administrative law: The rules and regulations made and applied by federal regulatory agencies and commissions.

adversary system of justice: A judicial system in which the power of the state is balanced by the defendant�s constitutional rights and by the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

affirmative action programs: Programs of government, universities, and businesses that are designed to favor minorities and remedy past discrimination.

agenda setting: The power to determine which public policy questions will be debated or considered.

Antifederalists: Those Americans who opposed ratification of the constitution.

appellate jurisdiction: The right of the Supreme Court to hear cases that are appealed from lower state or federal courts on the grounds that they concern violations of constitutional rights.

appropriations bills: Bills passed by Congress to pay for the spending it has authorized.

arraignment: The proceeding before a judge in which the formal charges of an indictment or information are read to an accused person, who may plead guilty or not guilty.

Articles of Confederation (1781-1789): The written framework for the government of the original thirteen states before the Constitution was adopted. Under the Articles of Confederation, the national government was weak and dominated by the states. There was a unicameral legislature, but no national executive or judiciary.

   

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