******This is a copy of last yearís exam for your practice. There will be no questions from chapter 10 (the media) on this yearís multiple choice exam. You will study chapter 10 for our free-response exam next week.
1. Which of the following statements about political parties in the United States is true?
A. Parties in this country are relatively new, having emerged only after the Civil War
B. Parties today are relatively strong, but they are not strong in all areas of the country
C. Parties in this country have never been strong- or meant as much- as in European countries
D. Parties today are relatively weak, but are not weak in all areas of the country
E. Parties today are relatively strong in all areas of the country
2. In most American states, candidates for presidential office are chosen by:
A. the people B. party leaders C. primary elections
D. conventions E. caucuses
3. During the founding period of American history, political parties could best be characterized as:
A. national coalitions in which large, rowdy party conventions played a major role
B. small coalitions based more on geography and class than on common economic interests
C. instruments through which debate over the legitimacy of the new government could take place
D. bureaucratized, well organized, and well financed
E. nonexistent- George Washington banned them
4. Party conventions emerged during the Jacksonian era as a means of:
A. giving some measure of local control to the presidential nominating process
B. involving Congress in the process of nominating presidential candidates
C. allowing national elections to be held by direct primary rather than by legislative caucus
D. ratifying the nomination of the partyís candidate for president
E. giving some national organization to the presidential nominating process
5. Procedures such as the initiative and the referendum arose as efforts to give:
A. Congress a way of controlling the President
B. Party regulars a say in nominating candidates
C. Courts in a system for prosecuting election fraud
D. Citizens a direct say in making laws
E. The President a direct say in making laws
6. According to the text, the role of the Democratic National Convention has been transformed by party rules into a:
A. media showcase where newscasters influence the outcome
B. place where delegates ratify decisions made by voters in the primaries
C. gathering where party leaders make important decisions
D. gathering of representatives from interest groups
E. place where delegates nominate presidential candidates
7. Why should elections based on a plurality system discourage new parties from forming?
A. a plurality system discourages patronage and reduces voter interest in joining a party
B. a plurality system requires parties to form alliances with other parties to win elections
C. under this winner-take-all system there is no incentive for finishing second
D. under this multi-candidate system each party must be as narrowly based as possible
E. under this system third parties are not allowed to receive federal funding
8. Even though minor parties have had little success in national elections, they have played an important role in many elections by:
A. forcing runoffs that sharpen the policy positions of the two major parties
B. making the cost of running for the presidency much higher
C. encouraging dissident factions to remain in the Democratic or Republican Party
D. influencing the public policy positions of the two major parties
E. being recognized as third parties
9. Compared to primary voters, members of caucuses are more likely to
A. show little ideological difference from rank-and-file voters
B. support the candidate most likely to win the election
C. support the most ideological candidate
D. support the least ideological candidate
E. be uninformed about party policies
10. A major difference between presidential campaigns and congressional campaigns is that:
A. more people vote in congressional campaigns
B. presidential races are generally less competitive
C. presidential incumbents can more easily duck responsibility
D. congressional incumbents can better serve their constituents
E. presidential races are generally less publicized
11. For a presidential primary candidate to be eligible for federal matching funds, he or she must first
A. raise a total of $50,000 from individual and other donors in each of 20 states
B. have the validated signatures of at least 5,000 registered voters in each of 20 states
C. raise $5,000 in individual contributions of $250 or less in each of 20 states
D. have validated signatures of at least 50,000 registered voters in each of 20 states
E. raise $1 million from foreign contributions
