and possibility of removing the causes of faction." Now. none deserves to be more accurately developed than its tendency to break and control the violence of faction. As stated in another Federalist. Second. First. does a government control the effects of faction? If a faction is composed of a numerical minority. then. "Among the numerous advantages promised by a well-constructed Union. Advantages of a Republic: A republic provides two advantages over a pure (direct) democracy. 90 .Factions: Madison begins this essay stating." Controlling Factions: How. Madison concludes. He rejects that possibility. then in a democracy (Madison uses the word “republic”) it is controlled since it will be outvoted by the majority. stating that factions are sown in the nature of man. By folly he means that democracies (strict majority rule) often make bad decisions. but they don't always make decisions in their best interests. a republic can cover a larger area. "The inference to which we are brought is that the causes of faction cannot be removed and that relief is only to be sought in the means of controlling its effects. Here Madison is first concerned with a problem experienced with pure democracies: folly. It helps cure the mischiefs of faction because it allows for a large republic." In the first portion of the essay. Part of the cure comes in Madison's second usage of the word republic. The real problem is majority faction. Earlier in the essay Madison used the word "republic" as synonymous with "majority rule. Instead they decide who will make the decisions in elections. One effect of this difference is to "refine and enlarge" the public's views by "passing them through a chosen body of citizens whose wisdom by best discern" the true interests of the citizens.

This is important because it means that in a large republic you are not going to have that many more legislators than if you had a small republic. in agreement with the spirit of democracy) that increases the chances of a wiser person being elected is a positive factor. Why is a large republic better than a small republic? Madison asserts that no matter how large or how many people there are in a country. they will only be successful at being elected if they are known for their accomplishments. the number in the legislature is not going to vary that much. It is at this point in his argument that Madison is credited with endorsing pluralism. Madison had already argued that a republic is better than a pure democracy because in a republic the legislator will be wiser and thus can refine the public's wishes. A second major argument made in Federalist 10 is that a large republic is better than a small republic. Madison asserts that politicians will not be able to get elected to the national legislature merely by knowing more people. hence. Some would say it is Madison's major contribution to American political thought. a large geographical area usually) represented by a legislator. to get elected. in a republic anything (that is. This familiarity. The Large Republic Argument: Having argued that a republic is better than a pure (direct) democracy. Instead.3. politicians will have to be familiar to the voters. the areas electing legislators will be more populous and probably geographically larger. So. The large republic will do this. in Madison's time. calling it pluralism. How? In a large republic. Madison now argues that a large republic is better than a small republic. This will result in a higher caliber of individual getting elected to the legislature. Here is the argument from Publius' perspective. 91 . Remember. Hence. The importance of this point is that in a large republic there will be a much greater number of people (and. There will be too many people to have to know. would come from having achieved something. It is probably the most important component of the framers' design behind the Constitution.

When the framers discussed this concept they did so by referring to what would go on in the three branches of the national government. or did he underestimate several modern developments? Madison did not foresee (how could he?) the technological advancements that would change entirely how campaigns for national office were conducted. could enter into the public's living rooms. If the voters don't like the deals they can elect new officials. as the authors put it. quoting the research of others. that is what Madison wanted the Congress to do: broker the multiplicity of interests in the large republic. with the aid of television. what would Madison say about that? He would say. They did not see how that could keep interest groups (on the outside of government) from forming alliances. not foresee modern developments. the voters have the final say. the voters can also hope the president will veto bad deals.Prevalence of Logrolling: The authors. Rise of Professional Politicians: This point ties in with the debate in recent years over term limits. Of course. There the politician would 92 . however. there is no proof that brokering interests is always bad. Again. Voters can always refuse to reelect politicians that seem to be more concerned with brokering the interests of major groups instead of making decisions that are good for the most constituents.. The problem with this argument is the one mentioned above. The authors. "Rather than check and balance each other. write. argue that politicians are controlled by interest groups. Of course. “well done!” Making deals is exactly what he had in mind in designing the large republic. interest groups often cooperate. What Was Madison's Failure?: Did Madison. which then ensure that they will get elected." The first thing to note about this quote is that it refers to checks and balances in a manner than is inaccurate.. Politicians. or the Supreme Court may be able to find them unconstitutional. In the end. He did not foresee that mass media (particularly television) would reduce the large republic to a technologically small republic. If. in quoting the study. since it is a democracy (albeit a representative democracy). the point is that the deals made by interest groups are then carried out in the government.

then. The young French aristocrat visited the United States in the 1830s to study its prison system. Madison didn't foresee this.2. 7. might start judging candidates for office by how they look or what their family looks. his family. with the assistance of television. and perhaps even his dog. introduce himself (with the assistance of consultants that would tell him everything from what to say to how to dress and comb his/her hair). praised democracy for raising the level of the average person but noted that it emphasized equality more than liberty present a potential for danger. This is because voters do not get to know the politician on a personal basis. He discussed the workings of democracy in America and its potential in a world undergoing radical change. unlike Madison. the burden became greater on the voter. LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. his book "Democracy in America. He. T12 PACs Formed Rapidly After the 1974 Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) Reforms. Upon returning to France. Alexis de Tocqueville And then there is Alexis de Tocqueville. which reflected a strong democratic culture. He marveled the mere fact that people were coming together and associating. Having overcome one of the large republic arguments. followed by the text page." explained the workings of democracy in detail to an inquisitive Europe. but rather for something they had achieved. 217 93 . Voters.

94 .

The parties have been weakened by eforms intended to give voters a greater say in their affairs. 5. Explain why the United States has a two-party system and why most of the other democracies in the world have a multiparty system. Parties serve a variety of important functions. including the reasons behind the decline of party organizations. Evaluate the current state of America's political parties. political parties developed early in the history of the republic. 3. yet Americans tend to view them negatively. Summarize those trends that raise the question as to whether party organizations can be revived. Review and explain the six party-systems in American history. 7. 6. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. The Democrats and Republicans continue to dominate the election landscape.CHAPTER EIGHT Political Parties OVERVIEW Although not mentioned in the Constitution. 4. noting why and how each system came into being. 2. The United States has mostly had a two-party system due to election rules. simple plurality" and "proportional representation" systems. Explain how political parties contribute to democratic politics in America and how they may also detract from democratic values. Itemize the various roles and functions of American political parties. changing when a critical election or era occurs. Alignments with parties are fairly consistent. 95 . Be sure to define "single-member. This is partially due to the fact that parties are mired in a constant struggle to win elections. Examine the argument as to whether the power of interest groups correlates negatively with the power of parties.

Focusing Responsibility for Government Action Parties are a way of holding politicians accountable collectively for government policies. 96 . state. Parties are a means for all of these to coordinate their efforts. How Parties Contribute to Democratic Politics 1. 2. and there are several branches at each level (legislative. many Americans (professors being one exception) think that things would be better if there were no parties. What Parties Do To most political commentators in other advanced democracies. simple multiparty system plurality (SMSP) national convention ticket splitting party alignment two-party system two-thirds rule OUTLINE I.KEY TERMS coalition government political party critical election progressives direct primary proportional representation divided government realigning election electoral system realignment machine single-member. and national). A. political parties play an important and vital role. and judicial). executive. In contrast. Organizing and Operating the Government There are different levels of government in the United States (local.

Simplifying the Electoral System Without parties to narrow down the choice of candidates. that parties can perform valuable functions is no guarantee that they will perform valuable functions. Second. B. People organize and perpetuate parties primarily for their own selfish interests. Like predators in the natural environment. First. Voters would have to spend a great deal of energy becoming informed about each candidate. American history provides lots of examples. and so they are always on the lookout for promising candidates. How Parties Detract from Democratic Politics There are two reasons why Americans have. publicize them. voters might be faced with a great number of candidates to pick from (without party labels!). When they don't. 1. Parties do this while struggling against each other in elections and one result is the education of the voter. held parties in relatively low esteem. parties help to maintain the quality of public officials by weeding out the weak. 6. since the end of the nineteenth century. 5. 4. Recruiting and Developing Governmental Talent Parties want to win. The stronger parties have more potential for extreme abuse. they have incentives to provide platforms that offer a mix of benefits and burdens to all in the hope that a larger good will be the result. 97 . Capturing Governments and Dictating What They Do Progressives accused the party machines of acting like an elected dictatorship. and advance possible solutions. Developing Issues and Educating the Public Parties identify problems. 3. Synthesizing Interests Because parties compete nationwide. they suffer electorally. parties can abuse their powers.

6. They became mass parties. hence. 3. Political Parties in American History Parties in America stopped representing merely elites during the Jacksonian Era. 2. parties may choose not to develop new issues. C.) 4. II. Oversimplifying the Electoral System By presenting voters with only two choices. 98 . Democrat or Republican. while reformers view parties from the ideal and. The Balance Sheet Scholars generally approve of political parties (since they see the alternative--no parties--as even worse). They may even try to turn a policy into a failure to make the opposition party look bad (particularly when the government is divided between Democrats and Republicans). who may or may not be qualified. 5. and parties will take credit even though they were not responsible. conclude they fail. Confusing Responsibility Parties will blame their opponents for things over which their opponents are not responsible. parties may do just the opposite. parties leave some voters disenchanted. Suppressing the Issues For various reasons. Dividing Society Rather than synthesize disparate interests into some larger whole. The emphasis on media in campaigns has resulted in the parties also recruiting celebrities. (One result can be the eruption of third parties. Recruiting Hacks and Celebrities Parties sometimes recruit unqualified politicians. American parties now are weaker and less active than most of their European counterparts.

The result was a tremendous increase in voting in 1828. The First Party System (Jeffersonian) The first party system was basically between the Federalists (mostly those located in New England) who supported commercial interests and favored an expansive national government and the Democratic-Republicans (mostly located in the South and West) who advocated agricultural interests." Initially. Also. Thus. Jackson was the first major candidate to be nominated by delegates at a convention rather than by caucus. reconstruction was the dominant issue. republicans controlled the Senate. sectionalism and slavery resulted in the rise of third parties and a new party: Republicans. A. It was later replaced by economic issues. he is credited with creation of the first mass party. Democrats were strong in the House of Representatives. 99 . B.III. the election results gave rise to the phrase "the period of no decision. national bank. slavery. The Party Systems Interpretation of American History The rarest of American elections is the "critical" or "realigning" election: when party alignments change. The Third Party System (Civil War and Reconstruction) This was the most competitive electoral era in American history. Party organization reached its high point (often called "machines"). By the early 1850s. The dominant issues were economic and territorial (the tariff. The Second Party System (Jacksonian Democracy) After losing the presidency in 1824. Jackson supporters were called Democrats. C. During realigning era third parties appear and turnout rises. and at the presidential level. and expansion of the Union). Andrew Jackson put an emphasis on grassroots support.

Democrats dominated the era. while Republicans dominated the North and West. World War II. Only one Republican was elected president. 100 . The Fifth Party System (New Deal) The critical elections of 1932 and 1936 established the fifth party system. Eisenhower won in 1952. Only one Democrat was elected president during this era. Democrats nominated the first Catholic to the presidency (Al Smith). more than ever. housewives. and the "cold war. Agricultural protest. and was reelected in 1956. The era was noted for its reforms (advocated primarily by Progressives): direct primary. and Teddy Roosevelt (the Progressive) and was reelected in 1916." Democrats found it increasingly difficult to deal with the racial issue. Democrats were reduced to their base in the South. gave rise to a Populist party that ultimately fused with the Democrats to nominate William Jennings Bryan in 1896. referendum. Woodrow Wilson won the three way race among himself. and recall. secret ballot. common in this era. In 1912. William Taft (the Republican). The Sixth Party System (Divided Government) What characterizes this system is the high rate of ticket-splitting. with voters supporting the presidential and congressional candidates of different parties in the same election. Only once (1952) did Republicans control Congress and the presidency. E. His loss showed that voters viewed the Populist vision of a worker-farmer alliance as less compelling than the Republican vision of a modern industrial state. the civil service. Major issues arose during this era: the Great Depression. and minorities) while Republicans became. D. the party of business and the affluent. It was a class-based party alignment with Roosevelt (Democrats) the party of the common people (farmers. blue-collar workers. initiative. F. The Fourth Party System (Industrial Republican) The critical election of 1896 inaugurated a period of Republican dominance.

Most democracies have multiparty systems. because of the confusion as to what a party is. public officials. How Strong Are American Parties Today? In recent decades. and the decline in party cohesion in Congress. the first two trends have reversed. Parties are multifaceted. Republicans made deep inroads in the Democrats' southern base. and voters. They are composed of the organization. Under this system. if anything. simple plurality system. Two-Party and Multi Party Systems For two centuries of the country's history. has replaced it." In most of the world's democracies. The Vietnam War and social issues also divided Democrats. What factors explain this? Most scholars believe that an important factor in determining whether a polity has two parties or more is its electoral system. Voters are not inclined to support third-party candidates since that is viewed as "wasting your vote. but they do not agree on what. Those describing the decline of parties focus on the weakening of party organizations at the state and local levels. At the national and state levels the United States relies almost exclusively on the single-member. This system tends to manufacture majorities or at least to exaggerate their size. 101 . fewer Democrats and Republicans and more Independents. two major parties have dominated elections for national office. Why? Partially. in recent years. The racial issue resulted in many blue-collar and urban whites joining southerners in abandoning Democratic presidential candidates. scholars and journalists have disagreed over the health of political parties in America. However. governing majorities exist only where voting majorities exist. IV. however. Beginning in 1964. the electoral system is some version of proportional representation. Also. V. Most commentators believe the New Deal party system is gone.

in turn. and residual--undercut parties. Why a Two-Party System? The authors end the chapter with an explanation for why a two-party system has dominated American politics whereas most modern democracies have a multi party system. They have. 102 . B. simple plurality voting. and the media. the argument makes sense. Parties vs. helped rejuvenate party organization at lower levels. IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. the real alternative to party domination of the electoral process is not popular influence. The Supreme Court's reapportionment decisions (one-man-one-vote) also had an impact. fund-raising. Assuming a two-party system. They describe in some detail the difference between proportional representation and single-member. campaigning. The Decline of Party Organizations The decline of American party organizations was in considerable part a consequence of deliberate public policies: civil service reform and direct primary. Some view this resurgence differently. If the argument is valid. They were rejuvenated by the parties increasingly relying on full-time political operatives and experts on polling. describing parties as not stronger but just busier. VI. The communications revolution lessened the need for traditional parties. There are other factors as well. The Revival of Party Organizations? Unlike the past. The post-World War II increase in mobility--social. A. economic. Interest Groups Some political theorists believe that the power of interest groups correlates negatively with the power parties. but interest group influence. national party committees today are active and well-financed.

For example. After the Civil War. the division was primarily between farm (rural) interests and industrial (urban) interests.S. two groups developed at the Constitutional Convention: confederationists (states rightists) and nationalists (as discussed in Chapter 3). as noted in this chapter. have dominated most of U. Federalists. Once the Constitution was written. Here. Probably the most significant issue dividing the nation was slavery: North vs. Thus. There are other reasons that could be discussed for why the United States. A. no serious candidate for national office in the U. for whatever reasons. they are generally not taken seriously. separation of church and state. unlike most other democracies. in recent decades a major division written about a great deal is that between the Frostbelt (industrial Midwest and Northeast) and Sunbelt (South and West). South. Historical Factors American history has basically been one of duality. 103 ." Although some people. a major division was whether or not to declare independence (Whigs and Tories). seeks to debate the need to write a new Constitution. is the strong agreement as to what "issues" are debatable and which are considered settled. may raise questions over such issues. These issues are considered "settled. Two groups.S. Finally. B. and capitalism. Consensus A marked difference between the United States and most other democracies to which it is compared. The next significant issue was the writing of the Constitution. most of the great issues to divide the United States have resulted in two groups. The same could basically be said for the place of public education. the nation divided over ratification: Federalists (for ratification) and Antifederalists (against ratification). When the first parties developed it was into two: Democratic-Republicans vs. and even candidates. Early on in the history of the republic. history. has developed and retained a two-party system.

In any event. like Ross Perot can make any headway into challenging the major party candidates because he is capable of purchasing expensive media (primarily television) time. not newsworthy. Third-party and Independent candidates are given little. In their defense. The Media Some see a bias in the U. The parties agree about many significant issues. Thus. with the resulting proliferation of groups and parties. simple plurality rule. but they are not newsworthy because they are not covered by the media. the media argue that it does not cover third parties because they are not serious challengers and thus. In many of these democracies. Only a billionaire. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. for example. there is serious discussion over whether or not a new constitution is needed or just what type of economic system is desired. These issues are alive and being seriously discussed in some countries. Some have Christian parties and blend religion with politics. media towards the major parties. C. there exists not only differences over means but the ends themselves. so the criticism goes. 104 . there are significantly more issues "cross- cutting" each significant issue. Their differences are more about the means category rather than the ends as well themselves. are covered routinely by the evening news. Such is not the case in many other democracies around the world. There are others. if any. Whereas in other democracies. it is a fact that most of the news coverage goes to the Democratic and Republican candidates.S. Third-party candidates claim that this places them in a Catch-22. D. coverage. One result of this difference is that parties in America are not "cross-cut" with a variety of significant issues. the authors highlight the bias for the two-party system in the single-member. Rules of the Game As mentioned earlier. They don't get covered by the media because they are not newsworthy.

Third-party and independent candidates must earn a place on the ballot. In contrast. Third parties and independents could get public money under the law but only after the election. the Democratic or Republican nominee for office automatically gets printed on the ballot. Perot possessed the resources to establish state directors and volunteers to garner the needed signatures to get on the ballot. the voter must list the name of the candidate's electors on the ballot. Election rules are written mostly by state legislatures (with some federal laws).In every state. As the most successful third-party/independent presidential candidate since Teddy Roosevelt's unsuccessful Bull Moose pursuit. the Ross Perot effort on 1992 overcame the various state ballot access requirements. State legislatures and Congress are dominated by Democrats and Republicans. however. stipulate that for a vote for a third-party candidate for the presidency to count. and only if they got at least 5 percent of the popular vote (after which their funds would be prorated based on the major party vote). He claimed he spent more money on lawyer's fees challenging state laws to get on the ballot. George Wallace ran for president as an American Independent Party candidate. it provided for 20 million dollars (again. for example. Once a candidate was nominated. This usually means collecting thousands of signatures (sometimes with strict standards as to how and where they are collected). than he did campaigning. subject to inflation increase) to be given to a nominee. They might. Though he was more successful than Wallace at overturning state ballot access laws. the law stipulated the money for major parties only (Democrat and Republican). A good example of this at the national level is the 1974 Campaign Finance Reform Act. the time he spent in the courthouse severely impeded him from his grassroots effort. In both instances. It allowed for each presidential candidate to get 10 million dollars (increased every four years to take inflation into account) in tax money in the prenomination phase of the campaign. It is not surprising that the rules they (Democrats and Republicans) write into law tend to discourage third-party and independent candidates. Each state can also develop other rules that discourage third parties. In 1968. The same holds true for John Anderson in 1980. This law was the first to provide public financing for presidential candidates. 105 .

and party in government. Here are some issue differences from the 1996 Democratic and Republican platforms: State of the Economy: Democrats: "Today." Further. it tends to stay in place. The economy is stronger. Why? For all of the reason listed above. 2. party in organization. Inertia A body in motion tends to stay in motion . The same could be said of a two-party system. Perhaps the most recognized document that distinguishes the parties from each other is the party platform. the deficit is lower and the government is states the law of inertia.E. logically and theoretically. Frank Sorauf (“Party Politics in America”) divided the two major national parties into three groups: party in electorate. 106 . The party in organization and party in government for each major party do differ. drafted every four years. Once in place. For millions of families. the American dream is fading. The fact is that parents that are Democrats tend to raise children that identify with the Democratic Party. they tend to perpetuate themselves. In Chapter 5. likewise for Republicans. the political parties are playing the same tune economically. it should be explicitly noted that both political parties endorse and support capitalism rather than socialism and/or communism." Republicans: "We cannot go on like this. America is moving forward. This can be clearly seen from studies of the views of delegates attending the national conventions (party in organization) and the views of those holding public office (party in government). the authors discussed political socialization. Since those two parties have dominated most of American history since the Civil War. Are the Two Major Parties Different? The answer is yes and no. Thus. The party in electorate for the two major parties does not differ that much. and one more.

"Respect the individual conscience of each American on this difficult issue." Republicans: Support a 15 percent reduction in tax rates.Taxes: Democrats: "America cannot afford to return to the era of something-for-nothing tax cuts. Republicans: "Reject the distortion" of equal protection laws that would "cover sexual preference." Republicans: "We will attain our nation's goal of equal rights without quotas or other forms of preferential treatment. Affirmative Action: Democrats: "We should mend it. expansion of I." Arts and Broadcasting: Democrats: Support government assistance to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.'s and lower taxes on Social Security benefits. a 50 percent cut in the capital gains rate." Homosexual Rights: Democrats: Seek to "end discrimination against gay men and lesbians and further their full inclusion in the life of the nation. Republicans: Seek an end to funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.A. a $500-per-child tax credit. 107 . Abortion: Democrats: Support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion in all circumstances currently legal." Republicans: Support a Constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion in all circumstances.R. not end it.

to distinguish differences between the two major parties? A partial answer to this question can be seen by examining three elections: 1964. he would provide the voters with a "real" choice.. in 1964. the rules favored a more liberal candidate like McGovern. Gerald Pomper's study of platforms showed that what a party says it believes in matters.Finally. he would ignite voters. for those who believe that party platforms were made to be broken. Lederman. He did this by convincing them that. pp. 108 . and they would vote for him. His campaign slogan became. How did he get the nomination? Part of the explanation was that McGovern had co-chaired a commission that developed new rules for the election of delegates to the national convention. Nixon won in a landslide. and 1976. George McGovern. Why Don't the Parties Appear to Differ? Why is it that the average American is unable. Elections in America. more people than usual would vote." He would not merely mimic the Democratic candidate. 1972. 1964 Presidential Election: In spite of the fact that he represented a minority of views within the minority party (less identifiers than Democrats). "A choice. 128- 178). Although he was able to get the nomination. took specific issue positions. with any specificity. McGovern lost every state (including his home state) but one (Massachusetts). 1972 Presidential Election: In 1972 the Democrats nominated a rather liberal Democrat. His position was that as such an outspoken candidate. Thus. 1980. 3. even though he was an outspoken candidate who sometimes. rather. Pomper with Susan S. He examined the major party platforms from 1944 to 1976 and concluded that about two-thirds of platform pledges are carried out (Gerald M. Goldwater was able to convince the Republicans to nominate him for president. contrary to conventional wisdom. Not surprisingly. not a echo. he could win. 2nd ed. Goldwater was defeated in a landslide.

but not too much. The result was one of the closest elections this century. Had 10.000 (out of about 80 million) voted differently (in selected areas of the nation). institutional barriers play a significant role in hindering the success of these political vehicles at the local. they lose. the two major parties seemed to have learned that when candidates take specific issue positions or are viewed as extreme. as well as Ralph Nader's 2000 Green Party presidential pursuit): a) ballot access requirements b) federal financing of campaigns c) single-member. Carter ran on the phrase "I will never lie to you. It was very difficult to pinpoint what each candidate stood for. winner-take-all electoral districts d) bias media coverage e) issue cooptation f) the electoral college 109 . If voters can't tell the difference between the two major candidates for president. That year the Democrats nominated Jimmy Carter. Third Parties: Though many political scientists claim they are needed to serve as a check and balance on the two-party system. and federal levels.1976 Presidential Election: In 1976. which advances the two-party system. and the Republicans nominated Gerald Ford. They are as follows (here is a good opportunity to discuss Perot's 1992 and 1996 campaign. Besides the historical dualism and political culture. there have been many reasons for their failure at the ballot box. you risk losing. A better strategy is to try to stake out positions that distinguish yourself from your opponent. state. The lesson for the two parties would seem to be if your nominee distinguishes himself too much from the opponent. this may be due to the strategy of the two campaigns. Ford would have won." and Ford was the incumbent who wanted to move America forward.

Maybe George Wallace was right when he called the Republican and Democratic parties "Tweedledee and Tweedledum. 8.2. 255 110 . 240 T14 Party Organizational Chart.1." Regardless. followed by the text page. T13 Party-Systems Interpretation of American Electoral History.if they are fortunate enough to get on the ballot!! LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. third parties raise issues and offer voters an additional selection at the ballot box . Table 8.

Discuss the historical evolution of newspapers. There are several forms of media bias. (3) emphasizing on the negative. The emphasis on media in campaigns has led to the development of the media consultant (replacing party leaders). and ultimately persuade people to think a particular way. but there is little to show any significant liberal bias. 3. Identify the main sources of media information for the American people. radio. (4) emphasizing on scandals. from being expensive and partisan- controlled to becoming truly affordable. independent and professional publications. 5. Discuss the roles of television. Explain how the media influenced or did not influence public opinion after the Tet Offensive and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. 111 . Explain how government regulates the electronic media. 2. 4. prime people to evaluate politicians in a particular way. and (5) and emphasizing on personalities. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. (2) emphasizing conflict. Media can determine what is being discussed. frame issues. The effects the mass media have on voters are contingent: they depend on the audience and the information being conveyed. Voters do become more informed watching campaign ads. and the new media in terms of providing information to the American people. The biases that do occur are (1) defining what is news.CHAPTER NINE The Media OVERVIEW Newspapers were superseded by television and now recent technological developments have produced new media that are changing the shape of that medium.

the emphasis on scandals or gaffes. the stress on conflict. Pinpoint the key elements of media coverage of the government--emphasis on the president (and other personalities). framing. The rise of the penny (newspapers selling for a penny) in 1883 marks the birth of the media in America. Review the general categories of media biases--ideological. KEY TERMS agenda-setting mass media CNN effect minimal effects thesis equal-time rule new media fairness doctrine priming framing selection principle spin OUTLINE I.and evaluate how strong these effects are and why these effects relate to the situation and characteristics of the information being considered. Some were affiliated with a political party. Itemize and discuss the importance of media effects agenda-setting. 9. selection. the accentuation of the negative. and professional--and the prospects for changing these biases. Prior to this. A. Newspapers and Magazines The first daily newspaper in America was published in 1783. priming. 7. and the exaggerated concern with the press. and the presidential debates. Development of the Mass Media The term “mass media” refers to means of communication that are technologically capable of reaching most people and are economically affordable by most. 112 . and persuasion. the national nominating conventions. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of media coverage in relation to campaigns. 8.6. mostly weeklies were published.

000 newspapers and 12. Probably the most important recent political development in radio communications is the rapid increase in talk shows. Today. about 11. B. As readership expanded. The average household has five radios. Partisanship of newspapers declined. Some worry that the print media in particular and the mass media in general are becoming increasingly homogeneous. They were still intensely partisan. journalists became more professional. They emphasized local news. Gannett owns more than 90 papers. and began including the human-interest story. After the Civil War. One of the most widespread is conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh's show. The great chains--Hearst. Smaller cities rely on news services like the Associated Press.000 stations that reach 80 percent of the population. The emphasis in the late 1800s was sensationalism (sometimes called "yellow journalism"). 113 . Most cities are now served by one or two newspapers. Many newspapers and newsweeklies maintain their own Washington bureaus and send reporters all over the world. The most important modern trends in the newspaper industry are the declines in the number and independence of papers. Inexpensive magazines that were aimed at the new educated middle-class also made their appearance.000 periodicals are published. and others--were being formed around the turn of the century. newspapers changed. and chains gobble up independent newspapers. President Roosevelt. Radio Radio began making inroads into the print media monopoly in the 1930s. the press became more independent of political parties. Today there are more than 11. with his made effective use of the radio with his fireside chats. Scripps. focused on sensationalism.

and e-mail. Today. network television continues to be the largest single source of information available to Americans.500 television stations in the United States and about 99 percent of all households have at least one television set (with an average of four). Other facets included in the phrase would be VCRs. President John F. Television Today. producing simple commercials. satellite dishes. Kennedy elevated television above the print medium. There are more than 1. CBS. the newer media allow politicians to communicate very specific information to specialized audiences. Prime time network programming has lost more than a quarter of its audience to cable stations. only cable television is used by enough people to be considered mass media. It gives politicians a greater capacity to communicate to voters without having their messages constrained and edited by the traditional mass media. The talk-show format is now the sixth most popular radio format. fax machine cellular phones. 65 percent of households get cable. the term “mass media” is used almost synonymously to mean television. leading some scholars to suggest that the United States is in transition from an era of broadcasting to an era of narrowcasting. CDs. C. Of these. The Dwight Eisenhower campaign was the first to take advantage of television. D. Cable television began to expand in the 1970s. New Media Cable television is probably the best-known example of what is generally described as the new media. Still. and ABC. 114 . While network TV makes "general" appeals to its audience. modems. just ahead of rock. The industry was organized under three large networks: NBC. answering machines.

People were receptive to what they already believed and screened out what they didn't. The primary reason was selective perception. Congress passed the major Telecommunications Act in 1996 that. government could regulate it. E. It required stations that sold time (or made time available) to one candidate to sell equal amounts of time to other candidates. The FCC issued the equal time rule. Media Effects Early studies done on the effects of mass media on people's opinions tended to show that Americans were remarkably resistant to attempts to change their views. III. The Federal Communications Commission regulates the electronic media. electronic media was constrained by technology (just so many stations could be located on the radio band). The reason was that unlike print media. which basically forced stations to provide balanced political viewpoints to be expressed. It also issued the fairness doctrine. Since not everyone had an equal chance to get their views out on radio. Later studies on television showed various effects. As one moves from national to state to local politics. What Information Sources Do Americans Use? Television is the dominant provider of information in American society. television prominence declines (with newspapers being the major source of information in local elections). should produce far-reaching changes in mass media. between print media and electronic media is the amount of government regulation (with much more regulation allowed of the latter). Government Regulation of the Electronic Media One difference. by further deregulating the telecommunications industry. II. but the rule was repealed in 1987. Regulations concerning what could be broadcast was upheld by the Supreme Court. however. 115 . and its dominance is increasing as the electronic media progress and expand. historically.

A. Agenda-Setting

One researcher concluded that while media may not tell people what to think, that
could tell people what to think about. This has been dubbed the CNN effect.

B. Priming

Media may also be responsible for directing the public to think along certain lines
(such as evaluating a president based on a particular issue). This is called
priming, and is similar to the idea of framing discussed in Chapter 5.

