Interaction Among Branches

ARTISANSHIP

Each unit of study is broken down into a series of essential objectives and learning points.  Each objective requires a context of understanding.  You will find that context here.  Remember learning follows after Darwin not Newton.  Artisanship is always a work in progress.  In the end we hope that by distilling the content of American government and politics to its bare essentials a larger number then before can count themselves as educated citizens.  Without such a citizenry our hope for a bright future is in peril.  Demonstrate here what you have learned.

  • How do the branches of the national government compete and cooperate in order to govern?

  • To what extent have changes in the powers of each branch affected how responsive and accountable the national government is in the 21st century?

Unit 2: Interaction Among Branches of Government

 

Because power is widely distributed and checks prevent one branch from usurping powers from the others, institutional actors are in the position where they must both compete and cooperate in order to govern.

 

Enduring Understandings:

 

  1. The republican ideal in the United States is manifested in the structure and operation of the legislative branch. (Constitutionalism)

  2. The presidency has been enhanced beyond its expressed constitutional powers. (Constitutionalism)

  3. The design of the judicial branch protects the Court’s independence as a branch of government, and the emergence and use of judicial review remains a powerful judicial practice. (Constitutionalism)

  4. The federal bureaucracy is a powerful institution implementing federal policies with sometimes-questionable accountability. (Competing policy-making interests)

 

Learning Objectives:

 

  1. Describe the different structures, powers and functions of each house of Congress.

  2. Explain how the structures, powers and functions of both houses of Congress affect the policy making process.

  3. Explain how congressional behavior is influenced by election processes, partisanship, and divided government.

  4. Explain how the president can implement a policy agenda.

  5. Explain how the president’s agenda can create tension and frequent confrontations with Congress.

  6. Explain how presidents have interpreted and justified their use of formal and informal powers.

  7. Explain how communication technology has changed the president’s relationship with the national constituency and the other branches.

  8. Explain the principle of judicial review and how it checks the power of other institutions and state governments.

  9. Explain how the exercise of judicial review in conjunction with life-tenure can lead to controversy about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s power.

  10. Explain how other branches in the government can limit the Supreme Court’s power.

  11. Explain how the bureaucracy carries out the responsibilities of the federal government.

  12. Explain how the federal bureaucracy uses delegated discretionary authority for rule making and implementation.

  13. Explain how Congress uses its oversight power in its relationship with the executive branch.

  14. Explain how the president ensures that executive branch agencies and departments carry out their responsibilities in concert with the goals of the administration.

  15. Explain the extent to which government branches can hold the bureaucracy accountable given the competing interests of Congress, the president, and the federal courts.

2.1     Describe the different structures, powers and functions of each house of Congress.

 

1. Enumerated powers given to Congress in the Constitution include all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Override Supreme Court opinions

b.  Declare war

c.  Collect taxes

d.  Regulate interstate commerce

 

2. In broad terms the U.S. Congress has all of the following responsibilities EXCEPT

 

a.  Make laws

b.  Constituent service

c.  Conduct oversight investigations

d.  Power of the sword

 

3. What enumerated power has been used more than any other to expand the authority of Congress?

 

a.  Override Supreme Court opinions

b.  Declare war

c.  Collect taxes

d.  Regulate interstate commerce

 

4. Which of the following groups would be most likely to oppose Congress’ broad use of the necessary and proper clause? 

 

a.  Democrats

b.  Libertarians

c.  Republicans

d.  Supreme Court justices

 

5. Who in Congress assists legislators by studying the impact of prospective legislation?

 

a. General Accounting Office (GAO)

b. Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

c. Congressional Research Service (CRS)

d. Congressional Research Fund (CRF)

 

6. What is true of all REVENUE bills in Congress?

 

a. Pass without the consent of the president

b. Must be introduced by the majority party

c. Must be introduced in the House

d. Must originate in the Senate finance committee

 

7. This type of committee reconciles differences between House and Senate bills before they are sent to the president for signing

 

a.  Select committee

b.  Standing committee

c.  Conference committee

d.  Committee of the whole

 

8. Members of Congress have a number of responsibilities.  When they propose bills they are fulfilling their duty to

 

a. Make laws

b. Congressional oversight

c. Constituent Service

d. Reapportion Districts

 

9. Members of Congress have many different duties and responsibilities.  When Tom takes time during his days in Congress to investigate the president’s use of an executive order he is performing this duty

 

a.  Making laws

b.  Oversight

c.  Constituent service

d.  Partisan leader

 

10. Members of Congress have many different duties and responsibilities.  When Tom takes time during his days in Congress to help someone back home who is struggling with their Passport application he is performing this duty

 

a.  Making laws

b.  Oversight

c.  Constituent service

d.  Partisan leader

 

11. How many days does the president have to make a decision on a proposed bill that has passed both Houses of Congress?

 

a.  10 days

b.  20 days

c.  30 days

d.  50 days

 

12. Who has the biggest advantage in the legislative process?

 

a.  Leadership

b.  Opposition

c.  Majority party

d.  Senate

 

13. A filibuster in the Senate is ended by a

 

a.  Discharge petition

b.  Cloture vote

c.  Mark up by the Leadership

d.  Closed rule

 

2.2     Explain how the structures, powers and functions of both houses of Congress   affect the policy making process.

 

 

1. When the U.S. Congress is called “bicameral” it means that

 

a.  The U.S. Congress is divided between two parties

b.  The U.S. Congress is a two-house legislature

c.  The U.S. Congress has two-year terms

d.  The U.S. Congress has two primary leaders

 

 2. All of the following is true about the House of Representatives EXCEPT

 

a.  435 members

b.  Serve for six-year terms

c.  Directly elected by the people

d. Tends to be more responsive to localized issues

 

3. Which of the following determines who holds the leadership positions in Congress?

 

a.  Majority party

b.  Tenure in office

c.  Bipartisan vote

d.  Presidential appointment

 

4. Who is the most powerful person in the House of Representatives?

 

a.  Speaker

b.  Majority Leader

c.  Majority Whip

d.  Minority Leader

 

5. After years of serving in the House Tom was given the responsibility of informally vote counting in the House of Representatives.  This duty also involved attempting to sway votes in favor of Tom’s party position. What title is given to Tom’s work?

