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Political Science
PSC 2302
James Curry

Political Science 2302, Curry, Fall 2013. Review Questions for Test One Answering the following questions should be of great help in preparing for Test One. 1. Read each chapter introduction and be able to answer questions about the person (s). 2. Pay attention to briefs 2.3, 3.1, 3.6, 3.7, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.6, 5.11, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 3. What are checks and balances? Can you think of a few examples? • Counterbalancing influences by which an organization or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that political power is not concentrated in the hands of individuals • President veto power • Congress override veto • Judicial review 4. What was the “Revolution of 1937”? Who was the President? • Old court struck down nearly all of FDR’s first term New Deal legislation • FDR proposes plan to increase size of Supreme Court to “provide help” for older justices • No action by congress, but FDR wins 1936 election by landslide • Supreme court decisions starting in 1937 are different • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the President at the time 5. What are the individualist and communitarian theories? What does each emphasize? • Individualist o Theory based on the assumption that individuals and their interests take precedence over the larger community o Government exists to preserve and protect individual rights • Communitarian o A theory which stresses the public interest and community values over those of the individual o Government is seen as a positive force in achieving the common good 6. What were the key concepts in the Declaration of Independence? • The laws of “nature and nature’s God” • Natural rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness • Government derives power form the “consent of the Governed • When abuses of right occur, “it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such government” 7. Whthe are reserved powers found in the Constitution? Who has reserved powers? • 10 amendment • to the States or the people o “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people 8. What were the key weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation? • National government could not force the states to obey laws • It did not have the power to tax • It did not have the power to enforce laws • Congress lacked strong and steady leadership • no system of national courts • No executive branch • Each state regulated tariffs on trade between states 9. What is a writ of certiorari? • Literally, “to make sure”; a writ is issued at the discretion of the supreme court which orders the lower court to send the record of a case to the Court for review. This route is the normal procedure for appealing a case to the supreme court 10. What is judicial review? Used more on federal or state laws?  Judicial review- the power of courts to determine the validity of government acts o Legislation passed by congress o Presidential orders and actions  Used more on state laws 11. Who are the current members of the Supreme Court?  John Roberts  Antonin Scalia  Anthony Kennedy  Clarence Thomas  Ruth Bader Ginsburg  Stephen Breyer  Samuel Alito  Sonia Sotomayor  Elena Kagan 12. From where do appeals come to the Supreme Court?  Original jurisdiction- the jurisdiction of a court of first instance or a trail court where the legal action begins. The U.S. Supreme Court has original jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution, which cannot be regulated by the Congress  Appellate jurisdiction- the power and authority to review and, if necessary, to correct errors of law that may have occurred in the trail court. Most cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court each year are reviewed under its appellate jurisdiction, which can be regulated by Congress according to Article III 13. Powers of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives? • Senate o Try impeachment cases o Advise and consent powers  Ratify treaties  Confirm appointments (all federal judges, officers of the United States whose jobs require confirmation). o Power to Legislate  Both must approve identical bill  Can override Presidential veto by 2/3 vote  Responsible for budget and spending o Power to Investigate  Un-American Activities (McCarthy Era)  Iran-Contra  9/11  Steroids in baseball o Both House and Senate must approve a new Vice-President by majority vote • House of Representatives o Constitution requires the House to be the source of all “revenue” bills o Constitution gives the House the power of impeachment. o Power to Legislate  Both must approve identical bill  Can override Presidential veto by 2/3 vote  Responsible for budget and spending o Power to Investigate  Un-American Activities (McCarthy Era)  Iran-Contra  9/11  Steroids in baseball o Both House and Senate must approve a new Vice-President by majority vote 14. What was the Virginia Plan? What was the Great Compromise? • The Virginia Plan (Madison) o Bicameral Legislature (both houses apportioned on basis of population) o Executive branch o Judicial branch • The Great (Connecticut) Compromise o Bicameral Legislature: House based on population and Senate based on state equality o 3/5 Compromise: representation based on whole number of free persons and 3/5 of all other persons, excluding Indians. 15. What is the 17 Amendment? • Established direct election of senators by the general public 16. What are enumerated powers? What are implied powers? Are they in the Constitution? • Enumerated powers- Powers outlined in the constitution • Implied powers- not expressly stated, but implied by the writing in the constitution 17. What are the 4 essential elements of all Constitutions, according to Duchacek? • Establishment of powers • Establishment of rights • Establishment of the authority for the government • Establishment of the authority for the people 18. What problem was Publius addressing in Federalist #10? • How to guard against factions with interests contrary to the rights of others or the interests of the whole community 19. What did the Judiciary Act of 1789 do? • Set size of Supreme Court at 6 • Six circuit courts • Gave Supreme Court jurisdiction to hear appeals from state courts when: o State court ruled against federal law o State court upheld state over federal law o State court denied right claimed under Constitution 20. Know what these constitutional amendments did: 12 , 20 , 22 , 25 th • 12 - changed procedure for electing the president and vice-president th • 20 - moved the beginning and ending of terms of the president and vice-president from March 4 to January 20, and members of congress from march 4 to January 3 (shorten “lame duck” period) nd • 22 - limits president to two terms • 25 - presidential disability and succession 21. What is the Magna Carta? • The royal charter of political rights given to rebellious English barons by King John in 1215 22. When would a justice write a dissenting opinion? A concurring opinion? • A dissenting opinion is written when a justice disagrees with the majority opinion (which carries the force of law). If a justice is writing a dissenting opinion, that means he or she voted with the minority group, and wants to explain the reason why he or she disagrees with the official Opinion of the Court. • A Supreme Court justice may choose to write a concurring opinion when he or she agrees with the majority decision, but wants to add perceptions or legal reasoning not addressed, or not addressed to that justice's satisfaction, in the majority opinion (opinion of the Court). 