C. Persuasion

If the media persuades people to think about a particular issue or think differently,
it is generally the end result of a chain of subtle influences rather than the direct
product of media attempts to convert people to an alternative point of view.

D. How Strong Are Media Effects?

The strength of the effects of media depends on the characteristics of the audience
and the characteristics of the information.

Uninterested and uninformed people are most susceptible to agenda-setting
effects. Partisans are more easily primed.

When the problem or event is far away--well beyond personal experience--and the
mass media provide the only information people have, their influence will be
greater than when information is closer to home and people have some personal
basis for arriving at opinions.

IV. Media Biases

A. Ideological Bias

Is there a liberal media bias? Liberal viewpoints are over-represented among
practicing journalists, but do these journalists let their views bias their reporting?
It is a fact that the endorsements of the newspapers are disproportionately


There is not much evidence of a significant liberal bias in media coverage of

Some studies have concluded that the media are harder on Republicans, but other
studies have shown just the opposite.

One researcher concluded that the media are harder on incumbents than

The fact that the media are business enterprises pulls them in a conservative

B. Selective Biases

Far more pervasive than ideological bias is a bias toward the negative in the
media. One political scientist argues that the negative tone of the media has
become much more prominent in recent decades. Others observe that this has
contributed to increasing voter cynicism.

Another selection bias is what constitutes news. Events and crises, heroes and
villains, dramatic events, colorful personalities, and sound bites all make better
news than their counterpoints.

C. Professional Biases

Some journalists work a particular beat, but most are generalists who lack specific
substantive expertise. Then, too, there is the pressure of ratings (in television

The lack of internal expertise and the competitive pressure for ratings contribute
to what is called pack journalism, wherein reporters unanimously decide
something is the big story and attack it like wolves tearing apart its prey.

D. Prospects for Change

As the network system declines, more independent stations begin operation, and
the new media continue to advance, we may see the development of numerous
specialized informational channels that reflect values different from the
entertainment values that increasingly shape the modern mass media.


Selection biases might gradually become undermined by technological change.

V. The Media and Electoral Politics

A. Campaign Coverage

Critics charge the media with providing far too much coverage of candidate
personalities and not enough of the issues. In recent years, the media has
increasingly treated elections as horse races, with an emphasis on who's winning
and who's losing.

B. The Conventions

Since the primary process for nominating candidates was instituted in 1972, the
conventions are not nearly as important as in earlier eras, and media coverage has
dropped accordingly.

Consequently, the parties now treat the conventions as huge infomercials, with the
networks providing less coverage. In 2000, MTV provided more coverage than
the three networks combined.

C. The Presidential Debates

The Commission on Presidential Debates was established in 1987 to ensure that
debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible
information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and
produce debates for the United States’ leading presidential and vice-presidential
candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the
debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation,
sponsored all the general election debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000.

The debates also don't hold good news for independent and third party
presidential aspirants. The nonpartisan commission established a rule and
reiterated that rule in January of 2000 – which hurt Ralph Nader of the Green
Party. The rule explicitly states that presidential candidates must have an average
of at least 15 percent support in five national polls in order to take part in the fall

Moreover, there are indications that performance in the debates can sway the
undecided voter.


As in campaign coverage generally, the first question the media raise about
debates is "who won?" If a candidate has misspoken, that often becomes the
subject of a feeding frenzy.

VI. Media Coverage of Government

The media views much of what government does as dull, and, as a result, it goes
looking for what is less dull.

A. Emphasis on the President (and Other Personalities)

The media pays more attention to the president than to Congress. He is one
person and has personality and character. (One exception of recent years was
early coverage of Speaker Newt Gingrich, an outspoken and colorful individual.)

By focusing on personalities, the media encourages individualism and discourages

B. Emphasis on Conflict

The media emphasizes conflict, name-calling, and the like over thoughtful,
intelligent discussion.

C. Emphasis on Scandals and Gaffes

For every three-issue stories about Congress today, there is a media story about a
congressional scandal. From 1972 to the mid-1980s, for every scandal story,
there were 13 issues stories.

D. Emphasis on the Negative

From the media's standpoint, what government does well is less newsworthy than
what government does badly.

E. Exaggerated Concern with the Press

Government officials have become more concerned with the press than the voters.



1. Here are some ideas that relate to points made in the chapter, but go into more depth.

What is the "law of minimal effects?":

It describes how effective political ads on television are in changing voters’
minds. When a person buys television time for a political ad, one assumes they
are trying to convince those who are going to vote for someone else, or who are
undecided, to change (or make up) their minds and vote for them.

The law of minimal effects posits that the chance of this happening is slim. If this
law is true, than it would appear that when candidates spend large sums of money
on television ads, they are not getting their money's worth. Is it true?

First, why would television have a minimal effect on changing people's minds? It
has to do with the political interest and knowledge of the average voter. As
pointed out repeatedly in the text, most people are politically ignorant and
apathetic. In the 1950s and a great deal of the 1960s when candidates wanted to
advertise on television they would buy large chunks of time (often 30 minutes) to
explain their views to the voters. Yet, most voters did not want to listen to a
candidate talk about issues for 30 minutes, so they would switch channels.

Only two types of people watched these political ads: those who really liked a
candidate and those who really disliked a candidate. The candidate running the
ads obviously did not want to change the mind of the former, and it would be
nearly impossible to change the mind of the latter.

The people whose minds were most susceptible to change were the people that
would not watch the ads. These would be the moderates, fence-straddlers, or
undecideds. Thus, the law of minimal effects- if, by effect, one means changing
the viewers mind.

Changing Political Ads:

Eventually, when this law became known, politicians, acting on the advice of
those who had studied marketing and advertising, changed the way political ads
were presented on television.


Rather than buy large segments of time to explain the issues, candidates began
hiring marketing experts and running one-minute commercials. The more
sensational or eye-catching these commercials were, the better. The reason was
that if they were sensational or eye-catching then the politically apathetic might
still pay attention to them. The fact that they were brief (three minutes at the
most) helped because the people you needed to reach were not that interested in

Daisy Girl Commercial:

Perhaps the best example of this approach is the classic political ad referred to as
the Daisy Girl Commercial. It was an ad for the Democratic presidential nominee
Lyndon Johnson. It created such a furor; it ran on television only one time.

In the opening scenes of the commercial, a very young girl is strolling through a
field and picks a daisy. The girl begins to pluck the pedals from a daisy, and each
time she does a voice counts down another number from 10. When the girl plucks
the last pedal the voice reaches zero and a mushroom cloud goes off behind the
girl with the screen going all white (simulating an atomic-bomb explosion). At
this point, a voice comes on and says, “Vote Democratic in November.”

A few years later, Joe McGuiness came out with his book, “The Selling of the
Presidency.” On the book's jacket was a picture of a package of cigarettes with
Nixon's picture on the package. The message, simply put, was that television was
now being used to sell candidates the same way cigarettes and detergent were

This was the beginning of the modern age of political advertising on television.
All of this was basically a result of the acceptance of the principle behind the law
of minimal effects.

So Television Has No Effect?

It would be incorrect to believe this. While television is weak, in the sense of
getting viewers to change their opinions, it still plays an important role as a
reinforcer. As mentioned above, people who like candidates often watch the ads.
These people are important to the candidate, who needs their votes. Television
can serve the important function of reminding them that the candidate is in a
battle and needs them to try to persuade others, and certainly to get out and vote.
In close elections, it could make the difference.


here are some memorable moments from some presidential debates (the kind that make people glad they watched). you may have the answer by asking a similar question about students. 122 . the reporter repeated the question only to get the same response from Ford. Since this was clearly incorrect. Those viewing the debates are not really engaged in the debate." It's just a theory. or work on homework in other courses? Why do they bother to come if they are not going to pay attention? Perhaps citizens watch presidential debates for the same reason some students come to class: in the event something memorable happens. they are waiting for something to happen. or talk to their neighbor. Hardly anyone who has ever watched a presidential debate could remember a substantive point made by one of the candidates. As a professor. In Ford's response there he explained that under his administration was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe." or “This will definitely be on the exam. They are more like simultaneous press conferences. Ever wonder why some students come to class and sleep. some students are not really engaging themselves in a lecture or discussion. The press hounded Ford about this for about two weeks after the debate.the kind of thing that will be talked about at work the next day-and they want to be able to say "I was watching that!" Likewise. Why do so many people watch them? They don't seem to be paying much attention. Historic Presidential Debate Moments Are they really debates? Most commentators think presidential debates aren't really debates at all. or work on a crossword puzzle.2.One of the reporters on the panel of questioners asked President Ford about something relating to the Soviet domination of Eastern Europe. They are merely waiting for the professor to make a particular announcement such as “The exam has been postponed. Ford vs. That being said. He finally admitted it was basically a mistake. Carter: 1976 .

those listening to the 1960 presidential debates on the radio thought Nixon won. Carter also committed a gaffe. At one point. Mondale 1984 . While it is true there is no rule requiring debating. He had won debating awards in college. it did not come across that way to many viewers. there was no rule you had to debate." 123 . There was one condition: Mondale had to refer to him during the debate as "President Reagan. Mondale was an experienced politician.The Ghost of the 1960s Debate: As noted in this chapter.Rumor has it that Reagan's staff did not want him to debate Walter Mondale in 1984.Perhaps the most memorable moment in President Carter's debate with Ronald Reagan was Reagan's line during his summation "Are you better off now than four years ago?" This was a brilliant strategy since he knew the answer for most of those viewing would be "no. Reagan vs. He decided he would debate Mondale. Also. Reagan had been dubbed the "great communicator." and he was appealing to the tendency of most voters to engage in retrospective voting.In the debates with Ford. he explained that he had talked with his daughter Amy (then just a young girl) about nuclear disarmament. Thus. Reagan 1980 . it is how you look (or project). Carter vs. Those viewing it on television thought Kennedy won. when Ford made this mistake during the debate. Ford 1976 . While Carter may have been trying to appear to be a family man or sympathetic to young kid's fears. Carter vs. and Reagan was getting along in years. the lesson was clear: It doesn't matter what you say. First. it has practically become institutionalized now. (See the Lecture Suggestion for Chapter Six). He was ridiculed about it in the press. Furthermore. In subsequent debates with most people watching them on television." and apparently he believed he was. he probably thought (no one knows for sure) it would be easier to "explain away" his answer than to admit to an audience of millions that he had made a fundamental mistake.

(Reagan did not refer to Carter as "President Carter" in his debate. Reagan was Reagan again. how you are. Would his behavior raise the age issue again? Early on in the debate." What Happened Next? In the next debate with Mondale. Reagan won over the viewers by bringing up the age issue himself. To keep reminding the viewers of that would probably not help you win the debate as some people respect the presidency regardless of who is president. What Happened? During the debate. Perhaps he was too old to be president and. everyone was wondering how Reagan would appear. In a self- depreciating and humorous way he stated that he knew the age issue had been raised and he wasn't going to get into it because he didn't want to mention the youthful inexperience of his opponent (Mondale). projecting yourself compared to the person with whom you are sharing the stage. The result was a great deal of press and attention the days following the debate on Reagan's age.) Nancy explained that in preparing for the debate. what his consultants should do is "let Reagan be Reagan. in this case.) So again. (Reagan consultants must have been thinking. how questions are worded makes a difference. we told you so. or in this case. Usually when a challenger (in this case Mondale) debates an incumbent. The same could be said with titles in a debate. the ghost of 1960: It is an image thing. 124 . incapable of making important snap decisions. At one point. you do not want to remind the viewers that the person you are debating is president. it went on for several seconds (seemingly an eternity) and was quite noticeable. Even Mondale laughed. and you would be reminding people of this. Reagan stammered a great deal. Reagan's handlers had treated Reagan as if he were preparing for a final exam--cramming all kinds of facts in his head. According to her.Why "President" Reagan? As discussed Chapter Six about public opinion.

The Bush contingent must have been thinking. Bentson: 1988 . Dukakis' response was quite reserved. 125 . Dukakis had been described as a technocrat. for a variety of reasons. Senate. to most people this would be seen as an inappropriate way to ask about the death penalty (by having millions of viewers imagine your wife being brutally raped and murdered). Vice Presidents Debate Too . That has to be understood to get the importance of what happened in Dukakis' debate with Bush. Yet. He was young. and he had been in the U. Dukakis' problem was that he didn't know where the trains were going. and Shaw asked him if his wife were to be raped and murdered. and a staunch conservative. Now. After this. comparable to John Kennedy. (Dole debated Mondale in 1976 and came across with a very negative image. This was Dukakis' chance to show some sprit and that he was not just a walking encyclopedia.) Quayle had come under intense scrutiny after being named as Bush's running- mate.S. Dukakis 1988 . Bernard Shaw.Prior to this debate. Early on in the debate. in some people's eyes." along with his stint in the Senate made him. Dukakis had taken a stand against the death penalty. The "young and attractive.There was a memorable moment in the vice presidential debate in 1988 between Dukakis' running-mate (Benston) and Bush's (Quayle). and he merely reiterated his anti-death-penalty position. would he want the person who did it to be put to death.Bush v. a reporter with CNN. attractive. At the Republican national convention. which he had to overcome when he was a presidential debater in 1996. Bush said that while Dukakis might be able to make the trains run on time.Quayle vs. Probably. Usually there is one debate between the vice-presidential candidates. we told you he was a technocrat. put a rather surprising question to Dukakis. Dukakis never seemed to be able to warm-up to the voters. Many wondered why Bush selected him.

a major newspaper. Quayle made a passing reference to John Kennedy. At one memorable point viewers saw him glance at his watch as if to say to himself. had prepared for any such comparison Quayle might make) said to Quayle. "When is this thing going to be over!" 3. Clinton was in his element in this type of setting. A period of class time (depending on how much time you want to devote to this) could be set aside (say. bring it to class. as if. What is usually remembered about this debate is how stiff Bush appeared. some would argue. some say. 126 . Clinton vs. during the last class period of each week) to present these biases to the class. It is said that the Clinton contingent welcomed Perot in the debates because they felt that most of those that might switch their allegiance during the debate would switch from Bush to Perot (making it easier for Clinton to win). to remind viewers of his similarities with Kennedy. You're no John Kennedy. add a cable news program and a newsweekly like Time or Newsweek. John Kennedy was a friend of mine. and it showed. "Senator. Clinton was able during the negotiations over the format of the debates to get a town meeting type of debate. During the debate. Bush vs. Benston (who. (You could. Perot: 1992 . In any case. At that point. if you have enough students. Bias in the Media Students often arrive in class thoroughly convinced that the media is biased. and local newspapers." So devastating was the line that many people were said to grumble that they wished Bentson was the Democrats' presidential candidate and Dukakis his running-mate.The first thing to note about the presidential debates this year was the presence of three candidates.) Students are to watch or read for bias and whenever they spot it. I knew John Kennedy. A good assignment that could last a week or two or could be continued throughout the term would be the following: Divide the class up into those that will look for bias on the evening news.

9.1b. 9. LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number." Be careful that students bringing the material don't feel threatened by raising this question. it would be an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the different types of bias. This can be done by pointing out how difficult it is to establish bias. 277 127 . T15 Primary Sources of News. 276 T16 Most Credible News Source. followed by the text page. The first thing to establish is "Is it an example of bias. Your students will probably be surprised at the difficulty in establishing bias and the fact that ideological bias is not as prevalent as they thought.1a. Of course.

128 .

frustrated many of his important policies. including party identification. Cite some historical examples. such as national health care. most voters have made up their minds (based on party identification and government performance). Itemize those factors affecting voting behavior in presidential elections. Change is unlikely. 7. The primary phase of the campaign is long. 129 . government performance. 5. 6. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. Explain the roles of party activists and the media in the primary process. Election outcomes are largely determined by prior events. along with Democratic divisions. 8. Explain why GOP opposition to Clinton was so vigorous and how that opposition. 4. Explain how the "deal of the cards" strongly influences the outcome of a presidential campaign. candidates. This explains Clinton's victories in 1992 and 1996. issues. presidential primaries have taken on added significance.CHAPTER TEN Electing the President OVERVIEW Since the 1970s. Discuss the operation of and controversy surrounding the Electoral College. 3. Summarize the growth of the primary process as well as the respective strengths and weaknesses of that process (both procedural and political concerns). Explain the importance of balancing the ticket regarding the selection of the vice- presidential nominee. Party activists and the media are advantaged by it. Analyze why the issue of candidate personality is often an overrated principle in a presidential campaign. noting both the negative and positive implications that flow from those roles. and the "deal of the cards" (social and economic realities that impact every campaign). 2. General election campaigns are misunderstood. Prior to the campaign. the media.

typically. and blanket). Summarize the issues that hurt the Democrats during the 1980s and explain how Clinton was able to defuse some of these issues in 1992 and 1996. Caucuses In caucus states. A. The process for selecting delegates to the national convention is. as was the case in 2000. he fared better in semi-closed primary states. The Nomination Process Unlike the case in many other democracies. too. open. delegates are chosen for the next level and then the next. KEY TERMS caucus party image closed primaries political activist electoral vote popular vote honeymoon primary election matching funds prospective voting open primaries retrospective voting party identification semi-closed primaries winner-take-all voting OUTLINE I. until a state's final delegation of delegates is chosen to attend the national convention. Turnout for precinct meetings is.9. C. Primaries Primaries differ from state to state (closed. Thus. in single digits. semi-closed. Evolution of the Nomination Process 130 . the nomination process begins in precinct meetings. Here. party meetings (caucuses) and party elections for nominees (primaries) in the United States are open to every citizen. The type can matter. B. John McCain's early strength in the primaries was partially due to his appeal to independents.

Strengths and Weaknesses of the Nomination Process 1. 3. Political Concerns Another set of criticisms of the process has to do with those who gained power when primaries became important. they work in campaigns and donate money to candidates. D. Because of the length of the process. all of the Republican delegates and about 80 percent of the Democratic delegates were selected in presidential primaries. some emphasizing the good of the process and others the bad. Procedural Concerns One complaint about the process is that it starts too early and lasts too long. every wart of each candidate has been highlighted to the point of disillusioning the voters. Political Activists These are people who are more interested in and committed to political issues than are ordinary citizens. 131 . Also. a long campaign gives voters a clearer look at the character of the candidates. Financing Nomination Campaigns Most presidential candidates (if eligible) accept federal matching funds during the primary phase of the campaign. The twenty in the Democratic Party are awarded to super-delegates. The direct primary became popular during the Progressive Era. Those supporting the system reply that the early beginning gives established outsiders a chance to gain recognition. In 2000. however. Still. Steve Forbes and George W. 2. Primaries increased their importance because political activists are more inclined than the average voter to participate. E. Some candidates declare and drop out of the race without being noticed by very many voters. primaries did not become popular in presidential elections until after Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination in 1968 having never entered a primary. Bush (both Republicans) refused these in 2000. The argument goes back and forth. Also.

and campaign feuds) instead of what the election outcome will mean for the country. The election is held the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November. Thus. the media now tell Americans what the media think. candidates seeking the nomination take more extreme positions than if all voters were participating. it could be said that if this is how the media behave it is because this is what the voters want to read or hear. Rather than tell Americans what the political participants think. They usually try to select someone that will help the ticket get elected. scandals. 132 . Another result of activists’ involvement in the primary process is that the issues that get debated are not always the same ones on the mind of the average voter. Who Nominates the Vice President? Before the reliance on the primary process. II. Critics charge that these activists are not representative of the public in their issue positions. A second criticism of the media is that it makes news by exaggerating campaign events (like the New Hampshire Primary). 4. Research shows that this criticism is an exaggeration. In defense of the media. Now. In response. the selection is entirely in the hands of the presidential nominee. The Media The media are advantaged by the primary process and they are criticized for focusing on trivial matters (such as who's winning. A third criticism is that the media have become players in the election instead of mere observers. C. The General Election The campaign for the presidency is officially under way on Labor Day. vice-presidential candidates were selected by convention delegates. it could be said that they merely give a different perspective to interpreting events from what each candidate's organization gives. gaffes.

there is a large-state bias in how the Electoral College works. soft money also became important. III. A. This electoral inertia is why the media have such a limited effect on the general election. Since that law could first go into effect (1976). In the past few decades. C. The most important category of spending is for the media. There have been instances in which a candidate winning more nation- wide popular votes did not end up president (for a variety of reasons). A. Since all but two states give all their electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote in the state. every major candidate has opted for this tax money. By the end of the convention about one-half to two-thirds have made up their minds. Spending in the General-Election Campaign Campaign consultants oversee the expenditure of campaign funds. An increasing trend in recent years is reliance on negative advertising. Voting Behavior in Presidential Elections Voters do not often switch how they vote. Here are the factors that affect when and how Americans make up their minds for whom to vote. Presently. presidential candidates (those receiving a major party nomination) could accept public financing to pay for their campaigns. When Americans Decide About one-third of voters have decided for whom to vote before the primaries. To win a candidate must get a majority of the electors. it appeared as if the Republicans had a lock on a good number of states (shaped like an "L") guaranteeing it a large share of electoral votes. In the 1990s. 133 . B. 270 is a majority of the 535 electors. Financing the General-Election Campaign Under the 1974 federal law. Designing General-Election Campaign Strategy: The Electoral College Electors are who really elect the president and Vice president.

and character. The Qualities of the Candidates An individual candidate’s personality can be a reason why voters might change their vote from election to election. Most people just do not know enough about policies or don't know where the candidates stand on issues. Party Loyalties About two-thirds of Americans identify with the Democratic or Republican parties. One exception would be social issues that help form a party's image (such as abortion. small-town residents. Southerners. Certain issues also can become important during a campaign. and gun control). however. integrity. union members. Voting by looking backwards at performance (retrospective voting) may be more common than basing a vote on what is desired in the future (prospective voting). and Catholics tend to identify with the Democratic Party. 2. Jews. Limited Media Influence on Presidential Elections 134 . Government Performance Voters are capable of basing a vote on how well they think the government is performing.B. decisiveness. C. Businesspersons. African Americans. Midwesterners. Public Policies Policy concerns are not a dominant factor in most elections. a tendency to overestimate the independent effect of the candidates. urban residents. 3. and Evangelical Protestants tend to identify with the Republican Party. experience. 4. The traits that particularly concern voters are intelligence. prayer in school. Performance voting demands less of voters than policy voting. How Americans Decide 1. There is.

The media have less effect on the general election than on primaries. Republican performance on policies beat Democrats on each of these major fronts: 1. Americans were in a strong anti-tax mood. Democrats stood for the party favoring spending. In this situation voters are more inclined to turn to the media to get their cues. political consultants. and the candidates themselves help perpetuate the myth that the media play a major role in determining the general election. A. 135 . The 1970s and 1980s: Republican Lock The so-called Republican lock on the presidency reflected developments that gave Republicans a clear advantage on two of the four major factors determining how Americans vote: performance and issues. the Democrats were not able to win the presidency twice in a row until the 1990s. IV. National Defense and International Relations Vietnam reinforced the view in many voters' minds that Republicans were better at handling foreign affairs. 2. This is due to the fact that party identification and government performance are not at work during the primary phase. The media. The Economy By the late 1970s. During the 1980s. Campaigns play the most significant role when elections are close from the beginning. The Contemporary Presidential Election Scene Since the New Deal Split in the 1960s.

The Republican Congress The Republican Congress was viewed as anti-environment (important to independents). The Gender Gap If only men had voted in 1996. The 1990s: Democratic Resurgence Turnarounds in each of the four areas just discussed contributed to Clinton’s victories in 1992 and 1996. lacking in compassion (important to women). it was also associated with sexual permissiveness and gay rights. V. C. It is not a result of men and women taking different positions on women's issue. military force. B. liberalism became associated with busing. and helping the disadvantaged. 3. later. The Economy The economy grew steadily during Clinton's first term and most Americans were optimistic concerning the economy. rather. Race Lyndon Johnson’s (and the Democrats') support for the 1964 Civil Rights Act hurt Democratic candidates. and made a serious mistake in shutting down the government in 1995-1996. The actions of the Republican Congress helped widen the gender gap. A. and affirmative action. Dole would have won. 136 . Social Issues In the 1960s. 4. they differ over violence. There is disagreement as to why. A majority of Americans took conservative stances on such issues. Inflation and unemployment were very low and the stock market was at an all-time high. The gender gap is widely misunderstood. welfare.

race. 137 . This can be a great place to open discussion on the 2000 presidential election. similar to the so-called era of no decision that prevailed from the 1870s to the 1890s. some think Gore lost because of Gore. Finally. welfare. D. One question: Why didn't Gore--the expected winner--win? One theory is that Gore was not able to take credit for the good of the Clinton years. Money Campaign finance also influenced recent elections. Some say Clinton neutralized these issues through his strategy of triangulation. The Y2K Election The presidential election of 2000 highlighted the importance of the Electoral College. It also underscored the different roles played by the primary and general elections. immigration. VII. and affirmative action. VI.Election 2000. The visual images and clips will reinforce the lecture material and offer the students a final opportunity to ask questions. E." It would behoove any instructor to get this video. Another is that Gore suffered from the scandals that plagued Clinton. Beyond 2000 The results of recent presidential elections would indicate that we are now in a seventh party phase. The Issues That Weren't Noticeable in the 1990s were issues that weren't important in the campaigns: crime. CNN has an excellent video examining the entire scenario from start to finish: "CNN.

and hesitate not to affirm. provides the theoretical justification for the delegate’s design for electing the president and vice president: the Electoral College. This was facilitated by requiring that the electors meet in their respective state capitals. 138 . Hamilton. that if the manner of it be not perfect. I. In designing the system. The framers also wanted to insure that that those making the decision would be best capable of analyzing the qualities needed in a president. "A small number of persons. also provides an efficient check on mob violence and disorders." II. The method of selecting the president has not been criticized much by the Anti- federalists. It was highly desirable that every obstacle should guard against cabal. This is because it is such a well-crafted system. This was accomplished by giving the choice to some men chosen by the people for this special purpose (not to a pre-established body of men. will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to so complicated an investigation. The system. as designed by the framers. the framers did not designate in the Constitution how electors would be selected. like Congress). the delegates were guided by the desire that the people have a say in deciding who would hold this important office. V. Federalist 68 In this essay. Below is a brief outline of the essay with significant or provocative quotes that could be used to spark class discussion." IV. selected by their fellow citizens from the general mass. "I venture somewhat further. and corruption. writing as Publius. but at least five times in this essay Hamilton expresses the view that electors ought to be selected by the voters. it is at least excellent. III.IDEAS FOR LECTURES OR DISCUSSION 1. intrigue. Also.

VII. "It will not be too strong to say. a person has to receive a simple majority of all the electors." IX. 2. This process will result in the office seldom going to an incompetent. The vice president is not superfluous. The vice president is to be selected in the same manner (the person who comes in second in the presidential election is elected vice president). These problems were most likely to come from foreign nations seeking to influence the election outcome. "Thus. If no person does receive a simple majority. Each state has a number of electors equal to its representation in Congress (House and Senate). including political scientists (see Danny M. the framers kept the decision from any pre-established body (which foreign agents could seek to influence. without corrupting the body of the people. free from any sinister bias. and the vice president can do this. X. Adkison and Christopher Elliot. the immediate agents in the election will at least enter upon the task. To prevent this. he makes a good successor to the presidency. Another desire was that the president be independent of all but the people. he would hardly have been independent of the legislative branch. VIII. To win the presidency. Also. (This was changed with the 12th Amendment). Electoral College Myths or Half-Truths The Electoral College is misunderstood by many people. the House of Representatives will select from the top five [changed to the top three with the 12th Amendment] electoral vote-getters (with each state casting one vote)." VI. "The Electoral College: 139 . It meets the true test of a good government: the tendency to produce a good administration. Someone was needed to break tie votes in the Senate. that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters pre-eminent for ability and virtue. Had the Congress elected the president. By constitutionally excluding office-holders from serving as electors and by the never having electors meet all in one place. by being elected in the same manner as the president.

Q. This falsity comes from the language of the Constitution. Three times the Electoral College has elected a president that got fewer popular votes. James Wilson of Pennsylvania proposed electing the president by special electors. D." PS March 1997. C. not the electoral college outright). Adams. In 1876 the Democrat Samuel Tilden got more popular votes than Hayes. The other two times that are usually lumped in with the 1888 election are the 1824 and 1876 elections. giving him the victory (again. In 1824 Andrew Jackson got more popular votes than J. when Cleveland got more popular votes but lost to Benjamin Harrison due solely to the electoral college). Not exactly. A Misunderstood Institution. which prohibits an elector from casting both of his votes for individuals from the same state. The Electoral College system prohibits the election of a president and a vice president from the same state. The Electoral College was designed late in the Constitutional Convention when the delegates could not agree on other methods for electing the president. however. This has happened only once (1888. within the first two weeks of the Convention. Actually. The Electoral College system stipulates that the plurality winner of a state's popular votes gets all of the state's electoral votes. It does not. A. but it was a special commission that allocated disputed electoral votes to Hayes. B. 140 .) Here are some myths concerning it. prevent the election of a president and a vice president from the same state. but it was the House of Representatives that elected Adams (not the electoral college outright).

