American Government: Readings and Cases: Study Guide / Edition 16

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More About This Textbook



  • This book has been developed to serve as either an ancillary or a core textbook.
  • Extensive notes prepare, connect, and comment on the selections, presenting a more coherent narrative than in other readers.
  • An in-depth but accessible analysis by the author precedes each set of readings/cases to create context, prime the students for key points they'll encouter, and foster critical thinking.
  • An instructor’s manual, extensive lecture notes, and sample American Government syllabus helps instructors to quickly adapt the reader to their course.
  • The core readings of the text illustrate the historical foundations of American government, and provide students with a sense of our political heritage. Key concepts and topics covered include:
  • John Locke’s theory of government by consent
  • Madison’s constitutional model of balance and deliberative government in the national interest
  • Hamilton’s model of strong presidential government
  • The Supreme Court’s role in constitutional interpretation, government, and politics
  • The Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court’s interpretation of it
  • The constitutional and political basis of our federal system, highlighted by contemporary developments
  • The importance of Federalist 10 and Madison’s view of factions and special interests
  • The party model of government and the role of parties in the political process
  • How special interests shape our governmental process and policies
  • The characteristics of the presidency and contrasting theories of presidential power
  • Edmund Burke’s Speech to the Electors of Bristol on the proper role of elected representatives
  • The theories of David Mayhew, Richard Fenno, Morris Fiorina, Lawrence Dodd, and Nelson Polsby on Congress
  • How Supreme Court Justices think as they write their opinions, citing examples from William H. Rehnquist, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Antonin Scalia in the privacy area.

New to this Edition:

This new edition provides new content on both historic context and modern examples of the reading of the Constitution.

  • Includes the 2008 Supreme Court decision in Boumediene v. Bush, upholding the authority of federal courts to issue writs of habeas corpus to enemy aliens.
  • A new reading on the role of interest groups in government, an issue raised throughout the 2008 presidential election and one of Barack Obama's key talking points.
  • A provocative new reading on the democratic paradox of campaign finance reform, a contentious issue in the 2008 presidential election between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.
  • A new section on the right to vote with the classic case Gomillion v. Lightfoot (1960) on racial discrimination in voting.
  • Presidential scholar Edward S. Corwin contributes an article contrasting constitutional perspectives on presidential power.
  • A new reading focuses on James Madison's views at the Constitutional Convention on the role of federalism in a balanced governmental system, and a 1890 article from the Harvard Law Review discusses the constitutional basis of privacy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321355522
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 2/25/2005
  • Edition description: 16TH
  • Edition number: 16
  • Pages: 88
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Constitutional government 3
Constitutional democracy : the rule of law 3
Framing the Constitution : elitist or democratic process? 10
Limitation of governmental power and of majority rule 41
Interpreting the Constitution 45
Ch. 2 Federalism 50
Constitutional background : national versus state power 51
Implied powers and the supremacy of national law 74
A perspective on federalism : present and future 83
State politics and constitutional government 88
National power over the states : a recurring constitutional debate 95
Ch. 3 Civil liberties and civil rights 105
Constitutional background 105
The nationalization of the Bill of Rights 112
The Fourteenth Amendment 116
Freedom of speech and press 124
Expanding the boundaries of permissible criticism of government and public officials 130
Equal protection of the laws : school desegregation 136
The judicial sources of major political controversies over civil liberties and rights 145
The establishment clause and the issue of school prayer 146
School vouchers and the establishment clause 154
The right to abortion 156
Affirmative action 167
Ch. 4 Political parties and the electorate 175
Constitutional background 175
Constitutional protection of parties 183
The party model of government 185
Political parties in divided government 193
Functions and types of elections 201
Party decline and electoral decay 212
Voting behavior : rational or irrational? 218
Political campaigns and the electorate 226
Political parties and campaign finance : constitutional issues regulating political campaigns 230
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 236
A perspective on the act 247
Ch. 5 Interest groups 253
Constitutional background 253
The nature and functions of interest groups 259
How American government and politics enhance interest group power 273
Money, PACs, and elections 277
Ch. 6 The presidency 287
Constitutional background : single versus plural executive 287
The nature of the presidency : power, persuasion, and paradoxes 290
Presidential politics 302
Presidential character and style 303
Presidential leadership and political parties 313
Presidential elections 327
The constitutional presidency and emergency powers 331
Ex Parte Quirin (1942) as a precedent for military tribunals to try suspected terrorists 338
Ch. 7 The bureaucracy 350
Constitutional background 350
The political roots and consequences of bureaucracy 355
Ch. 8 Congress 364
Constitutional background : representation of popular, group, and national interests 364
Congress and the Washington political establishment : Congress emerges as a professional body shaped by reelection and internal power incentives 372
Committee chairmen as political entrepreneurs 385
Congress and the electoral connection 397
Ch. 9 The judiciary 426
Constitutional background : judicial independence and judicial review 426
Powers and limitations of the Supreme Court 435
A case study of judicial self-restraint : the Pledge of Allegiance case and the First Amendment's establishment clause 442
The use of the standing doctrine as procedural self-restraint : a case study 442
Judicial decision making 447
Interpreting the Constitution 455
The contemporary debate over constitutional interpretation 456
App. 1 The Declaration of Independence 466
App. 2 The Constitution of the United States 470
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