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PS 1101 Review Session

PS 1101 Review Session

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PS 1101 Review Session

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  1. PS 1101 Review Session Interest Groups, Political Parties, Congress, the Presidency, and the Courts

  2. Interest Groups • 2 views • Madison: factions are dangerous (Federalist 10) • Pluralism: allows for focused representation • Why so many interest groups in the US? • Constitution allows for freedom of speech, petition, assembly • Diverse interests • Active government

  3. Interest Groups • Types of Groups • Economic groups • Government groups • Advocacy groups (“cause groups”) • Who joins? • “The pluralist choir sings with a distinctly upper-class accent” –EE Schattschneider

  4. Interest Groups • What do they do? • Seek publicity • Lobby • Testify • Draft legislation • Conduct research • Mobilize members • File lawsuits • Participate in campaigns

  5. Political Parties • Democrats and Republicans • What do they do? • Take stands on issues • Recruit candidates • Work on election campaigns • Organize the government

  6. Political Parties • 3 Views (PIG-PIE-PAO) • Parties In Government: which party controls the House, the Senate, and the Presidency matters a great deal • Parties In Electorate: ~60% of Americans identify themselves as either Democrat or Republican • Parties As Organization: the workings of government is organized around the party system

  7. Political Parties • Why a 2-Party System? • Traditionally been that way • No extremism in the US • Laws and regulation make it difficult for 3rd parties to play a major role • Winner-take-all system • Primary system

  8. Political Parties • History of the Parties • Historically there have been long periods of control by one party, then the other • That has changed in recent years; now have considerable rotation in the Presidency and Congress • Today: 33% Democrat, 28% Republican (fairly even split)

  9. Political Parties • Factors Influencing Party ID • Income / Wealth is #1 indicator • Race / Ethnicity • Region • Age • Gender

  10. Congress • Why bicameralism? • Founders feared Congress would be most powerful branch, they split it up to limit its power • As part of the Connecticut Compromise between large states and small states, the Senate has equal representation and the House is based on population

  11. Congress • Re-election Rates

  12. Congress • Representation in Congress • Senate: 100 members (2 per state) • House: 435 members (determined by population) • Reapportionment– redistribution of seats in the House due to population changes • Redistricting – redrawing congressional boundary lines after a state gains or loses a seat • Gerrymandering – redistricting along certain lines to give an advantage to a particular party or candidate

  13. How Does Congress Organize Itself? • Each House can organize itself as it sees fit and the two have evolved very differentlyover time

  14. How Does Congress Organize Itself? • One very important similarity is both Houses use an elaborate committee system for conducting business. • Another similarity is that both houses are organized by political party House: 253 D, 178 R Senate: 59 D, 41 R

  15. How Does Congress Organize Itself? • The party in control gets to name the leaders of each House • Leader of the Democrats in the House is Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA). • Leader of the Democrats in the Senate is Majority LeaderHarry Reid (NV). • Majority party also gets to namethe chairmen and the majority members of each committee.

  16. How Does Congress Organize Itself? • In the House, the party leadership has a huge amount of power over committee appointments, and the fate of a bill • In the Senate, members have more independence from the leadership, and committee assignments are based on seniority • In both houses, we see members voting with the party about 90% of the time

  17. The Presidency • Began small • Only a few early Presidents made much of a mark (Jefferson, Jackson, Polk, Lincoln) • Crises during the 20th century caused people to look to the President for answers • The office was GREATLY expanded during Franklin Roosevelt’s time in office

  18. The Presidency • Roles of the President • Chief of State • Chief Executive • Commander-in-Chief • Chief Diplomat • Other Powers and Responsibilities • State of the Union • Veto power

  19. The Courts • Federal Structure • 94 US District Courts (PA has 3) • 13 US Courts of Appeals (aka Circuit Courts – PA is in the 3rd Circuit Court) • 1 US Supreme Court • Only the Supreme Court is created by the Constitution – the rest are created by Congress

  20. The Courts • How a Case can Reach the Supreme Court: 1. Start in Federal Court System (65%) District  Appeals (Circuit)  US SC • Start in State Court System (30%) Trial  Appeals  State SC US SC 3. Original Jurisdiction (5%)

  21. The Courts • The Supreme Court • 9 Members • Chief Justice: John Roberts • 7 men, 2 women • 7 White, 1 Black, 1 Hispanic • Appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate • Serve until they retire, die, or are impeached

  22. The Courts • What Does the Court Do? • Interprets the law • Able to use “judicial review” or the ability to declare a law unconstitutional (established in Marbury v. Madison) • Writes opinions, establishes precedents • Must rely on Congress or the executive branch to enforce its decisions