M. The method of selection was left to states. Krasner returned to Bryce's theme in an article published in Volume 9. All but two states use the general ticket system (the plurality winner of a state's popular votes gets all of the state's electoral votes). But of the thousands of electors who have cast a vote for president and vice president. and you could take several portions of the chapter and use it for a stimulating discussion.” and he devoted one chapter to why great men are not elected president of the United States. Blair. don't use it (relying on the District Plan instead). Electors can vote any way they want." This is due to the fact that the parties usually select people to be electors due to their faithfulness to the party. Your library probably has the book. To rely solely on population would have guaranteed that the president (at least. E. Technically. No. Furthermore. 1952) that states may restrict the discretion of electors). In other words. Lord Bryce published “The American Commonwealth. they probably can. There was some sentiment similar to this expressed at the convention.” Here are a few points made by Bryce and Krasner. it was a political decision. it would have been difficult to get nine states to ratify the Constitution. The framers did not stipulate how electors would be chosen. The framers designed the Electoral College because they didn't think the public was intelligent enough to elect a good president. 3. early on) would have been selected by the three or four most populous states.04 percent have "defected. The American Commonwealth In the latter part of the nineteenth century. very few (about . but it is not required by the Constitution. the Supreme Court has ruled (Ray vs. 4 of “Presidential Studies Quarterly. But probably the primary concern with popular election of the president was the significant population differences among the states. Under this arrangement. in fact. This helps produce the risk that the person winning the national popular vote loses the election. Two states. F. 141 .

etc. unlike most European countries. Eminence Eminent men make more enemies and therefore make less desirable candidates in America. In other words. Parliament The things a person needs to be good at to get ahead or be successful in Congress (make deals. no person except General U. 4. Adams. First-Rate Ability Not Attracted to Politics Bryce asserts that. 5. Parties are more interested in a good candidate rather than a potentially good president. Bureaucracy The United States does not have the best organized bureaucracy for drawing people into government or for grooming those already there.S.) are not conducive to running for president. Grant has reached the presidency whose name would have been remembered had he not been president. etc. Several factors explain this. B. when the party's choice lies between a brilliant person and a safe person. the number of people with first-rate ability are not attracted to politics. Other Pursuits People of talent are more inclined to go into business than politics. 142 . Congress vs.). the safe person is preferred. 2. 1.A. Madison. writing bills. Many are Eligible but Few Great Men are Chosen Since the heroes of the Revolution (Jefferson. The way parliaments operate (with more of an emphasis on speaking and administration) are conducive to entering the executive branch. Non-Ideological Politics The United States does not have the burning questions in politics to attract those with a passion for politics. 3.

and has resided in the United States for 14 years is eligible to be president.) Finally. the authors fail to mention that voters scoffed at the ad also because Dukakis looked ridiculous. anyone who is 35. 312 T18 Bill Clinton Won an Overwhelming Electoral College Majority in 1996. 7.3. T17 States in Proportion to Electoral Votes. however. want to undergo (along with their families) the intense media scrutiny in order to possibly be elected president? LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. a natural born citizen. American voters prefer the magnetic candidate but see no need for originality or profundity. Parties. Technically. 316 143 . election rules and other informal rules limit the pool of eligibles. look for candidates from large states or from regions where their popularity would guarantee a large electoral vote. how many people. 10. (Note the story related in this chapter about Dukakis in the tank. followed by the text page. 6. Originality and Profundity More so than European voters. Election Rules Finally. There is increasing emphasis on looking presidential.2a. 10.

144 .

Define and explain such key concepts as constituency service. rotation services. Attempts to draw district lines so as to correct for this has been struck down by the Supreme Court. 2. Analyze why party and incumbency are the two most influential factors affecting House elections and why challengers have such difficulty in winning office. despite the framers' original intentions. Demonstrate why Senate elections are more perilous that House elections. Be sure to account for the rapid turnover of congressional personnel. Why do Americans keep reelecting Congressman if they are so critical of Congress? The answer has to do with the different standards by which Americans judge Congress and its members. Explain why Representative Margolies-Mezvinsky's vote in 1993 on Clinton's deficit reduction plan was a supreme act of political courage and why that vote resulted in the loss of her house seat. Citizens reelect the incumbent because they are so responsive to their constituents demands. 6. The rate of reelection for Senators is somewhat lower due to the more diverse constituency they represent. their greater media aoverage. and their stronger competition. 3. Discuss the impact of reapportionment and redistricting upon congressional elections. Explain why. 4. 145 . . LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. ombudsman.CHAPTER ELEVEN Choosing the Congress OVERVIEW Members of the House of Representatives are typically reelected at a rate of 90 percent or higher. Congress was not electronically sensitive during most of the nineteenth century. 5. The single-member district simple plurality electoral system dilutes the impact of minorities in House elections. the frank. and soft-money.

Term Limits. Jones? KEY TERMS affirmative-action incumbency advantage redistricting majority-minority bloc voting districts coattails national forces constituent service ombudsman constituent assistance professional legislature district service reapportionment filing deadline redistricting frank rotation gerrymandering OUTLINE I. The Electoral Evolution of the Congress As outlined in Article I of the U.S. Today. The 17th Amendment allowed the voters to directly elect Senators. 9. Representatives were to be more responsive to the voters. members of Congress serve for so many terms that Congress is described as a professional legislature. Thornton and Bates vs. 146 . What were the significance for term limits in the cases of U. vs. Review the dilemmas posed by majority-minority districting after the 1996 elections. were not attractive and some states used rotation. 8. Constitution. and location.7. Turnover levels were as high as 50 percent in the Houseuntil the Civil War.S. Clearly. This was due to factors other than defeat in an election: the office. voters elected Representatives and state legislators elected Senators. Inc. Evaluate whether the membership of Congress should or should not mirror the great ethnic and gender diversity of the American population. 10. Explain what national forces were at work in the 1994 midterm elections.

Few incumbents lose primaries. In fact. Changing Representational Behavior Members of Congress perform several functions other than make laws: district service and constituent assistance. Reapportionment and Redistricting The Constitution mandates a census every 10 years after which seats in the House are apportioned and states. A. II. III. but it is because members of Congress are so sensitive to voters that they serve numerous terms. Recent population shifts have favored Republicans in the House. These constituent services. this trend explains why some people advocate term limits. Party Decline Incumbency has increased in importance in recent decades primarily because of the weakening of parties at the national levels. Racial gerrymandering has been ruled unconstitutional by the courts. 70 percent or more of all voters who identify with a party typically support the House candidate of that party. B. IV. by benefiting lots of people (regardless of party) and being more prevalent today. The hardest- fought primaries occur in open seats. Iincumbency is second. redistrict (redraw district lines). if necessary. Contemporary House Elections Party affiliation is the most important factor in getting elected to the House of Representatives. help incumbents get reelected. Lines may be drawn to favor a candidate or party (gerrymandering). The Supreme Court has also ruled that districts must be equal in population (as close as possible). 147 . In House elections. The Congressional Nomination Process Most candidates for Congress are nominated by the primary system.

IV. increasing perks (including the franking priviledge). Party Competition Because Senators represent entire states. and technological advancements have also helped incumbent reelection rates. making them more responsive to constituents' wishes. money doesn't buy an election. The most talked about reform is public financing of congressional elections. D. 148 . Finally. Contemporary Senate Elections There are several ways in which the Senate differs from the House of Representatives. Expanding Member Resources The growth in size of congressional staffs. members are freed up to vote as they want. C. many don't try. Campaign Funds The role money plays in the election of incumbents is complicated. One point often missed is that the current system does allow challengers to offset the current financial advantage held by incumbents – who are writing the campaign finance laws. It also hinders voter turnout. and they explain why reelection rates are lower for Senators. The public is clearly upset with campaign financing. In other words. but at some point. it stops making much of a difference. with parties weak. More Responsive Incumbents One reason members of Congress are reelected today is because of the emphasis they place on pleasing constituents (more than ever before). The fact that members votes are watched more closely is another factor. it keeps competition away. Part of the reason is the law of diminishing returns: Money matters. Technological advancements have made it much easier for members to stay close to their constituents. their constituency is usually more diverse and that makes for stronger party competition. There is a hidden impact of campaign money: Since it takes so much to run for office. A. E.

Better Challengers The Senate is seen as a more attractive office and thus it attracts better challengers. High Ambitions Senators (and President) lay the groundwork for this. D. making them vulnerable to attack. meaning fewer credible challengers are needed for competitive challenges. Uncontrolled Information Senators receive far more media coverage than Representatives. B. Senators ard more vulnerable to attack. Ninety percent of incumbents won! Republicans in Congress are now performing as Democrats had to win reelection. they must get involved in more controversial issues. National Forces in Congressional Elections Forces means many members of Congress have concerns that are parochial and no longer tied to national trends. there are only 33 seats up for election every two years (unlike 435 in the House). V. A. 149 . The 2000 Congressional Elections Republicans retained control of the House and Senate (but just barely--and only by the vice president’s vote in the Senate). but not as much as one would think. Because of this. Also. National Forces in the 1990s: A New Era? The 1994 congressional elections (in which 57 Democrats lost) were somewhat of a throwback to earlier times (when incumbents were not as insulated). B. Exit polls showed that voters may have been influenced by national trends. C.

Minorities The prospects for further lessening of minority underrepresentation in Congress are less favorable than for women. but it also costs them seats won by Republicans. Do Congressional Elections Produce a Representative Body? The Congress is overwhelmingly composed of white male professionals. A. Some question the desirability of such districts because it locks in the number of minorities that can win (by block voting). Elections. The most common base for congressional candidates is the state legislature. B. this failure to be descriptively representative of the population is unacceptable. One is more unified political parties. Federal law sought to speed up the representation of minorities by mandating the creation of majority-minority districts (sometimes called affirmative-action redistricting). African-Americans have the most success when a district is mostly made up of African-Americans. C. The Supreme Court has declared some such efforts unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. For some. C. and Group Representation 150 . Another is soft money and independent expenditures (used to promote national issues). Why Do National Forces Appear to Be Growing Stronger? Two reasons may explain why congressional elections are becoming more nationalized. and it places them in a kind of political ghetto. Democrats are ambivalent about such districts since they are philosophically in favor of them. Women Societal prejudice against women serving in public office is diminishing. especially the prospects for African- Americans. Others argue that you don't have to be a woman (to use one example of a group underrepresented) to represent women's interests. Parties. VI. and women are making rapid progress in this arena.

One reason minorities go underrepresented in Congress is due to the single- member district. IDEAS FOR LECTURE AND DISCUSSION 1. The arguments Publius gave would make for good class discussion. to peculation. has been very popular in recent years." Publius argues that a person takes more interest in their work if they know that by doing a good job they will be rewarded. instead of the positive merit of doing good. mentioned in this chapter. If they know that no matter how they perform. they must leave office at a designated point. Thornton. v. too? A. simple plurality rule.S. the weakened party structure today creates an environment in which candidates fend for themselves without any regard for how race might further the party's interests. Do the argument Publius made concerning term limits on the presidency apply to Congress. "A second ill effect of the exclusion would be the temptation to sordid views. 1995). is the negative merit of not doing harm. Although the Supreme Court ruled that States could not set term limits on their members of Congress (U. In addition. in such a situation. Publius concludes. and in some instances. Inc. Term Limits. The notion of term limits. they will not take their job as seriously. Below are five reasons Publius (Federalist 72) gave for why the delegates to the Convention decided against term limits on the president. the push for such limits continues at the national level." 151 ." B. "The most to be expected from the generality of men. to usurpation. The 22nd Amendment (ratified in 1951) did put a limit on the number of times a person could be elected president. "One ill effect of the exclusion would be a diminution of the inducements of good behavior.

they will be more inclined to. inasmuch as it would substitute inexperience to experience. he might hold these in check if by doing so he could get reelected. or his ambition. and to declare that the moment it is acquired. would it have been wise to have a prohibition that made Roosevelt ineligible to continue as president? Clearly the public wanted him to remain president (being the only president elected more than twice to that office). "But with the prospect before him of approaching and inevitable annihilation. "A fifth ill effect of the exclusion would be that it would operate as a constitutional interdiction of stability in the administration. In fact.Publius argues that term limits tempt politicians to engage in corrupt practices. and to which it was adapted?" D. as one delegate at the Constitution Convention put it. its possessor shall be compelled to abandon the station in which it was acquired." E." 152 . their presence might be of the greatest moment to the public interest or safety. in certain emergencies of the State. for another." A good example of what Publius is referring to is the election of Franklin Roosevelt in 1940. even of equal merit. "A fourth ill effect of the exclusion would be the banishing men from stations in which. "A third ill effect of the exclusion would be thedepriving the community of the advantage of the experience gained by the Chief Magistrate in the exercise of his office. it would necessitate a mutability of measures." "Can it be wise to put this desirable and essential quality under the ban of the Constitution. one such emergency mentioned by Publius is war: "." C. or any similar is evident that a change of the Chief Magistrate. Just as the war in Europe was really heating up. at the breaking out of war. would at times be detrimental to the community." If a man has a lust for power or money. Describing how it would be with term limits Publius explains.. "Experience is the parent of wisdom. and would tend to unhinge and set afloat the already settled train of the administration. Realizing that they will soon be stripped of the position.. in the first office of the nation." Publius continues. his avarice would be likely to get the victory over his caution this vanity. "make hay while the sun shines. Take the temptation of reelection away (which is what term limits do) and the temptations of ambition and avarice can be overpowering. By necessitating a change of men.

Some were defeated in the primaries. 153 . C. Finally. Were they to be included in the calculation. while there is even the option of changing. and even if they don’t they still want to leave their unique imprint behind. Hence. Thus. It is impossible to predict how many open seats there will be every two years (when Representatives are up for reelection). there were probably some that thought this. Congress has a good retirement package. D. In 1994. "And we need not be apprehensive there will be too much stability. this would lower the percent of incumbents getting reelected. Obviously. Thus. as reported in this chapter. if they were included. Yet. there is no incumbency factor to help explain who wins. The reason why a change of men would cause a change of policy is because Publius is recognizing that when new people come into office they are going to think differently. the percent would be lower. 90 percent of the incumbents running were reelected. not all incumbents seeking reelection made it to the general election. nor need we desire to prohibit it from continuing their confidence where they think it may be safely placed. B. 34 incumbents who made it to the general election did lose." 2. How is this possible? A. one does not know if those members retiring did so because they felt they might not get nominated or reelected. First. They were all Democrats. Money plays a significant role in who wins in open seats. Which party typically has more money to spend in campaigns? Republicans. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 1953. The factor replacing incumbency in determining who wins is money. by constancy on their part. it should come as no surprise that Republicans won most of the large size of open seats (52). they may obviate the fatal inconveniences of fluctuating councils and a variable policy. In an open seat. and where. Publius concludes. there is no incumbent running for reelection. There were a good number of incumbents that decided not to run for reelection. Of course.

T19 The Advantage of Incumbency Surged in the Mid-1960s.2. 11. 371 154 . 348 T20 The North Carolina Redistricting Plan. followed by the text page.LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. unnumbered.

It is a compromise between what is needed to get the job done and what is needed to get reelected. Explain why Congress failed to pass a bill authorizing enterprise zones in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident. 3. and they want Congressmen to solve individual constituent problems. organization. 6. voters have demonstrated their dislike of Congress by calling for term limits. yet they overwhelmingly reelect incumbents. 155 . explaining how collectively they create the incentive and the opportunity to serve specific constituencies. but that leaves little time for the former. Analyze the interaction among geography. 5. In the early and mid- 1990s. and legislative flow in Congress. Explain why Americans do not have a high opinion of Congress as an institution but do have a positive view of their own members of Congress. Explain how congressional parties and the committee system contribute to the operation. The structure of Congress reflects this tension. professionalism. Summarize the organizational structure of Congress including the relationship between the two houses.CHAPTER TWELVE The Congress and Its Work OVERVIEW Americans tend to give Congress low ratings. and electoral independence. Delineate and explain the function of congressional staffers and congressional support agencies. 4. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. The reason is Americans hold Congress and Congressmen to two different standards. They want Congress to solve the nation’s major problems. Congressmen are good at the latter (since it helps guarantee their reelection). 2.

Understand the respective arguments that comprise the controversial issue of term limits. Review the various stages in how a bill becomes a l aw noting where a bill can die and why. This view is puzzling given the fact that members of Congress work hard. 9. Summarize the respective criticisms of Congress. and Americans view their own party members positively. and are very powerful. Congress--The First Branch Surveys consistently report that only a minority of Americans trust the Congress to do what is right or have confidence in Congress. 8. don't get as much pay as those in the private sector. KEY TERMS appropriations process markup authorization process minority leader bicameral multiple referral caucus president pro-tempore cloture rule conference select committee conference committee seniority delegate Speaker discharge petition sponsor distributive tendency standing committee distributive theory suspension of the rules filibuster trustee informational theory unanimous consent log-rolling agreement majority leader whip OUTLINE I. 156 . noting what Americans do and don't like about the institution and/or its members. and they view members (other than their own party) as having ethical standards only a bit higher than car salespersons.7.

A. these structures have been developed by elected officials to meet their needs.II. 157 . interests. The Organization of Congress: Parties and Committees Congress is composed of a House and Senate. policy decisions reflect this. IV. The Congressional Parties Parties are a principal organizing force in the Congress. They care deeply about reelection. Thus. Not mentioned in the Constitution. Inside Congress There are two major organizational features of the Congress. the party structure and the committee structure. ideology. constituency interests trump other forces . Electoral Independence and Constituencies Members of Congress today do not rely heavily on the party for their continuance in Congress. and they are attentive to the needs. C. Congress--The Context A. B. The two chambers have developed a division of labor and a party leadership structure. and values of their districts. III. Both are more important in the House than the Senate (which operates more informally). Geography and Constituencies Because members of Congress represent distinct geographical areas. or national interest. For they rely on themselves by serving their constituents in such a way that they stay popular and receive sufficient campaign contributions. Professionalism and Constituencies Members of Congress are professionals.

The office of Speaker never regained the powers removed at this time. Speaker of the House The Constitution stipulates that the House shall elect a Speaker. stripping the Speaker of several significant powers. Their powers in the House were such that it could accurately be said that Speakers ruled. The minority leader (created in 1883) performs the functions of the majority leader but for the minority party.1. These elect the party leadership and approve the slates of committees nominated by the Steering Committees. In practice. the Speaker is always the leader of the majority party in the House. 2. Members in both parties participate in their respective party caucus (Republicans call theirs the Conference). These committees are the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee. Party Leadership: House The office of majority leader was created in 1899. the Speaker often rivaled the president as the most powerful public officialin the United States. Some members serve on party committees that discuss issues. and sometimes endorse legislation. The Speaker ordinarily does not vote. whose job it is to link the leadership to the party rank and file. and is responsible for the day-to-day leadership of the party. The majority leader votes. From the end of Reconstruction to the turn of the century. The majority and minority leaders are assisted by whips. A revolt began in 1910. the Republican Policy Committee and the Republican Steering Committee. develop the party program. 158 .

Since one member using a filibuster (which takes 60 members to stop) can delay action. the stronger the leadership. Ups and Downs of Congressional Parties While the congressional party leadership today is not as strong as it was in the period before the revolt against Cannon. When Republicans won the Congress in 1994. in spite of the electoral independence of members. the vice president is the presiding officer of the Senate. He can only vote to break a tie. Some members also see the party apparatus as a way to getting things accomplished about which they feel strongly. 4. What explains these shifts? Careerism (beginning around the turn of the century) made members more independent of the leadership. the Republicans united behind Speaker Gingrich in a strong show of party support. Party Leadership: Senate Constitutionally. Another reason put forth by one researcher is that the more homogeneous the parties are. for removing them from committee). B. A strong party in Congress. party leaders work to hammer out unanimous consent agreements. who chaired a committee was no longer determined solely by seniority.3. The Constitution also provides for a president pro- tempore. Senate leaders are not as powerful as their House counterparts. 159 . Several reforms initiated in the mid-1970s strengthened the Speakership in particular and the party leadership in general. The Committee System Congress does its business through committees. who presides in the absence of the vice president. For example. helps members in two ways: (1) coattails and (2) the low information of voters means they often rely on party performance for their voting cues. In the 106th Congress there were 19 standing committees in the House and 17 in the Senate. Only about ten to fifteen percent of the bills introduced in Congress pass because most never make it out of committee (even though there is a procedure. the discharge petition. it is stronger than it was for a half century after the revolt.

Budget. armed services. Rules is a minor committee. More important committees are stacked in the majority party's favor. and Foreign Affairs are major Senate committees. Finance. Republicans call them blue). Major policy committees deal with important policy areas--agriculture. energy. and Appropriations. Committee chairs go almost always to the most senior members of the majority party. House Committees Probably the three most important House committees are the Rules. (Democrats call them nonexclusive. a member serving on one of these committees is not allowed to serve on other committees (an exception being the Budget Committee). Ways and Means. 2. Members may serve on two such committees. along with a less important committee. They exercise considerable independence. How Committees Are Formed Each committee has a majority-minority ratio at least as favorable to the majority as the overall division of the chamber. Republicans call them white). Ordinarily. Each Senator may serve on two major and one minor committee. and every senator gets to serve on one of the four major committees. (Democrats call them semi. Usually.1. 160 . and so forth. Senate Committees Appropriations. they generally cannot be as specialized as House members. Since Senators serve on more committees than House members. 3.exclusive. Less important committees include housekeeping committees like Government Reform and Oversight and committees with narrow policy jurisdictions like Veterans' Affairs. a member serves on only one.

The distributive theory has it that members give committees power so that they can better serve their constituents. scheduling of a floor debate is done by the powerful Rules Committee. a bill must be introduced by a congressional sponsor. After this the subcommittee begins markup of the bill. How a Bill Becomes a Law First. or restrictive rule). some measures will be brought to the floor under suspension of the rules. While the effects are debatable. The two theories are not incompatible. For most important bills. V. Theories of the Committee System Why has Congress delegated so much power to committees? There are two prevailing theories. In the House. intense negotiation is required among the committee and party leaders. The subcommittee may hold hearings on the bill. It will be referred to a committee (or committees) and then to a subcommittee. 5. 161 . there is a greater reliance on scheduling by using unanimous consent. open rule. For more important bills. reforms were initiated in the 1970s that spread power among committees and subcommittees more evenly. The informational theory explains the transfer of power as necessary for reliance on experts in policy areas. Committee Reforms After committee chairs became very powerful in the 1950s. committees appear to be more responsive to party influence. it is ready to be scheduled for floor debate. If a majority of the committee votes for the bill.4. which issues a rule specifying the terms and conditions of debate (closed rule. In the Senate. The committee may repeat the hearing and markup process.

Why? Political scientists call it the distributive tendency. This means that every member of Congress wants a "fair share" of the federal pie for his or her district. If ironed out. the bill is sent back to both houses for approval. only about 600 became law around 5%. The congressional process works to the advantage of policy minorities.000 bills introduced in Congress in recent years. Once passed by both chambers. Members of Congress are constantly tempted to use their positions to extract constituency benefits. VI. and resources are not sufficiently concentrated to have a major impact. especially those content with the status quo. the bill will be sent to a conference committee (made up of House and Senate members) to iron out any differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill. Congress often produces a compromise that leaves no one satisfied. even when important national legislation is at stake. The bill can now be sent to the president. Criticisms of Congress The congressional process is lengthy and inefficient. But if this bill was for authorization of a program. Federal programs often fail because they are not focused on where they will do the most good. B. The congressional process is such that sometimes the very process of passing legislation ensures that it will not work. They also don't like the way Congress operates. Of the approximately 12. Why Americans Like Their Members of Congress So Much More Than Congress Itself Americans don't like Congress because they don't think Congress solves the major problems facing the nation. another bill will have to go through the same process appropriating money for the program. Evaluating Congress A. The result is that tax money goes to areas that don't really need it. 162 .

They do not address the real problem with Congress: professional politicians chosen in single-member districts by simple pluralities motivated by a desire to please the special interests of their districts. the Supreme Court declared them unconstitutional. and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States. These can also be tied in with (as will be shown below) the concluding topic of the chapter: term limits. when elected. and who shall not. be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen" (Article I. This chapter does not mention the qualifications of members of Congress. Americans overwhelmingly reelect members of Congress. For members to be liked they must respond to specific demands of their constituents. Constitutional Qualifications A. Ironically. Several states placed them on members of the state legislatures. Proponents of term limits argue that incumbents are unbeatable and their electoral success is illegitimate. The argument for term limits is unpersuasive. The reason is that they hold individual members responsible for things other than solving the nations major problems. term limits became very popular with the public. members are not able to address the nation's major problems. incumbents win because they are so responsible to their constituents. Actually. in meeting this responsibility. This irony is explained by the different standards used to gauge legislatures and legislators. House "No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five Years. The irony is that legislatures perform badly often because legislators perform so well. Section 2. IDEAS FOR LECTURE AND DISCUSSION 1. Yet. C. clause 2). Here are some interesting point that could be made on this topic. 163 . Reforming Congress: Limit Their Terms? In the early 1990s. The Constitution lists the qualifications of the members of the Congress. When states also placed them on their members of Congress.

Did this clause confer on each house of Congress the power to judge duly elected members on qualifications other than those explicitly listed in the Constitution? 164 . Returns. Thus. there three requirements for being a member of the House or Senate: age.Senate -"No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years. but was disarmed by the conductor. the House refused to seat a duly elected Socialist. citizenship. In 1919. the House refused to seat a polygamist from Utah." Although the House did not try to deny him his seat. In 1900. Section 3. and been nine years a Citizen of the United States. he tried to rob a train. In 1920. when elected. If this is so." What does this phrase mean? Does it mean that each house of Congress can decide who is worthy of being a member of Congress. Judging Qualifications B. "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections. and who shall not. have done so (This fascinating story is told in the book The Okie Jesus Congressman by Gene Aldrich). the election of Immanual Herrick makes one wonder if the House should not. if they thought they had the power. Article I. and residency. Congress required duly elected members to take an oath that they had not participated in rebellion against the United States. Section 5 states. be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen (Article I. When he first arrived in Washington the described the women living there as "so ugly. clause 3). and Qualifications of its own Members. While still a teenager. This was the interpretation given to this clause for a good number of years. then each House would be able to add to the qualifications listed above. there was a man elected to Congress who was raised believing he was Jesus Christ. His parents named him Immanual. it makes a fellow think he had died and woke up in Hades. In the early 1860s.

it could expel any member. Term Limits v. Article I. and residency. with the Concurrence of two thirds." Due to the norms of Congress. the case reached the U. expel a Member. expulsion is rare. It was this reasoning that was used to strike down states placing term limits on their members of Congress (U. The House was upset. makes the Congress look bad. they should not be denied their intent. Madison favored a three-year term. Section 5 states. The delegates approved two-year terms as a simple compromise between these two proposals. 165 . House: Some delegates desired a one-year term for members of the House. Here are the reasons why. McCulloch (1969). The Court ruled that Article I. Expulsion.punish its Members. Members are not inclined to expel a member that has been duly elected. Framers Intent and Length of Terms D. House members have two-year terms and Senators six. members would need time to learn on the job about national issues and three years would allow members to educate themselves in this regard. citizenship. Expulsion C. The feeling is that if the voters want to elect someone. "Each house may. 1995). Ultimately.S. Fewer elections would mean fewer chances of new members elected. He thought this would give stability to the House. among other things.. when the House voted to exclude incumbent Adam Clayton Powell from taking a seat in the House. Powell sued.S.In 1967. Thornton. In Powell v.. one might end up on the receiving end. Supreme Court which ruled in Powell's favor. Also. with what was viewed by many as Powell's poor performance of his congressional duties.. the Court did note that while the House could not exclude a duly elected member. tyranny begins. Section 5's grant to each house to judge electionreturns was limited solely to the three specified in the Constitution: age. Exclusion vs. There was an adage well known to many at this time: Where annual elections end. and there is always the possibility that if members are easily expelled.and. to some extent..

166 . Hamilton argued at the Convention. under the Articles of Confederation." Second. this was not an assumption at the Convention. Madison stated. lots were drawn to determine which Senators would have a two. Confederationists at the Convention wanted the two Senators to cast a single vote for the state. or six year term to provide for an initial staggering of elections. They understood that if states paid congressional salaries. There were three decisions made at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 that demonstrate the nationalist position of most of the delegates and relate to Congress. Pay: Confederationists (states rightists) at the Convention wanted members of Congress to be paid by each state. than the popular branch. hence. But. states had different size delegations.] 2. On June 7. As such it was to operate with more deliberation. and with more wisdom. withmore system. to provide for stability and continuity in the Senate. It was argued that what was needed was stability (fewer elections would mean fewer new members) and more time for acquiring knowledge. but each state's delegation cast a single vote. [Note: In the first Senate. Senate: The same arguments used by Madison and others for a three-year term for members of the House were used for arguing for a longer term for members of the Senate. First. This was clearly an attempt to keep congressmen tied to the states rather than thinking "nationally." Nationalists. the length of term needed to be divisible by three. the Senate was designed to provide for a check on the House. the nationalists won the debate. The argument was more persuasive here than with the House for several reasons. "The use of the Senate is to consist in its proceeding with more coolness. Nationalists wanted per capita voting to enable measures with a nationalistic support to more easily pass. while a nine year term was viewed as too long. on the other hand. The nationalists won the debate. "Those who pay are the master of those paid. Per Capita Voting: How would votes be counted in the Senate? It it taken for granted now that each senator would have a vote (per capita voting). this could be used as leverage to get congressmen to think in terms of states' interests rather than the interests of the nation. four. After all." In the end. a six-year term. it was decided that only one-third of the members would be up for election at a time. Thus. wanted the pay of congressmen to come from the national treasury. A three year term was clearly too short.

It is a device used to end a politicians term before it has expired. Although the recall was in the original Virginia Plan. Tuesday.tries impeachments. but it can be a good gauge of how knowledgeable the students already are.elects Speaker Senate .S. A good exercise at the beginning of the topic on Congress is to draw a vertical line on the chalkboard and ask the class to give differences between the House and Senate. 1997. Senators. The issue never surfaced again during the remainder of the Convention. The most recent example of this was in Wisconsin. April 22. Although uncommon. provides advice and consent for some presidential appointments and all treaties Leadership: House . Size: House . Had the recall been approved. it was stricken from that proposal on June 12 with no one objecting. Recall: The framers were not unfamiliar with the recall. A4).vice president 167 .” Washington Post. this would have provided states with tremendous leverage in keeping congressmen tied closely to the state's interests. See "Wisconsin GOP Congressman Backs Drive to Recall Senators.impeaches.435 (passed into federal law in 1929) Senate – 100 Term: House – two years (all up for election every two years) Senate . 3. when very upset with a member of Congress. p. Here is a list of differences between the House and Senate. originates tax bills Senate .six years (with one-third up for election every two years) Exclusive Powers: House . states have incorrectly called for his or her recall. Not only can this be used to branch off onto other topics in more depth. Antiabortion forces were circulating petitions in that state to recall Wisconsin's two Democratic U.

168 . there is a greater reliance on staff in the Senate than the House (due to differences in specialization). Ideology: The framers designed the Congress thinking the House would be more liberal and the Senate more conservative.Prestige: Senate is considered by most to have more Prestige. subcommittee. Constituency: Except for the few states with one Representative. It is not uncommon for a member of the House to resign and run for the Senate. the Senate is more liberal than the House. presidential candidates often come from Senate. Flexibility of Rules: The House is less flexible than the Senate. Media: There is greater media coverage of the Senate than the House (C-SPAN I & C- SPAN II). There being fewer members in the Senate. Policy: House members tend to be policy specialists while Senators tend to be policy generalists. there is a greater possibility of getting a position of power on a committee. or as part of party leadership). Representatives' constituencies are smaller than Senators' (who are elected "at large") and thus more homogeneous. the size of the House makes adherence to rules a must. there is no filibuster in the House. Staff: Generally speaking. Power: Less evenly distributed in the House than in the Senate. most scholars today think that all things being equal.