 

a.  Speaker

b.  Majority Leader

c.  Majority Whip

d.  Minority Leader

 

6. Who is the most powerful person in the Senate? 

 

a.  President of the Senate

b.  President Pro Tempore

c.  Majority Leader

d.  Majority Whip

 

7. This type of committee reconciles differences between House and Senate bills before they are sent to the president for signing

 

a.  Select committee

b.  Standing committee

c.  Conference committee

d.  Committee of the whole

 

8. The legislative process in the House of Representatives includes all of the following steps EXCEPT

 

a.  Leadership sets the agenda

b.  Rules Committee

c.  Unlimited debate

d.  Roll call voting

 

9. The legislative process in the Senate includes all of the following steps EXCEPT

 

a.  Leadership sets the agenda

b.  Rules Committee

c.  Unlimited debate

d.  Roll call voting

 

10. When members of Congress engage in logrolling they are

 

a. Vote trading

b. Defeating a bill

c. Delaying action on a bill

d. Introducing a bill

 

11. Confirmation of presidential appointments and ratifying treaties is a role given to

 

a.  Congress

b.  House members only

c.  Senate members only

d.  Cabinet level appointees

 

12. The U.S. House of Representatives is supposed to represent the people.  Which of the following can be said about the demographic make-up of today’s House of Representatives?

 

a. More females but still no minorities

b. Disproportionately more minorities

c. Much less male and much less white

d. Far less educated and fewer foreign born

 

13. Which one the following federal budget line items would be considered an entitlement program?

 

a. Military spending

b. Social Security

c. Funding for the arts

d. Funding to protect the environment

 

14. Which one the following federal budget line items would be considered a discretionary program?

 

a. Military spending

b. Social Security

c. Medicaid

d. Funding for workers with disabilities

 

15. Which one the following statements would be most true about the federal budget process?

 

a. Congress has little control over the federal budget.

b. Congress spends little time debating or disputing over the federal budget

c. In order to pass a budget each year Congress must resort to deliberative compromise

d. Huge tax revenues provide our federal government enough money for both parties to get what they want.

 

2.3     Explain how congressional behavior is influenced by election processes, partisanship, and divided government.

 

1. In recent years, according to public opinion polls, Congressional approval ratings have tended to be

 

a.  Higher than 80%

b.  Between 50 – 75%

c.  Between 25 – 50%

d.  Lower than 25%

 

2. “Congressional polarization may be the most prominent stylized fact of American political science.” The experts explain this phenomenon in all of the following way EXCEPT

 

a.  More conservative Republicans have replaced retiring moderates

b.  Incoming Democrats have been more liberal

c.  The departure of Southern Democrats

d.  Conservative immigrants have increased in number

 

3. Despite apparent dysfunctions our Congress continues to do all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Provide for social services

b.  Fund the military

c.  Respond to emergencies

d.  Increase its public approval ratings

 

4. Which of the following quotes about Congress is less true today than in previous eras?

 

a.  “There’s not a dimes worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans”

b.  “Public policy achievements have become more and more rare”

c.  “Democrats and Republicans block each other at every turn”

d.  “Ideological polarization is rooted in the permanent campaign”

 

 5. According to the U.S. Constitution the Congress is obligated every ten (10) years to

 

a.  Take a census

b.  Hold elections for the Speaker position

c.  Take a public opinion survey

d.  Investigate the president for abuse of power

 

6. When the House of Representatives reapportions it

 

a.  Re-calculates the number of Districts each state receives

b.  Counts the number of Democrats and Republicans serving

c.  Counts the number of females and minorities serving

d.  Re-calculates the money it provides to each state

 

7. When the House of Representatives redistricts it

 

a.  Determines how many districts each state receives

b.  Redraws the size and shape of its Congressional districts

c.  Switches from a Democratic chamber to a Republican chamber

d.  Switches from a Republican chamber to a Democratic chamber

 

8. Who is responsible for actually redrawing Congressional district lines?

 

a.  House of Representatives

b.  Senate

c.  Supreme Court

d.  State legislatures

 

9. In this court case it was ruled that Congressional Districts were in the purview of Court action.  Having now entered into the political thicket, the Court soon would rule the “one man one vote” standard.  That is, each Congressional District must have the same population.  This case advanced the civil rights movement.

 

a. NLRB v. Jones (1937)

b.  Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

c.  Baker v. Carr (1962)

d.  Miranda v. Arizona (1966)

 

10. All of the following would be true about gerrymandering EXCEPT

 

a.  Provides an incumbent advantage

b.  Builds public approval of Congress

c.  Helps to explain the extreme partisanship in Congress

d.  Advantages the political party in power

 

11. All of the following are incumbent advantages when seeking reelection in the U.S. Congress EXCEPT

 

a. Gerrymandered districts

b. Name recognition

c. Easier time raising money

d. High approval ratings

 

12. Free mail sent out my members of Congress to their constituents is called

 

a. Gerrymandering

b. Filibustering

c. Free riding

d. Franking

 

13. Although most of the members of Congress have “safe seats,” a few represent “marginal districts.”  What is a marginal district?

 

a. A congressional district where the winner receives less than 35% of the vote

b. A congressional district where the winner receives less than 55% of the vote

c. A congressional district where the winner receives less than 75% of the vote

d. A congressional district where the winner receives less female votes

 

14. The U.S. Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr (1962) ruled mal-apportionment unconstitutional.  Mal – apportionment is when

 

a. Congressional districts have unequal population

b. Minorities were not able to vote

c. Corporate money is given to candidates

d. Votes are unequally tabulated

 

15. When elections for the House of Representatives are nationalized it means that

 

a. There is less 24/7 media coverage

b. There is more 24/7 media coverage

c. Incumbents are less safe

d. Incumbents are safer

 

16. Tom takes every vote in Congress seriously.  He also is known on the Hill as an ideologue with strong religious convictions.  Most of his votes are predictably cast to reflect is faith-based conscience.  What type of Congressional voter is he?

 

a.  Delegate

b.  Trustee

c.  Partisan

d.  Politico

 

17. Tom takes every vote in Congress seriously.  He also is one of the most loyal party members in his caucus.  Most of his votes are cast to support the party leadership positions.  What type of Congressional voter is he?

 

a.  Delegate

b.  Trustee

c.  Partisan

d.  Politico

 

18. Tom takes every vote in Congress seriously.  He also worries about his reelection.  Most of his votes are cast to represent as best as he can his constituents back home.  What type of Congressional voter is he?

 

a.  Delegate

b.  Trustee

c.  Partisan

d.  Politico

 

2.4     Explain how the president can implement a policy agenda.

 

1. All of the following would be considered formal powers of the U.S. President EXCEPT

 

a.  Commander-in-Chief

b.  Serve as Party leader

c.  State of the Union address

d.  Appoint ambassadors

 

2. President’s possess both formal and informal powers.  Many of the informal powers are based upon tradition.  These powers are not found in the constitution but are routinely practiced without any reservations.  What informal power is being exercised in the following scenario?

 

“The president orders the Wildlife Service to crack down on animal trafficking.  Congress left out.”

 

a.  Executive Order

b.  Executive Privilege

c.  Executive signing statement

d.  Executive Agreement

 

3. President’s possess both formal and informal powers.  Many of the informal powers are based upon tradition.  These powers are not found in the constitution but are routinely practiced without any reservations.  What informal power is being exercised in the following scenario?