12. In the 1980 presidential election, many voters voted for Ronald Reagan over Jimmy Carter as a vote against Carter, not out of loyalty to Reagan. Such a vote is referred to as a(n):
A. spin vote B. clothespin vote C. prospective vote
D. informed vote E. coattail vote
13. One major difference between incumbents and challengers in the financing of their campaigns is that incumbents rely:
A. much less on PAC and much more on party money
B. on a combination of public and private funds
C. much more on PAC and much less on their own money
D. entirely on public funds
E. almost entirely on their franking privilege
14. An example of independent political advertising by a PAC, now banned under the 2002 McCain-Feingold Legislation, would be a
A. television debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters
B. direct mailing of a letter, under a candidateís signature, stating the candidateís position on oil
C. visual that shows a candidate helping underprivileged children
D. television spot that attacks one candidateís stand on education without mentioning the other candidate
E. patriotic song sung by one candidate about the eagle
15. One advantage that incumbents always have over challengers is:
A. their larger share of federal campaign monies
B. the political advantage of riding the presidentís coattails
C. their use of free mailings, or franks
D. their freedom from FEC regulations
E. their success in office giving off a positive image to the voters
16. The Democrats have lost their once strong hold on all the following voters except:
A. Catholics B. southerners C. union members
D. blacks E. Protestants
17. The valence issue that Bill Clinton intentionally made his own in the 1992 campaign was:
A. civil rights B. the economy C. law and order
D. the environment E. family values
18. One type of interest group whose representation in Washington has skyrocketed since 1970 is the:
A. professional organization B. trade association
C. corporate lobby D. public-interest lobby
E. the prison population
19. The American tobacco industry is represented in Washington by a strong lobby that seeks to influence public policy regarding the use of tobacco. This lobby is most accurately referred to as a(n):
A. membership interest
B. solidary group
C. institutional interest
D. public-interest lobby
E. ideological group
20. The reason Americans participate in civic associations more frequently than do citizens of other countries is:
A. their greater dissatisfaction with the government
B. their sense of political efficacy and civic duty
C. their European heritage
D. the fact that they are less sensitive to the free-rider problem
E. the lack op cleavages in American culture
21. Purposive incentives are most likely to motivate people to join
A. the Illinois Farm Bureau
B. the Parent-Teacher Association
C. the National Organization for Women
D. the National Association of Retired Persons
E. the AARP
22. A public-interest organization can be defined as one that, if its goals were achieved, would benefit primarily
A. those who are not members of the organization
B. the government
C. the membership
D. the political parties
E. the rich
23. A feminist organization that takes a strong political stance on sensitive issues is likely to attract members with what type of incentives?
A. material B. purposive C. solidary
D. sociological E. institutional
24. The single most important tactic of the typical lobbyist is
A. generating newspaper headlines
B. mobilizing letter-writing campaigns
C. filing suits in court
D. supplying information to legislators
E. building with wood and metal
25. Lobbyists are restrained from misrepresenting facts or misleading legislators by:
A. the 1984 Truth-in-Lobbying Law
B. the open nature of the lobbying process
C. governmental regulatory agencies such as the FTA
D. the fear of losing legislatorsí trust and confidence
E. the fear of being sued in court
26. One type of political cue a legislator might consider before taking a stand on an issue would be:
A. what lobbies are in favor of the issue
B. what bureaucratic changes would need to be made if the legislation passes
C. what the Supreme Courtís position is on the issue
D. what type of technical information is available to lobbyists
E. what his dog thinks about the issue
27. Could a member of Congress start a PAC?
A. No, PACs are organizations that donate money
B. No, PACs influence legislators and therefore cannot consist of legislators
C. Yes, and many have
D. Yes, but only after the legislator leaves Congress
E. Yes and no, a congress person actually calculates his own donations for taxes
28. A government official might leave his or her position and join a corporation to which they had previously awarded a government contract. This is an example of:
A. government operation on its own inner logic
B. a conflict of interest
D. the revolving door
E. grassroot lobbying
29. In recent years the relationship between the media and government officials has become:
A. more adversarial B. more mutually supportive C. more controlled
D. less interdependent E. less important
30. Which of the following statements about the Freedom on Information Act is true?
A. It helps protect American security
B. It virtually guarantees that some secrets will get out
C. It places tighter restriction on media in America than in other countries
D. It was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in 1987
E. It was used to prohibit virtual porn from the internet
31. In the early years of the republic, newspapers were financially supported by
B. payments from the Associated Press
C. mass circulation
D. subsidies from parties and politicians
E. large media networks
32. All of the following factors contributed to the rise of self-supporting, relatively objective, mass-readership newspapers during the nineteenth century EXCEPT:
A. paid advertising
B. political patronage
D. new technologies
E. the creation of the AP in 1848
33. News coverage by the Associated Press had to be nonpartisan because:
A. its funding came from the federal government
B. its reportersí standards were highly professional
C. government regulations required it
D. it served papers of various political hues
E. it transmitted stories via electronic telegram
34. The mass media are not a true mirror of reality because:
A. reporters are more conservative than the general public
B. the news emphasizes sensational events and ignores positive social trends
C. a process of selection, editing, and emphasis exists in news reporting
D. the media tend to emphasize national events and issues over local ones
E. the news ignores negative social trends
35. The text argues that, while politicians use the media, the media also uses politicians for:
A. scapegoats B. advertising C. entertainment and information
D. scorekeepers E. muckrakers
36. Most of the national news that local newspapers publish comes from
A. local affiliates B. their own newspaper staffs C. television networks
D. wire services E. Hawaii
37. Newsweek runs a feature article on homosexuality that calls for sweeping changes in government policy on gay marriage. In this role Newsweek is acting as:
A. gatekeeper B. scorekeeper C. watchdog
D. investigator E. ticket-taker
38. The national press often plays the role of scorekeeper. This means that it can:
A. influence public opinion on most issues
B. influence what subjects become national political issues
C. prevent certain politicians from winning office by not covering their campaigns
D. provide greater depth on stories than the local press
E. expose candidatesí mistakes
39. The text suggests three things to look for when trying to read a newspaper intelligently. They are the:
I. choice of coverage
II. source of the information
III. use of language
IV. degree of objectivity
A. I only
B. I and II only
C. I, II, and III
D. I, II, and IV
E. II, III, and IV
40. What is the current status of the fairness doctrine, which deals with broadcastersí responsibility to present both sides of a controversial issue?
A. It was abolished by the FCC in 1987 but is still followed voluntarily by most broadcasters
B. It is still in effect and is followed by most broadcasters
C. It was abolished by the FCC in 1987 and is no longer followed by most broadcasters
D. It is still in effect but not followed by most broadcasters
E. It was never a law and never will be
41. According to the text, why is a candidate for the Senate more likely to advertise on television than a candidate for the House?
A. because a senatorís constituency is more widely spread geographically
B. because a senatorís constituency is more narrowly concentrated geographically
C. because a house memberís constituency might include a sizable portion of voters who do not watch television
D. because senators typically choose media that provide a more direct way of reaching voters
E. because senators are more beautiful and handsome than members of the House
42. Compared to the way the public views the credibility of the media, the media see themselves as:
A. more biased but also more popular
B. more powerful but less reliable
C. fair and unbiased
D. powerful and reliable
E. less popular and less biased
43. The text argues that the Constitution contributed to the problem of press leaks when it:
A. created the freedom of press
B. separated the branches of government
C. established a national government
D. established a Supreme Court
E. established prior restraint
44. A registered Republican would not necessarily be allowed to vote in:
A. A general election
B. A closed primary
C. An open primary
D. A blanket primary
E. A clothespin vote
45. Which of the following was not at stake in the 2000 presidential election?
A. partisan control over the House and Senate
B. influence in redistricting procedures
C. an estimated $4 trillion federal budget surplus to spend
D. up to three appointments on the Supreme Court
E. the first female to be elected as vice president
46. Of the following figures, who was not a candidate for president in the 2000 election?
A. Al Gore
B. George Bush
C. Ralph Nader
D. Pat Buchanan
E. John Ashcroft
47. One reason why split-ticket voting was almost unheard of in the 19th century was the typical use of:
A. retrospective voting
B. prospective voting
C. the office-bloc ballot
D. the party- column ballot
E. bubble gum
48. All of the following are reasons for the large number of interest groups in the US except:
A. there are many cleavages in the US
B. there are many access point to the US Government
C. political parties are relatively weak
D. broad economic changes have created new interests
E. there is a lack of organizational entrepreneurs
49. The clearest liberalizing influence on individuals comes from:
A. the Democratic Party
B. the mass media
C. organized religion
D. higher education
E. the military
50. The Lemon Test
A. allows prayer in public schools under any circumstances
B. sets requirements on a lawís primary effect
C. effectively prohibits the teaching of ďcreation scienceĒ in public schools.
D. is intended to prevent the establishment of a religion
E. is applied to speech in public schools to determine if it is religious in nature.
1. D 2.C 3.B 4.A 5.D 6.B 7.C 8.D 9.C 10.D 11.D
12.B 13.C 14.D 15.C 16.D 17.B 18.D 19.C 20.B 21.C 22.A
23.B 24.D 25.D 26.A 27.C 28.D 29.A 30.B 31.D 32.B 33.D
34.C 35.C 36.D 37.A 38.C 39.C 40.A 41.A 42.C 43.B 44.B
45.E 46.E 47.D 48.E 49.D 50.D
Unit 4A Congress
Advanced Placement American Government Chapter 11: Congress
Form A: Wilson "Right There" Questions
#1 A basic difference....
1.D 2.A 3.C 4.D 5.D 6.B 7.D 8.B 9.A 10.B 11.D 12.A 13.B 14.B 15.D 16.A 17.A 18.C 19.B 20.D 21.D 22.A 23.A 24.D 25.D 26. C 27.C 28.C 29.C 30.D 31.C 32.C 33.D 34.C 35.D 36.A 37.A 38.B 39.D 40.A 41.D 42.B 43.B 44.B 45.A 46.A 47.C 48.C 49.C 50.B
Form B: AP Style "Really Hard Pulling it Together Questions"
#1 Each of the following...
1.B 2.C (House reapportions (#'s) State legislatures draw the actual lines 3.D 4.D 5.B 6.A 7.D 8.E 9.D 10.C 11.D 12.B 13.D 14.D (ahead of us- chapter 13 bureaucracy) 15.C 16.D 17.D 18.C 19.B 20.B 21.A 22.B 23.A 24.C 25.D 26.B 27.D 28.E 29.B 30.D 31.D 32.B 33.A (careful, some tests stapled weird) 34.D 35.B 36-45 same as above test
Presidency Study Guide:
1. The US President and British Prime Minister are similar because:
They are both the chief executive
They are not both elected by a popular majority of the electorate
They are not both guaranteed a majority in the legislature
They are not both generally outsiders)
2. The greatest source of presidential power is found in
public opinion (and politics-getting people to see things your way)
3. With substantial Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, President Kennedy, during the last year of his presidency, was able to secure passage of what proportion of his proposals?
4. Under which of the following situations would the government likely experience gridlock?
I. A Republican House and Senate with a Democratic President
II. A Republican House with a Democratic Senate and President
III. A Democratic House, Senate, and President
I,II, and III. Even in case 3 ideological differences will still exist
5. The rule of propinquity would explain why
Presidential decisions are generally affected by White House Staff
propinquity refers to the fact that people in the room when the decision is made affect the decision. The staff is in the west wing of the white house. They are right there to yield influence when a phone call comes in or a press conference gets started.
6. Each of the following was one of the fears expressed by the Founders about aspects of the presidency
the fear of a presidentís using bribery or force to ensure his reelection
the fear of a presidentís using the militia to overpower state governments
the fear of a presidentís being corrupted by the Senate
the fear of a presidentís corrupting the Senate
The founders were less concerned about media and public opinion because there was no mass media and they believed the elite would yield the most influence in politics
7. Under the original provisions of the Constitution, the states were to choose presidential electors
however they wished
today all states use the winner-take-all system (popular vote majority gets all the state's electors)
except Maine and Nebraska
8. One political effect of the Electoral Collegeís winner-take-all system of electing a president is to
discourage third party candidates
because even if Perot takes 15% of the popular vote in all 50 states, he will not get any electoral votes because he didn't get a majority anywhere
9. The Framers assumed that, under the electoral college system, most presidential elections would be decided in the House. Why did this not turn out to be the case?
because political parties ended up playing a major role in producing nationwide support for a slate of national candidates
they have made the choices for candidates clear-cut and thus reduced the tie votes in the electoral college. the 2002 election did come close to going to the House, but when Florida went to Bush, he got the majority and the election was decided.
Late in the election there were also three smaller states still counting ballots. Totaled they had enough electoral votes to create a tie between Bush and Gore, even with Bush's Florida electors, but they did not all fall in Gore's favor, thus Bush did win.