12. 12.LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number.4. 401 169 . followed by the text page. 381 T23 The Legislative Branch. 382 T24 How a Bill Becomes a Law. Table 12. T21 The Public Rates the Honesty and Ethics of Members of Congress Lower Than That of Other Occupations. 380 T22 Americans Rate Their Representative Much More Positively Than the Congress. 12.1b.2.1.

170 .

171 . can impact the reputation- population linkage. Analyze why some men are great presidents while others are only mediocre or even fail. 2. a power that depends as much on the dignity of the office as specific powers. Cite real-life political examples of each power. Understand how the Chief of State role augments presidential prestige while enhancing the level of public respect for the office. Explain how presidential reputation and presidential popularity are related and note what developments. 4. Congress. but they have also been successful in claiming to have inherent powers. and military leaders. and the pattern of partisan support in Congress to the overall political effectiveness of the president. Presidents are often left with the power to persuade important political actors. Understand the significance of the national constituency. Explain why President Bill Clinton's stand on gays in the military resulted in a torrent of opposition from the public. 5. 6. They tend to propose major initiatives at the beginning of their terms when their popularity is highest. and the appointment power. the veto power. Congress has the power to check several of these powers and has the ultimate check of impeachment. Presidents have a few constitutional powers (such as the veto and appointment). Define and explain the power to inform and persuade. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. domestically and internationally. the party constituency. 3.CHAPTER THIRTEEN The Presidency: Powers and Practice OVERVIEW Presidents have to balance the difficult task of pleasing the activists in their party and the general public.

B. National Constituency In theory. 172 . Partisan Constituencies Presidents must also be attentive to the active members and leaders of their party. Presidential Constituencies A. KEY TERMS administration honeymoon beltway insider impeachment bully-pulpit independent counsel cabinet inherent executive power chief of staff line item veto commander-in-chief override dignified aspect pocket veto divided government presidential popularity efficient aspect secretary Executive Office of State of the Union address the President transition executive order veto power executive privilege First Lady White House Office OUTLINE I. This also means.7. only the president can persuasively claim to be speaking for the country as a whole and use this national constituency to powerful effect. and thus. however. who are normally more extreme in their issue positions. that presidents often get blamed for things over which they have no control. the president is the only person elected by all the people. Define and elaborate upon the presidential personality and leadership characteristics inherent in James Barber's active-positive conceptualization.

1. Opposition party members vote with the president about 40 to 50 percent. John Kennedy. Modern Persuasion Power Teddy Roosevelt brought new meaning to the acceptable president rhetoric (bully- pulpit). Early Use of Persuasion Power The power to persuade is used much more publicly today than it was in the early years of the republic 2. The result is. as Richard Neustadt explains. Presidents can only govern with the help of Congress. presidents either fail to secure passage of their major legislative agendas or must make important compromises to win congressional approval. Other modern presidents who were powerful rhetoricians include Franklin Roosevelt (fireside chats). 173 . C. Political scientists debate the desirability of divided government: one party controlling the presidency and another party controlling the Congress. Separate Institutions Sharing Power Over 80 percent of the time. and Ronald Reagan." A. a "government of separated institutions which share power. Partisan Support in Congress Members of Congress of the president's party vote with the president about 80 to 90 percent. The Power to Inform and Persuade One way in which presidents seek to persuade Congress is by the annual State of the Union address. II.

Reagan's Chief of Staff). only about 10 percent are overridden by Congress. the U. Presidents name one person. today. the Chief of Staff. The Cabinet Most of the cabinet consists of the heads of the executive departments. The White House Office is just one section of the large Executive Office of the President (EOP). The Appointment Power Presidents can appoint several thousand individuals to their administration. After making a promise in the 1994 landmark decree “Contract With America. the bill is pocket-vetoed – also called pigeon-holed. The Veto Power Prior to the Civil War.S. to head the White House staff. If the president does not sign a bill and 10 days later (not counting Sundays) Congress has adjourned. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. 174 . In 1998. The White House Staff The growth of the modern presidency can be traced to the Brownlow Report which concluded "the president needs help. Today there are 15 departments making it hard for the cabinet to provide confidential advice to presidents.B. and since the Kennedy administration. 1. C. The most effective are those who are usually Washington insiders (such as Howard Baker.” Congress gave the president the line-item veto in January of 1996." Congress enlarged the presidents staff. each president's average use of the veto was four. Presidents exercise the veto much more frequently today. over 400 aides (mainly close friends and/or campaign donors) assist the president. 2.

Of course. Iran-Contra. Strong presidents like Teddy Roosevelt. the power to set the political agenda. Scandals in the White House Office A loyal staff can sometimes isolate the president from criticism. Early Use of Power to Recommend Prior to the Civil War. Congress can ignore presidential recommendations or propose their own. and Ronald Reagan used the power to set the national agenda. 3. but not in the United States. Sometimes a staff can engage in illegal activities. The intensity and significance of White House scandals have escalated in recent decades. 3. E. This also makes transitions (the first 75 days before inauguration) important. The President as Chief of State In many countries the roles of political leader and head of state are separated. since their popularity is at its peak. and Whitewater. Examples include Watergate. Timing Presidential Initiatives Presidents have the best chance of initiating policy in the first months after their election (called the honeymoon). Modern Use of Power to Recommend The power to recommend expanded rapidly after the Civil War. the power to recommend was exercised with great restraint. The Power to Recommend The power to recommend gives the president the power of initiation. Franklin Roosevelt. 2. D. 1. 175 .

2. 176 . was selected for his familiarity with national-security issues. Presidents have not been inclined to delegate power to them since they are guaranteed a four-year term and can't be fired. and in modern times have become the heir apparent to the office of the presidency. The latter has always stood in tension with the egalitarian ideals of American democracy. These two roles have been described by Walter Bagehot as the efficient aspect and the dignified aspect of government. involved themselves in political and policy processes. Recently. The Vice President Traditionally. Over the years. Still. The First Lady Historically. Richard Cheney. the role of the First Lady was to reinforce the dignified aspect of the presidency. presidents have become more and more involved in the efficiency aspect of governing. F. vice presidents are only a heartbeat away from the presidency. often making it harder to maintain their dignity. Bush's vice president. 1. the vice presidency was viewed as a do nothing office. Inherent Executive Power Some presidents have claimed that the executive power clause of Article II is a recognition of inherent presidential powers. the office has grown both in terms of the dignified aspect and efficiency aspect. Their only ongoing constitutional duty was to preside over the Senate (a vote in the case of a tie). Some. like Eleanor Roosevelt and especially Hillary Clinton. George W. The process for selecting vice presidents (balancing the ticket) has resulted in presidents and vice presidents not being very close.

Neither Johnson nor Clinton were removed from office. and Nixon resigned in the face of certain impeachment. Presidential Reputations Presidents take steps to remain influential with beltway insiders. Thus. 177 . Executive Order One example of inherent executive powers is the power to issue directives that have the force of law (called executive orders). Two things important in this regard are the kind of people working for them and their ability to be on the winning side of issues. Kenneth Starr became a rather famous one when he was appointed by a three-judge panel in 1994. The Supreme Court has recognized the constitutionality of these orders. 4. Presidential Expectations and Presidential Performance The public expects the president to solve problems. Twenty independent-counsel investigations took place between 1978 and 1999. 2. this is unlikely. 3. Independent Counsel The establishment of the office of independent counsel (formerly called special prosecutor) in 1978 has enhanced the impeachment power of Congress. presidents are faced with the dilemma of playing politics to get results or appearing helpless. The Impeachment Power The House can impeach and the Senate can convict the president for committing impeachable offenses. Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were both impeached. A. Executive Privilege Another example of inherent "executive powers" is the power of the president to deny information to Congress (called executive privilege). The Supreme Court has recognized a limited executive privilege as constitutional. III. but given the limits on presidential powers. 1.

Here are the results of the three Schlesinger polls. Roosevelt F. December 15. Roosevelt F. During their fourth year. Presidential success may depend less on personality than on the circumstances under which the newly elected come into office. This could make for a lively discussion concerning how one judges a president. Roosevelt Washington Wilson Wilson Jefferson Jefferson Jackson 178 . B. IDEAS FOR LECTURES AND DISCUSSION 1. Their popularity. Who are the "great" presidents? There have been three Schlesinger polls in which historians and political scientists rate presidents. fluctuates greatly. their popularity recovers somewhat. C. Presidential Popularity Presidents are also concerned with their popularity with the general public. The third one appeared in The New York Times Magazine. as gauged by frequent opinion polls. Typically. Great Presidents Why do some presidents fail and other succeed? James David Barber argues it is due primarily to presidential character (how they like their job and how active they are). SCHLESINGER POLLS 1948 1962 1996 Great Lincoln Lincoln Lincoln Washington Washington F. 1996. their popularity falls about eight points during their first year in office and fifteen points by the middle of their third year.

Roosevelt Jackson J. Adams Van Buren Taft Cleveland Taft Van Buren McKinley Arthur Monroe Madison McKinley Hoover Monroe A. Adams Polk Wilson Polk Truman T. Adams Madison Eisenhower Monroe J. Johnson Harrison Reagan Hoover Arthur J. Adams Harrison Eisenhower Carter A. Adams Truman Cleveland Polk Average J. Johnson Hayes Hayes Kennedy Madison McKinley J. Johnson Clinton Van Buren Bush Taft Hayes Arthur B. Roosevelt Jackson Jefferson Cleveland T.Q.Near Great T.Q. Adams L. Roosevelt J.Q. Harrison Ford Below Average Tyler Taylor Coolidge Coolidge Tyler Tyler Fillmore Fillmore Taylor Taylor Coolidge Filmore Buchanan Pierce Pierce Buchanan 179 .

along with some concluding thoughts on the office." Marshall (Wilson's Vice President) "Like a man in a cataleptic state. 32 jurors cast votes. he suffers no pain." 180 ." Garner (FDR's Vice President) "The vice presidency isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit. and Failure=0. Average=2. The authors offer some quotes on the vice presidency. Vice-Presidential Quotes J. and yet he is perfectly conscious of everything that is going on about him. the other was elected Vice President. he cannot move. but I may be everything. Johnson Grant Buchanan Harding [Note: In the 1996 poll. the Vice-President cannot speak.Failure Grant Grant Hoover Harding Harding Nixon Pierce A. Here are some others.] 2. Near Great=3. The rankings listed here were determined by calculating the total score for each president using the following: Great=4. Below Average=1. and nothing was ever heard of either of them again. Adams (Washington's Vice President) "My country has in its wisdom contrived for me the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived. One ran away to sea." "Once there were two brothers." Agnew (Nixon's Vice-President) "Now I know what a turkey feels like beforeThanksgiving." "I am nothing.

"The Vice Presidency as Apprenticeship." When Marshall (Wilson's Vice President) was asked why so many vice presidents came from Indiana. Truman (FDR's Vice President) "I bet I can go down the street and stop the first 10 men I see and they can't tell me the names of two of the last 10 vice presidents. First. he replied. "Because Indiana produced so many first-rate. Daniel Webster refused the vice-presidential nomination saying he did not propose to be buried until he was already dead. second-rate men." Vice-Presidential Myths? A. vice presidents did not even have an office in the White House. vice presidents typically did not even attend cabinet meetings. Adkison. 181 . until after World War II. It is difficult to accept this as true." Presidential Studies Quarterly (Spring 1983. Danny M. [See. Where are they? They were about as useful as a cow's fifth teat. The vice presidency is a good training ground for the presidency. One study found that those presidents that had previously served as vice president got poorer ratings as president than those coming from other positions." "Look at all the Vice-Presidents in history. Second. People vote for a presidential candidate based on the vice-presidential candidate. until very recent presidential terms." Statements About the Vice Presidency In the mid-1800s.] B. Ben Franklin said that the vice presidency should always be addressed as "Your Superfluous Excellency.

there is evidence that the framers did not create the vice presidency to provide a successor to the presidency.] C. typically. First. moderate). Actually. (Southerner) Carter (So. Second. the Secretary of State is usually someone of stature and this person could be the successor. presidents are picking someone they think will help them succeed (i. The United States needs a vice president. once commenting on his selection process for a vice presidential candidate. Adkison. 182 . rather than picking someone to succeed them. then the delegates went looking for what the person could do. liberal) Reagan (Western conservative) . as one congressman once put it. One study found that most people vote against a ticket because of the vice- presidential candidate rather than for the ticket because of the vice presidential candidate. That would not have to be a vice president.[See Danny M. The uppermost concern on a presidential candidate’s mind when selecting a vice presidential running mate is whether or not the person would make a good successor to the presidency. There are numerous examples of presidents selecting vice-presidential running mates in an attempt to pick up votes (balance the ticket). Once that idea caught on and the vice presidency was created. It could easily be someone of.L.Bush (Eastern moderate) Bush (Eastern moderate) . The delegates at the Convention had already designated someone to be a successor when the idea for a vice president emerged. "The Electoral Significance of the Vice Presidency. stated that his selection could not help him. Kennedy (Easterner) .e.B.Mondale (No. (It might be interesting to see how many of these your students can name compared to vice-presidents).J. The idea came about when discussing the method for electing the president. get elected). So Nixon looked for the running mate that would hurt him the least (Agnew)." Presidential Studies Quarterly (Summer 1982. the national government does need someone that can succeed to the presidency in the event of a vacancy (or disability). For example.Quayle (Midwestern conservative) D. greater stature. it was thought there needed to be a second office. Richard Nixon. Once the discussion shifted to electors casting two votes each.

Some scholars think the phrase "executive power" confers power. Some also refer to it as the Whig role. on the losing ticket ran as vice president) is immediately accepted as the front-runner for the presidency four years later. Supreme Court. all presidential power is listed in Article II and the executive power clause does not add any power to the list. a grant of additional power. itself. It is merely descriptive. Yet presidents exercise all of these. or executive agreements. There is no mention of executive privilege. it is not descriptive of other powers but is. He thinks that any person that would serve in such an office for four or possibly eight years is going to have problems later as president. Viewed in this way the clause became a kind of necessary and proper clause for the executive. Although touched on briefly. Some scholars think that the phrase "executive power" was intended to summarize the powers that are enumerated in Article II. Examples would be William Howard Taft and Dwight Eisenhower. What power? Executive power. or executive orders. a great deal more could be said about the phrase "executive power" in the first sentence of Article I. Presidents taking this view are said to be exercising the role of literalist. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. Examples would be Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. Presidents taking this view are said to be exercising the stewardship role. Third. describes the vice presidency as a maiming experience. Below are some ideas: The Meaning of Executive Power: There are two schools of thought concerning what the framers meant when they used the phrase "executive power. 3. B. There is no mention in the Constitution of the president's power of removal." A.S. 183 . According to this point of view. the problem is exacerbated by the fact that in recent years whoever serves as vice president (or. This is the interpretation that has come to accurately describe the modern presidency. and with the blessing of the U. If there is any truth to this. That is.

184 . He provided three different groups or categories under which presidents can act. This case dealt with the question of whether or not the president (Truman) had the constitutional authority to seize private steel mills in order to prevent a nationwide steel strike. On the other hand. On the one hand. the framers worried that the president could be too strong.Hartley Act. in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company v. is both strong and weak. the personality of the president matters here. Barbara Hinckley (Outline of American Government) argued for a kind of synthesis of these two views. Finally. the presidency. they purposely left presidential powers ambivalent or undefined. the framers allowed some presidents to be strong (Lincoln) and others to be weak (Carter). In taking this action. Thus they provided numerous checks on the president. Jackson's description of power under the Constitution sounds very much like Barbara Hinckley's." He continues. The Senate must approve certain appointments and all treaties. Justice Jackson's Three Groups D. they desired an energetic (strong) executive (as outlined by Hamilton in the Federalist Papers).The Tension of the Presidency C. This was so that the executive could exercise needed powers when certain occasions presented themselves. For example. The president did not have an absolute veto it could be overridden. In her opinion. which provided for the seeking of an injunction to halt a strike. Sawyer (1952) Justice Jackson discussed presidential power in relationship to Congress. Only Congress could declare war or appropriate funds. the framers constructed a duality when designing the presidency. They listed very few specific powers in Article II. "Presidential powers are not fixed but fluctuate. Rather. By setting up such broad parameters. depending upon their disjunction or conjunction with those of Congress. it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government. Years ago. but the tension in the office is there purposely. he states. "While the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty. Seen in this light." Here are the three groups as he described them. Of course. with different amounts of power for each. President Truman did not follow the Taft. by design.

13. may he be said (for what it may be worth) to personify the federal sovereignty. his authority is at its maximum. When the president acts in absence of either a congressional grant or denial of authority. 420 T26 Growth in Presidential Use of the Veto Power. In these circumstances. 13.3. When the president takes measures incompatible with the expressed or implied will of Congress. for it includes all that he possesses in his own right plus all that Congress can delegate. for what is at stake is the equilibrium established by our constitutional system. Presidential claim to a power at once so conclusive and preclusive must be scrutinized with caution. followed by the text page. T25 Partisan Support for the President in Congress. and in these only. In this area. 1. he can only rely upon his own independent powers. Therefore. indifference or quiescence may sometimes. A seizure executed by the president pursuant to an Act of Congress would be supported by the strongest of presumptions and the widest latitude of judicial interpretation. congressional inertia. If his act is held unconstitutional under these circumstances. it usually means that the federal government as an undivided whole lacks power. 426 T27 Size of the White House Office. 428 185 . or in which its distribution is uncertain. and the burden of persuasion would rest heavily upon any who might attack it. 13. 3. at least as a practical matter. if not invite. his power is at its lowest ebb. measures on independent presidential responsibility. for then he can rely only upon his own constitutional powers minus any constitutional powers of Congress over the matter. but there is a zone of twilight in which he and Congress may have concurrent authority. When the president acts pursuant to an expressed or implied authorization of Congress.1. 2. enable. LIST OF TRANSPARENCIES Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. any actual test of power is likely to depend on the imperatives of events and contemporary imponderables rather than on abstract theories of law.4. Courts can sustain exclusive presidential control in such a case only by disabling the Congress from acting upon the subject.

and they are slow and often mired in red tape. Congress has several means of controlling them. Elections also influence the bureaucracy. they keep agencies from becoming too secretive and coercive. Learning Objectives 1. Most agencies seek to survive by merely muddling through. Although bureaucrats work in the executive branch. they often form alliances with congressional committees and interest groups (iron triangles). 2. Beginning in 1883. 3." 205 . Recognizing this. Delineate the nature of the bureaucracy problem. they make them too cautious or force them to operate under laws that undermine their effectiveness. There are still about 3. noting why they are "particularly political.000 top executive positions that are appointed. noting that bureaucracies face impossible tasks. Review the distinctive form and manner of American bureaucracies. the merit system (Civil Service) began to replace this system. their performance is difficult to measure. On the plus side. Tobacco. Explain why the Clinton Administration was unable to switch Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Alcohol. and Firearms (ATF) from the Treasury Department to the FBI's jurisdiction. On the negative side.Chapter Fourteen THE BUREAUCRACY Overview Federal bureaucracies are beset with several problems that have created an image of inefficiency. This image began in the early years of the republic with the development of the spoils system.

Define patronage or spoils system. iron triangles. and inners and outers. which are intended to improve bureaucratic efficiency. 6.4. and accountability. noting the roles of senate confirmations. Key Terms administrative discretion inners and outers agency iron triangle bureaucracy issue network civil service mugwumps Congressional Budget patronage Office Pendleton Act Department Office of Management and earmark Budget end run recess appointment government corporation senatorial courtesy Hatch Act spoils system independent regulatory sunshine law agencies inner cabinet Outline 206 . and the importance of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). effectiveness. the purpose of Office of Management and Budget (OMB0. the roles of the independent regulatory agencies. Hatch act. 7. and issue networks. civil service system. Explain the inner and outer cabinet. congressional turf. Discuss the various bureaucratic reforms. Summarize the nature of the congressional relationships with the bureaucracy. budgetary controls. 5. legislative oversight.

207 . Expansionary Tendencies Government agencies almost always feel they need more money. have administrative discretion. many bureaucrats have worked in an agency for a good number of years. are slow to change. B. Measuring Performance Due to the difficulty of accurately measuring how well bureaucracies are doing their job. A. II. the bureaucracy gets blamed. The agency is the basic organizational unit of the federal government. Impossibility of Tasks Most of the tasks taken on by government are complex and unlimited. D. make bureaucracies slow to change and slow to adapt to new circumstances. which are essential to any organization. Slow to Change Standard operating procedures. so they are advocates for the programs they execute. C. their performance is difficult to measure. and more time to perform their tasks effectively. Some agencies stand alone and others are grouped into departments.I. organizations designed to perform a particular set of tasks. and are often mired in red tape. The Role of the Bureaucracy Bureaucracies. when things go wrong. they have an urge to expand. more personnel. After all. The Bureaucracy Problem Bureaucracies face impossible tasks.

E. many people often make demands on the bureaucracy that causes the red tape. Some scholars think the spoils system was a good idea. And Americans boasted that they would rather have people in office whom they could spit upon rather than a caste of officials who spit upon them. B. III. the spoils system was replaced by the civil service: government employees chosen according to their educational qualifications. The image of bureaucrats as political hacks. but at the same time. Mountains of Patronage An early practice followed in the federal bureaucracy was giving jobs to individuals that had helped get one elected. those working early on for the bureaucracy in America did not come from elite groups. and work experience. This is called patronage or the spoils system. has 208 . It helped assimilate immigrants into American culture. Red Tape Everyone complains about red tape. American Bureaucracies: Particularly Political American bureaucracies have special characteristics rooted in their country's political history. Andrew Jackson made a regular practice of it. and society. Even the location of the nation's capital in Washington discouraged people from working for the government. A. Difficult Beginning Unlike the situation in other countries. politics. Eventually. performance on examinations.

Disadvantages of the Spoils System The system. a group of professors.000 top officials in the executive that are appointed. Congress passed the Pendleton Act. In 1883. E. D. C. There are advantages and disadvantages to these presidential appointments. by not stressing qualifications. Advantages of the Spoils System The spoils system helped incorporate immigrants into American urban life. which prohibited federal employees from political campaigning solicitation. It allows new people 209 . F. and the members of most government boards and commissions. Erosion of the Spoils System In the 1880s. In 1939. Most are members of the White House staff. contributed to the negative image of bureaucrats as incompetent. journalists. Congress passed the Hatch Act. and businessmen (called mugwumps) advocated hiring bureaucrats on the basis of what they knew (merit) rather than whom they knew (political connections). which created a Civil Service Commission to set up qualifications. clerics. They are also friends of the president. the heads of most departments and agencies. Political Appointees Today There are still about 3. and procedures for getting many government jobs. carried over from the era of the spoils system to Americans' image of bureaucrats today. examinations.

with innovative ideas to get into government. ambitious young people. 210 . This high turnover rate in personnel leaves government without the continuity necessary for sustained policy focus. It also helps presidents introduce their political agendas with minimal resistance. Another disadvantage is that it makes these positions less attractive as a career for intelligent. The average appointee leaves office after about two years of service (resulting in what has been called a government of "inners and outers"). it complicates government coordination. On the other hand.

generally headed by several members appointed by the president following Senate confirmation. Treasury.IV. constitute the cabinet. Most of these agencies were created by public demand to protect workers and consumers from negligent or abusive business practices. Over time. The President and the Bureaucracy Presidents oversee the federal bureaucracy but even they are frustrated by the bureaucracy problem. have quasi-judicial regulatory responsibilities. C. and Justice) are known as the inner cabinet because their secretaries typically have easy access to the president. Defense. some of these agencies became friendly with the very groups they were designed to regulate (similar to the practice found in iron triangles). B. These departments provide interest-group access into the executive branch. A. The four original departments (State. Office of Management and Budget Before 1921. Independent Regulatory Agencies These agencies. The remaining departments are known as the outer cabinet. No one was responsible for adding up all these requests to see if the 211 . The Cabinet The secretaries of the departments. along with a few other top-ranking officials. which are to be carried out in a manner free of presidential interference (hence the name independent). every federal agency sent its own budget to Congress to be examined by an appropriations subcommittee.

Senators are more concerned today that nominees take the correct political positions. government was taking in enough tax money to pay for them all. Congress created the Congressional Budget Office in 1974. A. Agencies are still capable of making end-runs around OMB by appealing to their allies on Capitol Hill. An informal rule that operates within this function is senatorial courtesy. It also sets personnel policy and reviews every piece of proposed legislation submitted to Congress to see if it is consistent with the president's agenda. 212 . To check OMB's growing power. actually they are also bossed by many in Congress. Due to increasing media coverage. The Office of Management and Budget (originally called the Bureau of the Budget) was created to oversee the president's budget proposal. There have been several notable nominations that resulted in the president's nominee not being confirmed or the individual withdrawing his nomination. V. federal bureaucrats have one boss (the president). The media have come to play an important role in this process in recent years. Senate Confirmations Congress influences the bureaucracy through the exercise of its constitutional advice and consent function. officially. It evaluates the president's budget as well as the budgetary implications of all other legislation. Congress and the Bureaucracy Although.

C. leaving agencies no discretion on how it can be spent. Legislative Oversight Congress can hold hearings on bureaucratic practices. resist such changes. The hearings can be used to revise existing legislation or modify agency budgets. Legislative Detail Congress usually modifies bureaucratic proposals. In addition. Congress can control bureaucracies somewhat by committee reports accompanying legislation. Congress also earmarks some money. Still. whose committees oversee certain segments of the bureaucracy. Iron Triangles and Issue Networks 213 . E. not the rule. due to judicial precedent. Thus. it is rarely used today. Senate rejections of presidential nominees are the exception. B. F. Budgetary Control Congress passes the budgets for agencies. agencies don't like to upset members of Congress. since Congress has denied pay to those who are appointed in this fashion. Such hearings have quadrupled since the 1960s. D. Although the Constitution gives the president the power to make recess appointments. Agency Reorganization One reason presidents don't reorganize the bureaucracy to make it more efficient is because members of Congress.

214 . Elections and the Bureaucracy For more than a century. but electoral pressures have sharply curtailed the amount of secrecy in American government. interest groups. and congressional committees. and. the results are often inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Bureaucrats still report to politicians. it is not entirely possible to separate politics from administration. A. Some iron triangles have weakened in recent years due to the rise of issue networks. as long as they do. the Freedom of Information Act (1967) gives citizens the right to inspect unprotected government documents. Iron triangle is the name for connections among government agencies. Each provides a benefit to the other. Bureaucracy Secrecy Bureaucracies generally like to protect their secrets. Furthermore. electoral pressures will affect their decisions. The relationship is said to be iron because the connections among the three groups are very stable. The Sunshine Law (1976) requires federal government meetings to be held in public (with some exceptions). reformers have tried to separate politics from administration. Below are some general rules concerning the relationship between elections (politics) and the bureaucracy. Still. For example. VI. Such reforms seem right-headed because when politics interferes with the bureaucracy. many of the more effective federal bureaucracies are less politically charged.

Congress has in recent years cut expenditures on all domestic programs other than Social Security and Medicare. F. Administrator Caution Agencies don't get attention for success. Thus. Agency Expansion Though agencies generally try to increase their budgets. B. E. To do this. ironically. Hence. if graded by those who have a personal encounter with them. C. proponents must strike deals with those who are at best lukewarm to the idea. it is necessary to build a broad coalition of support. bureaucracies find that information is often leaked to the public. agency effectiveness is often undermined by the very terms of the legislation that created it. would earn a B minus. elections break such tendencies. Even for actions that can be legally kept a secret. Thus. Such compromise can cripple a program at birth. Bureaucratic Coercion Bureaucratic abuses are less frequent because agencies are held accountable to the electorate. the mentality often surrounding the bureaucracy is not one of managing for success. D. Compromised Capacity For legislation to pass Congress. Muddling Through Most American bureaucracies. but merely preventing blunders. Agencies have learned that if they try to be too imaginative they become controversial and then 215 . but they do for blunders.

" This is a 1977 quote of Herbert Kaufman’s about the liberal think tank. each of us demanding the former for ourselves and the latter for our neighbors. Yet. one would have to say yes." Is Red Tape Bad? Strictly by definition. the authors write that part of the problem is that bureaucracies are often mired in red tape. 216 ." In his Dictionary of American Politics. "Official documents in England were tied with a string or tape of a reddish color. In their section on the bureaucratic problem. Below are some points that could be elaborated upon concerning red tape. Kaufman goes on. and many lawyers followed the practice in packaging their briefs. So the best course is to merely muddle through. the Brookings Institution. "We are ambivalent about the appropriate trade-offs between discretion and constraint." As quoted by Safire in his Political Dictionary. politicians will react. as pointed out by the authors of the text. The phrase literally means excessive paperwork and the like. Ideas for Lectures or Discussion 1. Eugene McCarthy explains the pejorative connotation of the phrase this way: "The expression arose from dissatisfaction with the time taken to tie and untie the red tape used to bind official documents. "one person's red tape may be another's treasured procedural safeguard. Charles Dickens supposedly first used the phrase. Why Is It Called Red Tape? According to William Safire (Safire's Political Dictionary).

when we learn that the project has been halted due to our failure to file an environmental impact statement. what is the purpose of red tape? Ironically. In other words. their first reaction might be. How Does Red Tape Protect Citizens? If people buy and consume in great quantities a popular drink that contains saccharin. Those who view government regulations as advantageous would not call them red tape. "How did the government let this happen?" There was a time when the prevailing marketplace philosophy was caveat emptor. In fact. that they have developed a certain type of cancer. let the buyer beware since he buys without recourse (The American College Dictionary). we don't just want to be warned about 217 . What Is Red Tape Supposed To Do? Few people. Forgetting for the moment the dictionary definition of red tape and taking red tape to be all government regulations. we throw up our hands at such outrageous red tape! However. only to learn. make a case for excessive government regulations. the purpose of red tape is to protect citizens and provide inefficiency in government. those people whose farms (which have been in the family for eight generations) would be submerged due to the damming of the river and who wrote letters to their congressmen in an effort to halt the project would applaud the government for finally getting something right. That is.Kaufman's Point If we own a construction company that is about to get a million dollar contract to construct a dam. Today. we expect the government to protect us from such things before it is too late. if any. 10 years later. those who see government regulations as getting in their way (usually meaning keeping them from getting what they want) see those regulations in a negative light (red tape).