 

“The president signs a pact with Syria regarding chemical weapons.  Senate left out”

 

a.  Executive Order

b.  Executive Privilege

c.  Executive signing statement

d.  Executive Agreement

 

4. President’s possess both formal and informal powers.  Many of the informal powers are based upon tradition.  These powers are not found in the constitution but are routinely practiced without any reservations.  What informal power is being exercised in the following scenario?

 

“Congress enquired about the president’s meeting with tech-leaders back in January but he has refused cooperating with them.”

 

a.  Executive Order

b.  Executive Privilege

c.  Executive signing statement

d.  Executive Agreement

 

5. Which of the following would be true regarding the president’s use of the veto power?

 

a.  Considered an informal power

b.  Considered an insignificant power

c.  Overridden less than 4% of the time

d.  Used less than 4% of the time

 

6. A recent Blue Ribbon commission of lawyers wrote,  “The President's constitutional duty is to enforce laws he has signed into being unless and until they are held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court or a subordinate tribunal…The Constitution is not what the President says it is.” 

 

What presidential practice do you suppose these lawyers were responding to?

 

a.  State of the Union Address

b.  Signing statements

c.  Veto

d.  Meeting with members of Congress

 

7. The power of the president has grown exponentially over the years.  All of the following have helped to expand the president’s power EXCEPT

 

a.  The increased importance of foreign policy

b.  Domestic crises

c.  Increased role of mass media

d.  A closer reading of the U.S. Constitution

 

8. Which of the following best represent why Congress passed the War Powers Act of 1974?

 

a.  Congress felt ill prepared to fight the war on terror

b.  Congress felt the need to limit the president’s war making powers

c.  Congress wanted to share in the credit for foreign policy achievements

d.  Congress needed help passing a military budget

 

9. It has been said that impeachments provide the perfect civics lesson.  All of the following lessons can be learned EXCEPT

 

a.  Impeachments demonstrate checks and balances

b.  Impeachments help to define the separation of powers

c.  Impeachments reveal federalism’s assertion of state powers

d.  Impeachments, fueled by public opinion, reflect popular sovereignty 

 

10. The U.S. Supreme Court has attempted to limit presidential power in a number of cases.  How was the presidency limited in the case U.S. v. Nixon (1974)?

 

a.  Executive Privilege had limits

b.  Executive Orders were unconstitutional

c.  Signing statements had limits

d.  Cabinet authority was diminished

 

11. According to many political scientists the most imposing constraint on U.S. presidents is

 

a.  Congress

b.  Supreme Court

c.  State legislatures

d.  Public opinion

 

12. Which of the following scenarios best exemplifies a president’s use of the bully pulpit?

 

a.  The president engaged in hard-nosed negotiations with Iran

b.  The president traveled the country giving speeches about raising the minimum wage

c.  The president submitted to Congress a piece of legislation that increased his military power

d.  The president traveled to another country for a peace summit

 

13. Foreign governments and their leaders can limit the president’s power in a number of ways.  Most noticeably, however, they can

 

a.  Serve as agenda gatekeepers

b.  Challenge the president to use the veto more

c.  Divide the loyalties of the American people

d.  Reduce immigration

 

2.5     Explain how the president’s agenda can create tension and frequent confrontations with Congress.

 

1. For presidents to successfully promote their public policy agendas they need mastery over the media.  This is done in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  Trade top security clearance for favorable coverage

b.  Maintain permanent campaign mode

c.  Routinely hold public events

d.  Use new and old media outlets

 

2. The president is the leader of the Executive Branch.  The Executive Branch is made up of agencies and commissions empowered to enforce the laws of the land.  Millions work for the Executive Branch.  Many serve for life.  Nevertheless the president is held responsible for the duties of the entire Executive Branch.  Who does the president rely on the most for help in running the Executive Branch?

 

a.  The First Lady

b.  Vice President

c.  Cabinet

d.  White House Office

 

3. The influence of the president’s Cabinet has grown weaker due to

 

a.  Supreme Court precedent

b.  Divided loyalties

c.  Excessive partisanship

d.  High profile impeachments

 

4. All of the following are common obstacles to a president realizing public policy success EXCEPT

 

a.  Public disapproval

b.  Confrontations with the Vice President

c.  Unexpected foreign policy interruption

d.  Confrontations with Congress

 

5. Which of the following, according to political science, is a relatively new obstacle to a president realizing public policy success?

 

a.  Public disapproval

b.  The prevalence of divided government

c.  The increasing demands of foreign policy along with economic globalization

d.  Senate confirmation holds and delays of presidential appointments

 

6. Presidents can use all of the following informal powers to circumvent Congressional obstructions EXCEPT

 

a.  Recess appointments

b.  State of the Union Address

c.  Executive orders

d.  Executive agreements

 

7. Our Founding Fathers feared anarchy as much as they feared monarchy.  Yet they had just fought against the tyranny of King George of England.  It was no surprise then that the new Constitution appeared to create a weak chief executive.  The office of President, however, was given access to great potential power.  That potential is found in the president’s unilateral ability to execute the laws and the power to exploit public opinion.  Alexander Hamilton in the Federalist Papers called this a (n)

 

a. Capable chief executive

b. Princely president

c. Head of State

d. Energetic president

 

8. Political activist William A. Niskanen has written:

“There’s one more advantage to tension between our governmental branches: Major reform is more likely to last. Since passing any measure in divided government requires bipartisan support, a shift in majorities is less likely to bring on serious changes or adulterations. The Reagan tax laws of 1981 and 1986, for example, were both approved by a House of Representatives controlled by Democrats and have largely survived. The welfare reform of 1996 was approved by Clinton and a Republican Congress and also endures. By contrast, any efforts during the past several years to reform the federal tax code, Medicare, or Social Security have faltered, and any changes forced through by the GOP would almost certainly be undone as soon as Democrats returned to power. Reforms of real magnitude will almost certainly depend on preventing immoderation and securing bipartisan support, and little of that seems likely in a GOP-only government.”

Niskanen appears to be arguing for the benefits of

 

a. Divided government

b. A unified government

c. A two-party system

d. A multi-party system

 

9. The White House Office serves as the right-arm of the President.  The White House Office is made up of 100s of advisers to the President.  Many of them are

 

a. Veterans of the president’s campaign staff

b. Former Congressional advisers

c. State legislators

d. Leftovers from the previous administration

 

10. Which of the following describe a unified government?

 

a. When the president and a majority of Congress are from the same political party

b. When the president and a majority of the Cabinet are from the same political party

c. When the president and a majority of the Supreme Court are from the same political party

d. When the president and a majority of the state governors are from the same political party

 

2.6     Explain how presidents have interpreted and justified their use of formal and informal powers.

 

1. In the original U.S. Constitution there were no term limits for elected officials.  Today, presidents can serve no longer than two four-year terms.  Presidential term limits were established by

 

a.  Twelfth Amendment

b.  Nineteenth Amendment

c.  Twenty-Second Amendment

d.  An act of Congress

 

2. President’s wear many different hats.  The president plays a number of important roles.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“The president attended a big Hollywood fundraiser and broke records for most money raised in one night.”

 

a.  Chief Executive

b.  Commander-in-Chief

c.  Chief of Party

d.  Chief Legislator

 

3. President’s wear many different hats.  The president plays a number of important roles.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“Late last night the president ordered a drone strike on a strategic enemy in Africa.   Critics complained.”

 

a.  Chief Executive

b.  Commander-in-Chief

c.  Chief of Party

d.  Chief Legislator

 

4. President’s wear many different hats.  The president plays a number of important roles.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“The president today met in the White House with the world champion Chicago Blackhawks.  After putting on a jersey he joked that he had to decide between becoming president or becoming an NHL goalie.”

 

a.  Chief Executive

b.  Commander-in-Chief

c.  Chief of Party

d.  Chief of State

 

 5. In Federalist #70 Alexander Hamilton wrote:

 

Energy in the Executive is a leading character in the definition of good government…Every man the least conversant in Roman story, knows how often that republic was obliged to take refuge in the absolute power of a single man…

 

Hamilton was arguing for

 

a.  A strong president

b.  A king

c.  A weak president

d.  The abolition of the Executive Branch

 

6. President’s wear many different hats.  The president plays a number of important roles.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“Last night in the president’s State of the Union Address he advocated for universal health care.”

 

a.  Chief Executive

b.  Commander-in-Chief

c.  Chief Diplomat

d.  Chief Legislator

 

7. President’s wear many different hats.  The president plays a number of important roles.  Which role is being played in the following scenario?

 

“Next week the president is scheduled to join the Secretary of State in Geneva for Middle East peace talks.”

 

a.  Chief Executive

b.  Commander-in-Chief

c.  Chief Diplomat

d.  Chief Legislator

 

8. The formal powers of president include all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. Declare war

b. Veto legislation

c. Appoint federal judges

d. Enforce laws

 

9. The U.S. Constitution may be ambiguous when it comes to enumerating presidential power but all of the following have given presidents great energy EXCEPT

 

a.  History

b.  Experience

c.  Contemporary events

d.  Longer terms

 

10. Arguably the greatest source of presidential power today is found in

 

a.  The Constitution

b.   The ability to overturn Court decisions

c.  Public opinion

d.  The ability to declare war

 

2.7     Explain how communication technology has changed the president’s relationship     with the national constituency and the other branches.

 

1. Contemporary presidents engage in a permanent public campaign to promote legislative priorities.  Presidents rely upon public speeches, polls, extensive travel around the country and social media to set the national agenda.  Political scientists have called this phenomenon all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  The modern presidency

b.  The bully pulpit

c.  The plebiscitary presidency

d.  Formal enumerations of the presidency

 

2. Traditional political scientists like Edward Corwin rooted presidential power in

 

a.  The formal powers found in the Constitution

b.  Informal powers used to persuade and bargain

c.  Interaction with foreign leaders and diplomats

d. Support by Congress to pass all presidential proposals

 

3. Modern political scientists like Richard Neustadt rooted presidential power in

 

a.  The formal powers found in the Constitution

b.  Informal powers used to persuade and bargain

c.  Interaction with foreign leaders and diplomats

d. Support by Congress to pass all presidential proposals

 

4. 24/7 access to communication outlets allows the president to become a first responder.  Which of the following presidents was known as “the Great Communicator”?

 

a.  Woodrow Wilson

b.  Ronald Reagan

c.  Bill Clinton

d.  Teddy Roosevelt

 

 5. Each year the U.S. Constitution requires the President of the United States to deliver a message to Congress.  This formal requirement is called the

 

a. Presidential inaugural address

b. Cattle show

c. Presidential mandate

d. State of the Union

 

6. 24/7 access to communication outlets allows the president to become a first responder.  Which of the following presidents used his campaign “war room” even after being elected to coordinate political messaging?

 

a.  Woodrow Wilson

b.  Ronald Reagan

c.  Bill Clinton

d.  Teddy Roosevelt

 

7. Presidents use communication technologies to influence critical constituencies.  All of the following would be historical examples of this informal power EXCEPT

 

a.  Teddy Roosevelt’s use of the “bully pulpit”

b.  Ronald Reagan traveling to a rally and giving a speech

c.  Obama using Snapchat

d.  Trump gives a State of the Union Address

 

8. When comparing the president as described in the original U.S. Constitution with the president today one is impressed by

 

a. How prescient the Founding Fathers were

b. How remarkably similar the two are

c. How much stronger today’s president is

d. How much weaker today’s president is

 

9. The following excerpt is taken from a recent speech given on the floor of the House of Representatives:

 

…So we have seen no oversight. That has played into the hands of the plebiscitary Presidency, into the hands of a President who is allowed more power than is healthy for a society.   And I reiterate, I am not charging authoritarianism. It still is a free country, and I encourage people to use that freedom and to be critical and to organize. But we are still talking about a very, very different mode of governance, the mode of governance in which, instead of the checks and balances and the collaboration and the input of a lot of people, you get one man making the decisions…

 

What conclusions can be drawn from this speech regarding a plebiscitary Presidency?

 

a.  This representative thinks the presidency has expanded, as events have required

b.  This representative thinks the presidency has assumed too much power

c.  This representative thinks the presidency has shrunk due to unnecessary checks

d.  This representative thinks the presidency has turned into a dictatorship

 

10. Which of the following scenarios best exemplifies a president’s use of the bully pulpit?

 

a.  The president engaged in hard-nosed negotiations with Iran

b.  The president traveled the country giving speeches about raising the minimum wage

c.  The president submitted to Congress a piece of legislation that increased his military power

d.  The president traveled to another country for a peace summit

2.8     Explain the principle of judicial review and how it checks the power of other institutions and state governments.

 

1. In Federalist 78 Alexander Hamilton wrote, “Whoever attentively considers the different departments of power must perceive, that, in a government in which they are separated from each other, the judiciary, from the nature of its functions, will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution; because it will be least in a capacity to annoy or injure them.”

 

What is the main idea of this passage?

 

a.  The separation of powers divides authority equally

b.  The Congress is the most powerful branch

c.  The Courts will be the least dangerous branch

d.  The President will have supreme power over the courts

 

2. Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1830s wrote, “Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question.”  What was he trying to say?

 

a.  As a nation of law the courts ultimately settle our most important issues

b.  The courts determine the essential political questions that we get to vote on

c.  Political questions are rare because we live in fear of litigation and court action

d.  Judges should not be settling our political questions

 

3. Judicial review was established in the case

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

c.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

d.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

 

4. Which of the following scenarios provides the best example of the Court practicing judicial review?

 

a.  The Court applied the privileges of the Fourth Amendment to the states

b.  The Court broadly interpreted the latest environmental protection laws

c.  The Court struck down a corporate bid to buy the public park

d.  The Court ruled the president’s application of war powers unconstitutional

 

5. In the case McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) the court extended the supremacy of the United States government by recognizing the authority of Congress’

 

a. Power to check the president

b. Legislative veto power

c. Power to declare war

d. Necessary and proper clause

6. The U.S. Supreme Court cannot whimsically decide which cases to hear.  All cases before the federal judiciary must have standing.  What does this mean?

 

a.  Personal injury must be shown

b.  A constitutional question is at stake

c.  Public opinion must support case

d.  A majority of the states endorse the Court hearing

 

7. Which of the following Supreme Court cases provided the seminal interpretation for the following language found in the U.S. Constitution?

 

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.”

                                                                                                U.S. Constitution Article 6, Section 2

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

c.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

d.  Barron v. Baltimore (1833)

 

8. Read the Court excerpt below and answer the questions that follow:

 

“Two years ago, in District of Columbia v. Heller , 554 U. S. ___ (2008), we held that Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defense, and we struck down a District of Columbia law that banned the possession of handguns in the home. The city of Chicago (City) and the village of Oak Park, a Chicago suburb, have laws that are similar to the District of Columbia’s, but Chicago and Oak Park argue that their laws are constitutional because the Second Amendment has no application to the States. We have previously held that most of the provisions of the Bill of Rights apply with full force to both the Federal Government and the States. Applying the standard that is well established in our case law, we hold that the Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States.”

 

Excerpted from Justice Alito’s Court opinion in McDonald v. Chicago (2010)

 

By applying the Second Amendment to the States the Court was practicing

 

a.  Selective incorporation

b.  Separation of powers

c.  Checks and Balances

d.  Equal protection

 

9.  Which of the following government principles is most evident in Justice Alito’s opinion above

 

a.  Reserved powers

b.  Civil rights

c.  Free Speech

d.  National supremacy

e.  Separation of powers

 

10. An important pillar of our court system is the use of legal precedent.  Which of the following scenarios provides and example?

 

a.  The Court bases its decisions on the letter of the law

b.  The Court bases its decisions on previous court decisions

c.  The Court bases its decisions on the written opinions of judges

d.  Our judges are appointed for life rather than being elected

 

11.  In Latin our word for precedent literally means, “Let the decision stand.”  The Latin word for precedent is

 

a.  Ad hominem

b.  Amicus curiae

c.  Obiter dictum

d.  Stare decisis

 

12.  The use of precedent in the American legal system is loosely based upon

 

a.  The dialogues of Plato

b.  Roman juries

c.  English common law

d.  Mayflower Compact

 

13.  Which of the following would be an example of the court using stare decisis?

 

a. Because of the Brown decision all schools must be integrated

b. Because of the Gideon decision the court would consider your right to an attorney

c. Because of the Gitlow decision free speech will be applied case by case

d. Gitlow v. New York was a narrowly held decision.

 

2.9     Explain how the exercise of judicial review in conjunction with life-tenure can          lead to controversy about the legitimacy of the Supreme Court’s power.

 

1. Critics of the Supreme Court have pointed out that judges increasingly wade into the “political thicket.”  What does this mean?

 

a.  Judges have grown accustomed to becoming policy makers

b.  Judges have increasingly endorsed candidates from the bench

c.  Judges have increasingly opted to leave the bench to run for office

d.  Judges have turned their opinions into partisan political platforms

 

2. The United States judiciary has boasted of its “independence.”  What does this mean?

 

a.  Free of private and partisan interests

b.  Free of controversy and debate

c.  Free of media scrutiny and examination

d. Free of any real check and balance from the other branches

 

3. In recent years the Supreme Court has been accused of deciding politically charged cases, thus challenging its legitimacy as an independent judiciary.  In this case the Court allowed for corporations to participate in donating independent expenditures during national campaigns.  Critics alleged this countered decades of agreed upon Court precedent.

 

a.  District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

b.  Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

c.  McDonald v. Chicago (2010)

d.  Fisher v. University of Texas (2013)

 

4. In recent years the Supreme Court has been accused of deciding politically charged cases, thus challenging its legitimacy as an independent judiciary.  In this case the Court stated, “…the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.”  Critics alleged this countered decades of agreed upon Court precedent.

 

a.  District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

b.  Citizens United v. FEC (2010)

c.  McDonald v. Chicago (2010)

d.  Fisher v. University of Texas (2013)

 

 5. The process of making judicial decisions is called

 

a.  Jurisdiction

b.  Jurisprudence

c.  Amicus curiae

d.  Stare decisis

 

6. Which of the following scenarios characterizes a judge who practices judicial restraint?

 

a.  The judge felt it necessary to help low income workers in the absence of any other public policy

b.  The judge chose to give meaning to a vague portion of Congress’ new law on marriage

c.  The judge chose to wait in making a decision due to a change in public opinion

d.  The judge deferred to Congress by choosing to deny jurisdiction in the case

 

7.  All of the following would characterize a judge who practices activism EXCEPT

 

a.  Bound by the intent of the constitution

b.  Belief in a “living” constitution

c.  See them as a “last resort” for the powerless

d.  Need to remedy vague laws

 

8.  Politicizing the judicial decision making process challenges this long held legal ideal

 

a.  Justice is blind

b.  Justice delayed is justice denied

c.  A stitch in time saves nine

d.  Justice for all

  

9. The Courts today has been criticized for reaching beyond their constitutional imperative by becoming a policy-making institution.  An example of this would be

 

a.  When the court rules an act of Congress unconstitutional

b.  When the court rules an act of the president unconstitutional

c.  When the court interprets the reach of First Amendment freedoms

d.  When the court changes the meaning of an act of Congress

 

10. Today judges who practice restraint tend to be ________ while judges who practice activism tend to be ________.

 

a.  Liberal; conservative

b.  Conservative; liberal

c.  Libertarian; Liberal

d.  Conservative; Libertarian

 

11. The growth of judicial power today can best be explained by 

 

a.  An outdated constitution

b.  Young, ambitious judges

c.  Frequent use of judicial review

d.  The rise of judicial restraint

 

12. Which of the following best protect judges from popular criticism?

 

a. They serve for life

b. The press is not allowed into the Court

c. Few Supreme Court judges have ever been impeached

d. Fear of legal retribution

 

13. In which of the following types of jurisprudence would you most expect the court to get involved in a “political thicket”?

