Court Video Exercise & Written Assignment

For students to observe and analyze a video of a Belmont University conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr on February 7th, 2019.  Video is available at

A Conversation with Chief Justice John Roberts


Write a 2-3 page paper (12-point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, 1” margins) that includes your answers to the following questions based on your analysis of the video:

  • An introduction (no more than ½ a page) briefly summarizing the education and professional background of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.
  • A body (about 1 1/2 to 2 pages) where you clearly and concisely answer the following questions based on Chief Justice Roberts’s comments in the conversation with Dean Alberto Gonzalez:
    • 1. How does CJ Roberts view his role on the U.S. Supreme Court under the Constitution?
    • 2. What argument does CJ Roberts make about the role of the Court in deciding too many issues involving public policy?
    • 3. What is the “most important thing” about the US Constitution according to CJ Roberts and why?
    • 4. What does CJ Roberts say about how he views his responsibility of bringing more consensus in decision making on the Court?  What is his solution to preventing narrowly divided decisions (i.e., 5 to 4)?
    • 5. Who is the audience for CJ Roberts when he writes an opinion for the Supreme Court, why does he write for them and how is this different from other justices?
    • 6. What are the reasons why CJ Roberts believes the confirmation process for federal judges is not working the way it was intended? What questions would he ask a nominee if he were a Senator and why?
    • 7. How does CJ Roberts describe the changes that occur when a new member is appointed to the Supreme Court?
    • 8. Why does CJ Roberts argue that people should think of Supreme Court justices differently from “conservative” or “liberal” or the appointee of a particular president?
    • 9. Why is the lack lack of knowledge about the Supreme Court’s power and role in America a problem and how does CJ Roberts think it could improve?
    • 10. Is it important for CJ Roberts that Supreme Court justices attend the President’s State of the Union address? why?
  • A conclusion (no more than 1 page) where you explain how CJ Roberts’s ideas and arguments expressed in the video relate to the key concepts, terms, or themes presented in Chapter 13 of the B&C textbook.  I expect you to properly cite (i.e., page number) the textbook to show where and how you are making these connections.

Due Date

Your written summary must be uploaded on Canvas no later than Monday, April 29th by 11:59 pm.


Written summary adequately addresses the above requirements=4 points


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American Politics Today Sixth Essentials Edition

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William T. Bianco Indiana University, Bloomington

David T. Canon University of  Wisconsin, Madison


Sixth Essentials Edition

American Politics Today

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W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By midcentury, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing program—trade books and college texts—were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control of the company to its employees, and today—with a staff of four hundred and a comparable number of trade, college, and professional titles published each year—W. W. Norton & Company stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.

Copyright © 2019, 2017, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2009 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

Editor: Laura Wilk Project Editor: Linda Feldman Associate Editor: Samantha Held Assistant Editor: Anna Olcott Editorial Assistant: Chris Howard-Woods Managing Editor, College: Marian Johnson Managing Editor, College Digital Media: Kim Yi Production Manager: Ashley Horna Media Editor: Spencer Richardson-Jones Associate Media Editor: Michael Jaoui Media Project Editor: Marcus Van Harpen Media Editorial Assistant: Tricia Vuong Marketing Manager, Political Science: Erin Brown Design Director: Jillian Burr Text Designer: Open, NY Photo Editor: Catherine Abelman Photo Researcher: Julie Tesser Director of College Permissions: Megan Schindel Permissions Associate: Elizabeth Trammell Composition: Cenveo® Publisher Services Manufacturing: Transcontinental Publishing Permission to use copyrighted material is included on p. A47

The Library of Congress has catalogued the full edition as follows:

Names: Bianco, William T., 1960- author. | Canon, David T., author. Title: American politics today / William T. Bianco, Indiana University, Bloomington, David T. Canon, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Description: Sixth Edition. | New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2018] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018046035 | ISBN 9780393644319 (hardcover) Subjects: LCSH: United States—Politics and government—Textbooks. Classification: LCC JK275 .B54 2018 | DDC 320.473—dc23 LC record available at

This edition: ISBN 978-0-393-66460-7 (pbk.)

W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110 W. W. Norton & Company Ltd., 15 Carlisle Street, London W1D 3BS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0

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For our families, Regina, Anna, and Catherine,

Sarah, Neal, Katherine, and Sophia, who encouraged, empathized, and

helped, with patience, grace, and love.

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William T. Bianco is professor of political science at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research focuses on congressional institutions, representation, and science policy. He received his undergraduate degree from SUNY Stony Brook and his MA and PhD from the University of Rochester. He is the author of Trust: Representatives and Constituents; American Politics: Strategy and Choice; and numerous articles on American politics. His research and graduate students have received funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research. He has also served as a consultant to congressional candidates and party campaign committees, as well as to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other state and local government agencies. He was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Moscow, Russia, during 2011-12.

David T. Canon is professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His teaching and research interests focus on American political institutions, especially Congress, and racial representation. He is the author of Actors, Athletes, and Astronauts: Political Amateurs in the U.S. Congress; Race, Redistricting, and Representation: The Unintended Consequences of Black Majority Districts (winner of the Richard F. Fenno Prize); The Dysfunctional Congress? (with Kenneth Mayer); and various articles and book chapters. He is the editor of the Election Law Journal and previously served as the Congress editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly. He is an AP consultant and has taught in the University of Wisconsin Summer AP Institute for U.S. Government & Politics since 1997. Professor Canon is the recipient of a University of Wisconsin Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

About the Authors

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Contents in Brief

Preface xix Acknowledgments xxv

Part I: Foundations 1. Understanding American Politics 2 2. The Constitution and the Founding 28 3. Federalism 60 4. Civil Liberties 90 5. Civil Rights 126

Part II: Politics 6. Public Opinion and the Media 168 7. Political Parties 202 8. Elections 228 9. Interest Groups 264

Part III: Institutions 10. Congress 290 11. The Presidency 328 12. The Bureaucracy 358 13. The Courts 388

Part IV: Policy 14. Economic and Social Policy 420 15. Foreign Policy 462

Appendix The Declaration of Independence A1 The Articles of Confederation A3 The Constitution of the United States of America A6 Amendments to the Constitution A11 The Federalist Papers A16

Endnotes A23 Glossary/Index A51

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Contents Preface xix Features of the Text and Media Package xxii Acknowledgments xxv

Part I: Foundations

1. Understanding American Politics 2 Making Sense of American Government and Politics 4 Why Do We Have a Government? 5 Forms of Government 8

What Is Politics? 8 How It Works: Three Keys for Understanding Politics 9 Politics Is Conflictual 10 Political Process Matters 12 Politics Is Everywhere 13

Sources of Conflict in American Politics 15 Economic Interests 15 Cultural Values 15 Identity Politics: Racial, Gender, and Ethnic Differences 17 Ideology 18

Resolving Conflict: Democracy and American Political Values 20 Democracy 20 Liberty 20 Equality 21

How to Be a Critical Consumer of Politics 23

Unpacking the Conflict 24 Study Guide 25

2. The Constitution and the Founding 28 The Historical Context of the Constitution 30 The Articles of Confederation: The First Attempt at Government 31 Political Theories of the Framers 33 Economic Interests 35

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x Contents

The Politics of Compromise at the Constitutional Convention 36 Majority Rule versus Minority Rights 37 Small States versus Large States 37 Legislative Power versus Executive Power 39 National Power versus State and Local Power 40 Slave States versus Nonslave States 40

Ratification 43 The Antifederalists’ Concerns 43 The Federalists’ Strategies 44

The Constitution: A Framework for Government 45 Exclusive Powers 45 How It Works: Checks and Balances 46 Shared Powers 48 Negative or Checking Powers 48

Is the Constitution a “Living” Document? 50 Changing the Constitution 50 Flexibility and Interpretation 52

Unpacking the Conflict 55 Study Guide 57

3. Federalism 60 What Is Federalism and Why Does It Matter? 62 Levels of Government and Their Degrees of Autonomy 63 A Comparative Perspective 63

Balancing National and State Power in the Constitution 64 A Strong National Government 65 State Powers and Limits on National Power 65 Clauses that Favor Both Perspectives 66

The Evolving Concept of Federalism 67 The Early Years 67 The Emergence of States’ Rights and Dual Federalism 68 Cooperative Federalism 70 How It Works: Versions of Federalism 72

Federalism Today 74 Cooperative Federalism Lives On: Fiscal Federalism 74 Expanding National Power 75 Fighting for States’ Rights: The Role of the Modern Supreme Court 78 Assessing Federalism Today 82

Unpacking the Conflict 86 Study Guide 87

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4. Civil Liberties 90 Defining Civil Liberties 92 Origins of the Bill of Rights 93 How It Works: The First Amendment 94 Selective Incorporation and the Fourteenth Amendment 96

Freedom of Religion 98 The Establishment Clause and Separation of Church and State 99 The Free Exercise Clause 100

Freedom of Speech, Assembly, and the Press 102 Generally Protected Expression 102 Less Protected Speech and Publications 108

The Right to Bear Arms 110

Law, Order, and the Rights of Criminal Defendants 112 The Fourth Amendment: Unreasonable Searches and Seizures 112 The Fifth Amendment 115 The Sixth Amendment: The Right to Legal Counsel and a Jury Trial 117 The Eighth Amendment: Cruel and Unusual Punishment 117

Privacy Rights 118 Abortion Rights 119 Gay Rights 119

Unpacking the Conflict 121 Study Guide 123

5. Civil Rights 126 The Context of Civil Rights 128 African Americans 129 Native Americans, Asians, and Latinos 131 Women and Civil Rights 133 The LGBTQ Community 133

The Racial Divide Today 135 Differences in Voting Access 135 Socioeconomic Indicators 136 Criminal Justice and Hate Crimes 138

The Policy-Making Process and Civil Rights 141 Social Movements 141 The Courts 145 How It Works: Civil Rights 150 Congress 154 The President 157

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xii Contents

Civil Rights Issues Today 158 Affirmative Action 159 Multicultural and Immigration Issues 160

Unpacking the Conflict 163 Study Guide 165

Part II: Politics

6. Public Opinion and the Media 168 What Is Public Opinion? 170 Different Kinds of Opinion 171

Where Do Opinions Come From? 172 Socialization: Families, Communities, and Networks 172 Events 173 Group Identity 173 Politicians and Other Political Actors 174 Considerations: The Process of Forming Opinions 175

Measuring Public Opinion 179 Mass Surveys 179 Problems in Measuring Public Opinion 179 How It Works: Measuring What a Nation of 330 Million Thinks: A Checklist 180

What Americans Think about Politics 186 Ideological Polarization 186 Evaluations of Government and Officeholders 186 Policy Preferences 189 Does Public Opinion Matter? 191

The News Media 192 Media Sources in the Twenty-First Century 193 Regulating the Media 194 Media Effects on Citizens and Government 196

Unpacking the Conflict 197 Study Guide 199

7. Political Parties 202 What Are Political Parties and Where Did Today’s Parties Come From? 204 The Evolution of American Political Parties 205

American Political Parties Today 208 The Party Organization 208

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The Party in Government 209 The Party in the Electorate 210

The Role of Political Parties in American Politics 214 Organizing Elections 215 How It Works: Nominating Presidential Candidates 218 Cooperation in Government 221 Minor Parties 223

Unpacking the Conflict 225 Study Guide 226

8. Elections 228 How Do American Elections Work? 230 Two Stages of Elections 231 Mechanics of Elections 232 Presidential Elections 233 How It Works: The Electoral College 236

