Politics & Government

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Identifying Current U.S. Supreme Court Justices

The justices on the Supreme Court interpret the Constitution, which affects everyone in this country. As you study constitutional law, knowing the justices and their interpretive styles helps you make [more…]

Analyzing a Procedural Due-Process Claim

Procedural due process involves the way the government goes about infringing on Americans’ rights. Procedural due-process cases assume that the government is constitutionally allowed to take away a right [more…]

Analyzing a Substantive Due-Process Claim

Substantive due process involves whether the government has a legitimate basis for taking away a person’s right to life, liberty, or property. The basic question is, “Wait — does the government have a [more…]

Important Rights Listed in the Constitution

The Constitution is chock-full of guarantees of individual rights and rules about what the government can and can’t do. Some provisions affect people’s lives more than others, but they are all important [more…]

Constitutional Law For Dummies Cheat Sheet

The Constitution (and constitutional law) affords people many rights, establishes the United States government, and defines and limits the government’s powers. The nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices are [more…]

Examining the Characteristics of a Psychopath

Robert Hare's Psychopathy checklist is a tool commonly used in clinical practice to assess whether an individual is a psychopath. Here are Hare’s definitions of two types of psychopath: [more…]

Using Forensic Psychology in Assessing a Criminal Offender

Forensic Psychologists often assess offenders to determine whether they’re fit to plead their case in court, or are likely to be violent in the future. There are a number of important issues to be considered [more…]

Identifying Criminal Capacity in Children with Forensic Psychology

Criminality can often be linked back to an offender’s childhood. A child who exhibits three or more of the following behaviours is at risk of becoming seriously anti-social as an adult: [more…]

Forensic Psychology For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Forensic Psychology is the application of psychological knowledge to the criminal justice system. Print out and pin up this Cheat Sheet to remind yourself of how Forensic Psychology is used within the [more…]

What Is the Difference between a Primary Election and a Caucus?

Primaries and caucuses are methods that political parties use to select candidates for a general election. Here are some details on the two election methods. [more…]

What Is the President’s Cabinet?

The President’s Cabinet is composed of the principal appointed officers of departments of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. The Cabinet meets weekly to advise the President [more…]

What Is the Role of the White House Chief of Staff?

The White House Chief of Staff is an Assistant to the President of the United States. The Chief of Staff oversees the Executive Office of the President [more…]

What Is the Role of the White House Press Secretary?

The White House Press Secretary is a senior White House official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the President of the United States and the White House. The White House Press [more…]

What Is the Role of the National Security Advisor?

The National Security Advisor, officially known as the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, serves as a chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues [more…]

What Is the Role of the Chair of the Federal Reserve System?

The chair of the Federal Reserve, known formally as the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, is the head of the central banking system of the United States and the active executive [more…]

What Is the Role of the Speaker of the House?

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, commonly referred to as the Speaker of the House (or simply, the Speaker), serves as the presiding officer of the U.S. House of Representatives [more…]

Understanding U.S. Political Conventions

A political convention is a meeting of a political party usually to select party candidates and party platforms. Generally, usage of the term political convention refers to the presidential nominating [more…]

What Are Super PACs?

The 2010 election saw the rise of a new political action committee known as the “Super PAC,” officially classified by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) as independent expenditure-only committees. Super [more…]

Long-Term Impact of Key Environmental Legislation in the U.S.

The peak of environmental legislation in the U.S. occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1970s in particular, the U.S. Congress passed a number of important laws to repair environmental damage and protect [more…]

Making and Handling Motions Following Robert's Rules

In an organization that's following Robert's Rules, when that light bulb goes off in your head and you have a great idea, you make a motion to get your idea discussed and a decision made. Here are the [more…]

Gift Rules for Washington, D.C., Lobbyists

Excerpted from How Washington Actually Works For Dummies

Members of the House and Senate must follow strict policies regarding Washington, D.C., lobbyists. The most visible of these policies concerns gifts [more…]

How Washington, D.C., became the Capital of the United States

Some capitals emerge from the eternal depths of history. Legend has it that Washington, D.C., was the result of a backroom political compromise. President Washington, newly sworn into office at New York’s [more…]

How Washington, D.C., Developed

As the new capital in Washington, D.C., was being constructed, the federal government stayed in Philadelphia. On May 15, 1800, President John Adams ordered the federal government to relocate to Washington [more…]

Washington, D.C., during the Roosevelt Years

Although the City of Washington, D.C., grew throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, the federal government did not expand greatly in size and scope. The election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 [more…]

Washington, D.C., from the Cold War to the New Millennium

Between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, new demands on Washington, D.C., to protect American security arose. President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 [more…]

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