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195 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Which of the following would not be considered a judicial matter?
-Creation of a budget for the state courts
Which is not an example of a civil suit?
-Arson
Which is not an example of a criminal case?
-Breach-of-contract
Which of the following statements about the Texas judicial system is incorrect?
-Texas courts dealt with over 24 million cases in 2011, or an average of one case for every resident of the state.
Texas courts dealt with over 24 million cases in 2011, or an average of one case for every resident of the state.
-There are tougher rules of procedure to balance or weigh the evidence
There are tougher rules of procedure to balance or weigh the evidence
-cases that deal primarily with individual or property rights
To prove a defendant guilty in a criminal case, the state must provide
-sufficient evidence that jurors will believe the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
One of the most important distinctions between civil and criminal cases involves the issue of
-burden of proof.
The burden of proof standard used in civil cases is
-a preponderance of the evidence
The duty of a party in a court case to prove its position is called
-burden of proof
_________ is the power to try a case being heard for the first time.
-Original jurisdiction
Original jurisdiction of a court involves all of the following except
-a review of the record
________ refers to the power of an appellate court to review the decisions of a lower court.
-Appellate jurisdiction
Appellate proceedings are based on
-review of law as applied in the original court.
Which of the following statements about legal briefs is incorrect?
-A brief is a written argument prepared by a judge.
A second prosecution for the same offense after acquittal in the first trial is known as
-double jeopardy
Which of the following courts is included in a city’s charter?
-*Municipal
Municipal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over the following except
-does include jail sentence
Which court has exclusive jurisdiction to try violations of city ordinances?
-Municipal
Which branch of government authorizes city governments to determine whether their municipal courts are courts of record?
-State legislature
The vast majority of cases heard by municipal courts involve
-traffic and parking violations
A ___________ trial is a new trial conducted in a higher court (as opposed to an appeal).
-de novo
Public confidence in municipal courts is
-low.
The justice of the peace courts are authorized by
-the Texas Constitution.
The justice of the peace is elected for a ___-year term.
-four
Duties of the justice of the peace may include all of the following except
-civil cases where the dispute involves less than $100,000.
The only constitutional qualification to become a justice of the peace is
-being a registered voter.
Defenders traditionally refer to the justice courts as the _________ and maintain that elimination of the justice courts would remove the close contact many treasure
-people’s court
Texas has how many county courts?
-254
The Texas Constitution requires that the county judge be elected by voters for a four -year term and be
-well informed in the law of the state.
County courts-at-law have jurisdiction for all of the following except
-civil jurisdiction involving cases over $100,000
District courts are often described as the _________ of the state, and as a group these courts are called the general trial courts
-chief trial courts
Currently, there are _____district courts, all of which function as single-judge courts.
-456
Which of the following is not a qualification to become a district court judge?
-Must be a resident of Texas for 10 years.
District court jurisdiction extends to all of the following except
-original jurisdiction for traffic cases.
_________ refers to a situation in which the prosecutor and defense attorney negotiate an agreement whereby the accused pleads guilty to a less serious crime than originally charged or in return for a reduction in the sentence to be served
-Plea bargaining
How many courts of appeals does Texas have?
-14
Which of the following statements about court of appeals judges is incorrect?
-They must have lived in their district five years prior to the election
Texas has a __________ system of courts of last resort.
-dual
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has one presiding judge and _________ other judges.
-eight
Which court has exclusive jurisdiction over automatic appeals in death penalty cases?
-Court of Criminal Appeals
As of January 2012, the state of Texas had executed __________ people since 1976.
-478
Which of the following statements about execution in Texas is correct?
-Texas has executed far more individuals than any other state
Which Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge refused to take Michael Richards, a death row inmate, appeal after 5 P.M.?
-Sharon Keller
Which of the following is not an original jurisdiction of the Texas Supreme Court?
-Ruling in death penalty cases
The Supreme Court consists of one chief justice and _________ associate justices.
-eight
The majority of the cases heard by the Texas Supreme Court are from a
-petition for review
In 1989, in which court case did the Texas Supreme Court unanimously declare that the huge disparities between rich and poor school districts were unacceptable and ordered changes in the financing of Texas’s public schools?
-Edgewood v. Kirby
How many members serve in the Grand juries in Texas?
-Twelve
An alternative to a grand jury indictment is __________, which is used for minor offenses.
-the information
The purpose of a grand jury is to
-determine if there is sufficient evidence to bring the accused to trial
Which of the following statements about indictments in Texas is incorrect?
-The vote of all of the twelve grand jurors is needed to indict
Which of the following statements about grand jurors is incorrect?
-The accused can have an attorney in the room during questioning
Some Texas grand jurors are selected by which method?
