Exclusionary Rule

Prediction

  1. What do you think exclusionary rule means?

  2. Use exclusionary rule in a sentence without using a single curse word.

  3. Think of an example of exclusionary rule in current events:

  4. Find an image of exclusionary rule:

Fun Fact

Definition

Exclusionary Rule: The exclusionary rule prevents the government from using most evidence gathered in violation of the United States Constitution.  The exclusionary rule applies to evidence gained from an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment, as ruled in Mapp v. Ohio (1961), and to improperly elicited self-incriminatory statements gathered in violation of the Fifth Amendment, as ruled in Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Here's the Oyez page on Mapp v. Ohio.

Sentence

If a police officer searched your house, found a kilo of cocaine underneath your pet Gila monster, but did not have a warrant to search your house, because of the exclusionary rule, this illegally obtained evidence could not be used against you in a court preceding.

Example

Federal Court Tells ATF It Can't Just Help Itself To Cell Phone Data Seized By Another Law Enforcement Agency

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Questions

  1. When was the Exclusionary Rule established?

  2. What are some exceptions to the Exclusionary Rule?

  3. Do you think the US would be better off without the Exclusionary Rule?

Gross domestic product (GDP)

Prediction

  1. What do you think gross domestic product (GDP) means?

  2. Use GDP in a sentence.

  3. Think of an example of GDP in current events:

  4. Find an image of GDP:

 
 

Definition

Gross Domestic Product (GDP): one of the primary indicators used to gauge the health of a country's economy. It represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period; you can think of it as the size of the economy. If your teacher is over 33 years old, under 54, and slightly hip, ask them this, "You down with GDP?" And about they will say, "Yeah, you know me!" Here's a great video from Planet Money about how to calculate GDP.

Sentence

The current US GDP is approximately $18.9 trillion, which is equal to 18,900,000,000,000. That's 18.9 thousand billion dollars. That's a lot!

Example

A Day Without a Woman Could Cost the Country Nearly $21 Billion in GDP

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Question

  1. What does GDP measure?

  2. Why does the US have the world's biggest GDP?

  3. The US has the world's biggest GDP, when you divide our GDP by the number of people in America, how well do you think the US ranks?

  4. What parts of the US government are most responsible for growing GDP?

Judicial Review

Prediction

  1. What do you think Judicial Review means?

  2. Use Judicial Review in a sentence:

  3. Describe an example of Judicial Review in current events:

  4. Find an image of judicial review:

Fun Fact

Definition

The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or a government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the U.S. Constitution, or in a state court, the state constitution. Here is the entire court opinion in the case of Marbury v Madison which established the principal of judicial review in the U.S.

Sentence

Without judicial review the U.S. Congress and President would be greatly empowered and the Supreme Court would be vastly diminished.

Example

Federal Circuit Panel Urges Court to Revisit Reviewability of § 315(b) En Banc

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Questions

  1. When was judicial review first established in the U.S.?

  2. What would U.S. checks and balances be like without judicial review?

  3. What would happen to presidential power without judicial review?

  4. If the Rockettes put on black robes and performed a show would it be called Judicial Review?

  5. Does your family have it's own kind of judicial review for family matters?

Executive Office of the President

Prediction

  1. What do you think Executive Office of the President means?

  2. Use Office of Executive Office of the President in a life-changing, mind-blowing sentence.

  3. Find an example of Executive Office of the President in current events:

  4. Find an image of Executive Office of the President:

Fun Fact

Definition

The Executive Office of the President (EOP): The cluster of presidential staff agencies that help the president carry out his responsibilities. Currently the office includes the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, and several other units. To provide the President with the support that he or she needs to govern effectively, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) was created in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Overseen by the White House Chief of Staff, the EOP has traditionally been home to many of the President’s closest advisors.

Sentence

Every day, the President of the United States is faced with scores of decisions, each with important consequences for America’s future. To provide the President with the support that he or she needs to govern effectively, the Executive Office of the President (EOP) was created in 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The EOP has responsibility for tasks ranging from communicating the President’s message to the American people to promoting our trade interests abroad.

