United States of America: Constitution and Federalism

i. Proposal 1. Two thirds of congress votes needed ii. Ratification 2. Three fourths of state legislatures votes needed b. Interpretation by the courts iii. Marbury v. Madison 3. Supreme court declared that the courts have the power to nullify government acts when they conflict with the constitution iv. Judicial review is the courts main check on the other branches of government 4. Judicial review forces the courts to interpret the Constitution ii. Only 27 amendments have been made iii. Amending the constitution is extremely hard iv. The GA Constitution is extremely easy to change and changes frequently 2.

Federalism b. The relationship between state and federal government is constantly changing c. Theories and Metaphors v. Federalism – the division of power between a central government and regional governments vi. Federalism offered a solution to citizens fears that they would be ruled by majorities from different regions and different interest and values vii. Federalism also provided a new political model 2. Dual Federalism c. Dual federalism (the layer cake metaphor) is a view that holds the constitution is a compact among sovereign states v.

Four essential parts: 5. National government rules by enumerated powers only 6. National government has a limited set of constitutional purposes 7. Each government unit – nation and state – is sovereign within its sphere 8. The relationship between nation and states is best characterized by tension rather than cooperation vi. Dual federalism portrays the states as powerful components of the federal system vii. States’ rights – the idea that all rights not specifically conferred on the national government by the constitution are reserved to the states viii.

Implied powers – those powers that congress requires in order to execute its’ enumerated powers ix. Conservatives = layer cake 3. Cooperative federalism d. Cooperative federalism (the marble-cake metaphor)is a view that holds the constitution in an agreement among people who are citizens of both state and nation, so there is little distinction between state powers and national powers x. Has three elements: 9. National and state agencies typically undertake governmental functions jointly rather than exclusively 10. Nation and states routinely share power 11. Power is not concentrated at any government level or in any agency xi.

Elastic clause – the last clause in Section 8 of Article 1 of the constitution, which gives congress the means to execute its enumerated powers. This clause is the basis for Congress’s implied powers. Also called the necessary and proper clause. xii. Liberal = marble cake e. National crisis’s often lead us to need more national government and their power increases viii. Great depression brings about the change from dual to cooperative federalism d. The Dynamics of Federalism ix. Grants-in-Aid 4. Grant-in-aid – money provided by one level of government to another, to be spent for a given purpose f.

Categorical grant – a grant-in-aid targeted for a specific purpose by formula or by project xiii. Specific on what money must be spent on g. Block grant – a grant-in-aid awarded for general purposes, allowing the recipient great discretion in spending the grant money xiv. You can spend the money however you want e. Ideology, Policymaking, and American Federalism x. Ideology, Policymaking, and Federalism in Practice 5. National Intervention in State Functions h. Preemption – the power of congress to enact laws by which the national government assumes total or partial responsibility for a state government function xv.

Mandate – a requirement that a state undertake an activity or provide a service in keeping with minimum national standards xvi. Restraint – a requirement laid down by act of congress prohibiting a state or local government from exercising a certain power f. Federalism and Electoral Politics xi. National Capital-State Capital Links 6. State capitals often serve as proving grounds for politicians who aspire to national office i. Examples: state legislature, governor, or attorney general xii. Congressional Redistricting 7. Redistricting – the process of redrawing boundaries for electoral jurisdictions j.

State legislatures draw lines k. Occurs at all levels of government l. Lines are drawn according to census given every 10 years m. Preclearance – according to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, several states, including GA, are required to submit their redistricting plans to the US Department of Justice for approval xvii. Old states of the confederacy need to be checked^^ 3. Public thinking on certain issues (such as the death penalty)reveal several characteristics of public opinion: g. The publics attitudes toward a given government policy can vary over time, often dramatically h.

Public opinion places boundaries on allowable types of public policy i. If asked by pollsters, citizens are willing to register opinions on matters outside their expertise j. Governments tend to respond to public opinion k. The government sometimes does not to what the people want 4. Public Opinion and the Models of Democracy l. Public opinion – the collected attitudes of citizens concerning a given issue or question m. Two models of democracy: xiii. Majoritarian model – assumes that a majority of the people hold clear, consistent opinions on government policy xiv.

Pluralist model – assumes that the public is often uninformed and ambivalent about specific issues, and opinion polls frequently support that claim 5. Political Socialization n. Political socialization – the complex process by which people acquire their political values xv. Influences include: 8. Family 9. School 10. Community 11. Peers 12. The media o. Continues throughout life 6. Social Groups and Political Values p. No two people are influenced by the same socialization agents in the same way q. Education xvi. Education increases people’s awareness and understanding of political issues xvii.