-A grand jury commission
When an individual is not indicted by a grand jury, a _________ is issued
-no bill
When grand juries consider matters independent of the district attorney’s recommendation they are called
-“runaway” grand juries.
Trial by jury in criminal cases is a right guaranteed by the Texas Constitution and which of the amendments to the U.S. Constitution?
-Sixth Amendment
Which of the following statements about petit (trial) juries is correct?
-County courts have six-person juries, whereas there are twelve people on juries at the district court level.
Which of the following occurs when a jury is unable to agree on a verdict after a suitable period of deliberation?
-Hung Jury
The merit plan for selecting judges is sometimes referred to as the
-Missouri plan
Texas officially uses which method to select state judges?
-Partisan election
Most states use the __________ system to select their judges.
-merit
Which of the following is not a criticism of the Texas method of selecting judges?
-Judges elections are nonpartisan
In the case of _________________ the United States Supreme Court upheld disclosure requirements for corporate campaign contributions but removed many financial restrictions on those contributions
-Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission
Which statement about minorities and the state judicial system is correct?
-The system continues to be harshly criticized by representatives of minority groups
According to Brent Boyea the conservative, pro-business preferences among Texas judges are influenced by
-campaign laws
-judicial elections
-public opinion.
The Texas state budget is exceeded only by those of California and
-New York
Which of the following is not true about recent state budgets?
-Demands for state services have decreased over time.
Adjusting for population and inflation, state spending grew at an average annual rate of _________ over the last 20 years.
-0.8 percent
During the 2012–2013 fiscal year, ________ of estimated Texas revenues are from state taxes?
-44 percent
During the 2012–2013 fiscal year, what percent of estimated Texas revenues came from the federal government?
-39 percent
The income tax became available to the national government with the ratification of which amendment to the United States Constitution?
-Sixteenth
Individual and corporate income taxes immediately became the national government’s major source of funding and today, they constitute approximately _________ of federal tax revenue.
-56 percent
Property taxes were once the major source of state revenue until
-the Great Depression of the 1930s
In 1931, Texas adopted a tax on
-cigarettes.
Broadly based taxes collected on the retail price of most items are called
-general sales tax.
Selective sales taxes in Texas are
-applied to liquor sales
What kinds of taxes are included in the retail prices of the goods and services?
-Hidden taxes
Texas’s largest single individual revenue source is
-federal funds
All the following items have a hidden tax included in their prices except
-real estate
A _________ is a tax on raw material (such as oil and natural gas) when they are extracted from their natural state
-severance tax
What is Texas’s general sales tax on retail purchases?
-6.25 percent
The general sales tax yielded what percent of the state’s revenue?
-24.8 percent
What taxes are the major source of revenue for virtually all local government, cities, counties, and special duties?
-Property taxes
Which of the following has occurred because of Texas’s state government-imposed mandates on local governments?
-State taxes have remained low, but local taxes are higher than in many states
Property taxes are the major source of revenue for virtually all of the following governments except
-national government.
Which tax may be applied to two major types of property including real property and personal property?
-Ad valorem
Ad valorem taxes may not be applied to which of the following?
-The sale of real estate
Ad valorem means
-“according to value.”
Which of the following has the authority to determine the property tax rate on real property in a county?
-The commissioners’ courts
Which of the following is incorrect about income tax?
-High income taxes can discourage general economic activity.
Which of the following taxes is not considered one of the most effective at raising revenue?
-Narrowed based
__________ is a tax designed to be paid by a large number of taxpayers.
-Broad-based tax
In the battle over taxation, one of the most intense issues is
-what should be taxed
Which of the following is not a common political rationalization for taxing various groups differently?
-To appease the general public back home
A tax imposed with the intent of exerting social or economic control by reducing taxes on approved behaviors or imposing higher taxes on undesirable activities is
-regulatory tax
Regulatory taxes are sometimes called a(n)
-sin tax.
An excise or “sin” tax is levied on the sale, manufacture, or use of all of the following except
-snacks
The gasoline tax is an example of what type of tax?
-Benefits received
Which of the following does not fall under the category of the benefits-received principle?
-Local school taxes
The most common ability-to-pay taxes are levied on all of the following except
-gasoline.
All of the following are seldom taxed with the exception of
-*real estate
What percentage of Americans pays no income taxes at all?
-40 percent
Tax rates that place more of a burden on low- and middle-income taxpayers than on wealthier ones care called
-regressive tax rates
Declining marginal propensity to consume means
-as income increases, spending increases proportionately
Which of the following is an example of tax shifting?
-As taxes on businesses rise, businesses raise their prices
-As property taxes increase, landlords raise rents
-Businesses making their taxes consumer taxes
Which of the following income groups in Texas paid the highest percentage in effective taxes?