10. All of the following are powers that the president is constitutionally entitled to exercise exclusively :
receiving ambassadors (from other countries)
serving as military commander-in-chief
convening Congress in special sessions
granting pardons for federal offense
other powers are shared with, or checked by, Congress for example:
appointing US ambassadors
11. Dwight Eisenhower used federal troops to help integrate a school in Little Rock by invoking his power to
take care that all laws be "faithfully executed"
"The Powers of the President" p. 344 8th edition
12. The principal function of the White House Staff is to
oversee the political and policy interests of the president
The cabinet officers run federal departments as the presidentís representatives
Congress prepares the national budget
The Executive Office supervise the national security agencies, such as the CIA and FBI
13. The Senate is required to confirm all of the following presidential nominations except:
the Heads of Executive Office agencies
the heads of cabinet members
members of the White House Office (staff)
14. The legitimacy of the office of president was aided during the years of the first presidents by which of the following?
the appointment of people of stature to federal offices
The first five presidents were givens. For the most part they served two terms and then graciously stepped down
15. The seating order at cabinet meetings most accurately reflects
the age of the department
16. Once in office, a president can expect to see his popularity
decline over time
17. Which of the following is true of a bill that is not signed or vetoed within 10 days while Congress is still in session?
It is a law.
President must sign a veto message to reject it if the Congress is in session.
He can pocket veto it if the Congress leaves session and he does nothing about it
18. All of the following are true of a pocket veto:
It occurs when the Congress is out of session
A president will use it when he disapproves of a bill that he does not want to take a bold stand on
Once "pocketed" the legislation can be brought back to life only as a new bill in a new session of Congress
It can not even be overruled by 2/3ís of both the House and the Senate since they are out of session
It takes effect 10 days after the bill has passed both houses of Congress
19. Executive Privilege refers to the presidentís
right to confidentiality
20. John F. Kennedy is best characterized as bringing to the presidency:
improvisational leadership and bold image
Eisenhower brought orderly, military style leadership
LBJ- masterful strategy and political persuasion
Nixon- suspicion of the media and scandal therein
Carter- great communication and outsider experience
23. changing the date that the president's term starts from December (2005) to January (2004)
24.both branches' powers can be kept in check
25.they may find it hard to work together/ cooperate on public policy
26.Ud has a divided government more often
27. NO, gridlock is not necessarily bad, it helps keep one branch in check and allows many ideas to be considered
28. Phase 3: Congress reemerges in power
29. "take care that all laws be faithfully executed"- gotta love analogies!
30. Herbert Hoover (1929)
31. 8 times
32. twice (Nixon resigned before they started the impeachment process)
Answers to study guide
Unit 4C Exam
1. The United States bureaucracy is distinct for all of the following reasons:
Political authority is shared between the President and Congress
Most federal agencies share their power with state and local agencies
An Ďadversary cultureí has grown in the bureaucracy
except: (these things are true of many countrys' bureaucracies)
the bureaucracy is big
bureaucracy is a large, complex organization of appointed officials
2. Growth of the federal bureaucracy has been:
1787- small; only really 3 departments (State, Treadury, War)
1800-1861= service role (post office mainly)
Civil War = bigger gov
Great Depression and WWII = huge gov and hands on
today= service and regulatory role. big gov mainly because of contracted workers (indirectly working for gov. programs)
3. A bureaucracy has more power when its officials hold:
4. today more bureaucrats are:
hired for excepted service (or name-request jobs)
yet hired based on merit, not patronage
5. A name-request job:
Is filled by someone whom an agency has already identified upon interviewing
6. The goal of the Senior Executive Service was to:
Give the president flexibility in hiring and firing top federal managers
The effects :
Not highly successful, or significant
(this was a part of the Civil Service Reform Act (1978) )