 

a. Judicial activist

b. Judicial restraint

c. Conservative jurist

d. Originalist

 

2.10   Explain ways other branches of government can limit the Supreme Court’spower.

 

1. Judicial review was established in the case

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

c.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

d.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

 

2. National supremacy was established in the case

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

c.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

d.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

 

3. A broad interpretation of the commerce clause was established in the case

 

a.  Marbury v. Madison (1803)

b.  Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

c.  McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

d.  Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

 

4. The Federal judiciary is checked in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a. Federal judges serve limited terms

b. The Constitution can be amended

c. Legislative branch members can rewrite laws deemed unconstitutional

d. Executive branch officials can choose not to enforce court decisions

 

5. Having jurisdiction empowers a court to decide a case.  Conversely, without jurisdiction courts are limited.  There are certain cases that federal courts are restricted from viewing.  Which of the following cases would the U.S. Supreme Court most likely not have jurisdiction over?

 

a. An issue dealing with free speech

b. An issue concerned with one state against another

c. An issue dealing with capital punishment

d. An issue dealing with school policy

 

6. Many political scientists have unabashedly said, “The Supreme Court follows election returns.”  By this they mean

 

a. The Court worries about presidential appointments

b. The Court now carries the authority to decide presidential election outcomes

c. The Court is made up of previous elected officials

d. The Court is sensitive to public opinion

 

7. The following was stated in a recent Court opinion: “The root of American governmental power is revealed most clearly in the instance of the power conferred by the Constitution upon the Judiciary of the United States and specifically upon this Court. As Americans of each succeeding generation are rightly told, the Court cannot buy support for its decisions by spending money and, except to a minor degree, it cannot independently coerce obedience to its decrees. The Court’s power lies, rather, in its legitimacy, a product of substance and perception that shows itself in the people’s acceptance of the Judiciary as fit to determine what the Nation’s law means and to declare what it demands.” What is the main idea of this excerpt?

 

a.  We follow the Court due to its legitimacy, yet its legitimacy depends upon likable decisions

b.  We follow the Court due to financially acceptable opinions that buy our approval

c.  We follow the Constitution and therefore defer to the Courts regardless of their opinions

d.  Legitimacy in government is a fancy way of saying “governments can do whatever they want.”

8. Federalism checks the Courts in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  Proposed constitutional amendments are ratified by state legislatures

b.  Our dual court system means there are federal and state courts

c.  State Supreme Courts do not need to follow federal precedents

d.  Certain state cases lack federal jurisdiction

 

9. All of the following check the United States Supreme Court EXCEPT

 

a. Can be fired by the president

b. Lack of enforcement

c. Public opinion

d. Impeachment

 

10. All of the following serve as checks on the judicial branch EXCEPT

 

a.  Impeachment

b.  Lack of enforcement

c.  Term limits

d.  Congressional oversight

 

11. Which of the following scenarios provides the best example of a presidential litmus test?

 

a.  A Democratic president asks Tom if he voted when he was in college

b.  A Republican president asks Tom if he would limit a women’s right to choose an abortion

c.  A Libertarian president asks Tom if he would consider running as his Vice President

d.  A Democratic president asks Tom if he would uphold the U.S. Constitution

 

2.11   Explain how the bureaucracy carries out the responsibilities of the federal government.

 

1. What is the function of the Legislative Branch in the public policy process?

 

a.  Write laws

b.  Implement law

c.  Interpret laws

d.  Prohibit laws

 

2. What is the function of the Executive Branch in the public policy process?

 

a.  Write laws

b.  Implement law

c.  Interpret laws

d.  Prohibit laws

 

3. The president and a vast bureaucracy made up of hundreds executive agencies have been empowered to implement public policy.  All of the following can be used as synonyms of implement EXCEPT

 

a.  Carry out

b.  Apply

c.  Enforce

d.  Reproof

 

4. The federal bureaucracy is responsible for doing all of the following EXCEPT

 

a.  Execute laws

b.  Translate laws into action

c.  Distinguishing the jurisdiction of the courts

d.  Federal government action figures

 

5. In the beginning the federal bureaucracy was compromised of patronage appointments that were friends and patrons of the president.  The Civil Service Act of 1883 changed all of that.  Today the vast majority of federal bureaucrats are chosen by

 

a.  Non-partisan elections

b.  Partisan elections

c.  Merit

d.  The majority party in Congress

 

6. Which of the following best describe an iron triangle?

 

a. A bureaucratic agency, an interest group, and a congressional committee

b. The president, an interest group, and a congressional committee

c. Senate majority leader, an interest group, and the president

d. The Solicitor General, a justice, and a member of the ABA

 

7. Independent regulatory agencies like the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

 

a. Are checked much more closely then Cabinet related functions

b. Are typically staffed by highly partisan patronage jobs

c. Work from secret budgets that even the Congress cannot control

d. Exist outside Cabinet authority and often act free of presidential influence

 

8. Executive departments, collectively called the Cabinet, are empowered with vast statutory authority to implement public policy as written into law by Congress and approved by the president.  This executive department is responsible for implementing foreign policy.

 

a.  State Department

b.  Treasury Department

c.  Defense Department

d.  Department of Education

 

9. Executive departments, collectively called the Cabinet, are empowered with vast statutory authority to implement public policy as written into law by Congress and approved by the president.  This executive department is responsible for implementing national security policy.

 

a.  State Department

b.  Treasury Department

c.  Defense Department

d.  Department of Education

 

10. Executive departments, collectively called the Cabinet, are empowered with vast statutory authority to implement public policy as written into law by Congress and approved by the president.  This executive department is responsible for implementing student loan policy.

 

a.  State Department

b.  Treasury Department

c.  Defense Department

d.  Department of Education

 

11. Federal agencies are empowered to write regulations, enforce existing law and adjudicate disputes.  This has helped to make our federal bureaucracy more powerful than our Founders imagined.  Critics of this powerful bureaucracy would accuse it of

 

a. Violating the separation of powers

b. Violating the goal of an independent government

c. Violating campaign promises

d. Violating budget laws

 

2.12   Explain how the federal bureaucracy uses delegated discretionary authority for rule making and implementation.

 

1. Political science tells us: Bureaucrats are powerful political actors because they have some flexibility as they interpret the law and implement public policy.  For instance, police officers overlook some offenses during their shifts and welfare caseworkers decide the order and speed with which applicants receive their benefits.  Of course, the actions of police officers and caseworkers, like all bureaucrats, are at least theoretically bound by the law.  The point is not that bureaucrats are rogue actors but that they have some latitude as they make decisions.