-Lower
Which of the following states does not collect a small percentage of their resident’s income than Texas?
-Alaska
__________ advocate that taxes on higher-income individuals should be kept low to allow them to save and invest to stimulate the economy
-Supply-siders
For the 2012–2013 biennium, Texas will receive approximately __________ in federal funds, which represents 30 percent of state revenue.
-$71 billion
At the beginning of each legislative session, the _________ reports to the legislature the total amount of revenues expected from current taxes and other sources.
-comptroller of public accounts
State bonds that are repaid with the revenues from the service they finance are called
-revenue bonds.
General-obligation bonds cannot be used for which of the following?
-Higher education bonds financed by tuition revenue
It is through what process that the legislature legally authorizes the state to spend money to provide its various programs and services?
-Appropriations
Trading votes among legislators, especially to fund local projects to benefit their constituents, is called
-logrolling
Texas ranked __________ among the 50 states in overall per capita spending
-47th
The most costly service in Texas is
-education.
In 1949, which law increased state funding and established the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which carries out the state’s educational program
-Gilmer Aikin
The State Board of Education does all of the except
-makes routine managerial decisions.
The Texas’s ranking of population older than 25 with a high school diploma is
-50th
Which law “recaptured” property tax revenue from property-wealthy school districts and distributed those in property-poor districts, in an effort to equalize the financing of all districts throughout Texas?
-Robin Hood plan
When did the state of Texas initiate the top 10 percent plan?
-When the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that race could not be considered in affirmative action admission policies
Which is not a level of state involvement in health care?
-When it advocates socialized medicine
TxDOT planned to use comprehensive development agreement with private entities to develop a highly ambitious and controversial 50-year program to supplement existing highways. This program was called the
-Trans-Texas Corridor.
Which of the following did the Trans-Texas Corridor not include?
-Housing
According to the Davis essay, the slow decrease of support from the state has led many colleges and universities to rely more on
-offering fewer courses
-part-time faculty.
-increased class sizes
Anyone who lives in a metropolitan area is likely to be governed by
-hospital districts
-school districts
-municipal and county governments
Which of the following is not a special district in Texas?
-Municipal government
All of the following are examples of local governments in Texas except
-town.
According to the Pew Research Center, the American public has a more _________ of local governments than of the national and state governments.
-positive view
In Texas, political parties do not
-nominate candidates below the county level.
-mention party affiliation on the ballot
-increase voter turnout in the municipal and special district elections
In 2007, Farmers Branch in Dallas, Texas, passed an ordinance that was upheld by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals; this ordinance was a ban on
-renting apartments to illegal immigrants.
All local governments are bound by all of the following except
-municipal codes.
The relationship between states and local governments follows from the fact that states have a _________ system of government.
-unitary
__________ are creatures of the state and have only as much power as the Texas Constitution and Texas legislature grant them?
-Special districts
-School districts
-Counties
Texas cities are classified as either
-general-law or home-rule.
Which of the following statements about a general-law city is correct?
-It is an incorporated community with a population of 5,000 or less.
Cities that limit the sale of beer and wine, freeze property taxes for seniors and people with disabilities, increase minimum wage, and place a cap on property tax rates is an example of a(n)
-initiative.
Which of the following allows registered voters to force a sometimes reluctant city council to place a proposed ordinance on the ballot?
-Initiative
To become a home-rule city in Texas, a city must have a population of at least
-5,000 residents
Voters who wish to repel an existing ordinance can petition the council to hold a(n)
-referendum election
Which of the following statements about recall elections is incorrect?
-They are used in general-rule cities.
Which of the following is a limit placed on home rule cities in Texas?
-State law determines the specific dates for municipal elections.
-Local government are subject to sunshine laws.
-All local election law changes must meet federal pre-clearance requirements.
Which of the following is not a form of local government?
-Strong manager-council system
In a council-manager form of government, who is responsible for both executing council policies and managing the day-to-day operations of city government?
-The city manager
The powers of the city manager come from
-a city charter
Council-manager government was initiated as part of a reform movement during the
-Progressive Era.
In the strong-mayor system, who is responsible for administration of city policy?
-The mayor
Which of the following is considered a restriction on the powers of the mayor in some strong-mayor council systems of government?
-Campaign finance laws
-Nonpartisan elections
-Ethics
In a weak-mayor form of government, power is
-decentralized.
The two largest Texas cities with a mayor-council form of government are
-Houston and Pasadena.
Which city governments have officials who act as both executives and legislators?
-Commissions
A majority of U.S. cities have all of the following except
-partisan elections.
In many cities some or all of the city council members are elected by voters of the entire municipality rather than form neighborhood districts. This is called a(n)
-at-large city elections.