Electoral Campaigns 239 The “Fundamentals” 239 Setting the Stage 242 Before the Campaign 242 Primaries and the General Election 245 Campaign Finance 246

How Do Voters Decide? 251 Who Votes, and Why? 251 How Do People Vote? 252 Voting in Wave Elections 253

Understanding the 2016 and 2018 Elections 255 The Path to 2018: The 2016 Elections 255 The 2018 Midterms 257

Unpacking the Conflict 259 Study Guide 261

9. Interest Groups 264 What Are Interest Groups? 266 Organizational Structures 267 Membership: Benefits and Incentives 268 Resources 269 Staff 270 The Business of Lobbying 270

Interest Group Strategies 275 Inside Strategies 275 How It Works: Lobbying the Federal Government: Inside and Outside Strategies 276 Outside Strategies 279

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xiv Contents

How Much Power Do Interest Groups Have? 283 What Determines When Interest Groups Succeed? 283

Unpacking the Conflict 286 Study Guide 288

Part III: Institutions

10. Congress 290 Congress and the People 293 Congress and the Constitution 293 Congress Represents the People (or Tries To) 294 Members of Congress Want to Keep Their Jobs 298 Redistricting Connects Representation and Elections 302 The Responsibility–Responsiveness Dilemma 307

The Structure of Congress 307 Informal Structures 308 Formal Structures 309

How a Bill Becomes a Law 315 The Conventional Process 315 How It Works: Passing Legislation 318 Deviations from the Conventional Process 320 Key Differences between House and Senate Legislative Processes 321

Oversight 322

Unpacking the Conflict 323 Study Guide 325

11. The Presidency 328 The Development of Presidential Power 330 Early Years through World War I 330 The Great Depression through the Present 331

The President’s Job Description 333 Head of the Executive Branch 333 Appointments 333 Executive Orders 335 Commander in Chief 336 How It Works: How Presidents Make Policy outside the Legislative Process 338 Treaty Making and Foreign Policy 340 Legislative Power 341 Pardons and Commutations 343 Executive Privilege 343

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The Presidency as an Institution 345 The Executive Office of the President 346 The Vice President 347 The First Spouse 348 The President’s Cabinet 348

Presidential Power Today 349 Presidents, Unilateral Action, and Policy Making 350 Congressional Responses to Unilateral Action 350 Presidents as Politicians 351 The President as Party Leader 353

Unpacking the Conflict 354 Study Guide 356

12. The Bureaucracy 358 What Is the Federal Bureaucracy? 360 What Do Bureaucrats Do? 360 How It Works: Bureaucracy and Legislation 362 Bureaucratic Expertise and Its Consequences 365

How Has the American Bureaucracy Grown? 368 The Beginning of America’s Bureaucracy 368 Building a New American State: The Progressive Era 369 The New Deal, the Great Society, and the Reagan Revolution 369

The Modern Federal Bureaucracy 371 The Structure of the Federal Government 371 The Size of the Federal Government 374

The Human Face of the Bureaucracy 376 Civil Service Regulations 376 Political Appointees and the Senior Executive Service 378 Limits on Political Activity 378

Controlling the Bureaucracy 379 Agency Organization 379 Monitoring 381 Correcting Violations 382 The Consequences of Control 383

Unpacking the Conflict 383 Study Guide 385

13. The Courts 388 The Development of an Independent and Powerful Federal Judiciary 390 The Founders’ Views of the Courts: The Weakest Branch? 390

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xvi Contents

Judicial Review and Marbury v. Madison 392 Judicial Review in Practice 393

The American Legal and Judicial System 394 Court Fundamentals 394 Structure of the Court System and Federalism 395 How Judges Are Selected 396 How It Works: The Court System 398

Access to the Supreme Court 403 The Court’s Workload 403 Rules of Access 403 The Court’s Criteria 405

Hearing Cases before the Supreme Court 406 Briefs 407 Oral Argument 407 Conference 408 Opinion Writing 408

Supreme Court Decision Making 410 Legal Factors 410 Political Factors 410

Unpacking the Conflict 415 Study Guide 417

Part IV: Policy

14. Economic and Social Policy 420 Making Public Policy 423 The Policy-Making Process 423 The Key Players in Economic and Social Policy Making 425 How It Works: The Budget Process 426 Alternate Perspectives on the Policy-Making Process 431

Economic Policy 432 Goals of Economic Policy 432 Tools and Theories of Economic Policy 434 Case Study: The 2008–2009 Economic Crisis 444

Social Policy 446 History and Context of Social Policy 446 Social Policy Today 448 Education Policy 456

Unpacking the Conflict 457 Study Guide 459

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15. Foreign Policy 462 What Is Foreign Policy? 464 Foreign Policy Principles and Perspectives 464 History of American Foreign Policy 466

Foreign Policy Makers 472 The President and the Executive Branch 472 Congress 474 The Federal Courts 475 Groups outside the Federal Government 475 How It Works: War Powers: Who Controls the Armed Forces? 476

The Tools of Foreign Policy 480 Diplomacy 480 Trade and Economic Policies 480 Foreign Aid 482 Alliances and Treaties 482 Military Force 483

The Politics of Foreign Policy 484 Managing International Trade: China 485 Fighting Terrorism: ISIL 486 Preventing the Spread of WMDs: North Korea 489

Unpacking the Conflict 490 Study Guide 491

Appendix The Declaration of Independence A1 The Articles of Confederation A3 The Constitution of the United States of America A6 Amendments to the Constitution A11 The Federalist Papers A16

Endnotes A23 Study Guide Answer Key A45 Credits A47 Glossary/Index A51

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This book is based on three simple premises: politics is conflictual, political process matters, and politics is everywhere. It reflects our belief that politics is explainable, that political outcomes can be understood in terms of decisions made by individuals—and that the average college undergraduate can make sense of the political world in these terms. It focuses on contemporary American politics, the events and outcomes that our students have lived through and know something about. The result, we believe, is a book that provides an accessible but rigorous account of the American political system.

