Thursday, January 17, 2008

Civics Study Guide

Civics Study Guide (New Stuff in Color)
Purposes of Government(List 3):

Democracy (Features of Electoral and Liberal Democracies) Where are we on the spectrum?
Non-governmental organizations/interest groups (What are they? What do they do?)
The Articles of Confederation:
Ratification of the Constitution - Issues and Compromises
The Constitution
Basic Principles:
1. Federalism
2. Popular Sovereignty
3. Separation of Powers
4. Checks and Balances
5. Judicial Review
The Constitution
1. Preamble
2. Articles (7)
3. Bill of Rights
4. Amendments (11-27)
Voting Amendments: 15, 19, 26
Civil War Amendments: 13, 14, 15
Political Parties: In general, they almost always form because competing groups want their points of view to influence the government.
Two major political parties in the United States are: Democrats, Republicans
Briefly explain liberalism and conservatism:
Issues: The main differences between the two parties include:
List several Third Parties that exist in the United States: Libertarian, Green, Independent
American Political Participation
List five political activities, besides voting, Americans do:
1. wear political buttons/put bumper stickers on their cars
2. write letters to the editor
3. start a petition/sign a petition
4. write their representatives
5. campaign for a candidate
Government Structure
Three Branches of Government:
1. Legislative (Article I)
2. Executive (Article II)
3. Judicial (Article III)
1. 2 years for members of the House, 6 years for Senators
2. Possibly 2 terms, 4 years each
3. Life-term

Powers of each: (One example for each)
1. Power of the purse
2. Power of the sword
3. Power rests with people's respect for the law

*Also remember the many specific examples we discussed in class when we talked about separation of powers and checks and balances
The Supreme Court
Judicial Review:
Landmark case establishing judicial review: Marbury v. Madison, opinion written by Chief Justice John Marshall
Supreme Court Basics:
Number of Justices: Nine
Term: Life
Current makeup of the Court: Chief Justice John Roberts
Other Supreme Court tidbits:
Choosing Cases: "Granting Cert" the Court takes about 1% of the cases submitted to the Court (Criteria: Conflict among the Circuits, has percolated through the lower courts/the time is right, potentially affect many people...)
Deciding Cases: Methods of Interpretation
Implementing Decisions: History has demonstrated, especially with regard to controversial cases, the support of all three branches is essential for full implementation (Brown v. Board and other Civil Rights cases)
Freedom of Speech (Three types of speech): Pure Speech, Speech Plus and Symbolic Speech
Landmark First Amendment Cases:

(See this blog post for more detail on First Amendment cases:
Schenck v. United States
Tinker v. Des Moines
Texas v. Johnson
New York Times v. United States
Unprotected Speech: Libel and Slander, Obscenity, "Fighting Words," Speech that could cause immediate, irreparable harm to national security

Freedom of the Press-Pentagon Papers Case and U.S. V. Nixon
14th Amendment - Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses
Brown v. Board of Education: Separate but equal is unconstitutional (violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause)
Civil Rights Act of 1964
Voting Rights Act of 1965

Elections-Campaigns and Voter Behavior - Why low voter turnout, especially among young people? Perhaps people don't know how to vote or where to vote. Perhaps young people feel like their vote doesn't matter. Perhaps they feel like they don't know enough about the candidates to make an informed decision.
First caucus of the election year - Iowa, first primary of the election year - New Hampshire

General Election

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Presidential Primaries and Caucuses

Wisconsin Vote Website
Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Click on the map of the United States (Heading: NPR and NewsHour 2008 Election Map). Now, click on Wisconsin. When are the Democratic and Republican primaries held in Wisconsin?

Listen to Kathleen Dunn's 9:00 program. Carl Bernstein is her guest. He will discuss the New Hampshire presidential primary. Answer the following questions:
1. Who won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire?
2. Who came in second and third in the Democratic presidential primary?
3. Who won the Republican primary in New Hampshire?
4. Who came in second and third in the Republican presidential primary?
5. What does Bernstein say about Hillary Clinton's standing in New Hampshire considering the press had all but "written her off" after her third place outcome in the Iowa Caucuses last week.
6. Does Bernstein have any comments about the Republican victor in the New Hampshire primary.
7. Your comments about caller questions or other guests: