Constitution Test Study Guide - PDF by cutiepie1336

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									U.S. CONSTITUTION TEST STUDY GUIDE US Government Before the Constitution
Declaration of Independence (July 4, 1776) Continental Congress John Locke and “Natural Rights”; “Consent of the Governed” Articles of Confederation (1781-1788)--Weak federal government

THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF (Ratified 1789 by 13 colonies/states)
Constitutional Convention (Philadelphia, 1787) Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists Federalists Supported Constitution Strong central government “The Federalist” papers--James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay Anti-Federalists Feared strong central government Pushed for strong Bill of Rights which led to ratification Basic Principles of Constitution 1. Popular sovereignty--people as source of govt power 2. Separation of Powers--3 branches of govt shared powers 3. Checks and Balances--each branch had some control over others 4. Limited Government--govt doesn’t hold all power 5. Federalism--division of power between national and state govts Structure of Constitution 1. Preamble--6 goals: form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for common defense, promote general welfare, secure blessings of liberty (Everybody sing now!) 2. The Articles 7 Articles each cover general topic with detailed sections and clauses 3. The Bill or Rights and Additional Amendments Bill of Rights--1st 10 amendments added to convince states to ratify 27 total amendments

The Amendment Process 2 ways to propose amendments 1. Proposed by 2/3 vote of each house of Congress 2. Proposed by a national constitutional convention requested by at least 2/3 of state legislatures 2 ways to ratify amendments 1. Ratified by at least 3/4 of state legislatures 2. Ratified by specially called conventions in at least 3/4 of states 26/27 amendments were proposed by 2/3 vote of houses of Congress and ratified by at least 3/4 of state legislatures (Exception: 21st amendment repealing Prohibition) Informal Amendment Process 1. Legislative Actions Laws that “spell out and add to Const provisions” Example: tax laws 2. Executive Actions How Pres carries out his duties Example: Pres as commander-in-chief 3. Judicial Interpretations Judicial Review--Marbury vs. Madison--interpreting laws and Constitution 4. Changing Customs Example: Cabinet positions; two terms for pres.

Interpretations of federalism Dual federalism--Const gives limited powers to nat’l govt and most to states Cooperative federalism--cooperation among various levels to give goods and services to the people New Federalism--emphasizes shrinking nat’l and returning power to states Powers of the National Government Delegated powers (expressed powers)--specific in Const. Implied powers--inferred from Const due to Elastic Clause Elastic Clause--Article I Section 8--”Necessary & Proper Clause” Inherent powers--foreign affairs powers due to having nat’l govt Powers of the States Reserved powers--powers held by states and not given to nat’l 10th amendment=Reserve Clause Concurrent Powers--held both by nat’l and state govts (e.g. taxing) Prohibited Powers--restricted, denied to nat’l, state, or both (e.g. tariffs) States’ Obligations to each other Full faith and Credit Clause (Art IV Sec 1) Extradition

Structures and Powers of Congress Structure of Congress House of Representatives Membership based on population (Mo has 9) Census every 10 years Reapportionment--periodic redistribution of seats Senate Every state has 2 Originally selected by state legislature; 17th amend changed to election at-large by people of state Qualifications and terms House of Rep Senate Age 25 30 Yrs as citizen 7 9 Term length 2 yrs 6 # of terms no limit no limit Powers of Congress 1. Delegated Powers (granted by Const., Art I Sec 8) a. Borrowing power b. Power to tax c. Commerce power--regulate, promote trade d. Currency power--coin money e. Bankruptcies--establish uniform bankruptcy laws f. War powers--”declare war” g. Other delegated powers--naturalization, post office, copyrights, patents, federal courts below Sup ct, 2. Implied Powers “Necessary and proper”; Elastic clause McCulloch vs. Maryland case 3. Non legislative Powers a. Impeachment--Johnson, Clinton, (not Nixon) b. Oversight and investigation Subpoena--legal order requiring person to appear Organization and Membership of Congress Organization 1. The Party Leadership a. Leadership in the House of Representatives Speaker of the House 2 floor leaders Majority leader Minority leader Whips

b. Leadership in the Senate Vice-President=President of the Senate President Pro Tempore 2 floor leaders: Majority leader and Minority leader Whips 2. The Committee System a. Types of Committees (1) Standing committees--permanent committee (2)Select committees--temporary committee (3) Joint committees--from both houses (4) Conference committee--temporary from both b. Committee assignments Ratio equals ration of Rep/Dem in each house 3. Caucuses--informal groups 4. The Support Agencies a. Library of Congress--references for members b. Congressional Budget Office (CB)--studies budget c. General Accounting Office (GAO)--checks agencies d. Government Printing Office (GPO)-prints daily record Membership of Congress Personal and Political characteristics Privileges, Benefits and Penalties--Perquisites (perks), franking, censure Congressional staff--12,000 today How a Bill Becomes a law (Remember the song?) 1. Introducing a bill--bills, concurrent resolutions, joint resolutions 2. Bills in committee--pigeonholed; discharge petition a. Hearings b. House Rules Committee--sets rules for debate on the floor 3. Floor action and debate--quorum a. Debate--filibuster (delaying tactic); cloture (ends debate) The Christmas Tree Bill”; germane; riders b. Voting--pass or table/kill or send back to comm. or amend c. Conference committees 4. The President’s Actions Sign, veto/refuse to sign, pocket veto (w/in 10 days of end of session) Congress can override veto w/2/3 vote by members of house Influences on voting: constituents’ views; party membership; personal views Controversial Issues 1. Seniority system--tradition of giving chairmanship to longest serving 2. Incumbents and term limits Advantages of incumbents in running for reelection Disputes over advantages/disadvantages of term limits 3. Apportionment Malapportionment--distribution in unequal proportion to population Gerrymandering--dividing cong districts to give unfair advantage Racial gerrymandering--redesigning districts for more minority reps