American Politics Today is also the product of our dissatisfaction. Thirty years ago we were assistant professors together at the same university, assigned to teach the introductory class in alternate semesters. Though our graduate training was quite different, we found that we shared a deep disappointment with available texts. Their wholesale focus on grand normative concepts such as civic responsibility or their use of advanced analytic themes left students with little idea of how American politics really works, how events in Washington, D.C., affect their everyday lives, and how to piece together all the facts about American politics into a coherent explanation of why things happen as they do. These texts did not engender excitement, fascination, or even passing interest. What they did was put students to sleep.

As with previous editions, the overarching goal of the Sixth Edition is to describe what happens in American politics, but also to explain behavior and outcomes. In part we wish to counter the widespread belief among students that politics is too complicated, too chaotic, or too secretive to make sense of. More than that, we want to empower our students, to demonstrate that everyday American politics is relevant to their lives. This emphasis is also a response to the typical complaint about American government textbooks—that they are full of facts but devoid of useful information, and that after students finish reading, they are no better able to answer “why” questions than they were before they cracked the book.

In this edition, we maintain our focus on conflict and compromise in American politics—identifying what Americans agree and disagree about and assessing how conflict shapes American politics, from campaign platforms to policy outcomes. Though this emphasis seems especially timely given the recent elections and the prospect of continued deadlock in Washington under a Trump presidency, our aim is to go beyond these events to identify a fundamental constant in American politics: the reality that much of politics is driven by disagreements over the scope and form of government policy, and that compromise is an essential component of virtually all significant changes in government policy. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine politics without conflict. Conflict was embedded in the American political system by the Founders, who set up a system of checks and balances to make sure that no single group could dominate. The Constitution’s division of power guarantees that enacting and implementing laws will involve conflict and compromise. Furthermore, the Constitution itself was constructed as one long series of compromises. Accordingly, despite the general dislike people have for conflict, our students must recognize that conflict and compromise lie at the heart of politics.

Throughout the text, we emphasize common sense, showing students that politics inside the Beltway is often strikingly similar to the students’ own everyday interactions. For example, what sustains policy compromises made by members of

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xx Preface

Congress? The fact that the members typically have long careers, that they interact frequently with each other, and that they only deal with colleagues who have kept their word in the past. These strategies are not unique to the political world. Rather, they embody rules of thumb that most people follow (or are at least aware of) in their everyday interactions. In short, we try to help students understand American politics by emphasizing how it is not all that different from the world they know.

This focus on common sense is coupled with many references to the political science literature. We believe that contemporary research has something to say about prediction and explanation of events that students care about—and that these insights can be taught without turning students into game theorists or statisticians. Our text presents the essential insights of contemporary research, motivated by real-world political phenomena and explained using text or simple diagrams. This approach gives students a set of tools for understanding politics, provides an introduction to the political science literature, and matches up well with students’ common-sense intuitions about everyday life. Moreover, by showing that academic scholarship is not a blind alley or irrelevant, this approach helps to bridge the gap between an instructor’s teaching and his or her research.

The Sixth Edition builds on these strengths. We’ve continued to streamline and improve the presentation of text and graphics and enhanced our “How It Works” sections. New chapter openers use contemporary stories and offer quotations from people on both sides of the debate (from student loans to marijuana legalization) to highlight the conflict and compromise theme. We refer to these openers throughout the chapters to illustrate and extend our discussion. The “Take a Stand” sections now explicitly argue both sides of policy questions. We have also worked to place the Trump presidency in context, acknowledging the differences between Trump and other presidents, but also explaining how Trump’s successes and failures, both in public opinion and in policy terms, can be explained using the same logic we have applied to previous presidents.

The text continues to be ruthlessly contemporary, but also places recent events in context. Although we do not ignore American history, our stress is on contemporary politics—on the debates, actions, and outcomes that most college students are aware of. Focusing on recent events emphasizes the utility of the concepts and insights that we develop in the text. It also goes a long way toward establishing the relevance of the intro class. The new edition discusses the acceptance of same-sex marriage, the debate over immigration reform, and debates over income inequality—all issues that Americans care about. We have also devoted considerable space to describing the 2016 and 2018 campaigns, working to show how recent contests at the presidential and congressional levels fit into a broader theory of how candidates campaign and how voters decide.

Finally, our book offers an individual-level perspective on America’s government. The essential message is that politics—elections, legislative proceedings, regulatory choices, and everything else we see—is a product of the decisions made by real flesh- and-blood people. This approach grounds our discussion of politics in the real world. Many texts focus on abstractions such as “the eternal debate,” “the great questions,” or “the pulse of democracy.” We believe that these constructs don’t explain where the debate, the questions, or even democracy come from. Nor do they help students understand what’s going on in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere, as it’s not obvious that the participants themselves care much about these sorts of abstractions—quite the opposite, in fact.

We replace these constructs with a focus on real people and actual choices. The primary goal is to make sense of American politics by understanding why politicians, bureaucrats, judges, and citizens act as they do. That is, we are grounding our

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description of American politics at the most fundamental level—an individual facing a decision. How, for example, does a voter choose among candidates? Stated that way, it is reasonably easy to talk about where the choice came from, how the individual might evaluate different options, and why one choice might look better than the others. Voters’ decisions may be understood by examining the different feasible strategies they employ (issue voting, retrospective evaluations, stereotyping, etc.) and by asking why some voters use one strategy while others use a different one.

