AP Gov't Unit III: Civil Rights, the Judicial Branch, Interest Groups, and the Media

Useful Links

Class Page

Unit Reviews:
PPT or Text

First Amendment Quiz:
PPT or Text

e-mail Dr. Swanson

Your Supreme Court Justice Project

Google News

Current Event Sheet

Common Cause

Voter Information

Unit Overview
Sections of your AP Gov't book that will be helpful in preparing for this exam:
  • All of Chapter 4 on Civil Liberties and Public Policy (we worked on this out of the CP book, pp.#355-382)
  • All of Chapter 5 on Civil Rights and Public Policy (you took notes on this)
  • All of Chapter 7 on Media and Politics (you have notes from the CP book)
  • All of Chapter 11 on Interest Groups (you have notes from the CP book)
  • All of Chapter 16 on the Judicial Branch (you took notes on this)
Some of the Key Concepts you'll want to review:
  • The specific powers granted to the Federal Courts
  • The important basic facts surrounding the landmark court cases discussed in the section
  • The role the Supreme Court plays in shaping public policy on the United States
  • Examples of the Court using its power to control the power of other branches
  • The weaknesses inherent in being the "law interpreting" power
  • The foundations of our nation's belief in individual rights for its citizens
  • The important mechanisms in our constitution that guarantee those rights
  • The way the Supreme Court has interpreted those rights
  • The role of interest groups (and PACs) in shaping our public policy agenda
  • The ways in which the media hold the government accountable
  • The ways government officials and agencies use the media to campaign and communicate
  • The manner in which the media tries to shape our public policy agenda
Key Information for the Fall Semester Final
  • The first part of the exam will be 60-70 multiple choice questions, 50% of these questions will focus on our most recent unit - the remaining 50% will come from content covered in our first two units
  • The second part of the test will be two essay questions.  One of these will be an essay question of my design, and the other will be an FRQ taken stright from a recent AP exam
  • Altogether the final will be worth about 120 points, or roughly 15% of your final grade in the class

Big Topics for Final Review:

  • voter turnout (trends, motivations, demographics, etc.)
  • powers of the president (enumerated and otherwise)
  • powers of congress (enumerated and otherwise)
  • interpretations of civil rights (and role of 14th Amendment)
  • presidential appointments
  • Interactions between the three branches:
    • President and Congress
    • President and the Courts
    • Congress and the Courts
  • Ideals/Values of the two major parties (& two party system)
  • Entire process of running for President
  • Major influences on voters (age, religion, economic status, education, etc.)