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Part 1. T/F

1. According to Thomas Edsall, conservatives have unsuccessfully tried to shift

the focus of American politics from distributing shared abundance to deficit

reducing austerity.

2. The Supreme Court’s “appellate jurisdiction” names the authority of the

Court to review a case that has not been heard in any other court.

3. Because state courts play a subordinate role, the federal judicial system is the

most significant court system in America.

4. According to Thomas B. Edsall, the partisan policy responses in Congress to

the growing pressures of austerity, essentially pits “taxpayers against tax


5. The constitutional guarantee that federal judges and justices hold office

“during good behavior” has meant essentially that they sit on the bench for

life, enabling presidents through their appointment power to influence the

exercise of judicial power long after they have left the White House.

6. Most of the work of Congress takes place in the meetings of its thirty-six

standing committees and their numerous subcommittees.

7. The primary job of the Supreme Court is to correct the legal errors

committed by all lower courts in the federal and state systems.

8. In Congress, the apogee of leader power occurs when they can devise policy

positions that can enable members to work as one.

9. The doctrine of judicial review places the judgment of unelected judges with

life-tenure, above that of elected officials when interpreting the Constitution.

10. In having a “plural executive,” the State of California follows the federal


11. Advocates of “judicial activism” maintain that courts should work closely

within the confines of legislation and precedent and apply settled rules to

specific cases rather than search for new principles.


12. Presidential use of the veto power can backfire and be interpreted as a sign

that the President has no power to persuade.

13. Because the judiciary’s primary focus is the law, the facts of a legal case are

largely irrelevant.

14. According to Thomas B. Edsall, “the politics of austerity” forces a “zero-sum

logic,” meaning that appropriating benefits to some requires taking money

from others.

15. The argument for judicial review rests on the proposition that without this

power, federal courts would be unable to check and balance constitutionally

renegade political actors in the legislative and executive branches.

Part 2 short essay

Describe in detail the nature of the “dysfunction” the authors of “Finding the

Common Good in an Era of Dysfunctional Governance” argue is currently

infecting Congress.
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