 

The main idea of this excerpt is

 

a.  Federal bureaucrats use delegated discretionary authority for rule making and implementation

b.  Federal bureaucrats act both outside and above the law when implementing federal rules

c.  Federal bureaucrats remain as positive civil servants as long as they follow the election returns

d.  Federal bureaucrats deliver benefits to those that vote giving them life long job security

 

2. What is the historical danger of bureaucratic rule making without adequate checks?

 

a.  Frequency of divided government

b.  Partisanship and polarization of the law making process

c.  Corruption and abuse

d. Abuse of the court’s judicial review power

3. Executive Departments of the federal government have broad discretion to act.  This means that they

 

a.  Are empowered to act under strict limits both with respect to time and money

b.  Are “hand-cuffed” when implementing difficult public policies

c.  Possess freedom to decide how to implement vague policies

d.  Possess judicial authority but not legislative authority

 

4. Executive Departments of the federal government have broad discretion to act.  Which of the following would be an example of the Department of Homeland Security using its discretionary authority?

 

a.  Favorably deciding contentious ethanol policies

b.  Administering massive infrastructure improvement plans

c.  Directing clandestine foreign intelligence operations

d.  Initiating controversial meta-data collections

 

 5. Executive Departments of the federal government have broad discretion to act.  Which of the following would be an example of the Department of Agriculture using its discretionary authority?

 

a.  Favorably deciding contentious ethanol policies

b.  Administering massive infrastructure improvement plans

c.  Directing clandestine foreign intelligence operations

d.  Initiating controversial meta-data collections

 

6. Executive Departments of the federal government have broad discretion to act.  Which of the following would be an example of the Department of State using its discretionary authority?

 

a.  Favorably deciding contentious ethanol policies

b.  Administering massive infrastructure improvement plans

c.  Directing clandestine foreign intelligence operations

d.  Initiating controversial meta-data collections

 

7. Executive Departments of the federal government have broad discretion to act.  Which of the following would be an example of the Department of Transportation using its discretionary authority?

 

a.  Favorably deciding contentious ethanol policies

b.  Administering massive infrastructure improvement plans

c.  Directing clandestine foreign intelligence operations

d.  Initiating controversial meta-data collections

 

8. Political science has criticized the dangers of an administrative state.  One expert has written: “After absolute power was defeated in England and America, it circled back from the continent through Germany, and especially through Prussia. There, what once had been the personal prerogative power of kings became the bureaucratic administrative power of the states. The Prussians were the leaders of this development in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the 19th century they became the primary theorists of administrative power, and many of them celebrated its evasion of constitutional law and constitutional rights.” What is the fear?

 

a.  Prerogative powers are antithetical to the primary themes of American government

b.  Discretionary authority can be used to break up our federal system

c.  Discretionary authority gives too much power to the legislative branch thus causing an imbalance

d.  Prerogative powers when used inappropriately would restore an illegal parliamentary government

 

9. A common response to those critics who complain about the administrative state is

 

a.  Federal aggrandizement is the natural response to a court system that routinely evades its responsibility

b.  Federal aggrandizement is the natural response to more and more states declaring bankruptcy

c.  Federal aggrandizement is the natural response to threats made by secret agents in our government

d.  Federal aggrandizement is the natural response to demands made by “we the people.”

 

10. As would be expected, the Supreme Court has been asked to interpret the use of discretionary authority for rule making and implementation.  In the case INS v. Chadha (1983) the Court

 

a.  Ruled that federal bureaucracies cannot use discretionary authority without asking for permission

b.  Ruled the legislative veto unconstitutional

c.  Ruled the “power of the purse” must be approved by the president

d.  Ruled the power of judicial review was limited only to congressional acts

 

2.13   Explain how Congress uses its oversight power in its relationship with the executive branch.

 

1. Which of the following roles of Congress most closely reflects the Founders intention to serve as a “check and balance”?

 

a.  Make laws

b.  Oversight

c.  Constituent Service

d.  Campaign for reelection

 

2. Congress, it has been said, has the

 

a.  Power of the purse

b.  Power of the sword

c.  Power to explain

d.  Power of polarization

 

3. Congress tends to defer, or concede, to the strong authority of the executive branch

 

a.  When critical budget debates are taking place

b.  When critical foreign policy decisions need to be made

c.  When oversight of the judiciary needs attention

d.  When constituents need assistance regarding veteran benefits

 

4. In 1974, Congress passed the Budget Impoundment Act in order to restore balance in the federal budget process.  A critical piece of that legislation included forming the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  The CBO’s primary purpose is to

 

a.  Study the cost of prospective policies

b.  Study the will of the people

c.  Block presidential budget proposals

d.  Block court interference in the budget process

 

5. Public opinion has demanded more and more from our Congress

 

a.  To spend more on public assistance programs

b.  To spend less on military readiness

c.  An attempt to reign in fiscal irresponsibility

d.  An attempt to limit the productive output of the Supreme Court

 

6. All of the following make Congressional oversight of the Executive Branch difficult EXCEPT

 

a.  Numerous access points to measure

b.  Budget constraints placed on Congress by the President

c.  Vague legislative requirements

d.  Bureaucratic agencies with discretionary authority

 

7. In Federalist 51 (1788) James Madison wrote:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions...”

Which of the following best reflects how the original U.S. Constitution embodied Madison’s argument?

a.  Checks and balances

b.  Republicanism

c.  Authoritarianism

d.  The Bill of Rights

 

8. Congress engages in oversight of the executive branch in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a. Holding hearings

b. Investigating bureaucratic behavior

c. Limiting budgets

d. Firing Cabinet secretaries

 

9. Leading critics of Congressional oversight claim that our representatives all too often act like fire fighters.  This means that

 

a.  Congress investigates too late, after the fact

b.  Congress investigates with a lot of noise and expensive “equipment”

c.  Congress only tries to end the problem by covering it up

d.  Congress fights the Executive Branch with old tactics

 

10. Pay-as-you-go provisions in Congress along with sequester agreements have been an attempt to

 

a.  Strip Congress of its war making powers

b.  Introduce term limits in Congress

c.  Control the expansion of government

d.  Increase the ease of raising taxes

 

2.14   Explain how the president ensures that executive branch agencies and departments carry out their responsibilities in concert with the goals of the   administration.

 

 

1. The Executive Branch is more than a president.  It is made up of hundreds of agencies each employing thousands of agents doing the president’s bidding.  Or do they? Why is it difficult for presidents to control their own administrations?