7. How equal are the demographics of people hired to G13-15 and SES ranks?
More women and minorities have been hired by the federal government since 1960
Also More white collared workers have been hired since 1960
GS1 ranking officials are almost equally demographically balanced. (a lot more equal than 40 years ago)
But GS15 and SES ranking officials are still predominately white males
8. An economist hired by the Federal Trade Commission, may act differently than a lawyer hired by the same agency. Explain:
The policy passed by the FTC may be affected by the people planning it: economists look for cost benefit relationships while lawyers look for justice
9.A government agency runs differently from a private organization (business) in that:
government agencies run on tax money not profits so many regulations are in place about spending and fiscal responsibility. sometimes these rules get in the way of fiscal responsibility
also, the jobs of agency members are spelled out by informal understandings among fellow employees (culture of the air force or the CIA)
also, the jobs of agency members are often shared becasue Congress wants to 'check and balance' the work
also, many people distrust the government and so agencies are faced with requirements or complaints from interest groups (Environmental groups, labor unions, industries) and are required to conduct business in sunshine- no hidden documents, closed meetings, or secrets
10. An example of an iron triangle would be:
any agency from the bureaucracy, committee from Congress, and interst group form the general public that are all 3 working together to deal with an issue
The Bureau of Education, The Edcuation Committee, and The PTSA (Parent- Teacher- Student-Association) working for smaller class sizes
The Department of Agriculture, The Agriculture Committee, and the United Farmers Association working for price floors on corn
The Defense Department, The Industry Committee, the Big Business of America Association working for subsidies for corporations experimenting with weapons
11. Three constitutional powers Congress has over government agencies are:
(In other words) Congressional oversight of the bureaucracy includes:
1. Congress approves all agencies. They cannot exist without Congressional approval
2. Congress authorizes money to be used by agencies
3. Congress apportions that money
Even though these appropriations committees have lost some power to:
and the huge budget deficits
4. Congress has informal ways to control the bureaucracy such as committee clearance
5. Congress has, although it's technically illegal according tot he Supreme Court decision in Chada, Legislative veto powers
6. Congress can conduct investigations of agencies
12. Have appropriations committees gained or lost power over government agencies recently? How so?
Lost power (See above part 3)
The Approriations COmmittee holds the real power over an agency's budget.
Trust Funds have been created to pay many of the benefits to Americans. these operate outside of the government budget and therefore set aside all that money that used to be in the big pot, or purse COngress could draw from in appropriating money
Congress, to save time and energy, has made many authorizations automatic (annual authorizations) Becasue they are pre-set, the committee does not need to renegotiate, but also, they can't tweak them right then if they need the money for something else (terorrism)
So much spending has created huge budget deficits (we've spent more than we have, we're in the red, we're broke) So COngress has to spend time and energy trying to cut spending. This is limiting when agencies come asking for money for reindeer in Alaska
13. The president can veto or pocket veto, how can Congress veto?
A Legislative Veto is COngress's chance to say no to an executive decision (a plan out of an agency or president's cabinet or office)
The decision is required to give 30-90 days for Congress to review it before it goes into action
One or two houses of COngress could say no
IN 1983 the Supreme COurt ruled this legislative veto unconstitutional. Agency's still, often, present plans to COngress for approval, and the veto has been used and written into laws since '83
14. Explain the 5 major problems Americans have with "the bureaucracy."
Red tape: rules and procedures are so complicated to get any one thing done
Conflict: agencies jobs overlap and catch people int he middle: teachers are required By the funds from the Education Deparment to teach to the States' Standards and required by the Bureau of Education to provide individualized education and assessment for students who require specialized educational programs
Duplication: when two agencies are assigned a similar or the same job. Customs and INS may both be required to stop drug trafficking at border crossings
Imperialism: the bureaucracy keeps getting bigger and bigger
Waste: the gov. spends $400 on a stapler because there are requirements about how much money is spent on different offcies or where the government funds are allowed to be used. Okay, maybe $40 for the stapler.
15. Do people who distrust Congress distrust their own congressman? Do people who complain about the bureaucracy find distaste in specific agencies?
No. They distrust the system in general. FOr the most part. people are happy with the specific bureaucrats they have encountered in life.
THey are unhappy with the slowness and complexness that is in our bureaucracy's nature
16. How did the National Performance Review affect bureaucracy?
(In other words) What effects did the NPR have on the bureaucracy?
It was Al GOre's attempt, in 1993, to "reinvent the government" The goal was to to provide customer satisfaction
It contained horrror stories about red tape, like the GSA handing in a 9 page document describing how an ashtray would break when hit with a hammer so that funds would be authorized for the agency to buy the ashtray!
And it required agencies to set goals, measure pperformance, and report on the results
Unfortunately, change is difficult. Becasue the press and congress both regulate the agencies, agencies are careful not to upset either
Also, divided gov (reps v. dems) makes implementing new policies regarding policy difficult. Must compromise
The NPR did authorize more open spending but did not "reinvent the gov"
Good Job! See text for additional help.
$$$$ You're money.
