Suffolk County Civil Service Exams

1 Impeachment The political equivalent of an indictment in criminal law, prescribed by the constitution. The House of Reps may impeach the president by a majority vote for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

2 Watergate The events and scandal surrounding a break in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 and the subsequent cover up of white house involvement, leading to the eventual resignation of President Nixon under the threat of impeachment

3 Twenty-fifth amendment Passed in 1967, this amendment permits the vice presdient to become acting president if both the vice president and the presidents cabinet determine that the president is disabled. It also outlines how a recuperated president can reclaim the job.

4 Cabinet A group of presidential advisors not mentioned in the constitution, although every president has had one. Today the cabinet is composed of 14 secretaries, the attorney general, and others designated by the president

5 National security council An office created in 1947 to coordinate the presidents foreign and military policy advisers. Its formal members are the president, vice, secretary of state, and secretary of defense, and is managed by the presidents national security assistant.

6 Council of Economic Advisers A three member body appointed by the president to advise the president on economic policy

7 Office of Management and Budget An office that grew out of the Bureau of the Budget, created in 1921, consisting of a handful of political appointees and hundreds of skilled professionals. The Office of Management and Budget performs both managerial and budgetary functions.

8 Veto The constitutional power of a president to send a bill back to congress with reasons for rejecting it. A two-thirds vote in each house can override a veto

9 Pocket Veto A veto taking place when congress adjourns within 10 days of submitting a bill to the president, who simply lets it die by neither signing nor vetoing it.

10 Presidential coattails These occur when voters cast their ballots for congressional candidates of the presidents party because they support the president. Recent studies show that few races are won this way

11 War powers resolution A law passed in 1973 in reaction to american fighting in Vietnam and Cambodia that requires presidents to consult with Congress whenever possible prior to using military force and to withdraw forces after 60 days unless Congress declares ware or grants an extension. Presidents view the resolution as unconstitutional

12 Legislative veto The ability of Congress to override a presidential decision. Although the War powers resolution asserts this authority, there is reason to believe that, if challenged, the Supreme Court would find the legislative veto in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers

13 Crisis A sudden, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous event requiring the president to play the role of crisis manager

14 Bureaucracy According to Max Weeber, a hierarchical authority structure that uses task specialization, operates on the merit principle, and behaves with impersonality. Bureaucracies govern modern states

15 Patronage One of the key inducements used by political machines. A patronage job, promotion, or contract is one that is given for political reasons rather than for merit or competence alone. Compare civil service and merit principle.

16 Pendleton civil service act Passed in 1883, an act that created a federal civil service so that hiring and promotion would be based on merit rather than patronage

17 civil service A system of hiring and promotion based on the merit principle and the desire to create a nonpartisan government service

18 Merit principle The idea that hiring should be based on entrance exams and promotion ratings to produce administration by people with talent and skill

19 Hatch act A federal law prohibiting government employees from active participation in partisan politics

20 Office of personnel management The office in charge of hiring for most agencies of the federal government, using elaborate rules in the process

21 GS (general schedule) rating A schedule for federal employees, ranging from GS 1 to GS 18, by which salaries can be keyed to rating and experience

22 Senior Executive Service An elite cadre of about 9,000 federal government managers, established by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, who are mostly career officials but include some political appointees who do not require Senate Confirmation.

23 Independent regulatory commission A government agency responsible for some sector of the economy, making and enforcing rules to protect the public interest. It also judges disputes over these rules

24 Government corporation A government organization that, like business corporations, provides a service that could be provided by the private sector and typically charges for its services. The US postal service is an example

25 Independent executive agency The government not accounted for by cabinet departments, independent regulatory commissions, and government corporations. Its administrators are typically appointed by the president and serve at the presidents pleasure. NASA in an example

26 Policy implementation The stage of policymaking between establishment of a policy and the consequences of the policy for the people whom it affects. Implementation involves translating the goals and objectives of a policy into an operating, ongoing program.

27 Standard Operating procedures Better known as SOP’s, these procedures are used by bureaucrats to bring uniformity to complex organizations. Uniformity improves fairness and makes personnel interchangeable

28 Administrative discretion The authority of administrative actors to select among various responses to a given problem. Discretion is greatest when routines, or standard operating procedures, do not fit a case

29 Street-level bureaucrats A phrase coined by Michael Lipsky, referring to those bureaucrats who are in constant contact with the public and have considerable administrative discretion

30 Regulation The use of government authority to control or change some practice in the private sector. Regulations pervade the daily lives of people and institutions.

31 Command and Control policy The typical system of regulation whereby government tells business how to reach certain goals, checks that these commands are followed, and punishes offenders. Compare incentive system

32 Incentive system According to Charles Schultze, a more effective and efficient policy than command and control; in the incentive system, marketlike strategies are used to manage public policy

33 Executive orders Regulations originating from the executive branch. Executive orders are one method presidents can use to control the bureaucracy

34 Iron triangles A mutually dependent relationship between bureaucratic agencies, interest groups, and congressional committees or subcommittees. Iron triangles dominate some areas of domestic policymaking.

35 Standing to sue The requirement that plaintiffs have a serious interest in a case

36 Class action suits Lawsuits permitting a small number of people to sue on behalf of all other people similarly situated

37 Justiciable disputes A requirement that to be heard a case must be capable of being settled as a matter of law rather than on other grounds as is commonly the case in legislative bodies

38 Amicus curiae briefs Legal briefs submitted by a “friend of the court” for the purpose of raising additional points of view and presenting information not contained in the briefs of the formal parties.

39 Original jurisdiction The jurisdiction of courts that hear a case first, usually a trial. These are the courts that determine the facts about a case

40 Appellate jurisdiction The jurisdiction of courts that hear cases brought to them on appeal from lower courts. These courts do not review the factual record, only the legal issues involved