By focusing on individuals and choices, we can place students in the shoes of the decision makers, and in so doing, give them insight into why people act as they do. We can discuss, for example, why a House member might favor enacting wasteful pork- barrel spending, even though a proposal full of such projects will make his constituents economically worse off—and why constituents might reward such behavior, even if they suspect the truth. By taking this approach, we are not trying to let legislators off the hook. Rather, we believe that any real understanding of the political process must begin with a sense of the decisions the participants make and why they make them. Focusing on individuals also segues naturally into a discussion of consequences, allowing us to move from examining decisions to describing and evaluating outcomes. In this way, we can show students how large-scale outcomes in politics, such as inefficient programs, don’t happen by accident or because of malfeasance. Rather, they are the predictable results of choices made by individuals (here, politicians and voters).

The policy chapters in the Full and Essentials Editions also represent a distinctive feature of this book. The discussion of policy at the end of an intro class often fits awkwardly with the material covered earlier. It is supposed to be a culmination of the semester-long discussion of institutions, politicians, and political behavior, but instead it often becomes an afterthought that gets discarded when time runs out in the last few weeks of class. Our policy chapters explicitly draw on previous chapters’ discussions of the actors that shape policy: the president, Congress, the courts, interest groups, and parties. By doing so, these chapters show how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.

Finally, this book reflects our experience as practicing scholars and teachers, as well as interactions with more than twenty thousand students in introductory classes at several universities. Rather than thinking of the intro class as a service obligation, we believe it offers a unique opportunity for faculty to develop a broader sense of American politics and American political science, while at the same time giving students the tools they need to behave as knowledgeable citizens or enthusiastic political science majors. We hope that it works for you as well as it does for us.


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Features of the Text and Media Package

The book’s “three key ideas” are fully integrated throughout the text.

• Politics Is Conflictual and conflict and compromise are a normal, healthy part of politics. The questions debated in elections and the policy options considered by people in government are generally marked by disagreement at all levels. Making policy typically involves important issues on which people disagree, sometimes strongly; so compromise, bargaining, and tough choices about trade-offs are often necessary.

• Political Process Matters because it is the mechanism we have established to resolve conflicts and achieve compromise. Governmental actions result from conscious choices made by voters, elected officials, and bureaucrats. The media often cover political issues in the same way they do sporting events, and though this makes for entertaining news, it also leads citizens to overlook the institutions, rules, and procedures that have a decisive influence on American life. Politics really is not just a game.

• Politics Is Everywhere in that the results of the political process affect all aspects of Americans’ everyday lives. Politics governs what people can and cannot do, their quality of life, and how they think about events, other people, and situations.

New chapter openers and conclusions present two sides of a controversy that has dominated media headlines —and about which people have passionate, emotion-driven opinions from both points of view — framed by quotes from politicians, pundits, and everyday people who hold these views. These include sanctuary cities (Federalism), free speech on college campuses (Civil Liberties), and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (Congress). The “Unpacking the Conflict” sections at the end of each chapter show how the nuts and bolts of the chapter topic can be applied to help students understand both sides of these debates.

New coverage of 2018 elections and Trump presidency provides more than 20 pages and numerous graphics analyzing the 2016 and 2018 elections and the first two years of the Trump presidency, including coverage of current issues, such as the failure to pass “Trumpcare,” executive actions around immigration, border security and international travel (and judicial responses), tax reform, marijuana policy, North Korea, and President Trump’s use of social media.

Organization around chapter goals stresses learning objectives and mastery of core material.

• Chapter Goals appear at the beginning of the chapter and then recur at the start of the relevant sections throughout the chapter to create a more active reading experience that emphasizes important learning objectives.

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• Extensive end-of-chapter review sections organized around the Chapter Goals include section summaries, practice quiz questions, key terms, and suggested reading lists. Students have everything they need to master the material in each section of the chapter.

Special features for critical thinking reinforce the three key ideas while introducing other important ways to think about American politics.

• “How It Works: In Theory/How It Works: In Practice” graphics, many new to this edition, highlight key political processes and structures and build graphical literacy. New discussions include the Supreme Court’s decision on the Masterpiece Cakeshop (Civil Liberties) and passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Congress).

• “What Do the Facts Say?” features develop quantitative reasoning skills by teaching students to read and interpret data on important political issues and current events.

• “Why Should I Care?” sections draw explicit connections between the chapter material and students’ lives.

• “Did you know?” features and pull quotes give students tidbits of information that may induce questions, anger, and may even inspire students to get involved.

• “Take a Stand” features address contemporary issues in a pro/con format and invite students to consider how they would argue their own position on the topic. Each feature concludes with two critical-thinking questions.

• “Nuts & Bolts” features provide students with concise explanations of key concepts, like the difference between civil liberties and civil rights, different kinds of gerrymanders, and brief summaries of campaign finance rules. These features provide an easy way for quick study and review.

Tools for a dynamic classroom • InQuizitive, Norton’s adaptive learning tool, accompanies the Sixth Edition of

American Politics Today and reinforces reading comprehension with a focus on the foundations of government and major political science concepts. Guiding feedback helps students understand why their answers were right or wrong and steers them back to the text. Norton recently conducted a within-subjects efficacy study in American government, and among the students who did not earn a perfect score on the pre-test, we saw an average InQuizitive Effect of 17 percentage points. To try it out, go to

• Features for your Learning Management System (LMS) allow you to easily bring Norton’s high-quality digital content into your existing LMS. The content is fully editable and adaptable to your course needs. The Norton Coursepack for American Politics Today, Sixth Edition, contains the following activities and quizzes:

• “How to Read Charts and Graphs” tutorial that provides students with extra practice and guidance interpreting common representations of data that they will encounter in this textbook and in the world,

• Chapter quizzes that assess student knowledge of each chapter’s core concepts,

• Video exercises that engage students and help them retain and apply information through real-world events,

• “How It Works: In Theory/How It Works: In Practice” animated graphics, with assessment, that guide students through understanding political processes and institutions,

Features of the Text and Media Package

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• Simulations that show students how concepts work in the real world, • “What Do the Fact Say?” activities that give students more practice with

quantitative skills and more familiarity with how political scientists know what they know, and

• “Take a Stand” exercises that present students with multiple sides of contemporary debates and ask them to consider and refine their own views based on what they’ve learned.