1. Judicial Review allows the courts to keep ____ ______ in "check".
The Legislative branch (Congress) and the Executive branch (Presidentís bureaucracy)
Judicial Review is the chief tool of the judicial branch. It is the power of judges to Ďreviewí laws and executive decisions and declare them unconstitutional.
Thus, the courts check Congress by interpreting laws. They can declare a law unconstitutional or extend the reach of an existing law. Courts check executive decisions (those made by agencies/ the bureaucracy) by ruling on peopleís adverse feelings toward them. Courts may uphold policies of the environmental protection agency brought before them, or may condemn policies of the Homeland Security Department, for example.
2. Define and give an example of a strict constructionist (interpretivist) judge.
Do the same for a loose constructionist (activist) judge.
Strict (interpretivist) The view that judges should confine themselves to applying the rules stated in, or clearly implied by, the constitution: judges simply judge.
Example: Hugo Black upheld a state law banning birth control because the Constitution did not specify that states couldnít make this law. Article 4 and Amendment 10 give states their own sphere of reserved powers
Loose (activist) The view that judges should interpret the intentionally vague language of the Constitution. They should discern its underlying general principals and apply them in contemporary circumstances.
Example: Rufus Peckham believed a state law setting maximum working hours was unconstitutional based on the 14th amendmentís guarantee of a "freedom of contract". Peckman interpreted the 14th amendment loosely as these words are not actually written there.
3. Identify the three phases of policy making in the federal courts (From 1789 to the present).
One: 1787-1865 (Founding to Civil War)
Policy: Courtís power, Federal Supremacy, and slavery
John Marshall leads court in nation building, establishing supremacy of federal laws, and negotiating slavery
Marbury v. Madison (1803) Courts can declare an act of Congress unconstitutional
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Federal Law supreme- national bank is okay and states cannot tax it.
Federal Power to regulate commerce: interstate commerce
Oops- Roger Taney replaces Marshall and rules in Dred Scott that a Federal Law (Missouri Compromise) is unconstitutional (revival of statesí rights) Ouch, the public outcry is enormous and Civil War is fought.
Two: 1865ó1937 (Reconstruction to New Deal) $$$ Economic (Property) Rights
Deciding when the economy should be regulated by the states and when it should be regulated by the nation. Economic Protection: The type conservatives prefer.
14th amendment (1868) "due process" clause interpreted to mean that private property was protected from unreasonable state action.
Here judicial activism is born. Courts deciding which regulations are okay.
Courts declare the federal income tax unconstitutional, so Congress passes an amendment (the 16th) to make it constitutional.
Three: 1938 to present Social Policy and Political Liberties
After Owen Roberts made the "Switch in time that saved nine" the Supreme Court started focusing on political liberties and eventually civil rights.
Chief Justice Earl Warren, appointed in 1953, brings on most active period yet. Started providing the type of protection that liberals prefer: Social protection.
4. What have recent rulings regarding federalism decided? Have states gained or lost power to the federal government? Think of an example from current events.
Since about 1992, courts have been increasing statesí power (sovereignty). See text for examples.
5. How do constitutional courts differ from legislative courts?
Constitutional are defined in Article 3. These include the 94 district courts, 13 appellate courts, and the Supreme Court.
Legislative are set up by Congress for a certain purpose. Ie: Court of Military Appeals
6. What is senatorial courtesy? Is it more powerful in district court appointments or Supreme Court appointments?
Senatorsí ability to suggest judicial appointments to the president. Mainly at the district level, senators have a better sense of the qualified judges from his/her state thus they will make a recommendation. More powerful at district level.
7. Under what circumstances is it possible for a case to be tried in a federal court and a state court? So can a person be tried twice for the same crime?
Article 3 and the 11th Amendment define federal jurisdiction:
Federal-question cases (whenever the Constitution is in question, whenever a federal law is in question, or when treaties are involved)
Diversity cases: when the case involves citizens of more than one state.
Defendants can be tried in both state and federal courts for the same offense (under the dual sovereignty doctrine) if a law of both levels of government has been broken or if the issue at stake is controversial in such a way that a decision at one level would skew the policy of the other level.
Essentially yes, one could argue that the person is being tried twice (once federally and once locally)
People can also appeal a case from the state circuit tot he federal Supreme Court. The issue at the federal level is no longer the crime, but the law in question, so this is not being tried twice for the same crime. It is the connection between the state and federal level court systems.
8. What is required for your case to be heard before the Supreme Court? What percentage of cases come to the Supreme Court through appeals?
1- you have a case that falls under the Supreme Courtís original jurisdiction: a controversy between two states, involving Ambassadors, other public officials
2- you are granted a writ of certiorari from the Supreme court itself.
The Supreme Court hears about 4 % of the applications they receive for an appeal. (They turn down 96% of the applications for cert.) Still, most of the cases they hear come through this avenue (appeals)
9. You lose a trial, but are convinced that the law in question has been misinterpreted. Explain four ways your court costs for an appeal may be lowered.
1- if you are a defendant in a criminal trial, you can file in forma pauperis
2- if your case is a civil one, you can be represented by interest groups sympathetic to your cause
3- if you win a case against a corporation or large organization, fee shifting enables you to collect the court fees from the defendant
4- if you are suing a government official "Section 1983" allows the citizen to collect fees from the government (talk about a motive for an adversary culture!)
810 What is a class-action suit? Give an example.
A case brought to court on behalf of a group of people in a similar circumstance.
Brown v. The Board of Education, Topeka Kansas (1954) was an example of a suit brought on behalf of blacks facing segregation in public schools
11. At the Supreme Court level, what is in question? What is the procedure here?
Here, either the procedures at the trial level or the nature of the law is in question.
Lawyers for both sides file briefs. They are read by the 9 justices in their personal offices.
Oral arguments are made (about 30 minutes for each side. ) And Justices are allowed to ask questions of the lawyers.
Then the justices convene on Friday for conference. They discuss the oral arguments and briefs as well as legal periodicals.
The chief justice speaks first and votes last, influencing the decision greatly.
They vote ( a simple majority decides the result) and write opinions of the court
The opinion of the court- the decision
Concurring opinions- yes to the decision, butÖ.
Dissenting opinions- no to the decision
12. In what three ways can the courts make policy?
1-reinterpreting the law or the Constitution.
130 federal laws have been declared unconstitutional by the courts
courts also overturn their own decisions! (260 decisions overturned since 1810- hey, times change)
2- extending the reach of existing laws to cover matters not previously thought to be covered by them. The degree to which courts are willing to hear a case affects policy they make. Ie: gerrymandering, redistricting, not considered a political question until 1962 case Baker v. Carr
3- designing remedies to correct the situation brought to court. As law of the land, a decision to desegregate schools in San Francisco sends shock waves through the country- you donít want to be brought to court and told to do that.
13. How has the power of the judiciary grown? (How many laws have been declared unconstitutional? What kinds of remedies have been imposed by justices?
See numbers above and examples in book.
Prison inmates, Welfare recipients, English Language Learners in school
14. What checks does public opinion have on judicial power?
a- because the courts have no police force or army, their decisions can be resisted or ignored. (ie: prayer in schools and segregation) if people are not highly visible or fearful of being "caught"
b- judges read newspaper and have lives so they are influenced by the opinion, at least of the elite public. May be restrained by ideas, esp. those of political leaders
c- politics can also energize the courts as it did the Marshall court, the Taney Court, and the Warren court
15. What check does Congress have on judicial power? (5)
1- affects the composition (ideology) of the judiciary through its confirmation of appointees.
2- Can impeach judges
3- Can alter the number or judges ( on supreme court and at appellate and district levels)
4- Can make an unconstitutional law constitutional by passing an amendment. Done with the 11th,13th, 14th ,and 15th, 16th, and 26th
5- Gets to decide the jurisdiction of lower courts and appellate jurisdiction of Supreme Court
16. What are the reasons for the increased judicial activism in recent history?
The increased size and scope of the government as a whole. Now that Congress makes laws about women in college sports, and environmental policies, the courts need to interpret those laws. As more bureaucrats pass more policies, more adverse opinions come from the public and need to be assressed in the courts.
Judges tend to be more activist today. Whether conservative or liberal, judges today tend to go beyond "settling disputes" to solving problems.
Wilson's Ace Exams http://college.hmco.com/polisci/wilson/am_gov/8e/students/ace/index.html