This means that people must be hired and forms must be filled out concerning the production. to help us with our diets. Getting back to the drink with saccharin mentioned above. it is criticized for being mired in red tape. when people get sick they see the government as not doing their job. To make sure only those who are truly disabled with blindness get the aid. it might require that those applying for the aid have their blindness certified by several specialists. But we want the government to protect us before we are injured. the government might come up with lengthy definitions as to what constitutes blindness. storage. The government's position could be that if some manufacturer causes us injury. What Does Red Tape Have To Do With Efficiency? Suppose the government created a program for aid (perhaps financial assistance) for those that were blind. These demands mean that the government must collect data and inspections. packaging. transportation.possible side effects of chemicals placed in food or food products. Yet if the government did not follow such procedures and it was discovered (probably reported on "60 Minutes" or "20/20") that people who were not truly blind were getting taxpayer 218 . the government is placed in a no-win situation. This type of program would seem to be one that a lot of people would see as legitimate. Guess what some call this? Red tape. Furthermore. our only recourse would be to use the courts to seek restitution. Those seeking the aid would probably call all of this paperwork red tape. If there are no regulations of such drinks or if the government does not make the manufacturer issue warnings. Yet if the government issues regulations in an attempt to prevent such things. we demand to know things such as fat content and the amount of calories. and selling of goods.

Student goes through McDonald's for a sausage biscuit. and if they don't and they are accused of inefficiency or incompetence. (If you include state and local regulations. The car probably has a catalytic converter. The meat would have to have been inspected by the government and meet certain specifications. Student makes bed. Student gets in car to drive to campus. Lots of regulations here (most local. but it all adds up. the general public would be upset.S.) A. Years ago the U. Again. Here is an example of what might be found. If they have rules and regulations they are accused of creating red tape. the government is placed in a no-win situation. C. Of course. money. The radio stations are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission which helps insure that the student will get a clear signal (leaving them one less excuse for why they were late for class). Student wakes up to the radio alarm clock for an 8:00am class. mattress or both may be resistant to fire due to government regulations. News and World 219 . This could lead to a lively class discussion. Tthe material used for their blanket. B. as required by the government. etc. but some. Why Is There So Much Red Tape? Because everyone wants it. may have been "urged" on to the states). few people want all of it. the list becomes nearly endless. like the speed limit. They merely want the part that protects them. 2. D. Bureaucracy and a Day in the Life of the Student Ask your students to keep a log of their activities for a couple of days with the purpose of seeing the impact of government regulation on their lives.

H. Student gets to class. of course. required by the government. The professor standing before them may have been hired due to the university's enforcement of equal opportunity laws. Student goes swimming in the afternoon. There are. Report found tens of thousands of government regulations that covered hamburgers sold at a fast food establishment. Parkinson's Law This "aw states that work expands to fill the time allotted to complete it. 220 . This law can be brought home to students by asking how many times they have turned in a research paper early. the suggestions for regulations are almost endless. Martins. "Do not remove under penalty of law. Some Laws Governing Organizations (Bureaucracies)? [Note: Most of the following is taken from David Nachmias and David Rosenbloom's Bureaucratic Government USA (NY: St. E. that states. F. does not require people to pay for unsolicited merchandise (if certain procedures are followed).] A. 1980. from EXIT signs in the classroom buildings (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to affirmative action (1964 Civil Rights Act and amendments). lots of other government regulations concerning the postal system G. Student goes to bed (after lots of studying). 3. The government. just to mention one postal regulation. There is probably a tag on the pillow. Again." This is to guarantee that the materials placed inside the pillow were sanitary when the pillow was sewn together. The government requires public swimming pools to periodically check the water for impurities and proper levels of chlorine. Student picks up mail and finds they have been sent a book that they did not order.

Law of Increasing Conservatism "All organizations tend to become more conservative as they become older. unless they experience periods of very rapid growth or internal turnover. Law of Increasing Conserverism This could be called the law of inertia. there is an inherent pressure upon the vast majority of officials to become conservers in the long run. This situation keeps repeating itself until the person is finally promoted into a position where they do not perform well." [Note: This is a corollary to the previous law. "In every bureau. he or she will get a promotion (when there is a vacancy above them). If the person does a good job. Law of Imperfect Control "No one can fully control the behavior of a large 221 ." D. people will be performing tasks that they are least capable of performing. A person just starting work at an organization gets a lower level job. In a more serious vein. in any organization. Taken to its logical conclusion it means that eventually. It works like this. C.] E. Peter Principle This principle states that in any organization people get promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Anthony Downs has presented the set of propositions below about bureaucratic behavior. Having not performed well at this position they are passed over for future promotions.B.

" F. Law of Countercontrol "The greater the effort made by a top-level official or sovereign to control the behavior of subordinate officials. organization.” and." [Note: This is a corollary to the previous law. the greater the efforts made by those subordinates to evade or counteract such control. “The larger any organization becomes.] 222 . the weaker is the control over its actions exercised by those at the top.

475 223 ." [Note: This law could explain the duplication of the bureaucracy found in the White House Office and Congress. Even though there is a State Department and a Defense Department.8a. Congress has a Budget Office and the President has the Office of Management and Budget. Table 14. Law of Control Duplication "Any attempt to control one large organization tends to generate another organization. 14. Table 14.1. unnumbered. 14. 1970s-1980s. Furthermore.8b.2. 472 T32 Establishment Year of Each Cabinet Department and Group Allies. followed by the text page. 452 T29 Iron Triangle. even though there is a Treasury Department and a Commerce Department. 1946-1992. 14. 1950s-1960s. 470 base T31 Map of Key Buildings in Washington.] List of Transparencies Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. T28 Government Employment. the President has a National Security Council. 474 T33 Independent Agencies and Their Group Allies.1. 470 top T30 Issue Network.G.

or a revision of a statute (in statutory interpretation cases). is done by lower federal and state judges. 2. 3. Early on the Supreme Court asserted the power to judge the constitutionality of laws (judicial review). The courts. are not totally insulated from politics. Learning Objectives 1. or politicians may merely refuse to enforce them. they tend to be guided by stare decisis (or the precedents listed below) which helps insure legal stability. Define and explain the importance of judicial review and 203 . Most of the judicial work in the United States. If the decisions are considered too controversial they may be challenged by an amendment to the Constitution (in constitutional interpretation cases). Explain the significance of the Clarence Thomas nomination by President Bush and the political implications that resulted from the Anita Hill charges. Explain why Supreme Court nominees today undergo greater scrutiny by the Senate compared to previous eras when there was a clearer separation of nominations from political disputes.Chapter Fifteen THE COURTS Overview Federal judges are appointed for good behavior (taken to mean life) as a way of insulating them from politics. however. Politics enters into the selection of federal judges. While not required to do so. Court decisions tend to reinforce prevailing public opinion.

6. statutory revision. Key Terms appeal living constitution associate justice theory borking Marbury v. remedy. Maryland cert opinion chief justice original-intent theory circuit court of plain meaning of the appeals text theory 204 . compare. writ of certiorari. 8. Madison brief McCulloch V. remand. living constitution. solicitor general. Summarize how Supreme Court decisions are made. opinion. legal distinction. plenary. Define such important terms as precedent. and law clerk. appeal. and nonimplementation. statutory interpretation. 9. delineate how it has had some negative consequences in American history (example: Dred Scott case). Define. stare decisis. 4. amicus curiae brief. including the decision-making process and the various voting factions present on the current Supreme Court. 7. restorationists. and plain meaning of the text. reversal. Explain the organization of the federal and state court systems. Review and explain the three checks on court power-- constitutional amendment. judicial restraint. dissenting and concurring opinions. Explain how litigation qualifies as a political strategy. brief. and contrast the three theories of constitutional interpretation--original intent. judicial activism. 5.

To avoid this. attorney legal distinction writ of certiorari Outline I. Borking is more likely if the opposing party controls the Senate. nominated by President Dwight Eisenhower. These are called "stealth" nominees. the only person to serve as both president and Chief Justice. It was William Howard Taft. Following the nomination of Robert Bork to be a Supreme Court Justice. These trends are likely to continue since the public. presidents may nominate someone whose views are unknown. presidential nominations to the Supreme Court were approved by the Senate as a matter of course. having witnessed the process via modern technology. wants them to. did not testify at his hearings.S. the Senate has taken a more critical look at nominees.civil code plaintiff class action suit plenary session concurring opinion precedent criminal code receiver defendant remand dissenting opinion remedy district attorney restorationist double jeopardy reversal federal district courts senatorial courtesy judicial activism solicitor general judicial restraint stare decisis judicial review statutory interpretation law clerk U. Earl Warren. who was responsible for depoliticizing the nomination process. 205 . The Politics of Supreme Court Appointments Not many years ago.

in enumerating the Court's original jurisdiction. The Senate voted to confirm. Marshall reasoned that the Constitution was established as an act of the people. implied that Congress could not add to it. The interpreter seeks to ascertain what those who wrote the Constitution meant when they wrote it. Three Theories of Constitutional Interpretation One method of constitutional interpretation is original intent. This original intent is found by studying historical documents.II. but Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated before Marbury's commission was delivered. therefore. relying on Section 13 of the 1789 Judiciary Act. The case came about when President John Adams nominated Mr. thus. Judicial Review This is the power of the courts to declare laws they find unconstitutional to be null and void. A. John Marshall ruled that the Constitution. took his request for a writ of mandamus to the Supreme Court on original jurisdiction. giving Congress original jurisdiction in cases not mentioned in Article III was unconstitutional (null and void). Thomas Jefferson refused to deliver the commission and Marbury. B. 206 . Origins of Judicial Review The Supreme Court asserted its power to exercise judicial review in the 1803 case of Marbury v. the Constitution takes precedence over laws. Section 13. Madison. The Constitution does not explicitly mention this power. Marbury to a judgeship (a "midnight appointment). whereas laws were acts of the people's representatives.

New York (1905). that Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority to regulate the selling of chickens since what it regulated was 207 . A third instance is the case of Schechter Poultry Corporation v. as a nation. United States (1935). Another method of interpreting the Constitution is living constitution: judge the constitutionality of laws in light of the entire history of the United States. The Court refused to allow states to regulate working conditions in certain establishments (in this case. Another method of interpreting the Constitution is called the plain meaning of the text: judges should be guided by exactly what the words used in the Constitution mean (not what someone intended nor someone else's vague understanding of American historical experience). There are advantages and disadvantages to each method of interpretation. The decision was subsequently overruled. the 1857 declaring the Missouri Compromise (1820) unconstitutional. The first was the Dred Scott case. The idea with this method is to keep the Constitution current or allow it to adapt to modern circumstances. a bakery). Judicial Review in Practice Three times the Supreme Court created constitutional crises by defying the declared will of Congress and the president. The Court ruled. This decision convinced Northerners that slavery would be extended throughout the Union and for Southerners it helped justify secession. among other things. A second case creating a constitutional crisis was Lochner v. C.

all the judges working at a circuit hear a case (called a plenary session). III. This fine distinction between intrastate and interstate commerce was later overruled. it is usually because the president and the Congress no longer support a law. Second. intrastate not interstate commerce.S. There are 94 U. Courts of Appeal: one for each of the 11 circuits. The Federal Court System The Supreme Court is the linchpin of the national court system. covering criminal law and civil law. D. one for Washington. During these trials there is a plaintiff and a defendant. Most federal cases begin and end here. district courts today. when it does declare a law unconstitutional. Two things explain why judicial review survives.C. Decisions like these have resulted in some calling for an end to judicial review. and a federal circuit hearing specialized cases over the entire United States. District Courts Congress first created district courts in 1789. At each court three judges sit to hear a case although in exceptional cases. Appeals Courts There are 13 U. B. A. 208 .S. the Court does not use it excessively. First. but the lower courts are where most of the day-to-day work of the federal judicial branch is carried out.

it is very rare. E. American courts also engage in statutory interpretation. Powers of the Courts In addition to determining the constitutionality of law. D. Presidents nominate federal judges. Almost always. The district 209 . Although judges can be impeached. the Senate gives (or withholds) consent. Although uncommon. The Court of Federal Claims hears suits concerning federal contracts. If a court finds an injury has occurred. F. the Senate does reject some nominees usually due to some financial or personal problem uncovered during the Senate confirmation process. which is understood to be a life term. Deciding to Prosecute Suspected violations of federal law are usually investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation which gives the evidence to prosecutors in the office of a federal district attorney. presidents nominate federal judges who are members of the same political party as themselves. it can order a remedy. C. and other issues involving the federal government. money damages against the United States. and the president appoints (if Senate consents). Appeals from these cases go to the appeals court for the federal circuit (covering the entire United States). Selection of Judges The Constitution states that federal judges shall hold their offices during good behavior. Senatorial courtesy applies in some cases. Specialized Courts The Court of International Trade handles cases concerning international trade and customs.

V. although most judicial campaigns get very little public attention. they may become candidates for higher office. but any state 210 . Supreme Court (once it has gone as high as possible at the state level). District attorneys hold a particularly high political profile.S. Prosecuting State Cases Local district attorneys decide whether to present their evidence to a grand jury in order to get an indictment so that a person can be brought to trial. State Trial Courts: The Judicial Workhorse About 99 percent of all civil and criminal cases originate in the state trial courts. In 1819. attention-grabbing activities. Relations between State and Federal Courts Most cases are heard in state courts. attorney may ask a grand jury (16 to 23 citizens) to issue an indictment. and many are interested in moving to a higher office. State Courts Each state creates its own judicial system. focusing instead on high- visible. C. Most state judges are subject to election. If they are particularly successful. B. Most studies find few differences between the decisions of Democratic and Republican state judges. If a state case raises a federal question it can be appealed to the U. Most have a three-tiered system. the Supreme Court declared a state law unconstitutional (McCulloch v. Maryland). They leave the more routine cases to state officials. Many local district attorneys are elected. A.

Still. B. it tries to do so by recognizing a legal distinction between the earlier case and the case at hand. Parties to a case who lose can appeal their case to a higher court. case can be heard in federal court if it raises a federal question. A. its decisions provide the framework for the country's entire judicial system. The Supreme Court in Action In its 1999-2000 term. 211 . Certs Today nearly all cases argued before the Supreme Court arrive upon the grant of cert (shorthand for the Latin phrase writ of certiorari). IV. This means "to be informed". If the higher court agrees with them. the Supreme Court issued full opinions in only 80 cases. Stare Decisis This means that the Court will follow precedents (earlier decisions) when deciding similar cases. the Court creates stability in the legal system. if four Justices vote cert the case will be sent up from the lower court so the Supreme Court can be informed of it. By doing so. It is not considered double jeopardy to try a person in both state and federal courts for committing an act that is illegal at both levels. When the Court does deviate from an earlier decision. it can order a reversal: the overturning of a lower-court decision.

They may also use their position to facilitate compromise and achieve consensus. The Role of the Solicitor General The Solicitor General is the government's lawyer before the Supreme Court. There are about 7. Supreme Court consists of eight associate justices and one chief justice. Because the Supreme Court pays strict attention to the Solicitor General. the officer is sometime referred to as the Tenth Justice.000 cert requests a year.S. D. One special privilege of the chief justice is to assign the writing of the majority opinion (if the chief voted with the majority). 212 . C. The Role of the Chief Justice The U. but the Court only grants a small fraction (about 80 during the 1999-2000 term). Although selected by the president. the Solicitor General is an employee of the Justice Department.

The justices will later discuss the case in a private conference. The truth probably lies between these two views. Supreme Court Decision Making Supreme Court sessions begin on the first Monday in October. F.E. at this stage. others view clerks as better at deciding cases than insulated justices. It is here that the will (if there is one) of the majority becomes known. If the chief justice is not in the majority. "lost a court". and it is not unusual for an opinion to go through several drafts. The justices then listen to the oral arguments of the lawyers. it 213 . Some claim that the real decisions of the Supreme Court are made by the clerks. the justices can read the lawyers written briefs detailing their arguments. Justices who do not vote with the majority may also explain their reasoning (called a dissenting opinion). they worded the opinion in such a way that one or more justices change their mind. Some authoring justices have. The Role of Clerks Much of the day-to-day work of the Supreme Court is conducted by each justice's clerks. that is. Once a decision has been reached by the Court. before a plenary session of the Court. who have usually clerked for a lower court judge. Each has between two to four clerks. Whoever writes the opinion circulates drafts to all the justices. Justices who vote with the majority may write an individual opinion explaining how their reasoning differed with that expressed in the majority opinion (called a concurring opinion). the most senior justice that is writes the majority opinion (or assigns it to someone else). Prior to deciding a case.

VI. B. This was done with the 11th (a citizen of one state cannot sue another state without the state's consent) and 16th amendment (making income taxes constitutional). Statutory Revision A Supreme Court interpretation of a statute can be 214 . Scalia. G. O'Connor. One study found that information about the political views of a justice going through confirmation allowed a correct prediction as to how the justice would later decide cases over 60 percent of the time (in the area of civil liberties). Constitutional Amendment A Supreme Court interpretation of the Constitution can be overruled by amending the Constitution. Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer constitute the liberal bloc or judicial activists. A. some consider this the weakest check on the Court. The moderates or judicial restraintists are Souter. Due to the difficulty in amending the Constitution. and Kennedy. usually sends or remands the case to a lower court for implementation. Checks on Court Power Other branches of government can alter or circumscribe court decisions. and Rehnquist constitute the conservative bloc or restorationists. Thomas. Voting on the Supreme Court The current justices on the Supreme Court (excepting Justice John Paul Stevens) divide into three fairly well -defined blocs.

you will then have "experts" on cases to lead discussions or answer questions dealing with details that are not covered in 215 . To ensure implementation of judicial orders. When you get to these chapters and start discussing cases. C. even if they are not actually involved in the suit. Ideas for Lectures and Discussion 1. This keeps each and every individual similarly situated from having to sue to receive compensation. presidents can ignore Court decisions. an official who has the authority to see that judicial orders are carried out. Having your students brief a Supreme Court case can be used several ways. particularly when elected officials have not responded to group demands. Advocacy groups can file class action lawsuits on behalf of all individuals in a particular class. you can assign each student a Supreme Court case to read. in anticipation of the chapters on civil liberties (16) and civil rights (17). modified by revising the statute. First. Litigation as a Political Strategy The Courts have increasingly been used by advocacy groups to place issues on the political agenda. courts sometimes appoint a receiver. Strong resistance to lower-court decisions by state and local governments is not unknown. Though unlikely today. Nonimplementation Court decisions can be checked simply by being ignored. VII.

Wade. in addition to having students primed for class discussion over particular cases that will come up over civil liberties issues and civil rights. The official government document containing Supreme Court opinions is “United States Reports. you could use a written brief to help students whose scores are borderline at the end of the course. Below are some instructions for helping students brief a case. 410 U. the assignment cannot make them borderline. 113 (1973). such as for Roe v. and could also provide an additional grade. This means that the case of Roe v. they will earn the higher grade by having opted to turn in the brief. Third. which. A. Second. find a case citation in your textbook. go to the legal reference area of your library. For those who do it (and do it properly). Wade . How do you find a Supreme Court case? First.the chapters. Wade can be found in volume 410 of the United States Reports. for most students. would probably help their scores. but if they end up with a borderline grade (as defined by you).S.” A typical case citation. You can either assign the cases or pass around a sheet letting students sign up for cases that interest them (with no one getting the same case). Second. This could help students feel more comfortable with giving speeches. Probably the best approach here would be to make briefing a case optional. you could have students actually present their briefs before the class in a more formal setting. will look like this: Roe v. on page 113. 216 .

They should be advised to examine them for content. What should go into their briefs? One word of warning you should probably give students as they begin to write their briefs is do not quote extensively from the case. treaties. The student should give the who. if someone else has already signed up for one they wanted). The law involved in the case: This is usually a brief section. the article. If a reference is made to the Constitution.Ct. The case was decided in 1973. This will probably be one of the longer sections of their brief (but it depends on each case). 705 (1973). Encourage them to write their briefs in their own words. Then they can return to class to sign up for a case (with alternatives. References should be specific. what. section. 217 . The facts of the case. or other legal references that enter into the decision of the case. how. It should include references in the case to the U. Before a student selects a case (if you don't assign them) you should tell them to go to the library and look up three cases that interest them. federal law.. Another citation often used will look like this: Roe v. executive orders. when. on page 705. This is not a government document (it is published by West Publishing). 93 S. B. length. etc. Constitution. There are five basic parts to a brief: 1. but it contains the same text of the opinion. This means this case can be found in a volume 93 of Supreme Court Reporter. and clause of the passage referred to should be given. 2. and then rank them in order of their preference.S. state law. and why of the case. Wade .

"I really enjoyed reading this case." What are the different ways the Senate can exercise this role? What role is usually used? What role would seem to be the one intended by the framers? Senate Approaches to Advice and Consent 218 ." They should consult the text so as to be able to provide analysis of the case. The legal question of the case: This is usually just one sentence. because it takes some skill to summarize an entire case (covering the significant facts and law) in one sentence. The Senate and Advice and Consent The role of the Senate in the exercise of its constitutional advice and consent function (confirmation) became a subject of debate during the Senate confirmation hearings of Robert Bork to be an associate justice of the U. Again. An evaluation of the case: This should not merely be something like. The ruling of the Court and the Court's reasoning. "I learned a lot from reading this case. You will also have to decide if you want students to include concurring and dissenting opinions as part of their brief." or. encourage students not to quote the justices but rather to use their own words. but it can be a difficult part of the brief. Supreme Court in 1988. If necessary they could consult other sources (constitutional law texts or the New York Times. 5. 4. etc. 3.S. This will probably constitute the bulk of the brief. 2.) in order to provide an informed evaluation. the treatment of Bork resulted in an addition to the lexicon for the confirmation process: nominees could now be "borked. In fact.

One way the Senate could approach its role of advice
and consent is to see its job as one of uncovering any
bad behavior on the part of the nominee that might
disqualify him or her from serving on the Court. In other
words, when guided by this role, the Senate is basically
searching for any skeletons that might exist in the
nominees closet. If none are uncovered, then the
nominee should be confirmed. Perhaps the driving force
behind this approach is the assumption that the president
should be able to select whomever he or she wants as long as
the person has not smoked marijuana, abused his or her
spouse, had shock treatments, etc.

Another approach to the Senate's role of advice and
consent would include the above role, but go further in
its scope. According to this approach, certainly the
Senate might want to vote against a nominee, if serious
enough "skeletons" were uncovered, but there would be
additional reasons for rejecting a nominee as well. The
Senate should also consider what kind of justice the
nominee will be and what changes he or she might bring to
the Court. Thus, even without disqualifying "skeletons,"
the Senate might refuse to confirm if the nominee was
deemed too extreme in his or her beliefs (one of the accusations
made against Bork) or not of the proper judicial
temperament. In exercising this approach, the Senate is
not operating under the assumption that the president,
should be the sole judge of the nominees ability to
perform well as a justice. The Senate feels free to
independently examine this question.

What Approach Is Usually Used?

Until the nomination of Robert Bork, one would have to
say the first role (merely examining a nominee for
skeletons) was the predominant role. It does, of
course, depend on how you look at it, but Reagan's and
the Republican's outrage at how the Senate judiciary
committee treated Bork would indicate they did not think
it was normal. Indeed, when Reagan nominated Bork, the


historical record was that 80 percent of the time,
presidential nominees to the Court were confirmed. Of
course, one could focus on the 20 percent and see this as
a sign that the Senate had not, over the years, merely
played dead with Court nominees.

What Would the Framers Say?

The framers did not say. They gave literally no
guidelines as to what the Senate should do. In
Federalist 76, Publius writes that the procedure should be
used to prevent the appointment of unfit individuals.
Unfortunately, Publius does not explain what he means by

There is some evidence from the Constitutional Convention
that could help answer the question. The Virginia Plan
stipulated that the Congress would select the members of
the national judiciary. There were four attempts at
the Convention to place the appointment process in the
hands of the president alone. Madison, considered the
father of the Constitution, wanted the Senate to act
alone in selecting justices. The president was not added
to the process until the latter part of the Convention.
In fact, had the Convention adjourned just two weeks
early, the Senate would have exclusively appointed

Given this history of the appointment process in the
Convention, it seems unlikely that the framers would have
approved of the Senate approaching its advice and
consent function as one of basically letting the
president get whomever he or she wants as long as the nominee
has no skeletons in his/her closet.

One final note: Even Hamilton, an advocate of an
energetic executive, defended the role of the Senate in
presidential appointments as a way of preventing justices
who would be "obsequious instruments of [the president's]


3. A question that frequently comes up in class is which
cases go to federal courts and which cases go to state
courts. Below is a description of the jurisdiction of
federal courts. All other cases begin in state courts.

Original Jurisdiction

If a court has jurisdiction, it means it can hear a case.
Original jurisdiction means a court can hear a case
before any other court has heard the case.

Students will be surprised to learn that the Supreme
Court has original jurisdiction. This is specified in
Article III, Section 2, clause 2.

"In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public
Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State
shall be Party, the Supreme Court shall have
original Jurisdiction."

Congress may not add to this original jurisdiction
(Marbury v. Madison, 1803). It may, however, reassign
these cases to lower courts. Congress had done this.
Today, the only cases in which the U.S. Supreme Court has
exclusive original jurisdiction are cases in which a
state is suing another state.

On average, the Court gets about one of these a year.
When it does, it usually assigns the fact-finding of the
case to a Special Master (often a retired federal judge).
The Special Master issues a ruling to the Court that it
may follow or ignore.

Appellate Jurisdiction

Most federal cases begin and end at the federal District
Court (which has original jurisdiction). Those losing a
case in these courts can appeal them to the U.S. Courts
of Appeal.


There are two categories of cases that can be brought to
federal courts: those dealing with a particular subject
and those involving particular parties.

Subject Matter

Any case involving a federal question can be brought to a
federal district court. A federal question would be one
that requires (1) an interpretation of a federal law,
(2) an interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, or (3) an
interpretation of a treaty; to cases dealing with
admiralty and maritime laws.

Particular Parties

Even if a case does not raise a federal question, it may
still be brought to federal court if particular parties
are involved in the case. If the following parties are
involved in a case, it is federal court jurisdiction:

- United States is a party to the suit
- a State is a party to the suit
- an ambassador or other foreign representatives
- a citizen of one state suing a citizen of another
state (These are called "diversity of citizenship"
cases. Federal law stipulates that such cases
must also involve damages of $50,000 or more to be
brought to federal courts.)
- citizens of the same state, if the dispute involves
land grants claimed under two or more states
- a state and a citizen of another state (as
modified by the 11th Amendment)

List of Transparencies

Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure
(or Table) number, followed by the text page.


T34 Presidential Nominees to the Supreme Court Not
Confirmed, Table 15.1, 487

T35 The Missouri Compromise, 15.1, 491

T36 Federal and State Court Systems, 15.2, 502


Chapter Sixteen


Until the ratification of the 14th Amendment, civil rights
was pretty much a dead letter. In the 1920s, the Supreme
Court for the first time applied a portion of the First
Amendment to the states. In spite of James Madison's fears of
majority tyranny, the Court usually follows public opinion.
Particularly during war time, the Court had allowed
restrictions on freedom of speech and press. Following the
rejection of McCarthyism by politicians, however, the Court
began to treat free speech as a fundamental freedom.

Freedom of religion is covered in two clauses of the
First Amendment: no establishment and free exercise. The
former has resulted in a wall of separation between church
and state. The latter has been used at times to exempt
religious groups from government regulation.

In the 1960s, the Warren Court expanded the rights of the
accused. In the decades that followed, public concern
shifted to a concern for law and order. Although the Court
backtracked somewhat, it has refused to outright overrule
many of the Warren Court decisions. Although not explicitly
mentioned in the Constitution, the Supreme Court, relying on
the Ninth Amendment, has recognized the right of privacy.
Like other rights, it is not absolute.

Learning Objectives

1. Review the Jacobowitz and Jeffries cases which deal with
civil liberties on college and university campuses.

2. Discuss the historical origins of the Bill of Rights,

10. such as Mapp vs. the continuing controversy over the Roe vs. 5. Summarize the meaning of the establishment of religion and free exercise of religion clauses as well as the doctrine of church-state separation. Review the types of efforts taken to ensure an impartial jury. Ohio 220 . and fundamental freedom. Define those key doctrines relating to freedom of speech: prior restraint. 11. clear and present danger. Explain why freedom of speech. noting the impact of key Supreme Court rulings upon those rights. noting its main uses before and after the Civil War. 3. Summarize how the right to privacy relates to the abortion issue and. Wade decision. and obscenity. Arizona. Specify the various rights of the accused. Key Terms balancing doctrine libel civil liberties Mapp vs. 9. 8. 6. Ohio and Miranda vs. Delineate the various limitations on three types of speech: commercial speech. fighting words. 7. more specifically. balancing. press and assembly are paramount in the Bill of Rights. Also note the historical origins of those freedoms. Define the meaning of "selective incorporation" and examine how this process impacted upon the relationship of the Bill of Rights to state governments. Discuss the implications of plea bargaining. libel. 4.

and election outcomes. Origins of Civil Liberties in the United States The meaning of civil liberties in the United States has been shaped by the Supreme Court. B. political debates. the Fifth Amendment due process clause was used to support 221 . Wainwright majority Outline I. During ratification.civil rights amendments Miranda vs. the framers of the Constitution did not include a Bill of Rights. Few Civil Liberties Before the Civil War Prior to the Civil War. the rights listed in the Bill of Rights did not play a significant role in American politics. Except. Arizona clear and present danger obscenity doctrine plea bargain commercial speech prior restraint doctrine double jeopardy doctrine due process clause public defender establishment of religion right of privacy clause selective incorporation fighting words doctrine separation of church and free exercise of religion state doctrine clause sequester fundamental freedoms trial venue doctrine tyranny of the Gideon vs. A. Origins of the Bill of Rights In spite of the fervor over individual rights during the American revolution. It reflects the basic values shared by most citizens. ironically. the Federalists promised to add a Bill of Rights later.