• Test bank contains more than 1,800 questions tagged to chapter-learning objectives and keyed to Bloom’s taxonomy.

• An Interactive Instructor Guide (IIG) includes chapter outlines, class activities, and discussion questions, and suggestions for additional resources to engage students.

• Instructor PowerPoints contains fully customizable lecture slides with clicker questions and “How It Works: In Theory” and “How It Works: In Practice” animated PowerPoint slides for optimal classroom presentation.

Features of the Text and Media Package

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This edition of American Politics Today is again dedicated to our families. Our wives, Regina and Sarah, have continued to accommodate our deadlines and schedules and have again served as our most accurate critics and sources of insight and inspiration. Our children have again been forced to contend with politics and textbook writing as a perennial topic of conversation in their visits home, and have responded with critiques and ideas of their own, which appear throughout the text.

Our colleagues at Indiana University and the University of  Wisconsin (and before that, Duke University for both of us) provided many opportunities to talk about American politics and teaching this course.

Bill thanks his colleagues at Indiana University and elsewhere, including Christine Barbour, John Brehm, Ted Carmines, Chris DeSante, Mike Ensley, Bernard Fraga, Russ Hansen, Matthew Hayes, Yanna Krupnikov, Lin Ostrom, Regina Smyth, Will Winecoff, and Jerry Wright, for sharp insights and encouragement at crucial moments. He is also grateful to many teaching assistants who have helped him organize and teach the intro class at three universities. Finally, he thanks the students at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia, where he taught the introductory class as a Fulbright Scholar in 2012.

David gives special thanks to Ken Mayer, whose daily “reality checks” and consistently thoughtful professional and personal advice are greatly appreciated. Barry Burden, Ben Marquez, Don Moynihan, Ryan Owens, Ellie Powell, Howard Schweber, Byron Shafer, Alex Tahk, Dave Weimer, Kathy Cramer, Susan Yackee, and all the great people at Wisconsin have provided a wonderful community within which to teach and research American politics. John Coleman, who has moved on to become a dean at the University of Minnesota, also deserves special thanks as a former member of the intro American team and good friend and colleague. David would also like to thank the students at the University of Debrecen in Hungary, where he taught American politics as a Fulbright Scholar in 2003–2004, and the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Germany, where he taught as a Fulbright Scholar in 2011–2012. The Hungarian students’ unique perspective on democracy, civil liberties, and the role of government required David to think about American politics in a different way. The German students’ views on the role of political parties, campaigns, and the social welfare state also provided a strong contrast to the views of his American students.

Both of us are grateful to the political science faculty at Duke University, who, in addition to giving us our first academic jobs, worked to construct a hospitable and invigorating place to research and to teach. In particular, Rom Coles, Ruth Grant, John Aldrich, Tom Spragens, Taylor Cole, and David Barber were model teachers, colleagues, and scholars. We both learned to teach by watching them, and we are better instructors and scholars for it.

We are indebted to the outstanding people at W. W. Norton who have been our full partners through all six editions. Peter Lesser’s relentless combination of wit, insight, and expertise is evident throughout the book, as are the talents of our new editor, Laura Wilk. The organization and prose of the book has been improved immeasurably by Sam Held’s editing. Steve Dunn was responsible for getting the process started and providing good counsel from beginning to end. Roby Harrington has been a source of constant encouragement and feedback.


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xxvi Acknowledgments

Linda Feldman has been a superb project editor, bringing to the project her talent for clarity of words and visuals. Cat Abelman put together an excellent photo program. Elizabeth Trammell cleared permissions for the figures and tables. Ashley Horna handled production with efficiency and good humor. Jillian Burr and Open design studio created a beautiful design for the book’s interior and cover. Spencer Richardson-Jones and Michael Jaoui’s clear vision for the ever-more-complex and rich digital media package has been a major help. We also would like to thank Aaron Javsicas and Ann Shin for their outstanding work on earlier editions. The entire crew at Norton has been incredibly professional and supportive in ways we never knew when we started writing this book. Signing with them fifteen years ago was an eyes- shut home run.

We are also indebted to the many reviewers who have commented on the text.

First Edition Reviewers Dave Adler, Idaho State University Rick Almeida, Francis Marion University Jim Bailey, Arkansas State University–Mountain Home Todd Belt, University of Hawaii, Hilo Scott Buchanan, Columbus State University Randy Burnside, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Carolyn Cocca, SUNY College at Old Westbury Tom Dolan, Columbus State University Dave Dulio, Oakland University Matt Eshbaugh-Soha, University of North Texas Kevin Esterling, University of California, Riverside Peter Francia, East Carolina University Scott Frisch, California State University, Channel Islands Sarah Fulton, Texas A&M University Keith Gaddie, University of Oklahoma Joe Giammo, University of Arkansas at Little Rock Kate Greene, University of Southern Mississippi Steven Greene, North Carolina State University Phil Habel, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Charles Hartwig, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro Ted Jelen, University of Nevada, Las Vegas Jennifer Jensen, Binghamton University, SUNY Terri Johnson, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Luke Keele, Ohio State University Linda Keith, The University of Texas at Dallas Chris Kelley, Miami University Jason Kirksey, Oklahoma State University Jeffrey Kraus, Wagner College Chris Kukk, Western Connecticut State University Mel Kulbicki, York College