When confronted with a choice between personal freedom and social order, college-educated individuals tend to choose freedom xviii. People with less education favor government action to guarantee jobs. Those with more education tend to oppose government action, favoring freedom over equality 7. From Values to Ideology r. Political Ideology – the set of values and beliefs that they hold about the purpose and scope of government xix. The Degree of Ideological Thinking in Public Opinion 13. Although today’s media frequently use the terms liberal and conservative, some people think these terms are no longer relevant to American politics.

Indeed, voters don’t tend to use ideological concepts when discussing politics 8. Forming Political Opinions s. Some people (only a minority) think about politics ideologically, holding a consistent set of political attitudes and beliefs. xx. Political Knowledge 14. According to a survey done by political scientists Delli Carpini and Keeter analyzed that “many of the basic institutions and procedures of government are known to half or more of the public, as are the relative positions of the parties on many major issues” 15.

Political knowledge is not randomly distributed within our society n. Women, African Americans, the poor, and the young tend to be less knowledgeable than whites, men, the affluent, and the older citizens 16. Changing news formats in the past 20 years – the emergence of around the clock cable news and the internet – do not seem to have increased the level of political knowledge for most Americans 17. Education is the strongest single predictor of political knowledge xxi. Costs, Benefits, and Cues 18.

The self-interest principal – the implication that people choose what benefits them personally 19. Citizens can use political party labels to compensate for low levels of information about the policy positions of candidates. 20. Citizens also take cues from trusted government officials and interest groups regarding the wisdom of bills pending in Congress or the ideology of Supreme Court nominees xxii. Political Leadership 21. Public opinion on specific issues is molded by political leaders, journalists, and policy experts 22.

Politicians serve as cue givers to members of the public 23. Politicians routinely make appeals to the public on the basis of shared political ideology and self-interest 24. The ability of political leaders to affect public opinion has been enhanced enormously by the growth of the broadcast media, especially TV. 9. The Media in America t. Mass media – the means employed in mass communication, often divided into print media and broadcast media xxiii. Private ownership of the media 25.

Newsworthiness – the degree to which a news story is important enough to be covered in the mass media o. judged according to its potential impact on readers or listeners, its degree of sensationalism (exemplified by violence, conflict, disaster, or scandal), its treatment of familiar people or life situations, its’ close to home character, and its timeliness 26. Private ownership of both print and broadcast media gives the news industry in America more political freedom than in any other country in the world, but also makes the media more dependent on advertising revenues xxiv.

Government Regulation of the Media 27. Federal Communications Commision (FCC) – an independent federal agency that regulates interstate and international communication by radio, TV, telephone, telegraph, cable, and satellite p. The FCC has five members (no more than 3 per political party) nominated by the president for terms of five years xviii. Commissioners can be removed from office only through impeachment and conviction q.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 relaxed or scrapped limitations on media ownership.r. Equal opportunities rule – under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, the requirement that if broadcast station gives or sells time to a candidate for any public office, it must make available an equal amount of time under the same conditions to all other candidates for that office s. Reasonable access rule – An FCC rule that requires broadcast stations to make their facilities available for the expression of conflicting views or issues by all responsible elements in the community t.

The political editorial rule – required stations that endorsed a candidate to provide free reply time to political opponents u. The personal attack rule – required stations to provide free response time to candidates and others whose integrity was attacked on the air 10. Reporting and Following the News u. Covering National Politics xxv. Pack journalism – the tendency of journalists to adopt similar viewpoints toward the news simply because they hang around together, exchanging information and defining the day’s news with one another v.

Presenting the News xxvi. Gatekeepers – Media executives, news editors, and prominent reporters who decide which events to report and which elements in those stories to emphasize xxvii. Horse Race Journalism – election coverage by the mass media that focuses on which candidate is ahead rather than on national issues w. What People Remember and Know xxviii. Television Hypothesis – the belief that television is to blame for the low level of citizens knowledge about public affairs x. Influencing Public Opinion.

xxix. The media strongly influences public opinion since few of us get our information from other sources besides the media y. Setting the Political Agenda xxx. Political agenda – a list of issues that need government attention xxxi. The mass media in the US has traditionally played an important role in setting the political agenda z. Socializing the Citizenry xxxii. The mass media act as important agents of political socialization 11. Evaluation the Media in Government {. Is Reporting Biased? YES!!!!