23. What are the 3 key elements of “constitutionalism?” • Limited government o A government limited in its power and accountable for its actions  Lord Acton- Power corrupts  James Madison- Federalist 51  “checks and balances” • the rule of law o constitution places a “higher law” above the policies of leaders or majorities o leaders must be held accountable to legal principles • fundamental worth of each individual o rights and liberties accompany each individual o Bill of Rights 24. What were the differences between Federalists and Anti-Federalists? • Federalists o Supported the constitution o Well educated and propertied class. Most lived in settled areas along the seaboard. • Anti-federalists o Did not support the constitution o states' rights advocates, backcountry farmers, poor farmers, the ill-educated and illiterate, debtors, & paper-money advocates. 25. What are the different types of opinions written by Supreme Court justices? • Majority • Concurring • Dissenting • Per Curiam 26. What is the supremacy clause? • Establishes the US Constitution, federal statuses, and US treaties as the “supreme law of the land” 27. What were the main contributions of James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, George Mason, John Marshall  James Madison o Leader of the Virginia Assembly o member of the Continental Congress o helped frame the Virginia Constitution o wrote the Federalist essays o helped frame the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution  Thomas Jefferson o Wrote the Declaration of Independence o Father of American education  George Mason o Main author of the Bill of Rights  John Marshall o Court opinions helped lay the basis for American constitutional law o Longest serving chief justice o Marbury v. madison 28. What were the Federalist Papers? Who wrote them? • Written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay • Published in the New York papers under the name of “Publius” • Provide the best insight into the intentions of the Founders. 29. What is the President’s veto power? Can Congress easily override a veto? See table • President may veto bill passed by congress • Congress can override veto with 2/3rds majority 30. What powers are given to the President by the Constitution? • Power to sign or veto legislation o No “line-item veto” Power o Many governors possess this power o Supreme Court held in Clinton v. New York (1998) that a President’s veto power must be exercised on an entire bill – not parts of it. • Power to provide information to Congress o State of the Union address • Head of Executive Branch of Government • Appoints all officers of the United States (department heads, assistants, etc.) o Presides over Cabinet o Executive office of the President o Power to remove members of the executive branch who perform purely executive duties for any reason o Can remove independent commission members only “for cause” • Power to Pardon • Treaty-Making Power o Subject to Senate ratification • Executive Agreements • Receives ambassadors and ministers from foreign nations • Civilian leadership over military establishment: principle of civilian supremacy • Presidential “War Power” 31. What are the main features of U.S. District Courts? Jurisdiction? Juries? • District courts o 679 judgeships o located in all 50 states, plus D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas, Virgin Islands o at least one per state, texas has 4 o exercise only original jurisdiction o federal trial courts o use of petit and grand juries o U.S. District attorney, U.S. Marshall 32. What is executive privilege? What case dealt with it? How? • The privilege, claimed by the president for the executive branch of the US government, of withholding information in the public interest • Dealt with in US v. Nixon • The Presidential claim of Executive Privilege must be balanced against a legitimate need for the information in ongoing judicial proceedings 33. What is impeachment? Which Presidents have been impeached? Convicted? • Only legal way to remove president from office • Impeached by house of representatives • Convicted by senate • Impeached for treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors • Impeached presidents o Johnson o Clinton • Convicted o None • Resigned o Nixon th 34. Explain the 25 Amendment? What is the order of Presidential succession? • Provides mechanism for replacing President who becomes disabled or cannot perform his duties. Also provides method for restoring power when ready. • Provides for appointment of new Vice-President when the offices becomes vacant. • Provides a clear line of succession to the Presidency. o Presidential Succession Act of 1947 o VP, Speaker of House, Senate President ProTempore, Secs of State, Treasury, Defense, Attorney General 35. How many electoral votes does a state have? How is a President elected? • Each state has electoral votes equal to its total congressional delegation • Electors cast 2 votes, one for president and one for vice-president and one must be from a different state • Candidate receiving majority of electoral vote is president 36. What is judicial activism? Judicial restraint? “Political questions?” • Judicial activism- the view that judges must, on occasion, overrule the actions of popularly-elected representatives if those actions are either “unwise” public policy or contrary to some specific provision of the Constitution • Judicial restraint- the view that judges should defer to the officials to the legislative and executive branches, because they are more politically responsible to the voters • “political questions”- a ruling that a matter in controversy is a political question is a statement by federal courts declining to rule a case because the federal courts system only judges cases dealing with questions about laws, not politics 37. What happens if no presidential candidate receives a majority of electoral votes? • President is chosen by the House of Representatives 38. What was John Marshall’s basic philosophy? • Judicial nationalism o Advancing such policies as popular sovereignty, supremacy of the national government, authoritative role for the Supreme Court in interpreting the Constitution, and broad construction of the Constitution 39. What does the Constitution specifically require for becoming a federal judge? • Appointed by president • Approved by 2/3 majority of senate 40. How do we fill a vacancy in the office of Vice-President? • President appoints a vice-president candidate that must be approved by 2/3 majority vote in both houses of congress 41. Who wrote Federalist # 51? What is it about? • James Madison • Addresses means by which appropriate checks and balances can be met • Advocates for the separation of powers in government • “ambition must be made to counteract ambition” 42. What are the 16 , 17 , and 27 Amendments about? th • 16 amendment o allows congress to levy an income tax without apportioning it among the states or basing it on the United States Census • 17 amendment o establishes direct election of t
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