 

a.  The size of the federal bureaucracy makes its difficult to control

b.  The federal bureaucracy answers first to Congress

c.  The federal bureaucracy has been severely limited by judicial review

d.  The federal bureaucracy does not have sufficient manpower to operate efficiently

 

2. Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.”  According to political science this has created a

 

a.  Nominal executive

b.  Unitary executive

c.  Parliamentary executive

d. Hereditary executive

  

3. The Vesting Clause of the U.S. Constitution has given authority to the president to execute and enforce the laws passed by Congress.  In doing so, as critics often point out, presidents often 

 

a.  Carry out laws without applying them to family members

b.  Carry out laws only in certain states

c.  Carry out laws in partisan ways

d.  Carry out laws that Congress hasn’t even passed

 

4. The English King held certain prerogative powers “for the sake of unanimity, strength and dispatch.”  The U.S. Constitution appears to inherently vest such prerogative powers in the president, as well.  What does this mean?

 

a.  President’s can act beyond “statutory authorization”

b.  Law do not apply to the president

c.  Presidents can disregard the constitution

d.  Presidents can overrule Court opinions through “executive fiat”

 

5. In Myers v. United States (1926) the Court stated:

 

“[The president] should select those who were to act for him under his direction in the execution of the laws…[A]s his selection of administrative officers is essential to the execution of the laws by him, so must be his power of removing those for whom he can not continue to be responsible. . . .”

 

Which of the following headlines would be an appropriate example of the precedent in this case?

 

a.  “Majority Leader fired by the President, Membership Considering Impeachment”

b.  “Chief Justice Threatened by President, ‘One more case like that and you’re fired’”

c.  “President relieves Secretary of Defense of his duties, Congress fumes”

d.  “President tells Illinois Governor that Friday will be his last day in office; Residents Relieved”

 

6. How does the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) assist the president?

 

a.  Keeps an eye on Congress to make sure that they are passing laws needed to keep the president happy

b.  Keeps both the president and the federal agencies informed about their respective responsibilities

c.  Keeps an eye on the Court to make sure that they are hearing cases related to executive priorities

d.  Keeps an eye on state governments to make sure they are living up to campaign promises

 

7. All of the following give the modern president tremendous inherent power to govern EXCEPT

 

a.  Executive Orders

b.  Executive Agreements

c.  Vesting Clause

d.  Judicial Review

 

8. The influence of the president over the bureaucracy is often difficult due to

 

a.  Supreme Court precedent

b.  Divided loyalties

c.  Excessive partisanship

d.  High profile impeachments

 

9. The Vesting Clause along with certain inherent prerogative powers have led some political scientists to refer to the modern chief executive as “an imperial president.”  All of the following check presidential power EXCEPT

 

a.  Judicial review

b.  Laws passed by Congress

c.  Bureaucratic largesse

d.  White House Office

 

10. Sitting in plain view atop President Harry S. Truman’s Oval Office desk sat a simple sign, “The buck stops here.”  What did this simple sign mean?

 

a.  President Truman, along with every president, is ultimately responsible for preparing the federal budget

b.  President Truman, along with every president, is charged with checking an impervious Congress

c.  President Truman, along with every president, is ultimately responsible for government actions

d.  President Truman, along with every president, is ultimately responsible for protecting free elections

 

2.15   Explain the extent to which government branches can hold the bureaucracy accountable given the competing interests of Congress, the president, and the federal courts.

 

1. Max Weber, a German sociologist who studied rational organizations in the 19th century, compared modern bureaucracies to

 

a.  A beehive

b.  A well oiled machine

c.  An anthill

d.  A giant jigsaw puzzle

 

2. Which of the following best characterizes what most people think about bureaucracies?

 

a.  Negative connotation

b.  Positive but nuanced

c.  Indifference

d. Enthusiastic about the quality of service

 

3. Presidents are empowered to “faithfully execute” the laws.  This includes managing the vast federal bureaucracy.  Recent presidents have all vowed to “reinvent” the government.  How did President Bill Clinton attempt to “reinvent” government?

 

a.  Initiated a National Performance Review – each federal agency had to reevaluate its mission

b.  Issued Ex. Orders to encourage federal agencies to use “behavioral science” to remake themselves

c.  Encouraged a business model including more privatization of some federal agency responsibilities

d.  Chose to refrain from any political attempts to “reinvent” government.  Bureaucracies work well.

 

4. Presidents are empowered to “faithfully execute” the laws.  This includes managing the vast federal bureaucracy.  Recent presidents have all vowed to “reinvent” the government.  How did President George W. Bush attempt to “reinvent” government?

 

a.  Initiated a National Performance Review – each federal agency had to reevaluate its mission

b.  Issued Ex. Orders to encourage federal agencies to use “behavioral science” to remake themselves

c.  Encouraged a business model including more privatization of some federal agency responsibilities

d.  Chose to refrain from any political attempts to “reinvent” government.  Bureaucracies work well.

 

 5. Presidents are empowered to “faithfully execute” the laws.  This includes managing the vast federal bureaucracy.  Recent presidents have all vowed to “reinvent” the government.  How did President Barack Obama attempt to “reinvent” government?

 

a.  Initiated a National Performance Review – each federal agency had to reevaluate its mission

b.  Issued Ex. Orders to encourage federal agencies to use “behavioral science” to remake themselves

c.  Encouraged a business model including more privatization of some federal agency responsibilities

d.  Chose to refrain from any political attempts to “reinvent” government.  Bureaucracies work well.

 

6. Congress attempts to control and check the power of federal agencies in all of the following ways EXCEPT

 

a.  The federal budget

b.  Oversight hearings

c.  Statutory law

d.  Eradicating iron triangles

 

7. All of the following weaken Congressional attempts to check federal agencies EXCEPT

 

a.  Infrequent budget process

b.  Iron triangles

c.  Issue networks

d.  Agency specialization

 

8. Throughout our history the Supreme Court has helped to define and clarify the statutory power given to federal agencies.  At times the Court serves as a check and at other times it emboldens federal agencies.  How did the Court decision in Wilder v. Virginia Hospital Association (1990) affect the federal bureaucracy?

 

a.  Limited the Dept. of Health and Human Serv. by reducing federal reimbursements

b.  Limited the Dept. of Education by preventing schools from hiring nurses

c.  Empowered the Dept. of Health and Human Serv. to guarantee “adequate quality” in their facilities

d.  Empowered the Dept. of Homeland Security to collect meta-data from federal VA hospitals

 

9. All of the following have been used to explain why it is difficult to hold the federal bureaucracy accountable EXCEPT

 

a.  Unrealistic expectations

b.  Foreign intelligence obstacles

c.  Political conflicts

d.  Improbable crises

10. In Federalist 51 (1788) James Madison wrote:

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions...”

Which of the following best reflects how the original U.S. Constitution embodied Madison’s argument?

a.  Checks and balances

b.  Republicanism

c.  Authoritarianism

d.  The Bill of Rights

 

11.  According to our studies, our limited government is rooted in all of the following EXCEPT

 

a. Historical traditions

b. Political theory

c. Conflict and compromise

d. Authoritarianism masquerading as democracy

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