Week 9 (5 Points)

Let's get back to our textbook this week and answer some basic questions on chapters 6 through 10. You will notice that there is considerable overlap between the text and the Local Government Handbook. That is fine. It will help you learn more thoroughly.

Assignment

Please answer the following questions in no more than two pages.

1. What does it mean to say that the "Courts are Political Entities?"

2. Describe the "three tiers" of most state court systems.

3. On pages 212 and 213 the textbook talks about a "lack of diversity" in the judicial system. By diversity, they seem to mean that women and racial minority groups are "underrepresented" in the state court systems. That is, presumably women and racial minorities do not make up as high a percentage of judges as they do of the general population. Pages 308 and 309 discuss the Voting Rights Act and the implementation of it in terms of drawing electoral districts so that racial minorities make up a majority of the district (and therefore presumably elect a racial minority to represent them). These instances of attempting to increase "diversity" or improve "equality" are related, but there is something disturbing about them. Is this view of diversity consistent with the concept of the United States Declaration of Independence that "all men are created equal" and are "endowed with certain inalienable rights?" How does it concur (jibe) with Martin Luther King's notion that individuals should be judged by the "content of their character" and not by their inherited attributes?

4. Describe the different types of interest groups? Name one real-life interest group for each type that you describe.

5. Explain a little bit about America's shift from being a predominantly rural country in the middle of the nineteenth century to a mostly suburban country at the end of the 20th century.

6. Why is suburban government "fragmented?"

7. What are some of the problems with suburban governmental fragmentation?

8.What is a legislative liason?

9. Describe the qualities that make a lobbying or interest group effective.

10. Describe the "Referendum," "initiative," and "recall."

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