Example

Experts Say White House's Conway Response Raises Major Ethical Questions

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Questions

  1. What is the primary job of the Executive Office of the President (EOP)?

  2. Who appoints the members of the EOP?

  3. Does the Congress have to confirm all of these picks?

Party Caucus

Prediction

  1. What do you think party caucus means?

  2. Use party caucus in a sentence.

  3. Think of an example of party caucus in current events:

  4. Find an image of party caucus:

Fun Fact

Definition

Party Caucus: A meeting of members of a party in a legislative chamber to select party leaders and develop party policy. Called a conference by the Republicans. Participants set legislative agendas, select committee members and chairs, and hold elections to choose various Floor leaders. This process takes place for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Here is a list of Democratic Senate Caucus leadership, and Republican Senate Caucus leadership.

Sentence

The Democratic Party Caucus met the other day to strategize about health care policy.

Example

GOP health-care bill: House Republican leaders abruptly pull their rewrite of the nation’s health-care law

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Questions

  1. What do party caucuses do?

  2. How does a caucus pick its leadership?

  3. If cacti is the plural of cactus, what is the plural of caucus?

  4. If you are in a party caucus does that make you a caucasian?

  5. If the Congress outlawed caucuses (cauci?!) how would that change the lawmaking process?

Gerrymander

Prediction

  1. What do you think gerrymander means?

  2. Use gerrymander in a sentence:

  3. Think of an example of gerrymander in current events:

  4. Find an image of gerrymander.

Fun Fact

Definition

The dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.

 

Sentence

That district was so gerrymandered that if you drove through it with your car doors open you would kill all the people in the district!

Example

The Great Southern Gerrymander Continues in 2016

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Questions

  1. Is gerrymandering legal? Should gerrymandering be legal?

  2. Do you live in a gerrymandered district? Explain your answer:

  3. Imagine the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled gerrymandering unconstitutional. What would be the best and the worst consequences of this change?

  4. Gerrymandering was so named because Elbridge Gerry's district looked like a salamander.                  

Create a name from a US House Representative and an animal that their district looks like (See the most gerrymandered districts in America below):

Political Socialization

Prediction

  1. What do you think political socialization means?

  2. Use political socialization in a sentence:

  3. Describe an example of political socialization in current events:

  4. Find an image of political socialization.

Fun Fact

Definition

The process-most notably in families and schools - by which we develop our political attitudes, values, and beliefs.

Sentence

Although he thought he could beat political socialization and be his own man, free from the influence of his family, on election day when he learned that his mother, father, grandmother, and grandfather, had, like him, voted for Trump, he realized the power of political socialization and the futility of fighting against its vast power! 

Example

American Politics in the 21st Century: To be or not to be a Democracy

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Questions

  1. What would you say are three of your top political values and beliefs?

  2. Where do you think you learned your political beliefs and values?

  3. How many people do you know who vote for a party that is absolutely different from both of their parents?

  4. Would you marry someone who, despite being extraordinarily hot and perfect for you in every other way, had a totally opposite opinion from you regarding Donald Trump?

  5. Why do you think families have such a strong influence on people's political beliefs?

Full Faith and Credit Clause

Prediction

  1. What do you think Full Faith and Credit Clause means?

  2. Use Full Faith and Credit Clause in a sentence that you wouldn't be embarrassed for your mother to read.

  3. Think of an example of Full Faith and Credit Clause in current events:

  4. Find an image of Full Faith and Credit Clause:

 
 

Definition

Full Faith and Credit Clause: Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, known as the "Full Faith and Credit Clause", addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state." For example, because of the Full Faith and Credit Clause New Hampshire must recognize a motor vehicle license from Virginia, even though everybody knows Virginians can't drive! This term is NEVER abbreviated to FF and CC because that would be silly and sounds like the initials of a really boring couple. This is also not the name of Santa's off-season accounting firm.

Survey
Survey
Take Our Very Serious Survey
Virginians Are Good Drivers

Sentence

If it weren't for the Full Faith and Credit Clause, you'd have to get a married again each time you and your spouse moved to a new state. That could be very expensive and time consuming, but you'd get tons of cool wedding presents!