Baltimore. always 222 . The 14th Amendment has been particularly important in that it contained a "due process" clause that was explicitly directed at state governments. which specified it applied only to Congress and the 1833 case of Barron vs. which said all of the rights in the Bill of Rights applied only to Congress. Relying on selective incorporation. Freedom of Speech. and Assembly A. the minority still has the right to speak out. those owning slaves. This was due to the wording of the First Amendment. in the end. Press. C. Majorities can be just as dictatorial as one despot. Free speech was justified by John Stuart Mill on the grounds that the truth will. Even if the official line is backed by a majority. the Supreme Court has applied most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights to the states through the 14th Amendment's due process clause (one notable exception being the second Amendment right to bear arms). II. Applying the Bill of Rights to State Governments The Civil War amendments extended greatly the protection of civil rights. Free Speech and Majoritarian Democracy Free speech is vital to democracy because it allows debate of issues including the official line espoused by those in government.

win out; furthermore, suppression of what is
patently not true merely serves to strengthen
falsehoods. In short, there is nothing, in the
end, to free from free speech.

B. Origins of Freedom of Speech

The colonists believed in the notion of no prior
restraint. Although people could be punished for
publishing material after the fact, anything could
be published once (i.e. no censorship).

The trial of Peter Zenger in the 1730s was a
victory for freedom of speech and press.

C. Clear and Present Danger Doctrine

In its first major decision affecting freedom of
speech, the Supreme Court, in Schenck vs. United
States (1919), enunciated the clear and present
danger doctrine, a principle that said people
should have complete freedom of speech unless their
language gave rise to a clear and present danger.
Justice Holmes wrote that following this principle,
no one would have the right to falsely shout
"fire!" in a crowded theater.

In this case, the Supreme Court, while stating this
principle, upheld Schenck's conviction for
violating the Espionage Act. Schenck was convicted
for mailing antidraft literature to draft-age men.

Applying the principle, which is open to various
interpretations, has not been easy. Yet, two cases
decided in 1931, Stromberg vs. California and Near
vs. Minnesota, were particularly important, because
for the first time, they gave court protection to
the opinions of an extreme group.

D. Fighting Words Doctrine

During World War II, free speech again came under
attack. The Smith Act prohibited advocating the
overthrow of the government by force. Restrictions
were also passed prohibiting demonstrations against
the draft.

The Supreme Court upheld these restrictions on the
grounds that fighting words were not protected by
the First Amendment. It was the fighting words
doctrine that many university administrators
invoked in the early 1990s when they tried to
enforce ethnic tolerance on campus.

E. Balancing Doctrine

Civil liberties were not restored following the end
of World War II. Fear of the spread of communism
(fed by McCarthyism) resulted in Congress requiring
all employees of the federal government to take an
oath swearing loyalty to the United States.
The Supreme Court, relying now on a balancing
doctrine, upheld prosecutions under the Smith Act.
This doctrine was clearly a limit on the more
strenuous clear and present danger doctrine.

McCarthy, in the end, was challenged not by the
Court but by politicians.

F. Fundamental Freedom Doctrine

After the political demise of Senator McCarthy,
Americans were in a mood to be more protective of
civil liberties. The Supreme Court became
committed to the fundamental freedom doctrine,
which said that some constitutional provisions
(such as free speech) have a preferred position

because they are basic to the functioning of a
democratic society. It became the Court's
governing doctrine during the 1960s, in the midst of
the Vietnam war.

In virtually every case that came before it, the
Court ruled against efforts to suppress free
speech. A significant case in this regard was the
Pentagon Papers case (New York Times vs. United
States, 1971). More recent examples of the Courts
commitment to free speech are the flag burning
cases (Texas vs. Johnson, 1989 and Eichman vs.
United States, 1990).

Even conservatives on the Court voted to strike
down a St. Paul ordinance forbidding the placement
of a symbol that "arouses anger, alarm or resentment
in others on the basis or race, color, creed, religion or
gender on public or private proiperty" (R.A.V. vs.
City of St. Paul, 1990).

G. Limitations on Free Speech

Although free speech is now given strong
protection, three types of speech can still be
subject to regulation.

1. Commercial Speech

The court says regulation of commercial speech
(advertising or other speech made for business
purposes) is needed so that customers are not
provided false or misleading information, or to
discourage the consumption of harmful
substances (such as cigarettes).

2. Libel

Libel, the defamation of character by print, is

not protected by the First Amendment. In the
New York Times vs. Sullivan case (1963), the
Supreme Court ruled that for a public official
to win a libel suit, they must demonstrate not
only that what was printed was false but that it was
done with actual malice (they knew it was false
or they had a reckless disregard for the truth.)

3. Obscenity

Obscenity is not protected by the First
Amendment. The Court has struggled with the
definition of obscenity, but overall, it seems
to say that local communities may, if they
wish, ban hard-core pornography.

III. Freedom of Religion

The First Amendment contains two provisions relating to
religion: the no establishment clause and the free
exercise clause.

A. Establishment of Religion Clause

Religious issues often arise in conjunction with
the provision of public education, in good part
because many think schools need to teach not only
reading and arithmetic but morals and values as

The Court has pretty much followed Thomas
Jefferson's separation of church and state
doctrine, which recognizes a wall separating
government from religious activity.

This has usually prevented tax money from going to
support parochial schools. It has also resulted in
prohibiting teacher-led school prayer in public
schools (along with sacred moments of silence)

and legally mandated Bible readings in public

In 1990, however, a more conservative Court relaxed
the ban on prayer somewhat, saying students may allow for
Bible-reading or prayer clubs as long as other
clubs are allowed to use school property. Other
recent decisions (such as Agostini vs. Felton) have
opened up windows in the wall of separation between
church and state.

B. Free Exercise of Religion Clause

In applying this clause, the Court has prohibited a
state from closing all private religious schools,
requiring those who object on religious grounds from
saluting the American flag (having upheld the law just
three years earlier), and allowed the Amish to refuse
to follow the law requiring mandatory school attendance.

C. Establishment of Religion or Free Exercise?

The debate over school choice (using vouchers),
which surfaced during the 1996 and 2000
presidential elections, involves weighing the
establishment of the religion clause against the free
exercise clause.

The Supreme Court has yet to decide the issue of
school vouchers, but in a 1983 case (Mueller vs.
Allen) the Court ruled that tax breaks can be given
to families who send their children to religious
schools, provided the same tax breaks are available
to families sending their children to public
schools. It remains to be seen if the Court will
extend this decision to the use of vouchers. Who
is next appointed to the Supreme Court could affect
the outcome of such a decision.


IV. Law, Order, and the Rights of Suspects

The procedural rights that protect the accused are
often thought to come into conflict with the need for
government to maintain social order. Some believe that
carefully enforcing procedural rights will result in
the guilty going free. Others believe that unless
procedural safeguards are carefully observed, innocent
people will be unjustly convicted.

A. Election Politics and Criminal Justice

Politics affect criminal justice since law and
order is a major concern for many Americans.
Politicians feel obligated to "do something" about

Whether crime rates are actually rising is not so
easy to determine because many crime statistics
are notoriously unreliable. Most victims of
homicides are black and male. For older men, the
murder rate has decreased since the 1980s, but it
rose sharply for young, particularly black, males
in the early 1990s.

B. Search and Seizure

The Fourth Amendment requires the police to get a
warrant before they search a private dwelling. To
obtain the warrant, the police must demonstrate that
there is probable cause that a crime has been
committed. Improperly obtained evidence cannot be
used in court (Mapp vs. Ohio, 1961).

In early 2000, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled that
police may sometimes stop and search people because
they turn and run when they see the police
approaching (running--the Court reasoned--is
cause for reasonable suspicion).

Trials should be postponed until public attention has subsided. Judges should instruct jurors to base their decisions solely on the evidence presented in the trial. E. the testimony cannot be used in court (except to impeach the veracity of the suspect were he/she to take the stand).D. Immunity Against Self-Incrimination The Fifth Amendment prevents the government from coercing an individual in a criminal case to testify against themselves. Maxwell (1966) case. the Supreme Court established several criteria to help guarantee an impartial jury trial: a. If they do not. In 2000. b. Impartial Jury Following the Sheppard vs. the Court upheld that decision partially on the grounds that warning people of their right to remain silent had become part of our culture. Jurors may be sequestered during a trial. 229 . c. The Warren Court in the Miranda case ruled that police must inform those being arrested of this right before questioning them. Jurors should be screened to exclude those with extensive knowledge of a case or a biased opinion. d. the Supreme Court revisited the Miranda decision (judging a provision in a 1968 law that some thought overruled Miranda).

many states created the office of public defender to represent indigent criminal suspects. H. Trial court judges depend on the willingness of prosecutors and defenders to settle cases before going to trial. Defenders and prosecutors are usually expected to try to arrange a plea bargain. Public defenders are often not respected by police and even their own clients (who view them as crummy lawyers). the criminally accused is not tried by a jury. Rights in Practice: The Plea Bargain In most cases. After conviction of three 230 . G. Since not many lawyers wanted to volunteer their services to the poor. Legal Counsel The Warren Court ruled that the Sixth Amendment guarantees everyone accused of a crime the right to legal counsel even if they can't afford an attorney. F. e. Courts should consider changing a trial venue in order to keep jurors from being exposed to pretrial publicity. The extensive use of the plea bargain has resulted in some politicians calling for a "three strikes and you're out" policy. Double Jeopardy The Supreme Court has ruled that a person may be tried in federal and state courts for the same offense and this does not constitute double jeopardy.

the Court declared that the right of privacy was broad enough to include at least a partial right of abortion. however. Wade (1973). The Right of Privacy Although not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. the Supreme Court. the Court refused to 231 . The United States now seems to have the largest incarceration rate in the world. Regulation of Sexual Behavior The Court declared a Connecticut law prohibiting the use of contraceptives between consenting married couples unconstitutional in 1965. a person would receive life imprisonment. Does this reduce crime? The evidence is inconclusive. The Supreme Court began to declare constitutional certain restrictions on abortion. Abortion: Right to Life or Right to Choose? In Roe vs. the court majority decided in a manner consistent with the views of a majority of voters. In 1986. B. relying on the Ninth Amendment. it upheld a Georgia law outlawing sodomy (in this case between two males). such as Medicaid. the right to life movement became engaged in state and national politics. In response. A. Casey. whether or not a plea bargain is struck. Congress enacted legislation in 1976 that prevents coverage of abortion costs under government health insurance programs. When given the chance to overrule its Roe decision in the 1992 case of Planned Parenthood vs. has recognized the right of privacy. felonies. In both cases. In response. V.

Ideas for Lectures and Discussion 1. They may not go ransacking through the house or apartment without a warrant. in close conformity to public opinion. Below are some others. an apartment. It has. Plain View Exception Police may. One exception to the search warrant requirement touched upon in the text was the automobile exception. and if a person gives it. The Court's interpretation and application of the Fourth Amendment's search and seizure clause is very complex. upheld laws requiring teenagers to inform their parents before getting an abortion but struck down laws requiring women to get their husbands’ consent before getting an abortion. and the evidence may be used in court (not subject to the exclusionary rule). A. C. They may do this without a warrant. when serving an arrest warrant. The rationale for 232 . Any incriminating evidence the search turns up could be used in court (not subject to the exclusionary rule). they may seize it and use it in court (not subject to the exclusionary rule). do so. Search Incidental to a Valid Arrest Police may. then the police do not need a warrant. B. If they find incriminating evidence. seize evidence in the immediate vicinity of the person being arrested and that is in plain view. Consent Search If police ask a person for permission to search. say. when serving an arrest warrant. search the person being arrested.

Stop and Frisk Police may. D. the text mentions the Ninth Amendment. Hamilton gives two broad reasons for why the framers did not include a Bill of Rights. reach inside pockets. however. Hamilton states that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary. The Ninth Amendment In discussing the right to privacy. This amendment has an interesting history that speaks to what the framers thought of individual rights." Police may not. this exception. Hamilton explains why the framers did not include a Bill of Rights in the Constitution. 233 . they may seize it without a warrant and this will not be subject to the exclusionary rule. 2. as part of this search. This is true for two reasons: A. If they clearly detect incriminating evidence. Rights are already included in the Constitution as written in 1787. Here briefly are the facts surrounding the origin of the Ninth Amendment. if they have a high suspicion that a crime has taken place or is about to take place. This is the only exception that does not require "probable cause. etc. stop individuals and pat down their outer garments. Federalist 84: In this essay. is the protection of police officers. in addition to preserving easily destroyed evidence. Unnecessary First.

and as they retain everything they have no need of particular reservations. Why? Hamilton knows that not all rights can be listed in the Constitution. according to their [Bills of Rights] primitive signification. I. Sec. also believed that a Bill of Rights was unnecessary.privilege of habeas corpus Art." Dangerous Surprisingly. Here is how Hamilton puts it: "It is evident. Enter the Ninth Amendment: Madison. I. that. Art. cl. 2 . cl. III. 3 . III.S. I. Sec. claiming that if the people wanted them protected they would have listed them. 3 . cl. Sec. and punishment for treason B. 2. proof. the people surrender nothing. eventually persuaded by Jefferson that a Bill of Rights 234 . 3 .trial by jury in all crimes Art. 7 . cl. Constitution. in strictness. 9. Even if one were to try to list all rights. Sec. the Father of the Bill of Rights. 3. they have no application to constitutions. 3 . it is likely that some would inadvertently be omitted. Another reason a Bill of Rights is unnecessary is due to the democratic nature of the U. Here. cl. Sec. 9. Hamilton also argues that a Bill of Rights would be dangerous. therefore. the government would use the absence of rights listed in the Constitution as a pretext for ignoring the protection of those rights. however. 9. Sec. He was. title of nobility ex post facto law Art. The reason is because those in government could infringe on rights not listed in the Constitution. In other words. cl. professedly founded upon the power of the people and executed by their immediate representatives and servants. This would be Bill of Attainder Art. I.

would not hurt. Thus he proposed what became the Ninth Amendment. It basically states that the reader should not take the listing of rights in the first eight amendments to imply that these are the only rights that the government must respect. during his confirmation hearings that if confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. Below is a more in-depth discussion of several of these cases. and the Congress included. he would not respect the right to privacy. His reason was that the right was not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. told the Senate Judiciary Committee. New York authorities thought they had written a prayer that would offend no one and thus would not violate the no establishment clause. the Ninth Amendment in the Bill of Rights. The Irony of Bork's Approach: This is why some found it ironic that Robert Bork. 421 (1962) This case dealt with the neutral prayer mandated in public schools. Vitale. 370 U. This is the only sentence in the Constitution that tells the reader how to interpret the Constitution. The authorities had misjudged the meaning of the no establishment clause which the Court had interpreted in an earlier case to prohibit not merely government favoritism towards a particular religion 235 . Except he also thought Hamilton's argument about the danger of a Bill of Rights was a good one. Yet it was to prevent this kind of reasoning that the father of the Constitution and father of the Bill of Rights wrote. an advocate of original intent.S. Engel vs. 3. The text briefly discusses some no establishment cases. A. or what has been called the forgotten amendment.

B. It had been following most of this test prior to this case. D. So they mandated a prayer (the Lord's Prayer) and a Bible reading at the beginning of the school day. The law must have a secular purpose. but it had never articulated it as the test for such cases. Schempp. 403 U. 39 (1980) 236 . 602 (1971) In this celebrated case. C. noting that this was favoring religion over non-religion declared it unconstitutional. 393 U. The Supreme Court. Abington School District vs.S. the Court articulated the test it used in no establishment cases.S. Kurtzman. Lemon vs. The law's effect must be to neither advance nor inhibit religion 3. Epperson vs.S. Below are the components of the three-part test. 203 (1963) After the Engle decision. A law must pass every component or it is unconstitutional. 2. the authorities in Pennsylvania thought the problem was that the government wrote the prayer. 449 U. Stone vs. but favoritism towards religion over non-religion. 1.S. Both violate the no establishment clause. Arkansas. Graham. E. 97 (1968) The Court ruled that Arkansas could not prohibit the teaching of human biological evolution because it conflicted with the biblical account of creation. 374 U. The law must not create an excessive entanglement between church and state.

T37 Key Changes in the Rights of the Accused. G. The Court was not persuaded by the fact that the posters were not read to the students.1. The Court struck down. List of Transparencies Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. the posting of the Ten Commandments in public school classrooms. Wallace vs. H. 112 S. Edwards vs. were paid for by private donations (not taxpayer money). Lee vs. as violative of the no establishment clause.S. 472 U. Aguillard.S. F. 482 U. 2649 (1992) The Court struck down a public school’s wish to invite a Rabbi to lead a prayer at an eighth-grade graduation ceremony. Jaffree. and had a disclaimer at the bottom noting that it was an historical (rather than religious) document. followed by the text page. 16. 578 (1987) The Court struck down a Louisiana law that mandated the teaching of creation science in public schools if human biological evolution was taught. Weisman. 38 (1985) The Court struck down Alabama's moment of silence law primarily due to the historical record that clearly demonstrated that the moment (which mentioned prayer) was a way of getting prayer back into the public schools. Ct. 536 237 .

Explain and summarize the historical origins of Civil Rights in the nation. Once again. Usually. and Native Americans--as well as trace the progress (or lack of progress) associated with meeting those needs. and social changes that transformed the civil rights movement in the post-Brown era. 4.CHAPTER SEVENTEEN Civil Rights OVERVIEW Civil rights groups have often been successful by persuading a majority of voters that they deserve equal treatment. a changing Supreme Court. When Northerners became upset with racial demands. the Supreme Court has struck down many instances of gender discrimination. Asian- Americans. 2. Explain the civil rights needs of other minorities in America--Latinos. and the persistent problem of black unemployment and poverty. not by the courts. The civil rights movement also spawned new attention to the rights of the disabled. the most important steps were taken by Congress. the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 3. Summarize those key political. the Supreme Court has followed the mood of the country in such matters. Minorities achieved a big victory with passage of the 1964 and 1965 civil rights legislation. the controversy over affirmative action. Board of Education. including the use of civil disobedience. the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Court ruled against the Civil Rights bill that followed the Civil War and established the doctrine of "separate but equal" in the latter part of the nineteenth century. LEARNING OBJECTIVES 1. The modern women's rights movement grew out of the civil rights movement. the Court struck down de jour discrimination but upheld de facto discrimination. Review the role of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in the courtroom and how it efforts eventually led to segregation being declared unconstitutional in the 1954 case of Brown vs. 235 . economic. Although the Equal Rights Amendment was not ratified.

of People (NAACP) Education Plessy vs. sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Trace the history of women's rights in America and include such specific issues as the ERA. 236 . KEY TERMS affirmative action National Association for the black codes Advancement of Colored Brown vs. and single-sex education. 6. Minorities often react by turning to the courts. Although minorities rely on this clause. Yet. Ferguson civil disobedience poll tax civil rights quota de facto segragation Reconstruction de jure segregation restrictive housing equal protection clause convenant Equal Rights Amendment eparate but equal glass ceiling doctrine grandfather clause state action doctrine Jim Crow laws suspect classification white primary OUTLINE I. judges are sensitive to majorities. Bd.5. too. Review the civil rights needs of the disabled and summarize the type of progress the disabled have made in recent years. politicians listen to what majorities say the clause means since voters elect them. Origins of Civil Rights The term civil rights refers to the right to equal treatment under the law. The pertinent passage of the Constitution is the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. like politicians.

Early Court Interpretations of Civil Rights With little public support for civil rights. The Ku Klux Klan used intimidation to keep blacks from voting. 237 . In addition. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 to guarantee every citizen (regardless of race or color) the same right to the full and equal benefit of all laws. By the 1930s. and mismanagement leveled against both black elected officials and carpetbaggers. Relying on the state action doctrine. This brought the end to Reconstruction. Blacks Get Electoral Power Progress in the dismantling of segregation took place when blacks left the South for the North where they could vote. state laws that segregated the races from each other. and the white primary. During Reconstruction. African-Americans used their votes to win a small place in the politics of a few big cities. and the whites reinstituted many of the old racial patterns. African-Americans were also subject to Jim Crow laws. corruption. Congress established a Freedman's Bureau. the Supreme Court of the day took a very restrictive view of the equal protection clause. which provided blacks with education and other benefits. some southern states passed black codes. Northern political machine politicians were willing to allow blacks to vote. The Republicans won the presidency in 1876. As the years passed. Conflict Over Civil Rights After the Civil War At the end of the Civil War. In the landmark case of Plessy vs. there were charges of fraud. In addition. laws that applied to newly freed slaves but not to whites. but only after promising Democrats they would remove the Union army from the South. grandfather clauses. the Court declared the Civil Rights Act of 1876 unconstitutional. The biggest breakthrough came when many gave them credit for casting the decisive votes electing Harry Truman as president.A. C. Ferguson (1896) it developed the separate but equal doctrine. laws were passed making it difficult for blacks to vote: poll taxes. B.

The Court ordered schools to desegregate "with all deliberate speed. Finally. the southern civil rights movement gained strength by winning sympathetic coverage in the northern press. Later. and acts of civil disobedience. Redefining the Equal Protection Clause Civil rights groups tried for years to get the Plessy decision overruled. the NAACP won cases declaring the white primary unconstitutional and getting restrictive housing covenants declared unenforceable. a more militant phase of the civil rights movement erupted.3 percent of black students in the states of the Old Confederacy attended integrated schools. A. Southern government officials opposed the civil rights movement. Civil Rights After Brown Three civil rights organizations came into being immediately after Brown: the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). II." which southern school boards used to resist the decision. 10 years after Brown. After initial failures. When school began in the fall of 1964. D. 238 . The Court reasoned that racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal (by creating an inferiority complex in the minds of students) and thus in violation of the 14th Amendment's equal protection clause. Most southern members of Congress signed the Southern Manifesto. the landmark Brown decision was handed down in 1954. One year after Brown. the Court declared race was a suspect classification that would be closely scrutinized by the courts to make sure it did not violate equal rights. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Using boycotts. overturning Plessy. protests. involving acts of civil disobedience. only 2. Early successes came in the area of higher education. Awakening the Supreme Court to Civil Rights The NAACP relied on the courts to achieve racial equality.

Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Congress passed a Voting Rights Act. progress was gradually made. D. very little additional school desegregation took place in either the North or South. 1974). In response. beginning in Los Angeles in 1964 and spreading to other cities over the next three years. and other programs of racial integration.000 black and white demonstrators on the Washington. prohibiting racial discrimination in all places of public accommodations. The percentage of black students in southern schools that included whites increased dramatically from 2. Martin Luther King gave his "I have a Dream" speech to 100. Kennedy's assassination just a few months later generated an outpouring of moral commitment to racial justice unseen since the closing years of the Civil War. Instead. mall. paid more attention to civil rights issues. Bradley. 239 .3 percent in 1972. including John Kennedy. the Court ruled that the Constitution forbade de jour segregation (segregation imposed by law) but not de facto segregation (Milliken vs. they were disappointed. Jr. B. began attacking racial discrimination in the North. In 1967. Blacks began identifying more with the Democratic Party. affirmative action. King's assassination in 1968 resulted in more violent racial disturbances. C. Then in 1963. and the backlash from whites helped the Republican Party win five of the eight presidential elections following the 1964 Civil Rights Act.C. Whites had second thoughts about the movement after this and began opposing such things as busing. Following this decision. Presidential candidates.3 percent in 1964 to 91. Decline in Strength of Civil Rights Movement When Martin Luther King. support for civil rights protests among many northern whites dwindled. Supreme Court No Longer Forges Ahead When some turned to the Supreme Court to further the cause of racial integration. Civil violence began to break out in black neighborhoods. Through the vote.

and Civil Rights: An Appraisal In spite of the electoral and educational gains of blacks in recent decades. These range from helping minorities learn about job opportunities to quotas. D. Latinos constitute 9 percent of the population of the United States only three percentage points behind African Americans. During the 1990s. preventing them for being united with a common background. California passed an initiative banning affirmative action (as did Washington) and a federal court ordered Texas to eliminate race-based preferences from its state university admissions system. the process of racial change has slowed in recent years. they come from different countries. Bush opposed it and Gore. all forms of affirmative action came under increasing criticism. He alleged reverse discrimination. III. Courts. Many more of them lack citizenship. Some say this is due to continuing racism. opposed the use of quotas. A. Others insist that welfare has given people an incentive not to work. E. and (2) when language or other issues arise. Affirmative Action Some civil rights groups asked the government and private institutions to develop affirmative action plans. Poverty among blacks has hardly changed since 1970. Latinos Currently. The growing ambivalence toward affirmative action could be seen in the positions taken by George W. Elections. 240 . Civil Rights of Other Minorities The civil rights of groups other than African-Americans become legally and politically distinctive under two circumstances: (1) when groups eligible for affirmative action need to be defined. The Supreme Court struck down the University's quotas but did say that race couldn’t be used as one of many factors when admitting people. In a 1978 case a white male challenged the affirmative action program at University of California at Davis. and fewer of them vote. though supporting it. Also. Yet they have not been as politically effective. Bush and Al Gore.

In the last decade. An example of Latinos influencing politics was the victories of several Democrats following Republican support and the passage of Proposition 187 in California in 1994. they have certain rights and privileges not available to other groups. they are not supportive of affirmative action and they tend to vote Republican. Native Americans At the time of the writing of the Constitution. and ballots. Asian-Americans Asian-Americans constitute about 2 percent of the population. 241 . Partly due to this group's efforts.) D. C. education. They are internally divided among many different nationalities. (Other gay issues--gay marriages--have not fared so well with the public. must be printed in languages other than English. in some instances. schools must provide special educational programs for those not proficient in English. B. As such. One group. The case of Elian Gonzalez revealed the extent to which an ethnic group can mobilize itself for political action and the clear limits to what such a group can achieve once a majority of Americans take another point of view. focuses on voting. the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). Unlike other ethnic minorities. and immigration issues. the American public grew to believe that equal job opportunities ought to be accorded gays. The Supreme Court still considers the treaties Native Americans entered into with the American government binding. this was a time when homosexuals were more engaged in electoral politics than ever before. Native Americans were considered to be members of a foreign nation. They have not emphasized a political agenda. not accidentially. Various groups represent Latinos. Gays and Lesbians Some of the most contentious political debates in the late 1990s concerned the rights of gays and lesbians.

The first struggle for women's rights focused on the right to vote. women's groups have achieved four civil rights objectives. Recently. B. women's place in politics changed more dramatically than in any previous quarter century. the Court has ruled that they have a right to provide commercial gambling on tribal property. Initial Court Response to Women's Rights For the first time the Supreme Court struck down a law treating men and women differently in 1971. It has upheld gender distinctions within the military. In the 25 years after the ERA campaign began in earnest. In 1978. Congress proposed the Equal Rights Amendment. In 1972. A. The Right to Equality Before the Law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (as well as race. Congress passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Resolution. which has been interpreted to mean Native Americans have religious freedoms comparable to other citizens. It has subsequently declared many other such laws unconstitutional. In order for a law treating men and women differently to be upheld. the Court must be convinced the law furthers important governmental objectives. Since the 1960s. yet. even when it is otherwise forbidden by state law. The Amendment was ratified by 35 states. Women's Rights The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment has been interpreted as pertaining to the legal treatment between men and women. but this was three short of the number needed to become a part of the Constitution. The accomplishment of each (discussed below) required both electoral involvement and courtroom presentations. it has not treated sex as a suspect classification. religion. IV. 242 .. or national origin).

Congress overruled this interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. the Court expanded the meaning of sexual harassment. D. Single-Sex Schools and Colleges Single-sex education has long been a significant part of American education. The Court ruled that sexual harassment had to be experienced as personally devastating before it constituted a violation of the Smith Amendment. 1989) that federal law required those bringing discrimination suits to bear the burden of proof. Antonio. Discrimination in the Workplace The Supreme Court has ruled that business necessity may permit an employer to hire a person of particular gender.C. Following the Clarence Thomas appointment and significant political gains in 1992. Despite the claims of some that single-sex educational institutions can be beneficial. It also ruled (Wards Cove vs. single-sex education survives at many private women's colleges. many feel that education that is separated by gender cannot be equal. the Supreme Court ruled that women must be admitted to the Virginia Military Institute. Although many former single-sex universities now admit equal numbers of males and females. Sexual Harassment The Supreme Court first ruled on the meaning of sexual harassment in the workplace in 1986 (Meritor Saving Bank vs. Vinson). 243 . In 1996. E.

business. Congress enacted in 1968 a law requiring that all future public buildings built with federal monies provide access for the disabled. The courts have shown considerable reluctance to interpret the rights of the disabled in sweeping terms. Congress passed a law guaranteeing all handicapped children the right to an appropriate education. There has also been somewhat of a backlash toward laws designed to assist the disabled. V. Then the 1991 Americans with Disabilities Act made it illegal to deny employment to individuals on the grounds that they are handicapped. At the prodding of E. F. In 1976. The Future of Women's Rights Despite many gains. They have one political advantage that both women and minorities lack: Every person runs the risk of someday becoming disabled. The rights of disabled people thus have broad appeal yet this advantage is offset by a number of political limitations. the courts became more sensitive to the concerns of the disabled. Subsequently. It remains to be seen if such complaints will result in a weakening of the protection of the rights of the disabled. and the professions.L. Americans with Disabilities Disabled people are about 9 percent of the working-age population. women have yet to break through what is known as the glass ceiling. Bartless. Ideas for Lectures or Discussion 244 . the invisible barrier that has limited their opportunities for advancement to the highest ranks of politics.

A Test Case: The NAACP heard about Miss Sipuel's situation and offered to provide her with counsel to test the law in question. She agreed.S. but it was illegal to admit a black into an all-white university. professors teaching classes with mixed races could be fined. This was not a rejection of the Plessy decision. Miss Louise Sipuel: In 1946. and students could be fined for attending class with students of a different race. a black woman who had graduated with a bachelor's degree from the all-black Langston University. Tthere was no law school for blacks. The university president could be fined. Eventually the case came before the U. it 245 . rather. Here are the facts of two cases that are not mentioned in the text but that demonstrate how the Court was beginning to emphasize the "equal" portion of the separate but equal doctrine.1. The university informed her that she was academically qualified. the university could not admit her if it wanted to since this would be against state law. applied for admission to the University of Oklahoma Law School. Supreme Court. Thus. The president of the university refused to admit her. Miss Louise Sipuel. and the NAACP assigned her a lawyer: Thurgood Marshall. The court ruled that the separate but equal doctrine meant Oklahoma had to provide her with a law education as soon as it would provide a legal education for any other racial group or else close the University of Oklahoma School of Law. She asked the university officials if it was due to her academic credentials or her race. This chapter makes reference to some higher education cases that preceded the Brown decision.

