alderman- member of a city council writ of Habeas Corpus- writ preventing arbitrary imprisonment by providing for immediate judicial hearing for person under arrest
alien- resident non-citizen enjoys most of the civil rights, but none of the political rights House of Representatives- lower house of Congress (435 members, 2-year terms)
amendment- alteration of a motion, bill, law, constitution (eg. right to bear arms) impeachment- removal of a civil official from office for a legal wrong
appeal- transfer of a case decided by a lower court to higher tribunal for review incumbent- presently occupying office
ballot- official paper for use by voters containing names of candidates and their party designation judiciary- 1. one of the three branches of government (judicial power), 2. the system of courts of justice, 3. the judges collectively
boondoggling- public funds for useless projects jury- body of impartial citizens residing within a court's territorial jurisdiction sworn to render a true answer to questions of fact submitted to them
by-election- special election to fill unexpired legislative term through incumbent's death Justice of the Peace- local magistrate who tries minor civil and criminal cases
canvass- soliciting (werben um) of votes, support, opinions etc. (eg. by personally going from house to house) 'lame duck'- that part of a legislator's term after the date of his failure to be re-elected
caucus- meeting of party leaders or legislators to name candidates or convention delegates lobbying- the techniques used by interest groups to influence members of law-making bodies
census- official counting of the population, taken decennially for the nation since 1790 mid-term elections- national elections at midpoint of presidential term (all House of Repr. and one third of Senate)
checks and balances- modification of separation of powers by which each branch of government has power to participate in, and to disapprove of, some acts of each of the other two nullification- right of a state to reject national law
civil disobedience- deliberate and public violation of a law to test its constitutionality or to protest a policy believed wrong Prohibition- forbidding, by law, the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors (1919-33)
civil rights- individual rights guaranteed against government encroachment ratification- confirmation by expressing consent, approval, or sanction, as of a proposed constitutional amendment
civil service- body of appointive government employees outside of armed services and judicial posts referendum- as type of direct legislation, requires popular approval of legislative acts before they become law
common law- basic law of Anglo-Saxon nations derived from customary law and precedents (Präzedenzfälle) Senate- U.S. upper house of Congress (100 members, 6-year term)
comptroller- an official who examines government expenditure for their conformity to law 'separate but equal' rule- Supreme Court construction (1896) of equal protection of laws clause, sanctioning racial segregation; rejected 1954
concurrent power- national ans state authority to regulate, independently od each other, the same subject matter: eg. tax power sheriff- chief law enforcement officer of a county
Congress- bicameral legislature (Houses of Representatives and Senate) Speaker of the House- preasiding officer
constituency- body of residents in an election district, or the election district itself suffrage- vote right (blacks, women)
constitution- laws or principles by which a nation is organized and governed Supreme Court- highest court in nation, made up of one chief and eight associate justices
departments- 12 major subdivisions of national administration, each organized for independent purpose: State (Aussenministerium), Treasury, Defense, Post Office, Interior, Justice (Attorney General), Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development and Transportation. warrant- order of court authorizing an officer to make an arrest, conduct searches or seizures
District of Columbia (D.C.)- U.S. capital, governed in detail by Congress writ- judicial order directing aperson to do or to refrain from doing some specified act
electoral college system- procedure for indirect selection of president and vice-president, involving electoral votes (electors) zoning- regulation of land and building use by municipal ordinance, based on state police power
filibuster- minority's wilful obstruction of legislative business through time-consuming tactics, to get its way on pending measures
gerrymandering- unfair legislative apportionment whereby district lines are drawn to benefit one set of interests or one party
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