Joel Lieske, Cleveland State University Steve Light, University of North Dakota Baodong (Paul) Liu, University of Utah Ken Long, University of Saint Joseph, Connecticut Michael Lynch, University of Kansas Cherie Maestas, Florida State University Tom Marshall, The University of Texas at Arlington Scott McClurg, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Jonathan Morris, East Carolina University Jason Mycoff, University of Delaware Sean Nicholson-Crotty, University of Missouri, Columbia Timothy Nokken, Texas Tech University Sandra O’Brien, Florida Gulf Coast University John Orman, Fairfield University L. Marvin Overby, University of Missouri, Columbia Catherine Paden, Simmons College Dan Ponder, Drury University Paul Posner, George Mason University David Redlawsk, University of Iowa Russell Renka, Southeast Missouri State University Travis Ridout, Washington State University Andy Rudalevige, Dickinson College Denise Scheberle, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Tom Schmeling, Rhode Island College Pat Sellers, Davidson College Dan Smith, Northwest Missouri State University Dale Story, The University of Texas at Arlington John Vile, Middle Tennessee State University Mike Wagner, University of Nebraska Dave Wigg, St. Louis Community College Maggie Zetts, Purdue University

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Second Edition Reviewers Danny Adkison, Oklahoma State University Hunter Bacot, Elon College Tim Barnett, Jacksonville State University Robert Bruhl, University of Illinois, Chicago Daniel Butler, Yale University Jennifer Byrne, James Madison University Jason Casellas, University of Texas, Austin Jeffrey Christiansen, Seminole State College Richard Conley, University of Florida Michael Crespin, University of Georgia Brian DiSarro, California State University, Sacramento Ryan Emenaker, College of the Redwoods John Evans, California State University, Northridge John Fliter, Kansas State University Jimmy Gleason, Purdue University Dana Glencross, Oklahoma City Community College Jeannie Grussendorf, Georgia State University Phil Habel, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Lori Han, Chapman University Katy Harriger, Wake Forest University Richard Himelfarb, Hofstra University Doug Imig, University of Memphis Daniel Klinghard, College of the Holy Cross Eddie Meaders, University of North Texas

Kristy Michaud, California State University, Northridge Kris Miler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Melinda Mueller, Eastern Illinois University Michael Mundt, Oakton Community College Emily Neff-Sharum, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke David Nice, Washington State University Tim Nokken, Texas Tech University Stephen Nuño, Northern Arizona University Richard Powell, University of Maine, Orono Travis Ridout, Washington State University Sara Rinfret, University of Wisconsin–Green Bay Martin Saiz, California State University, Northridge Gabriel Ramon Sanchez, University of New Mexico Charles Shipan, University of Michigan Dan Smith, Northwest Missouri State University Rachel Sondheimer, United States Military Academy Chris Soper, Pepperdine University Walt Stone, University of California, Davis Greg  Streich, University of Central Missouri Charles Walcott, Virginia Tech Rick Waterman, University of Kentucky Edward Weber, Washington State University Jack Wright, Ohio State University

Third Edition Reviewers Steve Anthony, Georgia State University Marcos Arandia, North Lake College Richard Barberio, SUNY Oneonta Jody Baumgartner, East Carolina University Brian Berry, The University of Texas at Dallas David Birch, Lone Star College–Tomball Eileen Burgin, University of Vermont Randolph Burnside, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale Kim Casey, Northwest Missouri State University Christopher Chapp, University of Wisconsin– Whitewater Daniel Coffey, University of Akron William Corbett, The University of Texas at El Paso Jonathan Day, Western Illinois University Rebecca Deen, The University of Texas at Arlington Brian DiSarro, California State University, Sacramento Nelson Dometrius, Texas Tech University

Stan Dupree, College of the Desert David Edwards, The University of Texas at Austin Ryan Emenaker, College of the Redwoods John Evans, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Brandon Franke, Blinn College, Bryan Rodd Freitag, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Donna Godwin, Trinity Valley Community College Craig Goodman, Texas Tech University Amy Gossett, Lincoln University Tobin Grant, Southern Illinois University Stephanie Hallock, Harford Community College Alexander Hogan, Lone Star College–CyFair Marvin King, University of Mississippi Timothy LaPira, James Madison University Mary Linder, Grayson University Christine Lipsmeyer, Texas A&M University Michael Lyons, Utah State University Jill Marshall, The University of Texas of at Arlington

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xxviii Acknowledgments

Fourth Edition Reviewers Rickert Althaus, Southeast Missouri State University Eric K. Austin, Montana State University Evelyn Ballard, Houston Community College Southeast Jim Battista, University at Buffalo, SUNY Kenneth C. Blanchard Jr., Northern State University Heidi Brockmann, United States Military Academy Adriana Buliga-Stoian, Mount Mercy University Abbe Allen DeBolt, Sandhills Community College John C. Evans, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire Babette Faehmel, Schenectady County Community College Daniel Fuerstman, State College of Florida Stephanie Hallock, Harford Community College John Hitt, North Lake College Debra Jenke, Angelina College Ronald A. Kuykendall, Trident Technical College Paul Lewis, Arizona State University Mary Linder, Grayson College Michael Lyons, Utah State University

Wendy Martinek, Binghamton University, SUNY Melissa Merry, University of Louisville Javan “J. D.” Mesnard, Mesa Community College Monique Mironesco, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu Tim Nokken, Texas Tech University David Parker, Montana State University Sylvia Peregrino, El Paso Community College Blayne Primozich, El Paso Community College Bryan Rasmussen, Collin College Suzanne M. Robbins, George Mason University Susan Roomberg, The University of Texas at San Antonio Michael Shamgochian, Worcester State University Geoffrey Shine, Wharton County Junior College Rachel Milstein Sondheimer, United States Military Academy Gregory Streich, University of Central Missouri Jeremy Teigen, Ramapo College Dave Wells, Arizona State University

Fifth Edition Reviewers Leslie Baker, Mississippi State University Evelyn Ballard, Houston Community College Jim Battista, University at Buffalo, SUNY Nathaniel A. Birkhead, Kansas State University William Blake, Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis

Kenneth C. Blanchard Jr., Northern State University Michael P. Bobic, Glenville State College Ben Christ, Harrisburg Area Community College Rosalyn Crain, Houston Community College, Northwest College Brian Cravens, Blinn College–Schulenburg

Thomas Masterson, Butte College Daniel Matisoff, Georgia Institute of Technology Jason McDaniel, San Francisco State University Mark McKenzie, Texas Tech University Leonard McNeil, Contra Costa College Melissa Merry, University of Louisville Ann Mezzell, Lincoln University Eric Miller, Blinn College, Bryan Jonathan Morris, East Carolina University Leah Murray, Weber State University Farzeen Nasri, Ventura College Brian Newman, Pepperdine University David Nice, Washington State University Stephen Nichols, California State University San Marcos

Tim Nokken, Texas Tech University Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona Andrew Reeves, Boston University Michelle Rodriguez, San Diego Mesa College Dan Smith, Northwest Missouri State University Christopher Soper, Pepperdine University Jim Startin, The University of Texas at San Antonio Jeffrey Stonecash, Syracuse University Linda Trautman, Ohio University Kevin Unter, University of Louisiana Monroe Michelle Wade, Northwest Missouri State University Michael Wagner, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Adam Warber, Clemson University Wayne Wolf, South Suburban College

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Stephanie R. Davis, University of South Carolina Christi Dayley, Weatherford College Justin B. Dyer, University of Missouri Jonathan P. Euchner, Missouri Western State University John W. Eyster, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater Eddie Feng, Weatherford College John P. Flanagan, Weatherford College Peter L. Francia, East Carolina University Daniel Fuerstman, State College of Florida Willie Hamilton, Mt. San Jacinto College David Huseman, Butler County Community College Debra Jenke, Angelina College Catherine Johnson, Weatherford College Joshua Kaplan, University of Notre Dame Tim LaPira, James Madison University Alan Lehmann, Blinn College Morris Levy, University of Southern California

Michael S. Lynch, University of Georgia Rob Mellen Jr., Mississippi State University Timothy Nokken, Texas Tech University Anthony O’Kegan, Los Angeles Valley College Hyung Lae Park, El Paso Community College Donna Rhea, Houston Community College Joseph Romance, Fort Hays State University Sam Scinta, Viterbo University Michael Shamgochian, Worcester State University Lenore VanderZee, SUNY Canton Abram J. Trosky, United States Coast Guard Academy Ronald W. Vardy, Wharton County Community College; University of Houston Gordan Vurusic, Grand Rapids Community College Jeremy Walling, Southeast Missouri State University

Sixth Edition Reviewers Brent Andersen, University of Maine at Presque Isle Nick Anspach, York College of Pennsylvania Nick Beatty, Missouri State University Todd Belt, University of Hawaii Mark Brewer, University of Maine Mark Checchia, Old Dominion University Tom Copeland, Biola University Todd Curry, The University of Texas at El Paso Erin Engels, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI Greg Granger, Northwestern State University of Louisiana Jeanette Harvie, California State University, Los Angeles Susan Haynes, Lipscomb University Carol Jasieniecki, Santiago Canyon College Alana Jeydel, American River College Travis Johnston, University of Massachusetts Boston Jesse Kapenga, The University of Texas at El Paso Cassandra Khatri, Lone Star College–University Park David Kimball, University of Missouri–St. Louis

Keith Knutson, Viterbo University Julie Lane, University of North Carolina Wilmington Tim LaPira, James Madison University Beth Leech, Rutgers University Eric Loepp, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater Darrell Lovell, Lone Star College–University Park Drew McMurray, Wabash Valley College Melissa Merry, University of Louisville Akira Ruddle Miyamoto, University of Hawaii James Newman, Southeastern Missouri State University Timothy Nokken, Texas Tech University Stephen Northam, University of North Georgia Hyung Park, El Paso Community College Yuhua Qiao, Missouri State University Jason Sides, Southeastern Missouri State University Anand Edward Sokhey, University of Colorado Boulder Herschel Thomas, The University of Texas at Arlington Paul Weizer, Fitchburg State University Maryann Zihala, Ozarks Technical Community College

It is a humbling experience to have so many smart people involved in the process of writing and revising this book. Their reviews were often critical, but always insightful, and you the reader are the beneficiaries of their efforts. In many cases, the improvements in this edition are the direct result of their suggestions. They have our profound thanks.

William T. Bianco David T. Canon November 2018

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American Politics Today Sixth Essentials Edition

In a democracy, oftentimes other people win. — C. J. Cregg, The West Wing

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“The values of free expression and a reverence for the free press have been our global hallmark, for it is our ability to freely air the truth that keeps our government honest and keeps a people free.” Senator Jeff Flake

“The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?” President Donald Trump

Early in 2018, Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona, took to the floor of the Senate to make an impassioned defense of the freedom of the press in response to President Trump’s criticisms of the “Fake News” media.1 He called out Trump for labelling the media the “enemy of the people,” noting that Joseph Stalin had used the phrase to silence dissent in the Soviet Union. He continued, “And, of course, the president has it precisely backward—despotism is the enemy of the people. The free press is the despot’s enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. When a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn’t suit him ‘fake news,’ it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press.”2 From this perspective, critical and even negative news coverage of political leaders is an essential part of democratic accountability—it is not fake news.

However, large majorities of the American public share the president’s view on fake news. The conventional definition of fake news is the intentional portrayal of false information as the truth. Ninety-four percent of Americans agree that this is fake news

In October 2017, social media companies testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the spread of fake news through their platforms during the 2016 election. Fake advertisements like this one, in which a Twitter user encourages people to vote via text, were thought to have a detrimental effect on democratic processes in 2016. (Of course, you can’t cast a vote by sending a text message.)


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