The Supreme Court handed down this decision about two weeks before the new term was to begin in January. Miss Sipuel was told she could use the county law library for her research. Yet the regents hit upon another solution. Not only that. would have to admit Miss Sipuel. It was too late for the university to follow the strategy they had used in Sipuel's case and create six new black graduate schools. and sent them to President Truman to protest the 246 . not wanting to close the law school. Meanwhile. They used a room at the state Capitol building as the entire law school. It would appear that the regents. In enforcing separate but equal it was merely pointing out the obvious: There was no separate law school for Miss Sipuel. During the time between the decision and the beginning of the term. but it would be extremely costly. There was one dean and two professors assigned to the school. It was back in court claiming that this was in violation of the "equal" component of the separate but equal doctrine. A large group met on the campus and burned a copy of the 14th Amendment (which contains the equal protection clause). the regents established the Langston School of Law. Was this facility and the law education it could provide equal to the one the white students at the University of Oklahoma were receiving? The NAACP didn't think so. they applied for admission to the University of Oklahoma in six different graduate programs. The Court was not demanding racial integration for law schools. The student body was upset about the university's refusal to admit Miss Sipuel. The university responded by refusing admission to all six students.was enforcing Plessy. collected the ashes. six other black students who were also graduating from Langston saw the game being played by the university and decided to play along. On the last day of enrollment.

George McLaurin sued the university charging it with violating the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. They placed Mr. George McLaurin: One of the six students. which ruled that McLaurin must be admitted as soon as a white would be admitted or discontinue classes for white students. in the strict sense. Within a few years. Miss Sipuel was admitted to the OU Law School. Oklahoma passed a law allowing blacks to enroll in graduate programs. however. for Plessy to be enforced. His lawyer was back in court suing claiming that this was separate but not equal. In short. build a kind of fence in the classroom. here is not directly to the Plessy decision. McLaurin won. Even if the buildings. The Outcome: Eventually Miss Sipuel and Mr. 247 . student body. The case began in federal District Court. sort of.University's actions. McLaurin's chair in a broom closet (the university called it an alcove) at the back of the room so that he could peer out and see the instructor and blackboard but be hidden from view from the rest of the students. The University complied. The university did. racially segregated public schools were inherently unequal. seating whites on one side and blacks on the other. the segregation created an inferiority complex in the minds of some of the students. Postscript: Miss Sipuel went on to get her law degree from the University of Oklahoma and years later was appointed to the Board of Regents for the University. and teachers were equal. Notice the challenge. Both Sipuel and McLaurin are merely asking. This was the same directive the Supreme Court had issued in the Sipuel case. the Court ruled that it was impossible to segregate students on the basis of race in public schools.

One night a male student at a party was told to go buy more beer. the preference should go to the father. Facts of the Case: In the early 1970s. and the U. The student did just that. Reed. When he got to the Honk N Holler he was not allowed to buy the beer since he wasn't 21. in fact. sued. At the time. but males had to be 21. The professor. A case referred to in the text Craig v. it would be inconvenient for the courts to have to spend time trying to figure out which parent was more fit to 248 .S.2 beer. Oklahoma had a law for the age at which one could buy 3. Supreme Court was deciding the case. having gone on to another university on the West-coast was surprised one day in the library to pick up a journal and discover that the student had. for the first time struck down a law discriminating on the basis of sex. the student was enrolled in an introductory American government class. The case was Reed vs. In 1971 the Court. The professor didn't tell him to get a lawyer. Earlier Precedent: The Court had only decided a few sex discrimination cases prior to this case. 2. Idaho had a law that said if parents of a deceased sibling were equally fit to control an estate. He went to his professor's office and expressed his displeasure with the different ages for males and females to buy beer. he might want to consult with one. but told him if he was that upset about it. Boren (1976) originated in Oklahoma and deals with sex discrimination: Below are the facts of the case along with additional details that come from the people that were involved in the case. The law set the age at 18 for females. The reason Idaho gave for the laws was administrative convenience. In other words.

wanted the Court to strike it down using the same test the Court was then using (and continues to use) in race discrimination cases: strict judicial scrutiny test. The Court. rather than expend the energy to try to discover who was actually more qualified. Under this test. a majority did not agree to use the strict judicial scrutiny test. Therefore. Boren the state of Oklahoma justified the different ages for buying beer with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) statistics. A New Test: Some. It would be easier to just assign the estate to one person in this case. they wanted the males to be more mature when purchasing beer. Although the statistics were in the state's favor. state law dictated the father. The Court will only uphold a law treating men and women differently 249 . Although a majority of the Court voted to strike the law. In Craig vs. It was in this case that a majority of the Court specifically recognized a middle test that would be used in sex discrimination cases. the Court noted that the difference between DUI arrests for males and females was slight. The Supreme Court struck the law down. however.administer the estate. It did not take much convincing for the Court to realize that the law's intent could easily be undermined by the females going into the establishment to buy the beer for males. the Court strikes down a law discriminating on the basis of race (or violating a constitutional right) unless the government can demonstrate a compelling need for the law. The state argued that when going out on dates it was males that usually drove. The statistics seemed to demonstrate that this was true. Sometimes the test is referred to as the heightened scrutiny test. was not convinced. such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Here the burden of proof is with the person being treated differently. the burden of proof rests with the government to justify why the law treats people differently. the court in these cases is deferring to the law-making body. The burden of proof is on the government to demonstrate to the court that the government was compelled to treat people differently. Rational Basis Test: No longer would sex discrimination come under the only remaining test used in equal protection cases: the rational basis test. if it furthers important governmental objectives. government must demonstrate the discrimination furthers an important governmental interest. Jefferson wrote that all men are created equal. In the Declaration of Independence. To win. The rational basis test is used in all other cases. One. 3. This is the most difficult test to pass. The test used in a gender discrimination case (as discussed in the Craig case) is the second test. As with strict scrutiny. This is the easiest test to pass. is the strict judicial scrutiny test. Given the fact that Jefferson owned slaves. Clearly. to have the law upheld is convince the court that there is a rational basis for the law. This test is applied to cases dealing with an inherently suspect classification (race) and ones in which the law treats people differently and in the process deprives them of fully exercising a constitutional right. All the government need do in cases arising under this test was demonstrate a rational basis for the different treatment under the law. All the government need do. Strict Scrutiny Test: Now there are three tests for equal protection cases. what might he have meant by this statement? 250 .

it would have made sense to treat them differently. Jefferson might have penned this phrase to express the idea that no person has a God-given right to rule over another. the argument. 251 . Under this interpretation. Jefferson did want to include in the Declaration of Independence a statement criticizing the Crown for the slave trade. Most recognize that Jefferson was relying on the writings of Locke when he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Of course. there would not have to be an inconsistency between equality and slavery. Jefferson might have meant that all are equal before the law. In short. In his Two Treatises on Government. but Southerners insisted on taking it out. could also be used to attack the institution of slavery. for different reasons. A. B. Jefferson might have been trying to summarize this argument in this brief statement. Locke had provided an extensive argument against the Divine Right of Kings. Jefferson might have been stating that all people are equal in that all humans have a sense of right and wrong. At a time when most slaves would have been illiterate. the phrase might mean that equals be treated equally and unequals be treated unequally. The same could be said for any group (women and children) that could. broadly taken. List of Transparencies There are no transparencies for Chapter 17. C. Thus. be considered disqualified from certain benefits.

Both. tend to agree when it is clear what the public desires (and for which it is willing to vote). Social policy consists of programs designed to help those thought to be in need of government assistance. 2. Understand and delineate the key stages in the policy making round. those for children are not. Democrats tend to want to spend more on social and education policy and they usually favor more regulation. Review the origins and policy landmarks in the development of social insurance programs. Republicans typically think government spends and regulates too much.Chapter Eighteen DOMESTIC POLICY Overview Domestic policy consists of all government programs and regulations that directly affect those living within a country. 3. In the United States a major concern is seeking to balance the needs of the young and the elderly. 251 . Itemize the risks of change to social security and summarize the key issues in the politics of Medicare. however. 4. Programs for the elderly are financed lavishly. Explain the role of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and why senior citizens are so influential In the political process. Learning Objectives 1. Explain why the social security fund may be approaching financial disaster unless essential adjustments are made in the near future. 5.

and protecting the uninformed. Explain how regulations are shaped by election pressures on Congress. externalities. Review the politics of public assistance. Key Terms Aid to Families with policy deliberation Dependent Children policy implementation agenda setting policy outcome blame avoidance policy output deregulation public assistance domestic policy regulation 252 . Explain the historical evolution of educational policy as well as the current politics of education. Review the origins and development of public assistance programs while discussing such key programs as Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Discuss the factors that led to the rise of federal regulation in America. 7. 10. 8.6. Medicaid. government agencies. and the courts. Summarize the drawbacks of public assistance programs. 12. Earned Income Tax Credit (EATC). rent subsidies. Supplemental Social Insurance (SSI). and. 13. Explain the justifications for regulation. 9. including natural monopoly. 11. Summarize the reasons why Congress has approved deregulation of some industries.

Earned Income Tax Credit rent subsidy Environmental Protection social insurance Agency social policy externalities social security food stamps Supplemental Security hammer Income Medicaid Temporary Assistance for Medicare Needy Families natural monopoly zone of acceptance 253 .

Origins and Development of Social Insurance Programs 254 . The first stage is agenda setting. These policies come about as the result of a complex process known as the policy-making round. Types of Public Policy Domestic policy consists of all government programs and regulations that directly affect those living within a country. The final stage occurs when businesses and individuals feel the effects of the policy. making an issue visible enough that important political leaders take it seriously. II. government has expanded programs to meet the retirement income and medical needs of the elderly. or some combination of these. A. young. The second stage is policy deliberation. The third is policy enactment. Social Policy Social policy consists of programs designed to help those thought to be in need of government assistance. the debate and discussion over issues placed on the policy agenda. It consists of several stages. The fourth is policy implementation. or poor. People may be thought to be in need of help because they are old. B. unemployed. Social Insurance for Senior Citizens As the population has aged. the passage of a law by public officials. infirm. disabled. In the United States a major concern is seeking to balance the needs of the young and the elderly.Outline I. the translation of the law into an actual set of government programs or regulations.

During the Great Depression when poverty among the elderly was particularly acute. From the beginning. But social security differs from a true insurance program in one major respect: It operates at a loss. Second. has grown. Congress enacted Medicare. which provided social security recipients a broad range of medical benefits. Congress gave senior citizens a large increase in their monthly social security check and indexed this amount to the cost of living. Gradually. This is possible due to three factors. Because these programs are based on the insurance principle (people pay into the program and expect benefits later). the number of workers. the social security program costs the government very little. In 1972. the program expanded in the number of people covered along with the length of their retirement. Initially. Congress enacted the program in 1935 (the Social Security Act) which created a broad range of social programs. The committee recommended a program of social insurance. First. a retiree does not have to be needy to receive benefits. In 1965. social security has given most people more in benefits than they contributed in their social security tax. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed an advisory committee to consider the problem. workers today produce more and earn more than their predecessors (meaning more money is 255 . and hence the monetary contributions into the system. Under the program. people would make contributions to a fund during the years they were employed and receive monetary benefits when they retired.

Since then. The kind of steps needed to really lower costs would be politically unwise for politicians. Although Congress has tried to take steps to prevent increases in these costs. increases continue. C. 2. Unfortunately. Third. all three of these factors are disappearing. the social security fund is expected to be running a deficit by the time today's college sophomores are 50 years of age. President Reagan suggested placing limits on the growth of social security. workers today pay a higher percentage of their earnings in social security taxes than their predecessors did. so unless something is changed. did Congress make significant cuts in social security benefits. available). Complexities of Medicare The costs of Medicare have increased rapidly since 1970. in 1983. 3. Politics of Social Insurance Social security is a sacred cow. Only once. The Risks of Change to Social Security In 1981. The Influence of Senior Citizens 256 . Some claim that Republican loss of the Senate two years later was due to this suggestion. 1. no major cuts have been suggested by leaders of Congress or presidential candidates of the major parties. Politicians don't dare tamper with it.

too. (2) it relieves young people of some of the burden of caring for their parents. III. Broad Support Young people are supportive of social security. Origins and Development of Public Assistance Programs Public assistance consists of programs that provide low-income households with limited income and access to essential goods and services. They also are more politically active and join organizations that lobby for their interests. It replaced the (AFDC) program created in 1935. 1. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Congress passed this program in 1996. Public Assistance to Poor Families Neither political party is strongly committed to expanding programs for poor families. and (3) it is viewed as deserving (the insurance factor). These safety net programs include the following. giving the responsibility to the states (with some guidelines states must follow). A. Senior citizens have clout due to their tendency to vote more than the average voter. The American Association for Retired Persons is the largest interest group in the United States. and no association comparable to the AARP defends the interests of poor families with children. The broad support for social security is because (1) most people hope to benefit from it someday. 4. 257 .

6. Food Stamps Congress created this program in the 1970s. provided they select designated housing. 4. Rent Subsidies This policy helps low-income families pay their rent. this program pays for medical services for the poor. 3. 2." it was politically unpopular. It gives people who qualify "stamps" that can be used to purchase food. Limitations of Public Assistance Programs The actual government expenditures for programs to help poor families are only one-tenth as much as what is spent on the elderly. Known as "the welfare program. 258 . over one-fourth of all Medicaid costs cover the medical expenditures of low-income senior citizens. 5. Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) This program returns the taxes paid to those who have little income as a way of helping the working poor. One who fills out a tax return can receive an EITC reimbursement even if no taxes have been paid. Supplemental Social Insurance (SSI) This program provides disabled people of low income with income assistance. 7. Today. Medicaid Established in 1965.

is a national program. Furthermore. they do not supplement it. Yet for senior citizens. programs for poor families are more restrictive than programs for senior citizens. Less Indexation . Assistance. children do not exercise direct political power. programs for families with children are not paid out of an insurance fund. a. Fewer Cash Benefits . c.For all the major programs for poor families (except EITC). Not Insurance . Programs . State. d.Less of the aid to poor families is indexed to adjust with inflation. b. 1. Politics of Public Assistance Programs for poor families with children are poorly funded and restrictively designed because. Not National. B.The elderly get much more of their aid in cash. e. 259 . Benefits Cannot Supplement Income - Programs for poor families with children substitute for other income. Social security. which most people prefer. however. eligibility rules and benefit levels vary from state to state. unlike the elderly. Six factors explain this. benefits supplement the recipient's own resources. Policy Debate Policy experts disagree as to the cause of the increasing poverty rate.Unlike social security.

specifically a mentality encouraged by welfare.Liberals say the cause is the government not providing enough assistance for the poor. 260 . in which young people are encouraged to place short-term pleasures ahead of long- term goals. Conservatives say the cause is cultural.

children have no large group to speak on their behalf. Though still strong. Public Opinion The general public wavers between liberal and conservative explanations for rising poverty rates. and 261 . On the liberal side is the Children's Defense Fund. Political Parties Parties. but leaders in both parties often search for the middle ground. Education Policy Historically. state departments of education. 3. Local Control Responsibility for education is divided among local school boards. like the public. the commitment has waned somewhat in recent years. Rather. On the conservative side is the Family Research Council. A. 4. Group Organization Unlike the elderly. Finally. many small competing groups take stances as varied as the alternative explanations for rising poverty rates. Wilson attributes increasing poverty to the decline of unskilled jobs. Democrats tend to take a liberal position and Republicans a conservative position. sociologist William J. Americans have supported a large. well-financed educational system. IV. 2. waver on the issue.

schools reinforced the concepts of liberty and equality. C. 262 . Today. Development of Public Education As early as 1785. Congress (under the Confederation) set aside the revenue from the sale of one-sixteenth of the land west of the Appalachian Mountains to help pay for the maintenance of public schools. 95 percent of the cost of public education is paid for out of state and local budgets (each contributing about half). Development of Public Education The public's commitment to its schools is deeply rooted. the federal Department of Education. Public schools did much to build American democracy. Public schools helped build democracy. The flood of immigrants in the 1800s brought a demand (which was met) for more schools (one exception being schools for African-Americans). reinforced a distinctive American identity built around the concepts of liberty and equality. They helped create a common language. With their appearance and promise of equal opportunity. helped foster a common language. Today. 95 percent of public education is paid for out of state and local budgets. but the bulk of control over education policy remains at the state and local levels. The Confederation Congress was setting aside land for schools as early as 1785. and educated the workforce that operated the new machines that arose from the industrial age. B.

Hence. Some. bipartisan support should continue. Republicans tend to favor revamping the entire school system. students aren't learning as much. Politics of Education In recent years. like President Clinton. reject this notion. Regulation A. Others think the solution is in allowing parents their choice of which schools their children will attend (the voucher system). social. Conservatives say the problem is in how the schools are run. Americans still think schools are crucial for achieving the American dream. D. Financial support has increased only slightly over the past 25 years. Liberals and conservatives disagree as to why. advocate national standards. and 263 . For all the current discontent. Critics offer two contrasting solutions. Contemporary Issues in Education Policy The traditional commitment to public schools is slipping. the two major parties have begun to disagree over several educational issues. Liberals say is it a matter of too few resources. The Rise of Federal Regulation Government regulation consists of rules and standards that control economic. In addition. It remains to be seen if the Supreme Court will declare them unconstitutional. E. Democrats. V. who have been supported by the National Education Association and the American Teachers Federation.

Congress has basically gone on. Many more were created during the New Deal. The most important of the new agencies formed was the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2. The third wave of regulatory innovation took place during the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Great Society. Negative Externalities The government may also regulate to prevent or adjust for externalities. Protecting the Uninformed 264 . Natural Monopoly In a situation known as a natural monopoly a public service is best provided by a single company. since the New Deal with the Supreme Court's blessing. consequences of activities that do not directly affect those engaged in them (such as air pollution). 3. In the United States the basis for regulation are found in portions of the Constitution such as the commerce clause. Justifications for Regulation Scholars have identified three broad types of circumstances in which they find government regulation most easily justified. Regulation of such a company is a must to prevent unnecessarily high prices. to regulate numerous activities. The first national independent agency created to regulate an industry was the Interstate Commerce Commission (1887). 1. political activities. Since then. Several major regulatory laws were passed during the Progressive Era. B.

a range within 265 . Agency Discretion Although agencies often have discretion in deciding how to execute their mandates. Congress will include a hammer--a harsh penalty--if legislative goals are not met. In rare cases. cannot know all about pharmaceutical products. Congress Sometimes regulations are created as a reaction to a well-publicized incident or disaster. The language of the law assigning the regulatory power to an agency may be vague due to the need for flexibility. but also so that Congress can seek to please everyone. no matter how obvious the need for regulation. there exists a zone of acceptance. 2. some people. Congress passes such regulations as a way of telling the public it is doing something about the incident. for example. Regulations are used to protect those who cannot be expected to be well-informed. Politics of Regulation When and how regulation takes place is a political decision. Consumers. To deflect such criticism. 1. Of course. most notably consumers. C. will object. engaging in what is known as blame avoidance. Congress assigns the making of the regulations to someone in the executive branch. Hence the need for an agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

which Congress will accept that whatever an angency decides is the correct interpretation of the statutes. if the laws are vague. D. While this was viewed primarily as a success. give them wide discretion as to the statutes meaning. some regulations of airlines will continue because the public will always expect government to act in response to crises and disasters. Deregulation Because regulations may suppress goods consumers want and because regulating can be expensive. The Lopez Case: 266 . Courts The courts are often called upon to interpret statutes. 3. Sometimes regulations are created as a reaction to a well-publicized incident or disaster. which. A Case of "Enough!" In the section of this chapter devoted to regulation the authors write that Congress has relied on the commerce clause to justify its authority to pass regulations. Perhaps the most celebrated deregulation occurred within the airline industry. Congress has introduced in many areas policies of deregulation (the removal of government rules that once governed an industry). Ideas for Lectures and Discussion 1. Such was the situation after several incidents of gunman firing on innocent children at school and kids caught with guns at school.

Section 8.. The lawyers for the government argued before the Supreme Court that it was. the government argued that "possession of a firearm in a school zone may result in violent crime and that violent crime can be expected to affect the functioning of the national economy. these costs are spread throughout the nation (and... among the states). On appeal." This affect can occur in two ways. his lawyers argued that Congress did not have the constitutional authority to pass the law. When a senior at a San Antonio.. hence. violent crime reduces the willingness of individuals to engage in interstate travel..among the several states. Texas-school was caught with a gun in school. Clearly Congress was reacting to incidents of guns at school and incidents of violence in which adults fired on kids at school. Second. The portion of that clause pertinent to the case states Congress shall have the power "to regulate commerce.000 feet of a school. This law made it illegal for any individual to possess a firearm within 1. First.. Constitutional Justification: Where did Congress get the constitutional authority to pass this law? Congress claimed that Article I. In 1990. They provided several arguments to defend their position." Is It Commerce: Does this appear to be a regulation of commerce among the states? Obviously Congress thought so.. the authorities prosecuted. and through the mechanism of insurance. One.. and he was convicted of violating this law. the costs of crime are significant. Two. clause 3 gave them the authority. the government argued that the "presence of guns 267 . Congress passed the Gun-Free School Zones Act.

Examining the provisions of the law and the facts of the case. Congress. the Court replied. The Court Says." Concerning the arguments provided by the government." What about all the earlier cases? The Court stated. it would only seem natural that Congress would have the authority to step in and try to do something about the growing problem of violence in public schools. It was also this reasoning that was used in support of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibiting public accommodations from discriminating on the basis of race. has the authority to try to prevent this.. they are the kind of arguments that Congress had been offering for decades to justify its authority to regulate. In the 1940s. the Court surveyed the many cases in which the Court had. Congress used this type of reasoning to justify telling a farmer he could not plant about 10 acres of wheat.. since 1937. A less productive worker results in a less productive economy. “Enough!”: The Supreme Court struck down the law. and hence the nation as a whole suffers. has an impact on the nation's economy since a weakened education system will result in less productive schools poses a substantial threat to the educational process by threatening the learning environment. But the Court was now saying it was time to apply the brakes. it is difficult to perceive any limitation on federal power. Historical Precedents: If these arguments seem like a stretch. "Under the theories that the Government presents in support of [the law]." This. In the opinion. Thus. written by Justice Rehnquist. the Court stated that the law "has nothing to do with 'commerce'.. "The broad language in these opinions has suggested the 268 . allowed Congress to regulate just about everything in the name of regulating commerce among the states. it was argued. in turn.

but we decline here to proceed any further. Social security is welfare. would students classify student loans as welfare? Welfare is the government giving money to poor people. Write "means-tested" on one side of the line. If welfare is any government money going to individuals to assist their welfare. Students often have preconceived ideas concerning welfare. And. Read this to the class (or duplicate it as a handout) and then use it 269 . Welfare is not that easy to define. for many students. a person does not have to be poor to receive social security. Here is a portion of a recent newspaper article showing how one state is reacting to the change." 2. as pointed out in this chapter. Clinton vowed to ask Congress to change it to soften the impact on poor children. Medicaid and food stamps would be examples of such programs. people can be well-off and receive unemployment compensation. As this text goes to print. For example. Write these on the chalkboard. welfare may mean any government program giving money to individuals that they don't think are deserving. After signing it. Draw a vertical line in the center of the chalkboard. Medicare is another example of welfare that does not just go to the poor. Ask students to identify government programs mentioned in this chapter. It is worth taking the time to emphasize that the word "welfare" is loaded with preconceived notions. possibility of additional expansion. Welfare programs that are intended solely for the poor are called means-tested programs. In fact. then it is not just for poor people. 3. Ask them to identify those that are "means-tested" and those that are not. Likewise. the verdict is still out on the impact of the new welfare law.

Also he stated. One State's Reaction to the New Welfare Law: "Welfare recipients will see their monthly checks decrease by 5 percent after the. while at the time it was raising benefits for the elderly. "I cannot in my heart find room to starve them into submission.and the questions that follow for class discussion. Why do you think this state commission decided to cut the welfare payment? Obviously one reason stated by a commissioner was that he was philosophically opposed to welfare.[State] Commission voted for cuts. The vote will affect those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments. Questions for Discussion: A." 270 .. we've thrown money at this problem and accomplished very little.. he thought history had shown that "throwing money" at the problem did not work. Although not reprinted above." One commissioner voting for the cut explained. the article stated that the commission's chairman thought the cut was designed to force people off the welfare rolls." One state representative pointed out that it was significant that the commission was cutting benefits that mostly go to children. In this state a mother with two children was getting $324 a month in 1993. He was quoted as saying. "For 50 years. this cut (following an earlier one in 1994) will lower it to $292 a month. Another representative who had been in the grocery business explained that he knew what a $10 or $15 cut could mean to children needing basic necessities of life.

The answer was hinted at in the article. a conservative state. C. followed by the text page. who can vote. so it will be interesting to see if your students pick up on this and then if they can devise on their own a political answer. What was the state (or region of the United States)? The state doing this was Oklahoma. who cannot vote while at the time it was raising benefits for the elderly. Why did the one representative think it was significant that the commission was ordering the cuts? The representative compared the cut for children to the continued funding of welfare for the elderly. One theme of this text is how politicians (and the courts) respond to public opinion and those who are politically active. here is how the article actually went: One state representative pointed out that it was significant that the commission was cutting benefits that mostly go to children.1. 581 271 . List of Transparencies Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. but was on purpose replaced by ellipses (see the paragraph above containing the significant comment) so that students would have the opportunity to think on their own. B. T38 Policy-Making Stages. This was a major theme of this chapter. With that in mind. 18.

1960-1995.2. 586 T41 Federal Entitlement Expenditures by Beneficiary Age Group. 18. 18.S. 582 T40 Project Cost of Social Insurance for Senior Citizens. Poverty Rates for Senior Citizens and Children. 591 272 .3. 18. Per Capita. 1970-1994.T39 U.5.

Discuss the relationship between economic prosperity and the political fortunes of presidents and their parties. Learning Objectives 1. Differentiate between fiscal and monetary policy and define such key terms as deficit. debt. 4. the CEA. Explain how and why the American national economy was the major reason for the defeat of President George Bush in the 1992 presidential election. Growth of the public debt has been accelerated by the indexation of taxes and benefits. 2. Explain the organization and operation of the Federal 267 . The end of indexation marked a new era of Congress having to take blame for economic problems.Chapter Nineteen ECONOMIC POLICY Overview Presidential popularity is significantly influenced by national economic conditions. The debate is often over the progressivity of taxes and their visibility. One result was increasing attention to ways of reforming the tax system. Relying on fiscal policy has declined. The result is that presidents give economic issues top priority. when compared with Western European countries. monetarism. and supply-side economics. surplus. One independent agency that assists in this regard is the Federal Reserve. Keynesianism. it does not appear that bad. In spite of American's dislike for the tax system and economic problems. 3.

tax burdens. level of debt. and who. how the FED can affect the national economy through its various operations. Review the essential facts about the tax burden. deficits. 6. if anyone.real income. bracket creep. 7. Summarize the various approaches in dealing with the deficit and define the following important related terms . Review the various types of suggested tax reforms. economy rates in comparison with other nations on such indices as job creation. general prosperity. preferences.S. Summarize how the U. 8. and progressivity. and indexing. Key Terms budget monetarism business cycle monetary policy Council of Economic Keynesianism Advisors (CEA) partisan interpretation debt progressive tax deficit recession election-cycle regressive tax interpretation sin tax Federal Reserve System supply-side economics fiscal policy surplus flat tax tax base gross domestic product tax preferences inflation unemployment Outline 268 . such as the flat tax and consumption tax (VAT--valued added tax). 5. and income inequality. Reserve system. tightly controls FED operations. base.

If government expenditures exceed revenues. Terrible economic times in American history are associated with massive election losses for the party of the president. the popularity of the president drops during recessions. Governments try to offset the problems associated with the business cycle: inflation and unemployment. government enjoys a surplus. I. Carter found himself in the worst position when running for reelection: Unemployment and inflation were both simultaneously high (stagflation). Economic conditions can affect congressional elections. Prosperity. While it doesn't guarantee popularity. Fiscal Policy Fiscal policy consists of government spending and taxing decisions. however. Short-term fluctuations in the economy--recessions and recovery--are referred to as the business cycle. too. Economic Growth and the Business Cycle Economies grow as a result of technological innovations. If government revenues exceed expenditures. II. III. government runs a deficit. strengthens a president's position for reelection. investments in physical capital. people tend to blame those in charge. 269 . Economic Conditions and Political Fortunes When economic times are hard. and investments in human capital. prosperity generally strengthens a president's position.

B. Monetarism A school of economic thinking known as monetarism undercut the Keynesian theoretical claim that fiscal policy could fine-tune the economy. 3. John Maynard Keynes (his economic philosophy is called Keynesianism). Growing Budget Deficits Fiscal policy might have been effective in the 1960s. it soaks up some of the country's savings and has less savings to finance investment. argued that not all deficit spending was bad. The American system of government was designed such that hasty action is difficult. Divided Government In order for fiscal policy to work as a solution to economic problems. The federal debt skyrocketed in the 1980s. In 1946. and quick action becomes more difficult. Use of the Budget Deficit One important economist in the 1920s. Decline of Fiscal Policy 1. Congress created the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) to advise the president. partially due to supply-side 270 . Add to this the frequent situation in recent decades of divided government. 2. economic growth slows.A. The reasoning: if a government borrows money. it must be enacted rather quickly. but that was because the deficit was not that large. President Franklin Roosevelt was influenced by Keynes' philosophy.

