fairness doctrine: A requirement by the Federal Communications Commission that radio and television broadcasters present all sides of important public issues.

Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974: An act to regulate campaign finance by providing for public funding of presidential elections and by placing limits on campaign contributions.

Federal Election Commission: A six-member commission created in 1974 to enforce campaign finance laws and administer public financing of presidential elections.

federalism: A system of government characterized by a constitutional sharing of power between a national government and regional units of government.

Federalist papers, The: A series of letters published in the late 1780s by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay to explain and help bring about ratification following the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

feedback: The response of the rest of society to decisions made by the authorities of a political system.

felony: A major crime, such as murder, arson, or rape.

filibuster: The process by which a single senator, or a group of senators, can sometimes talk a bill to death and prevent it from coming to a vote.

fiscal policy: Government regulation of the economy through its control over rates of taxation and government spending.

flexible construction: The principle, established by Chief Justice Marshall in 1819 in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland, that the Constitution must be interpreted flexibly to meet changing conditions.

foreign policy: The sum of the goals, decisions, and actions that govern a nation�s relations with the rest of the world.

Freedom of Information Act: A law passed in 1966 which requires federal executive branch and regulatory agencies to make information available to journalists and the public unless it falls into one of several confidential categories.

free exercise clause: The First Amendment provision that Congress shall make no law �prohibiting the free exercise� of religion.

full faith and credit: A clause in Article IV of the Constitution, requiring that each state respect the laws, records, and court decisions of another state.

   

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