Example

Court: Colorado grandparents can have visitation with Orange County grandkids

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Question

  1. What does the Full Faith and Credit Clause require all states to do?

  2. What would the US be like without the Full Faith and Credit Clause?

  3. Rank the following clauses in order of importance to the USA: Commerce, National Supremacy, Full Faith and Credit, & Necessary and Proper:

National Supremacy

Prediction

  1. What do you think national supremacy means?

  2. Use national supremacy in a sentence:

  3. Describe an example of national supremacy in current events:

  4. Find an image of national supremacy:

Fun Fact

 

Definition

National Supremacy: A constitutional doctrine (Article VI, Clause 2) that whenever conflict occurs between the constitutionally authorized actions of the national government and those of a state or local government, the actions of the federal government prevail.

Sentence

Because of national supremacy, the federal Clean Water Act overrules Colorado's water quality statute.

Example

State Can’t Log in National Forest Without Federal OK

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Questions

  1. The National Supremacy Clause is contained in the U.S. Constitution. Which significant Supreme Court Cases revolve around the issue of national supremacy?

  2. How does national supremacy relate to federalism?

  3. What is an example of an instance of national supremacy in the U.S.?

  4. Describe an issue where you'd prefer that your state could override the national government?

Federal Register

Prediction

  1. What do you think federal register means?

  2. Use federal register in a sentence:

  3. Describe an example of federal register in current events:

  4. Find an image of federal register:

 

Fun Fact

 

Definition

Federal Register: An official document, published every weekday that lists the new and proposed regulations of executive departments and regulatory agencies.

Sentence

If you formed a watchdog organization to monitor the growth of the federal government, the first thing you'd want to do every morning is get a big hot cup of coffee and read the federal register. But be careful not to tell anyone the plot and spoil the ending.

Example

Hemp growers may try to block federal ban on marijuana extracts

 

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Fake Federal Register


Questions

  1. The Federal Register was created on July 26, 1935. Why do you think the government started the Federal Register and why do you think it happened then?

  2. President Obama added 81,640 pages to the Federal Register. Explain whether that is a good or a bad thing?

  3. What is an example of something that would go in the federal register?

  4. If someone said they were going to register the wedding gifts they wanted on the federal register would you try to stop them?

Commercial Speech

Prediction

  1. What do you think commercial speech means?

  2. Use commercial speech in a sentence that might just be the best darned speech in the history of the world.

  3. Think of an example of commercial speech in current events:

  4. Find an image of commercial speech.

Fun Fact

Definition

Commercial speech: Advertisements and commercials for products and services; they receive less First Amendment protection, primarily to discourage false and misleading ads. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that “political speech”—speech that deals with issues of public interest or social concern—is entitled to full protection under the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It may be limited by government only rarely and under very limited circumstances.  “Commercial speech,” however, is given much less protection.  It may be regulated by the government in cases where “political speech” would be protected.

Sentence

The phrase "commercial speech" came from a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1942 when the owner of a World War I-vintage submarine sued the City of New York over a statute that forbade him to pass out flyers advertising tours of his boat.  The high court labeled the flyers “purely commercial,” even though they had an editorial on one side complaining about city policies.  The term “commercial speech” refers to speech—printed, broadcast or on the Internet—that advertises a product or service.

Example

Strip Club Stiletto Digs In Heels Over BYOB Ad Ban

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Questions

  1. How does commercial speech differ from political speech?

  2. If commercial speech was given the same protection as political speech could you outlaw false advertising?

  3. Do you think that commercial speech should be protected like political speech?

  4. What is the stupidest commercial speech (dumbest ad) you ever heard?

  5. Should Burger King commercials really be allowed to exist?

Civil Service

Prediction

  1. What do you think civil service means?

  2. Use civil service in a sentence:

  3. Find an example of civil service in current events:

  4. Find an image of civil service:

 
 

Definition

Civil Service: Federal employees who work for government through a competitive, not political selection process. The permanent professional branches of a government's administration, excluding military and judicial branches and elected politicians. U.S. state and local government entities often have competitive civil service systems that are modeled on the national system, in varying degrees. According to the Office of Personnel Management, as of December 2011, there were approximately 2.79 million civil servants employed by the U.S. government.

Sentence

In the 19th century U.S. civil service positions, through the spoils system, were filled based on party loyalty and political patronage.

Example

The Ugly History Behind Trump’s Attacks on Civil Servants

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Question(s)

  1. What are some examples of jobs that are part of the U.S. civil service?

  2. How does the current U.S. civil service differ from the U.S. civil service of the 19th century?

  3. What act depoliticized the U.S. civil service?

  4. Imagine the U.S. civil service reverted back to the spoils system. How would that change daily life in America?

 

Federalism

Prediction

  1. What do you think federalism means?

  2. Use federalism in a sentence: ("Federalism is a word," doesn't count!)

  3. Think of an example of federalism in current events:

  4. Find an image of federalism:

 

 

Definition

The distribution of power in an organization (as a government) between a central authority and the constituent units (states, provinces). Here's a world map of federalism.

Sentence

Unlike America's federal government where power is shared between states and the national government, China's unitary government controls most every aspect of Chinese life from education, to taxation, to the capturing and return of underwater drones.

Example

This is Your Federalism on Drugs

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Question(s)

  1. Why did the Framers of the Constitution choose a federal system for the US?

  2. Why do so many countries of large size (Brazil, Australia, Canada, US) use federal systems of government?

  3. Imagine the U.S. reverted from a federal system to one where the national government contained all political power. What would be the best and the worst consequences of this change?

Speaker of the House

Prediction

  1. What do you think Speaker of the House means?

  2. Use Speaker of the House in a sentence:

  3. Describe an example of Speaker of the House in current events:

  4. Find an image of the Speaker of the House:

 
 

Definition

The presiding officer in the House of Representatives, formally elected by the House but actually selected by the majority party. The Speaker is third in line to be president of the United States and is the most powerful lawmaker on Capitol Hill. Speaker of the House is the leader of the majority party in the U.S. House of Representatives. Here's a list of all 62 of the Speakers of the House since forever.

Sentence

Because they have to power to recognize members who rise to speak, reorganize House committees, name committee chairs, and appoint allies to leadership posts, the Speaker of the House has enormous power and bragging rights at any House party.

Example

Paul Ryan Proposes Punishments for Live-Streaming From House Floor

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Questions

  1. What makes the Speaker of the House so powerful?

  2. What is the Senate's closest counterpart to Speaker of the House?

  3. Who is the current Speaker of the House?

  4. Do you have a speaker in your house, and how loud is it?

  5. Do you think Paul Ryan is the hottest Speaker of the House ever?

Preemption

Prediction

  1. What do you think preemption means? What do you think preemption doesn't actually mean, but sounds like it could mean and that if you used the word that way, most people would think you were correct?

  2. Use preemption in a sentence that won't send you to timeout.

  3. Find an example of preemption in current events:

  4. Find an image of preemption (good luck with that!):

Fun Fact

Definition

Preemption: The right of a federal law or regulation to preclude enforcement of a state or local law or regulation. Under the doctrine of preemption, which is based on the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, federal law preempts state law, even when the laws conflict. Thus, a federal court may require a state to stop certain behavior it believes interferes with, or is in conflict with, federal law.

Alternative-Definition

Preemption: When you see a boy talking to your shorty at her locker and you yell out, "Hey, there's a fax in the office for a big loser from his Mama!" And while he runs off to the office to get his fax you go and talk to your shorty and BOOM!

Sentence

The new federal EPA regulations are going to preempt California's more strenuous guidelines for regulating the environment.

Example

Thwarting Cities in the Trump Era

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Questions

  1. What does federalism have to do with preemption?

  2. Did you realize that the alternative definition was completely not real?

  3. When was a recent incident of preemption?

  4. What part of the Constitution allows preemption?

Filibuster

Prediction

  1. What do you think filibuster means?

  2. Use filibuster in a sentence that would impress any first-date.

  3. Think of an example of filibuster in current events:

  4. Find an image of filibuster.

Fun Fact

Definition

Filibuster: a strategy employed in the United States Senate, whereby a minority can delay a vote on proposed legislation by making long speeches or introducing irrelevant issues. A successful filibuster can force withdrawal of a bill. Filibusters can be ended only by cloture, which requires 60 votes. 

Sentence

The Senator filibustered the environmental bill by reading Oh The Places You'll Go, for over 8 hours.

Example

What losing the filibuster for the Supreme Court would really mean

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Questions

  1. What does filibuster mean?

  2. What language does filibuster come from?

  3. How do you stop a filibuster?

  4. The Republican Party may be putting an end to the use of the filibuster in confirmation hearings. Do you think that's a good idea?

  5. If I told you I had a friend in college named Phil E. Buster would you believe me? Would you like to buy some beach front property in Oklahoma?

Clear & Present Danger Test

Prediction

  1. What do you think clear and present danger test means?

  2. Use clear and present danger test in a sentence.

  3. Think of an example of clear and present danger test in current events:

  4. Find an image of clear and present danger test:

Fun Fact

Definition

Clear and Present Danger Test: An interpretation of the First Amendment that holds that the government cannot interfere with speech unless the speech presents a clear and present danger that it will lead to evil or illegal acts. Writing for the Supreme Court in Schenck v United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes asked whether "the words create a clear and present danger that they will bring about substantive evils Congress has a right to prevent?" 

Sentence

In handing down his ruling on freedom of speech, Justice Holmes wrote that yelling "fire!" in a crowded movie theater would create a clear and present danger.

Example

Why journalists should care about two indicted anti-abortion activists

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Stupid Han Solo Movie by the Same Name

 

Questions

  1. What Supreme Court case did the Clear and Present Danger Test come from?

  2. Can you think of a current clear and present danger analogy to yelling fire in a crowded movie theater?

  3. Do you think that speech that causes a clear and present danger should be allowed?

Congressional Budget Office

Prediction

  1. What do you think Congressional Budget Office (CBO) means?

  2. Use Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in a sentence that would impress any first-date.

  3. Think of an example of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in current events:

  4. Find an image of Congressional Budget Office (CBO): They have a really cool logo!

Fun Fact

Definition

Congressional Budget Office (CBO): A nonpartisan agency of Congress that analyzes presidential budget recommendations and estimates the costs of proposed legislation. CBO provides Congress with analyses for economic and budget decisions and with estimates required for the Congressional budget process.

Sentence

The non-partisan CBO issues a score on major pieces of legislation so that legislators can know the costs of any laws they pass.

Example

What is the CBO, and why does its ‘score’ on the Obamacare repeal matter?
 

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Questions

  1. What does the CBO do?

  2. What do we mean when we say that the CBO is nonpartisan?

  3. What branch of government is the CBO in?

  4. What would be one consequence of eliminating the Congressional Budget Office?

  5. If the Congress decided to eliminate the CBO, would the CBO issue a score on the cost of its own elimination?

  6. Would the CBO logo make a better television station, website, or band logo?

  7. Imagine you were starting a business with the initials: CBO. What would you want CBO to stand for?

Precedent

Prediction

  1. What do you think precedent means? Pro tip, I'm not talking about when a southerner says, "president."

  2. Use precedent in a sentence.

  3. Think of an example of precedent in current events:

  4. Find an image of precedent:

Fun Fact

Definition

Precedent: A decision made by a higher court such as a circuit court of appeals or the Supreme Court that is binding in all other federal courts. A legal decision or form of proceeding serving as an authoritative rule or pattern in future similar or analogous cases. any act, decision, or case that serves as a guide or justification for subsequent situations. 

Sentence

The ruling in Brown v. Board set the precedent that legally, schools could no longer be segregated.

Example

The Garland Precedent Should Not Stop Gorsuch

 

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Questions

  1. What is a famous precedent set by the Supreme Court?

  2. Can the US Supreme Court overturn a precedent?

  3. What is an example of the Supreme Court overturning precedent?

  4. If the Supreme Court sets a precedent involving a president, what do you call that?

Liberalism

Prediction

  1. What do you think liberalism means?

  2. Use liberalism in a sentence.

  3. Think of an example of liberalism in current events:

  4. Find an image of liberalism:

Fun Fact

Definition

Liberalism: an ideology that government can and should achieve justice and equality of opportunity. the belief in the value of social and political change in order to achieve progress.

Sentence

One reason that many traditionally disempowered   groups favor liberalism is its emphasis on change.

Example

Liberalism Needs the “Alt-Left”

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Questions

  1. What is one thing a liberal would strongly believe in?

  2. Liberalism is only a few letters off from libertarianism. What is the main way it is different?

  3. Can you list one well known liberal?

  4. How similar are your beliefs to liberalism? What is the biggest difference between liberalism and conservatism?