Internationalization A school of economic thinking called rational expectations developed in the 1970s that. less money means higher interest rates. monetary policy relies on raising or lowering interest rates. D. In other words. IV. investors can vote with their money. the FED is responsible for managing the government's monetary policy. as economic activity became increasingly international. when successful. the reactions of economic actors to government policies were no longer limited to reactions in their own countries. Basically. So much so that aggressive fiscal policies have become politically infeasible. Monetary Policy: The Federal Reserve System Today. thus imposing economic costs on the government that adopts unfavorable policies. economics ("Reaganomics"). The most important decisions affecting the economy on a daily basis are made by the Fed's Open Market Committee 271 . An advantage monetary policy has over fiscal policy is that it can be altered quickly in response to changing economic conditions. each of which oversees member banks in its part of the country. counteracted any effect the government planned through fiscal policy. Created in 1913. More money means lower interest rates. It acts on the economy through the operations of its 12 regional banks. which governments do by subtracting or adding money to the economy. monetary policy is the government's most important tool for managing the economy. Also.

A. It is also relatively free of congressionally determined salary schedules and personnel controls. This answer relies on evidence that indicates 272 . who does? There are three distinct answers.(consisting of the seven governors and 12 regional bank presidents--only five of whom have a vote). the Fed is insulated from congressional control due to its ability to literally create its own budget. direct access to up-to-date economic information. all nominees must be approved by the Senate. B. Still. Who Controls the Fed? The Fed is relatively insulated from electoral politics. The control Congress does exercise over the Fed is indirect: jawboning and public hearings. and the Fed must make quarterly reports to the banking committees of the House and the Senate. Banker Dominance One answer is that banks control the Fed. Congressional Influence Congress created the Fed. The Fed Chair The person chairing the Fed is very powerful due to the close ties to the president. If Congress does not exercise significant control over the Fed. 2. 1. and the power to approve the appointment of the 12 presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks.

But. The Fed tries to defend itself against such claims by arguing it must take actions that may appear to favor banks or else the economy could be severely damaged. a 273 . The partisan control explanation goes like this. this influence is too weak and indirect to call it presidential control. the question is: how much influence does he have? Two versions of presidential control interpretation--the partisan and the election cycle--have been proposed. Presidential Dominance While the president clearly can influence the Fed (he appoints its members and chairs). They tolerate slow growth early in their terms and then rev up the economy as the election approaches (so as to help guarantee their reelection). the Fed is mainly concerned with low inflation and preventing recession (the same concerns of banks). 4. 3. Republicans tend to favor tight monetary policy. The election cycle interpretation goes like this: Presidents deliberately manipulate the economy. while Democrats tend to favor loose monetary policy. An Independent Fed Fed supporters say several factors guarantee the independence of the Fed: 14-year terms for board members. The Fed strives to follow the bias of whoever is in power. The problem with this interpretation is that the pattern it relies on is only slightly confirmed by historical fact. removal only by impeachment.

In part because of the size of the budget surplus (following economic growth in the 1990s). Either choice is unpopular. a chair that is usually more knowledgeable about economic policy than any presidential appointee. The Tax Base Economists argue that taxes are less intrusive if 274 . The Tax Burden Taxes (as a percentage of the Gross National Product . While some people think Americans are getting stingy with paying taxes that could go to good causes. the deficit has been a major issue in American politics. each presidential candidate in the 2000 campaign advocated some tax cuts. but they don't want services cut.GNP) scarcely increased between 1970 and 1990. Eliminating it requires that taxes be raised or spending be reduced. V. strong. B. Americans want lower taxes. The "T" Word: Taxes Taxes are a hot political issue since most Americans think taxes are too high and the government spends the money on frivolous programs. VI. This inconsistency has lead elected officials to search for blame-avoidance techniques--strategies that deal with deficits while avoiding any blame for the consequences. Deficits and Surpluses Since the early 1980s. independent staff. A. and an independent Fed that is viewed by many as a good thing. others think taxes are just too high (especially with wages not increasing much).

Conservatives generally dislike progressive taxes. Taxes that require low-income people to pay a higher rate are called regressive (such as the payroll or social security tax). Tax Progressivity Taxes are said to be progressive if people with higher income pay a higher tax rate (such as with the income tax). Tax Reform One reform mentioned in recent years is the flat tax. It would tax all income groups above a certain minimum at the same rate (eliminating the progressivity of the income tax). If everything is taxed alike. they tax all economic activity at the same rate. The government also sometimes imposes sin taxes. Lawmakers have responded with thousands of tax preferences.say. Taxes vary so much in the United States that it is difficult to characterize the tax structure as progressive or regressive. then tax policy will not distort the economy. But this is easier said than done since good reasons can often be given for not taxing some activities and groups pressure Congress not to tax their favorite activities. taxes intended to discourage unwanted behavior. Liberals oppose the idea 275 . It is touted as fairer and less complex. a value-added tax (a consumption tax). Examples would be taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. C. D. A more radical proposal for tax reform is to change the basis of taxation .

(Although other countries provide more services in exchange for the money extract in taxes--like health care).S. are Americans so unhappy with their taxes. One thing seems certain--Americans don't like the current tax system. the tax burden in the United States was among the lowest of 13 major industrialized countries: about 34 percent of the GDP. and why did the presidential candidates in 2000 promise to cut them? Part of the answer may be due to the fact that so much of the tax money raised in the U. Americans are economic individualists who wish to keep the role of government limited. B. Why. A. comes from payroll taxes (nearly two-thirds of the tax money is raised this way). The U. Taxes As of 1998. the public 276 . because it is not progressive.S. conservatives oppose it because it is too easily hidden. In addition. Relative to other advanced democracies. the United States is dealing reasonably well with its economic challenges and difficulties. economy is often subject to forces beyond the control of America's politicians. Economy in Comparative Perspective In today's worldwide economy. National Debt Relative to the size of the economy. VII.S. the U. then. The debate over tax reform is fractious because people want to use the tax system to achieve different goals--goals that often conflict.

low paying McJobs. the American economy is less restricted by government policies and regulations. and candidates advocating such a governmental role usually lose. Inequality Compared to other advanced democracies. The historical rise and fall of the doctrine of substantive due process can be an interesting way of conveying this to the students. Some U. One thing not given any attention in this chapter is the role the courts play in the American economic system. While some say the jobs created in the United States were low-skill. Italy's is twice as large as that of the United States. While some criticize this situation there seems to be no popular demand for government to do anything about it. the evidence suggests otherwise. Employment Opportunities The United States has done a better job than most countries of incorporating new workers into the economy. Compared to most other countries. C. Supreme Court justices believed that the framers meant for the Constitution to endorse laissez faire economics. Others 277 . Ideas for Lectures and Discussion 1. D. The United States did a better job of absorbing the baby-boomers into the economy in the 1980s than Western Europe.S. debt in the United States is moderate. income inequality in the United States is higher.

the Supreme Court hinted that it might strike down certain kinds of state laws. A New Standard: In an 1877 case (Munn v. This was the interpretation adopted by the Supreme Court in the Slaughter-House Cases (1873). the courts would want to know if the proper procedures established for passing laws were used. While most would agree with this way of interpreting the due process clause (procedural due process). The clause appears twice in the Constitution: the Fifth and 14th Amendments. it is also possible to argue that there is another form of due process protected by the Constitution: substantive due process. If they were. Below is part of the story. Under this legal concept. Legislative Deference: For a law to be upheld. what is substantive due process? Due process is a vague clause that simply put means fairness or justice. the clause would mean that the procedures used by the government for passing laws or deciding court cases (at both state and federal levels) must be fair. the courts would defer to the wisdom of the legislature rather than questioning the wisdom of the law (what is called judicial self-restraint). First. Substantive Due Process: The case that stands at the apex of the Court's use of this concept is Lochner v. or put another way. Illinois). not arbitrary. any challenge to the law (or court procedure) will be denied. for a person to be fairly tried for breaking a law. even if the Constitution did not explicitly forbid 278 . In other words.disagreed. Taken literally. established procedures must be followed. New York. Likewise. This is what a person is due. a person has rights that the government cannot infringe upon even if proper procedures are followed.

the reason was to protect the health of employees. Relying on this new rule. the Supreme Court finally adopted it as a formal doctrine by 1900. The Court seemed to be saying that there are some things that state legislatures (or Congress) can't forbid in laws even if set procedures for passing laws are followed. The apex of this approach was the Court's decision in Lochner v. So even if a law was passed following all the proper procedures. This was for the Court to decide. Prior to this reasoning the courts had been quite differential to laws. The courts. Constitution in the case of laws passed by Congress). Lochner v.what the laws were regulating. Rise of Substantive Due Process: After some early hints that it would rely on substantive due process. The Court's rule was that it would not hesitate to declare a law unconstitutional if it did not bear a reasonable relation to a legitimate end. New York (1905): New York passed a law limiting the number of hours employers could make employees work in bakeries. in other words. No employer could make a person work more than 10 hours a day or 60 hours a week. Supreme Court proceeded to strike down various state laws regulating business or economic matters. The key here is legitimate end. it could still be unconstitutional if the Court deemed its effect was illegitimate. New York (1905).S. would not hesitate in certain instances to question the wisdom of the legislators in passing a law (what is called judicial activism). All that mattered to the court was whether or not the law was passed following the procedures required by the state constitution (or the U. there are real risks to breathing 279 . not state legislatures (or Congress).S. While work in a bakery may not appear to be all that dangerous. Why did New York pass such a law? Ostensibly. the U.

"We do not believe in the soundness of the views which uphold this law. reasonable and appropriate exercise of the police power of the State. conservative interests were enamored with this approach. 280 . where legislation of this character is concerned and where the protection of the Federal Constitution is sought. therefore. was found to be in violation of the law. Putting this kind of language in the context of today makes for some interesting contrasts. The Supreme Court struck down the New York law. the question necessarily arises: Is this a fair. Joseph Lochner. It meant that in many instances business interests could not be regulated by the government. Conservatives as Judicial Activists: The ramifications of this (and the earlier cases in which the Court had started ruling in this fashion) were tremendous.S. he appealed his case to the U. After losing on appeal.confectionery sugar for long hours. Below is a quote from the case which clearly demonstrates its reliance on substantive due process: In every case that comes before this court. The operator of a New York bakery. the Court stated. The danger of white lung was real. Today. and after being fined he went to court. Supreme Court. Thus. it would be very possible for an employer to refuse to hire anyone not willing to work long hours (in a way forcing a person to work long hours or not get the job). or is it an unreasonable. Also. unnecessary and arbitrary interference with the right of the individual to his personal liberty or to enter into those contracts in relation to labor which may seem to him appropriate or necessary for the support of himself and his family? In another portion of their decision.

however. stated: ". then the court cannot interfere...If there be doubt as to the validity of the statute.the rule is universal that a legislative enactment.. when judges strike down a law for violating a never to be disregarded or held invalid unless it be. leaving the legislature to meet the responsibility for unwise legislation... although not the wisest or best." This is a clear statement of the notion of judicial self-restraint. are yet not plainly and palpably unauthorized by law.. Holmes' Dissent: The most eloquent statement in the case came in Justice Oliver Holmes' dissent.for example. it was the conservatives that were applauding the court's reliance on judicial activism. in his dissent.. He thought they did: protection of the health of those working in bakeries. plainly and palpably in excess of legislative power.. Holmes objected to the Court reading its own economic version of what constituted valid 281 .is upon those who assert it to be unconstitutional. and the courts must keep their hands off. the burden of proof.. If the end which the legislature seeks to accomplish be one to which its power extends.. Justices Harlan. In other words. conservatives often complain that judges are merely relying on their personal opinions to strike down a law passed by the people's representatives. that doubt must therefore be resolved in favor of its validity. In the early portion of the century. and if the means employed to that end. when the validity of a statute is questioned. beyond question.. All that concerned Justice Harlan (and the two other Justices that joined in his dissent) was if the legislature had a reasonable justification for passing the law. Some of the justices in this case did have a problem with this decision.

merely relying on the wisdom of the legislature. This notion came to be called Social Darwanism." This right may not be specifically mentioned in the Constitution. and biologist. Herbert Spencer's Social Statics. He believed that nature winnowed out the weak and shiftless. whether of paternalism and the organic relation of the citizen to the State or of laissez-faire. sociologist. If I want to 282 . like Harlan. Social Statics.. [Spencer was an Englishman who was a philosopher.A constitution is not intended to embody a particular economic theory.It is a natural right.000 copies from 1864-1903..regulations into the Constitution rather than. which was a positive thing in that this strengthened the human species. laws (such as this one in New York) that tried to protect the weak were perpetuating the existence of an inferior stock. Thus. sold 400. and the accident of our finding certain opinions natural and familiar or novel and even shocking ought not to conclude our judgment upon the question whether statutes embodying them conflict with the Constitution of the United States. His book.. In what has become a frequently quoted dissent." He applied evolutionary theory to social development. but nevertheless it is a right that each individual has. or were the justices merely letting their conservative leanings get the better of them? The argument could go like this: I have a "right to contract. Holmes wrote: The Fourteenth Amendment [due process clause] does not enact Mr.] Liberty of Contract: Was there any legitimate argument for the Court ruling as it did in Lochner. It is made for people of fundamentally differing views. It was Spencer who coined the phrase "survival of the fittest.

the Court was returning to the approach that had guided it throughout most of the nineteenth century: procedural due process (and judicial self-restraint). another way of looking at this situation would be that it allowed employers (business interests) to exploit workers: Work this amount of time. In sustaining a minimum wage law for women. The Fall of Substantive Due Process: Eventually." Procedural Due Process: Thus. The government has no right to tell me I can't form a contract with an employer to work in excess of these hours. (1938): "Regulatory legislation affecting ordinary commercial transactions is not to be pronounced unconstitutional unless in the light of the facts made known or generally assumed it is of such a character as to preclude the assumption that it rests upon some rational basis within the knowledge and experience of the legislators. the Court left the door open to substantive due process in certain areas: "There may be narrower scope for operation of the presumption of constitutionality when legislation appears on its face to be within a specific prohibition of the 283 . under these conditions or you are fired. the employer held the upper hand.S. It is my right to accept or reject such a job. v. the Court was refusing to question the wisdom of the law and deferring to the legislature.take a job that requires me to work more than 10 hours a day or 60 hours a week. that is my business. Parrish (1937). As long as economic conditions. However. Carolene Products Co. in a footnote to the case. The case was West Coast Hotel v. were such that there were people that were desperate for work. the Supreme Court repudiated substantive due process. Of course. The statement that is usually referred to as the approach the Court would now take appeared in U.

3. 19. 639 T46 Tax Burden in Democracies. followed by the text page.2. such as those of the first ten amendments.." So adamant is the Court now in refusing to engage in substantive due process (at least in the area of economic regulations) that when the state legislature does not give a reason for a regulation. which are deemed equally specific when held to be embraced within the Fourteenth. 640 284 . Lee Optical CO. Constitution.1. 1955). 616 T43 The Federal Deficit in Modern Times. 622 T44 The Structure of the Federal Reserve System. List of Transparencies Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. the Court will think of one for the legislature (see Williamson vs. 19. unnumbered.6. T42 How Americans Feel About the Economy Is a Good Predictor of What They Think About the President. 19. 19. 624 T45 Debt as a Percentage of GDP.

4. which is managed by a National Security Adviser responsible to the president for overall foreign policy coordination. including the impact of democratization and isolationism. and Congress can all hold presidents accountable regarding their foreign policy decisions. together with the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. foreign policy. 281 . Describe the respective roles and duties of key foreign policy institutions. Define and explain the implications of idealism and realism in contemporary American Foreign Policy. their popularity goes up. the CIA. 3. In 1973. In nearly every case.S. Distinguish between unilateralism and multilateralism. when presidents introduce troops abroad. 2. the Department of State. and the National Security Council. Learning Objectives 1.Chapter Twenty FOREIGN AND DEFENSE POLICY Overview Voters have come to focus on the president to make and conduct foreign policy. all sit on the National Security Council. 5. first. Idealists tend to advocate policies that would help spread democracy around the globe. Department of Defense. Congress sought to reassert its role in the use of American troops by passing the War Powers Resolution. interest groups. Delineate the respective constitutional powers accorded to both the president and Congress vis-a-vis the broad issue of war powers. including the Department of Defense and State. 6. Realists tend to place the interests of the United States. and the Central Intelligence Agency. The three agencies shaping U. Explain the key components of the American foreign policy tradition. Discuss how voters.

Presidents. This involves issues of war. Review both the content and impact of current American defense and foreign policies toward the regions of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.) idealist U. A. Political scientist Aaron Wildavsky developed the two-presidency theory which states that presidents have more power in managing foreign affairs than they do domestic affairs. Curtiss-Wright Iran-Contra scandal War Powers Resolution iron curtain Youngstown Sheet and Tube isolationism Co. B. and Foreign Policy Foreign policy is the conduct of relations among nation states. peace. v. Need for Fast Action Foreign-policy questions often require fast action. 8. Sawyer Joint Chiefs of Staff Monroe Doctrine League of Nations Outline I. and economics as well as more mundane matters.S. Key Terms ambassador National Security Bay of Pigs Council (NSC) Central Intelligence "rally 'round the flag" Agency (CIA) effect Cold War realists containment secretary of defense Department of Defense secretary of state embassy Tonkin Gulf Resolution executive agreement treaties foreign policy two-residency theory foreign service United Nations (U. Elections.N.7. Voters' Focus on Presidents The public looks to the president in foreign affairs and tends to rally around him when he acts. v. 282 . Explain how and why foreign-policy issues can sometimes affect election results in the United States.

the number of crises have increased and grace periods have shortened. Limited Role of Interest Groups With a few exceptions (which prove the rule). however.S. most nationality groups are not large enough or concentrated enough or sufficiently attentive to events overseas to have a decisive effect on U. Congress basically deferred to the president in the making of foreign policy. II. Foreign Policy Responsibilities of President and Congress 283 . The victory in the Persian Gulf has helped boost the executive branch. foreign policy. Protracted military excursions. Congressional Role Between World War II and the end of the Vietnam War." and expect results within a year. Voters are less reluctant to "rally 'round the flag. D. reasserted itself in this area. the public is less inclined to "rally 'round the president. In recent years. As presidents have come to be exposed to increasing media coverage." C. then. Congress. can result in public disapproval.

Treaty Power A president can negotiate a treaty but before he can ratify it. Under the congressionally passed U. thus diluting the War Powers Resolution C. Congress has never been willing to challenge presidential refusal to invoke the War Powers Resolution.policy power has been increased. 284 . This is especially true during the post-9/11 tragedy. Congress passed the War Powers Resolution in 1973 to provide for the collective action in the introduction of American troops into hostilities in other countries (or where hostilities were eminent). only Congress can declare extension). legal contracts with foreign countries that require only a presidential signature. The ability of a small number of Senators to block consent has induced presidents to negotiate executive agreements.A. presidents have felt free to initiate military action even in the absence of congressional approval. Since the early years of the twentieth century. B. The Supreme Court has expressed an expansive view of presidential power in foreign policy (the Curtiss-Wright case) but did place limits on presidents in the Youngstown case. If a president introduces troops into hostilities (or where hostilities are eminent) in another country and Congress does nothing. the president’s foreign. War Power Under the Constitution. the troops must return in 60 days (with a possible 30. War Powers Resolution In a response to the Vietnam War. but the president is the commander in chief. President Lincoln was the first to give an extended interpretation of the role of commander in chief.S. presidents seldom acted on their own on military matters. the Senate must gives its consent (a tw-thirds vote). Patriot Act. Prior to the Civil War.

To achieve better coordination of the various military branches. more after the Supreme Court upheld them in 1937. III." It began at a time when the prestige of the executive branch was high. Institutions Responsible for Foreign Policy The country's greatest foreign-policy challenge came with the beginning of the Cold War. are responsible for the management of major U. The United States decided on a policy of containment. Defense Department The 1947 National Security Act combined the departments of Army and Navy into a single Department of Defense (along with the Air Force). Congress created a Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1947. which house diplomatic delegations in the capital cities of foreign countries.S. Since the 1920s. A. 285 . the president's chief civilian adviser on defense matters. embassies aboard. is officially the president's chief foreign-policy adviser. Presidents relied on executive agreements. a 43-year period (1946-1989) during which the United States and the Soviet Union threatened one another with mutual destruction by nuclear warfare. State Department The Secretary of State. B. All of these are headed by a secretary and each reports to the Secretary of Defense. Ambassadors. The Cold War The Cold War followed the formal end of WWII and was exemplified by such things as the "iron curtain. these foreign officers have been organized into a foreign service. who report to the Secretary. who heads the State Department. A. which are not mentioned in the Constitution.

IV. It took decades. foreign policy. Its main responsibility today is to identify and squelch potential terrorist operations. The Democratic Ideal The United States. the CIA has the primary responsibility for gathering and analyzing information about the political and military activities of other nations. The office of the NSA became controversial during the Iran-Contra scandal. can wield great influence. A. The problem is furthered by the fact that the overall military budget declined significantly in the 1990s. National Security Council Created in 1947. It is headed by the National Security Adviser who. Central Intelligence Agency Created in 1947. which has been the subject of much controversy. has expressed its national interest in a language that identifies its cause with that of people throughout 286 .S. Ideals and Interests in American Foreign Policy In making foreign policy the United States must juggle ideals and practical interests. but eventually a unified command structure was created in each of the major operating theaters of the world (as witnessed in the success of the Persian Gulf War). Some today question the military's reaction to changing times. more than most nations. D. because he has more access to the president than any member of the foreign-policy team. It has become one of the pillars of the foreign policy establishment. It has the authority to conduct clandestine operations (such as the Bay of Pigs). C. the National Security Council is responsible for the coordination of U.

V. The United States has also repeatedly used military force to impose its will on weaker countries in the Caribbean and Latin America. President Wilson initially advocated it prior to World War I.S. C. is grounded in self-interest. Latin America America's foreign policy towards Latin American has been influenced more by the practical interests than by ideals. Republicans tend to be realists. The Monroe Doctrine is an early example of U. Role of International Organizations The United Nations was created at the end of World War II to promote world peace and foster economic and social development. George Washington urged a kind of isolationism in his farewell address. This can be seen in the Mexican War and the Spanish American War. Idealists are likely to be found in the State Department. foreign policy should be guided primarily by democratic principles.S. the world. foreign policy best protects democracy when it guards it own economic and military strengths.S. National Interests One of America's oldest foreign-policy positions. and FDR did the same prior to World War II. Idealists think the United 287 . B. The doctrine of manifest destiny. A. realists are more likely to be found in the Defense Department. identification of its self- interests with worldwide aspirations. and Franklin Roosevelt's characterization of World War II are other examples. Realists say that U. Contemporary Foreign Policy Issues Idealists say that U. Idealists are more likely to associate themselves with the Democratic Party. isolationism. Woodrow Wilson's characterization of World War I. anticolonial heritage. Its idealism is rooted in its revolutionary.

U. Its purpose. as stated in the law.S. C. But in the 1990s when the Cold War had come to an end. Problems with the War Powers Resolution The War Powers Resolution was passed over Nixon's veto in 1973. they see the law as ineffective. Realists recommend that the United States exercise caution before supplementing diplomatic efforts to promote human rights with economic or military pressure. troops into hostilities in another part of the world (or where hostilities were imminent).S. foreign-policy makers were concerned with economic as well as political and military questions. Ideas for Lectures and Discussion 1. As the authors point out. and Human Rights Idealists say that the United States must use its economic and military muscle to promote human rights throughout the world. Russia. VI. China. The debate over world trade shows signs of creating new political coalitions and of involving more interest groups and members of the public than a typical foreign policy issue would. Regional Conflicts Idealists think the United States should intervene in countries like Bosnia to preserve the peace. States should work within the UN when conducting its foreign policy. Realists don't. A. trade became a much more publicized and contentious issue (beginning with the battle over NAFTA – North American Free Trade Agreement). The Politics of World Trade: New Alliances? When the Cold War began. was to provide for the collective judgment (between the Congress and the president) in the introduction of U. Consultation 288 . Realists think the United States should only intervene unless its interests are directly at stake. B. Below are some of the "problems" with the law.

the president typically consults (when he deems it possible to do so) with the Speaker of the House. after consulting with Congress. Report If the president. Sometimes the chairs of pertinent committees are included. (2) The law stipulates that whenever possible the president is to consult with Congress. they can always claim it was not possible. President Reagan told some members of Congress about the planned invasion. the House majority and minority leaders. This problem has basically been worked out in practice. presidents have been able to announce instead of actively pursuing a genuine give and take. introduces the troops into hostilities (or where hostilities are imminent). when they have followed the law and issued a report. (3) Consult Whom? The law stipulates that the president is to consult with Congress. Yet without so stipulating in the law. have used language that basically tells Congress that they were not legally bound to give the report. but were doing so out of goodwill. and the majority and minority leaders in the Senate. (1) What is consultation? The law does not define it. but it does not seem practical to assume that he must consult with all 535 members of Congress. The evening before American troops invaded Grenada in 1983. he must within 48 hours give Congress a written report. President Ford sent a letter to Congress explaining 289 . This. gives presidents an excuse for not consulting with Congress. of course. This amounted to an announcement rather than consultation. During the hearings. Most presidents. authors of the law explicitly stated that consultation should not be considered merely an announcement. B.

S. Congress acted rather cleverly. within 60 days (with a possible 30-day extension if deemed necessary by the president for the safe removal of the troops). Reagan introduced troops in Lebanon in 1982 where they remained for over a year without any approval by Congress. Knowing it would be hard to go against a president that had ordered American troops into harms way (see the discussion in the Chapter about rallying around the flag). The problem is that this provision is covered in a portion of the law that discussed three types of troop introduction. Congress wrote the law so that by doing nothing. He explained that he was sending the letter in good faith. then the troops must be returned to the U. Yet presidents are not required by the law to stipulate in their report to Congress which of the three types they are using. which was his way of saying he did not feel legally bound to do so. The letter arrived after the rescue. In passing this part of the law. with the clock (60-day limit) applying to only one of those instances. This is because Reagan refused to specify which portion of the law he was relying on when introducing them. When Congress complained 290 . his actions in the rescue of the Mayaguez. Thus. The 60-Day Clock Perhaps nothing is more controversial about the WPR than the 60-day limit (with a possible 30-day extension) for the troops to remain without Congressional approval. C. If Congress does nothing (which is likely under the circumstances. When Carter ordered the secret mission to obtain the release of the embassy hostages being held by Iranians in 1980. he sent his report out of courtesy to Congress. if Congress disagrees with the president). they would be doing something. Reagan's euphemistically referred to the report requirement when explaining his actions in Grenada and Lebanon as consistent with the WPR.

8. 8. arsenals. 13 . 8. 8. Of course. and dock-yards I.organize and arm militia I.” and “Courts” for three column headings and use class discussion to list the foreign policy powers of each. On the chalkboard.regulate land and naval forces I. (The numbers before each reference stands for provide and maintain a navy I.provide for the common defense I. 2. about the "clock" running out. 3 .give states permission to enter into a compact with another nation and keep ships of war II. It could be remedied by amending the law to require a president to stipulate which type of introduction he or she intends or by applying the 60-day limit to all types of introductions.regulate commerce with foreign nations I. 2. 12 – provide appropriate funds for raising and supporting the army I. 2. 8. Reagan would reply that if Congress thought he had introduced the troops under the provision requiring a 60-day limit they should so vote. print “Congress. 3 . 8.” “President. 2 . 1 – President is commander-in-chief II. This is a major problem with the law for those seeking to prevent the president from skirting this portion of the forth the militia to repel invasions Congress: I.punish offenses against the law of nations I. 10 . 17 . 8. 3 . 2. 10. 8. 2 . 9.) Congress: I.receive ambassadors and other 291 . 8. this is exactly what Congress can't bring themselves to do (and why they initially wrote the limit to apply by merely doing nothing). 14 . Section. and clause of the Constitution. 2 . 1 . 16 . magazines.make treaties and appoint ambassadors and consuls II.provide for forts. 15 .Senate consent needed for treaties and appointment of ambassadors and consuls President: II.suspend habeas corpus I.

2. 1 3. Was this what the framers intended. Congress typically has little information to challenge their assertions.Supreme Court has original jurisdiction for parties mentioned in III. presidents have the State Department.S. 2 . The result has been that when presidents describe what is going on in the world. and the Central Intelligence Agency to provide them with information. It was two years after Lyndon Johnson said the North Vietnamese had fired a torpedo on the U. Madison and Gerry moved to insert declare. other public ministers. Defense Department. what explains the dominant role played by presidents in war powers today? Factors Explaining Presidential Dominance: Information First. It is a fact that since World War II. 2. Maddox that Congress learned an overeager sonar man and freak weather effects 292 . striking out “make” war. public ministers Courts: III. They did this so the president would have the power to repel sudden attacks. the one exception being if the country were under surprise attack (in which case the president could make war). presidents have had more information than Congress. there is the matter of information. and what explains this trend? The Framers and War Powers: Throughout the summer of 1787 the delegates included wording in the Constitution to the effect that Congress would have the power to make war. 2. Then on August 17. The president would only be able to act if Congress committed the nation to war. and consuls III. when that phrase came before the delegates again. 1 . Since FDR and the invention of the modern presidency. the president has been the primary actor in the exercise of war powers.decide cases involving ambassadors.S. Information is power and during much of American history. National Security Council. The framers thought Congress would be the primary agent in war powers. particularly the twentieth century. If this is the case.

of course. This also gives presidents room to maneuver. gives them an edge with Congress. Interest Groups There are not nearly as many interest groups in the area of foreign policy as there are domestic policy. This gives presidents more room to maneuver. This is especially true about foreign policy issues. which is about double that of domestic-policy initiatives. presidents can place a lot of pressure on Congress to vote the way the administration wants. The truth of this is borne out in the success rate of presidential foreign-policy initiatives. Of course. 293 .probably were mistaken for a torpedo. they are acting for the nation. Likewise. The public typically responds by supporting the president. Most Americans would not know where Yemen is. let alone what the U. Congress had already given Johnson a blank check to act in the area in the form of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Although the support can waver. it gives Congress less reason to oppose the president. presidents benefit from the "rally 'round the flag" syndrome. Low Public Awareness Americans are typically uniformed about political issues. policy is toward the country. At the same time.S. When presidents take action internationally. Knowing this. Rally 'round the Flag Finally. This. presidents know that the initial reaction will be public support. members of Congress can exercise the role of trustee on these issues since the public is not that concerned.

659 T50 Defense Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP. 20. 20. 20. 663 294 . 20.List of Transparencies Each transparency listed is followed by the Text Figure (or Table) number. T47 "Rally 'Round the Flag" Effects. 651 T48 Spread of Communism After World War II.7. followed by the text page. 1945-1996.6.8. 658 T49 The Foreign Policy Institutions.2.