THE CONSTITUTION

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					THE CONSTITUTION

    CHAPTER 3
     Section 1—The Six Basic Principles

   The Constitution is the nation’s
    Fundamental Law.
       What does this mean?
   Constitution is very short. Why is this
    considered a strength?
       Basketball Analogy
            Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
                  Popular Sovereignty
   All political power belongs to
    the people; people are the
    source of governmental
    power.
       Clear in Preamble “We the
        People”
       Clear in elections for
        governmental officials
       Clear in ability to amend the
        constitution.
             Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
                  Limited Government
   The government may only do
    those things that people have
    given it the power to do
   Aspect of popular sovereignty
   Constitutionalism
   Rule of Law
   Const. has many explicit
    prohibitions on governmental
    power
       Bill of Rights. “The government
        shall pass no law”
                Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
                    Separation of Powers
                                      Separation of Powers.
                                          How does this protect the
                                           people?
                                      This division of power is
                                       written directly into the
                                       Constitution in the first
                                       three Articles of the
                                       Constitution.
 James    Madison, Fed. No. 47,
“The accumulation of all powers,
    legislative, executive, and
  judiciary, in the same hands,
      whether one, a few, or
      many….may justly be
 pronounced the very definition
            of tyranny”
          Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
             Checks and Balances
   Checks and Balances
       Examples?
   Informal checks and balances
   Disadvantages of checks and balances?
Examples of Checks and Balances
         Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
                Judicial Review
   Definition
   Implied in the
    Constitution
   Marbury v. Madison
Section 1—The Six Basic Principles
          Federalism
       Section 2—Formally Amending the
                 Constitution

   Amending the Constitution left to
    Congress and the states by Article V.

   Neither the President nor the Governors
    have any role to play in Amendment
    process.
Amending the Constitution
Proposing Amendments

   Amendments always start at the national
    level.
   Are two ways to Propose
       First, and only used so far
            Vote by 2/3 of both Houses of Congress.
       Second, never used,
          proposed at a convention called by Congress after
           request for such a convention by 2/3 of the states.
          Problems with this method
Amending the Constitution
Ratifying Amendments

   Ratification is done by the states.
   Two methods—
     ratification by state legislatures.
     ratification by state ratifying conventions.

   Who determines which method is used?
   Ratification must be by ¾ of the states
Amending the Constitution
Ratifying Amendments

   Only 21st Amendment has used ratifying
    Conventions
   Maj. vote ok, but 7 states require more
   Are conventions better than legislature?
   Can a State change its mind?
   Time limit?
Mechanics of Amending the Constitution

2/3 vote by Congress     Convention Called by 2/3 of
                         States

          27 of 27               Never Used


Ratified by ¾ of State   Ratified by ¾ of State
Legislature              Conventions

          26 of 27                  1 of 27
Amending the Constitution
Some Details

   Have been thousands of Amendments
    proposed in Congress.
   31 have gotten the 2/3 vote in Congress.
   Constitution has been amended 27 times.
   Only one restriction on amendments
       What is it?
Amending the Constitution
Notable Amendments

   13th-15th—Civil War Amendments
   17th—Direct election of Senators
   18th and 21st—Prohibition and Repeal
   19th--Right to Vote for Women
   22nd—Two term limit for Pres.
Amending the Constitution
Failed Attempts


   Equal Rights
    Amendment
       States failed to
        ratify
Amending the Constitution
Failed Attempts

                               Failed in Congress
                                 Balanced Budget
                                 Electoral College

                                 Flag Burning
    Section 3—Constitutional Change by Other
                     Means

    Informal Amendment—process by which
     changes are made that do not change
     the words.
    Basic Legislation
       Laws spelling out details of provisions
        left sketchy by the Constitution
       Laws “interpreting” the Constitution.
Section 3—Constitutional Change by Other Means
           Executive Action

                       Presidents define and
                        expand powers of
                        president
                       Jackson and Veto
                       Commander and Chief
                       Executive Orders
                       Proposing Legislation
                       Executive Privilege
      Section 3—Constitutional Change by Other Means



   Court Decisions
   Party Practices
   Custom

				
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posted:8/8/2012
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