magistrates courts�: Courts in which justices of the peace, or magistrates, handle minor offenses (misdemeanors), such as speeding, and perform civil marriages.

Magna Carta: An historic British document, signed by King John in 1215, in which the nobles confirmed that the power of the king was not absolute.

maintaining elections: Elections that reflect the basic party identification of the voters.

majority leader: A leader elected by the majority party in a legislative house.

majority rule: A concept of government by the people under which everyone is free to vote, but normally whoever gets the most votes wins the election and represents all the people (including those who voted for the losing candidate).

Mallory rule: A rule established by the Supreme Court in Mallory v. United States (1957) requiring that a suspect in a federal case be arraigned without unnecessary delay.

management by objectives (MBO): A program for managing the executive branch that required federal agencies to make periodic checks to be sure they were achieving their objectives.

Marbury v. Madison: The 1803 case in which the Supreme Court first exercised the power of judicial review, declaring an act of Congress unconstitutional on the basis that the Constitution is superior to an act of Congress.

marginal district: A congressional district in which the winning candidate receives less than 55 percent of the vote.

Massachusetts ballot: Also known as the office-column ballot. This ballot groups candidates according to the office for which they are running.

matching requirements: The federal government�s requirement that state or local governments put up some of their own funds in order to be eligible for federal aid for a program.

mayor-council plan: A form of city government under which power is divided between a mayor and an elected city council.

McCulloch v. Maryland: An important decision of the Supreme Court in 1819 that established the key concepts of implied powers, broad construction of the Constitution, and supremacy of the national government.

Medicaid: A public assistance program established in 1965 to help pay hospital, doctor and medical bills for persons with low incomes. It is financed through general federal, state, and local taxes.

Medicare: A federal program established in 1965 that provides hospital and medical services to older persons through the social security program.

megalopolis: By definition, a very large city. the term has also been used to describe the cluster of metropolitan areas of the Northeastern seaboard of the United States.

merit commissions: Commissions set up to recommend candidates for federal district and circuit courts on the basis of merit.

military-industrial complex: A term often used to describe the ties between the military establishment and the defense-aerospace industry.

minority leader: A leader elected by the minority party in a legislative house.

Miranda warnings: Warnings that police must give suspects to advise them of their constitutional rights. Under the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona (1966), before suspects are questioned, they must be warned that they have the right to remain silent, that any statements they make may be used against them, and that they have the right to a lawyer.

misdemeanor: A minor offense.

mixed (or modified) free enterprise system: An economic system, such as that of the United States, in which both private industry and government play important roles.

Model Cities: A controversial program approved by Congress in 1966 that sought to rebuild entire poverty neighborhoods in selected cities.

monetary policy: Government regulation of the economy through its control over the supply of money and the cost and availability of credit.

money supply: The quantity of money in circulation.

monopoly: Control of the market by a single company.

   

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