Which type of election system has served as the primary means of increasing minority representation on city councils?
-Single-member districts
__________ voting is an at-large system that permits voters to cast one or more votes for a single candidate.
-Cumulative
The idea that city hall is best governed by new blood and fresh ideas and that limiting the number of terms for council members in the best way to achieve that goal is known as
-term limit
Which factors influence the sources and amount of revenue used to meet a city’s budgetary obligations?
-The total assessed value of taxable property within the city limits
-The amount and type of taxes a city is allowed to levy
-Size of the city’s population
When it comes to the use of lobbyists to promote the needs of local government, which is an argument not used by critics?
-Local governments need additional leverage when it comes to combating unfunded mandates.
Property appraisals in all local governments are done by which of the following?
-Countywide appraisal authority
The maximum property tax rate of a general-law city is
-$1.50 per $100 of the assessed value of a city’s property.
Home-rule municipalities can set property tax rates as high as
-$2.50 per $ 100 of assessed value.
Some Texas cities have taken measures to limit increases in property taxes by
-freezing property taxes for the disabled and the elderly.
A rollback election does which of the following?
-Voters in non-school district jurisdictions limit an increase in the property tax rate to no more than 8 percent.
Which of the following is not considered a city user fee?
-*Ad valorem
Local governments use public debt (normally bond issues that must be approved by the voters in a referendum) to fund which of the following?
-Roads, buildings, and public facilities
Which of the following is not a source of municipal revenue?
-Income tax
Although Texas added more people than any other state, most of this growth has been in
-suburban and exurban communities.
Of the ten largest cities in the United States, Texas is home to how many of the largest cities?
-Three
Which of the following statements about mandates is correct?
-There is an increase in the number of mandates imposed by the federal government.
Which of the following is not an example of a federal mandate?
-No-smoking ordinances
Which public official is not a member of the Unfunded Mandates Interagency Work Group?
-The lieutenant governor
Big cities in Texas have suffered less than many other U.S. cities from “white flight,” urban decay, the evacuation of industry, and declining tax bases; one reason they have escaped some of the worst of these problems is
-the state’s board of annexation laws
Texas cities can keep from being boxed in by suburban “bedroom” cities using their power
-extraterritorial jurisdiction.
Which of the following statements about colonia is incorrect?
-A colonia that is eligible for state aid cannot continue to receive such aid after annexation by a city.
All of the following statements about county government are true with the exception of which one?
-Texas counties, like cities, have home-rule provisions.
In terms of property taxes, the county is limited to a rate of __________ per $100 of assessed valuation.
-80 cent
Which of the following is an optional county power authorized by state laws and various state codes?
-A county may establish and maintain libraries.
-Counties may regulate sexually-oriented businesses.
-A county government has the authority to maintain a county hospital.
Which county official presides over the commissioners’ court?
-The county judge
The commissioners court acts as a legislature
-with limited authority to approve the budget for all county operations.
-to set the tax rate.
-to pass ordinances on a narrow range of policies.
The major influence exercised by the commissioners’ court over the county offices comes from
-their budgetary powers.
Which of the following is not a power of a county judge?
-Exercising judicial authority over felony cases
Which statement about a commissioners court is incorrect?
-Commissioner districts need not be drawn on the basis of the one-person, one-vote principle.
Commissioners are sometimes called __________ because they are responsible for the county roads and bridges within their precincts.
-road commissioners
The county sheriff has all of the following functions except
-operates the city jail
Who is the county law enforcement official elected to serve as the process officer of justice of the peace courts and also has general law enforcement powers?
-Constable
Which is considered a county’s most important financial officer?
-The tax assessor-collector
When a county has a population of more than 8,000, which office assumes the county clerk’s role as record keeper for the district courts even as the county clerk continues to maintain records for the constitutional county court and any county courts-at-law?
-District clerk
Which is not a reason why reformers recommend a short ballot with fewer elected county officials?
-They fear that concentrating too much power in a single chief executive invites abuse and threatens personal liberty
The unit road system does which of the following?
-Takes the day-to-day responsibility for roads away from individual county commissioners and places it in the hands of a professional engineer
Elected county officials hire county employees using
-the spoils system
_________ is the merging or joining of responsibilities by county and other local governments.
-Consolidation
Which of the following is a dependent agency and not a special district?
-Crime control and prevention districts
Which statement about councils of government (COGs) is correct?
-Most of their members are municipal and county governments
-They are not governments and have no jurisdiction over the various local governments within its borders.
-They are a voluntary grouping of governments that have not relinquished any of their self-government rights.
The lessons learned from observing decision making in small cities in Texas
-apply to larger cities, states, and the national government as well.