Chapter 13 AP Gov Vocab

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Twelfth Amendment

An amendment to the Constitution, adopted in 1804, that specifies the separate election of the president and vice president by the electoral college.

Chief of State

The role of the president as ceremonial head of the government.

Chief Executive

The role of the president as head of the executive branch of the government.

Civil Service

A collective term for the body of employees working for the government. Generally, civil service is understood to apply to all those who gain government employment through a merit system.

Appointment Power

The authority vested in the president to fill a government office or position. Positions filled by presidential appointment include those in the executive branch and the federal judiciary, commissioned officers in the armed forces, and members of the independent regulatory commissions.


The presidential power to postpone the execution of a sentence imposed by a court of law; usually done for humanitarian reasons or to await new evidence.


The granting of a release from the punishment or legal consequences of a crime; a pardon can be granted by the president before or after a conviction.

Commander in Chief

The role of the president as supreme commander of the military forces of the United States and of the National Guard units when they are called into federal service.

War Powers Resolution

A law passed in 1973 spelling out the conditions under which the president can commit troops without congressional approval.

Advice and Consent

The power vested in the U.S. Senate by the Constitution (Article II, Section 2) to give its advice and consent to the president on treaties and presidential appointments.

Chief Diplomat

The role of the president in recognizing foreign governments, making treaties, and making executive agreements.

Diplomatic Recognition

The president’s power, as chief diplomat, to acknowledge a foreign government as legitimate.

Executive Agreement

An international agreement made by the president, without senatorial ratification, with the head of a foreign state.

Chief Legislator

The role of the president in influencing the making of laws.

State of the Union Message

An annual message to Congress in which the president proposes a legislative program. The message is addressed not only to Congress but also to the American people and to the world. it offers the opportunity to dramatize policies and objectives and to gain public support.

Veto Message

The president’s formal explanation of a veto when legislation is returned to Congress.

Pocket Veto

A special veto power exercised by the chief executive after a legislative body has adjourned. Bills not signed by the chief executive die after a specified period of time. If Congress wishes to reconsider a bill, it must be reintroduced in the following session of Congress.

Line-item Veto

The power of an executive to veto individual lines or items within a piece of legislation without vetoing the entire bill.

Constitutional Power

A power vested in the president by Article II of the Constitution.

Statutory Power

A power created for the president through laws enacted by Congress.

Expressed Power

A constitutional or statutory power of the president, which is expressly written into the Constitutional or into statutory law.

Inherent Power

A power of the president derived from the loosely worded statement in the Constitution that "the executive Power shall be vested in a President" and that the president should "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed"; defined through practice rather than through constitutional or statutory law.


Rewarding faithful party workers and followers with government employment and contracts.

Washington Community

Individuals regularly involved with politics in Washington, D.C.

Emergency Power

An inherent power exercised by the president during a period of national crisis, particularly in foreign affairs.

Executive Order

A rule or regulation issued by the president that has the effect of law. Executive orders can implement and give administrative effect to provisions in the Constitution, to treaties, and to statutes.

Federal Register

A publication of the executive branch of the U.S. government that prints executive orders, rules, and regulations.

Executive Privilege

The right of the executive officials to refuse to appear before, or to withhold information from, a legislative committee. Executive privilege is enjoyed by the president and by those executive officials accorded that right by the president.


As authorized by Articles I and II of the Constitution, an action by the House of Representatives and the Senate to remove the president, vice president, or civil officers of the United States from office for committing "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."


An advisory group selected by the president to aid in making decisions. The cabinet currently numbers thirteen department secretaries and the attorney general. Depending on the president, the cabinet may be highly influential or relatively insignificant in its advisory role.

Kitchen Cabinet

The informal advisers to the president.

Executive Office of the President (EOP)

Established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt by executive order under the Reorganization Act of 1939, it currently consists of eleven staff agencies that assist the president in carrying out major duties.

White House Office

The personal office of the president, which tends to presidential political needs and manages the media.

Chief of Staff

The person who is named to direct the White House Office and advise the president.

Council of Economic Advisers (ECA)

A staff agency in the Executive office of the President that advises the president on measures to maintain stability in the nation’s economy; est. 1946.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

A division of the Executive Office of the President created by executive order in 1970 to replace the Bureau of the Budget. The OMB’s main functions are to assist the president in preparing the annual budget, to clear and coordinate all department agency budgets, to help set fiscal policy, and to supervise the administration of the federal budget.

National Security Council (NSC)

A staff agency in the Executive Office of the President est. by the National Security Act of 1947. The NSC advises the president on domestic and foreign matters involving national security.

Twenty-Fifth Amendment

An amendment to the Constitution adopted in 1967 that establishes procedures for filling vacancies in the two top executive offices and that makes provisions for situations involving presidential disability.

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