The Office of the President Qualifications 1. Natural born citizen 2. Lived in US for at least 14 years 3. At least 35 years old Term: 4 year terms; 22nd amendment (1951) limited to 2 four year terms and 10 years total Pay and Benefits: $400,000 now; White House; travel and ent.; lifetime pension Presidential Selection and Succession Presidential Selection Electoral College--people selected in each state to cast ballots for president and vice-president Original plan--most votes=pres; 2nd=vp If not majority, House chooses pres; Senate chooses VP 12th amend (1800)--separate ballots for pres and vp Criticism of Electoral College 1. Divisions of votes isn’t fair 2. Winner take all vote means winner of popular vote could lose electoral vote (e.g. Gore in 2000) Presidential Succession 4 ways to vacate presidency: death, disability, resignation, or impeachment and conviction Constitution has VP taking over 1947 Presidential Succession Act--VP; Speaker of the House; president pro tem of senate; cabinet members by senior 25th Amend (1967)--procedure for vacancy in vp spot; pres makes nomination to Congress Presidential Disability--dealt with by 25th amend; VP=”acting pres” if: (1) Pres declares himself in writing unable (2) VP and majority of cabinet decide Pres. is unable The Vice-Presidency 1. Constitutional duties Presides over Senate Helps decide Q of presidential disability 2. The Role of the Vice-President Help pres win elections Head commissions or major projects Give advice if asked Presidential Powers and Leadership Constitutional Powers 1. Military Powers Commander-in-chief War Powers Act--restricted pres power re: using troops

2. Diplomatic powers Negotiates treaties--but Senate must confirm by 2/3 Executive agreements=pacts between heads of state; no Senate approval required Chief diplomat--receives heads of state 3. Executive powers Issue executive orders Presidential appointments--confirmed by Senate Presidential pardons/reprieves, amnesty grants 4. Legislative powers Required to deliver State of Union address each year Veto power--Line-item veto Evolutionary powers 1. The power of economic planning 2. The power of executive privilege=right to withhold information from Cong or refuse to testify 3. The power of impoundment--refuse to spend $ Cong authorized 4.The power of persuasion News releases and briefings Press conferences Photo ops and media events; sound bites Backgrounders and leaks Presidential Leadership and style

The Federal Bureaucracy Executive Office of the President (EOP) 1. The White House office 2. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Federal budget; fiscal year 3. The National Security Council (NSC) 4. The National Economic Council (NEC) The Cabinet Agriculture; Commerce; Defense; Education; Energy; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Interior; Justice; Labor; State; Transportation; Treasury; Veterans Affairs Cabinet’s roles: advisory and departmental Independent Agencies 1. Independent regulatory commissions (ICC,CAB) 2. Government corporations (post office; Amtrak) 3. Independent Executive Agencies (NASA, CIA) Civil Service and bureaucracy Civil Service exams Hatch Act (1939)--limited fed employees’ political activities; loosened some now Iron triangles=mutually advantageous relationship among cong comm, interest groups, and govt agencies

Foundations of the Judicial System Constitutional Origins--3 short sections Specifically creates only the Supreme Court Gives Cong power to create lower federal courts/ “inferior courts” Judiciary Act of 1789--Cong created variety of lower courts State courts/federal courts=dual court system Guidelines of terms of office/compensation for fed judges Serve as long as they practice “good behavior” Appointed by Pres, confirmed by Senate, can be impeached Jurisdiction of the courts Jurisdiction=right to interpret and apply the law Const defines federal courts juris: cases involving ambassadors, maritime law, bankruptcy, 2 or more state govts, citizens of different states, state and citizen of diff state/country, citizens of same state claiming land under grants of diff states, and US law, treaties, and interp of Const. Exclusive juris=authority of fed cts alone to hear and rule Concurrent juris=authority to hear shared by fed, state courts e.g. crime is both fed and state crime Original juris=ct’s authority to hear for first time Appellate juris=cts authority to hear case on appeal Types of law Civil law=law dealing w/relationships between private citizens Plaintiff sues; defendant defends Criminal law=law dealing w/crimes and punishments Constitutional law=law relating to interp of Const. Judicial Review=power of courts to establish constitutionality of nat’l, state, local acts Strict constructionist-narrow interp of Const Loose constructionist-considerable freedom for judge in interp. MARBURY V. MADISON (1803)--gave Sup Court power to declare acts of Cong unconstitutional Organization of the Federal Courts Constitutional courts created by Jud Act of 1789--const. based powers and judges serve for life; Sup Ct, cts of appeal, district cts Legislative courts--established by Cong as specialized ct to hear cases re: powers of Cong. Constitutional Courts The District Courts Primary trial courts in fed system Grand jury Petit jury Courts of Appeal Ct of International Trade

Legislative Courts Ct of Military Appeals US Claims Court Cts of District of Columbia Territorial Courts Ct of Veterans Appeals US Tax Ct Federal Judges Selection Criteria: experience and background; party affiliation; political ideology; race and gender; senatorial courtesy; Selection process: President’s choice; Senate confirmation The Supreme Court 9 justices The Supreme Court at work 1. Choosing the case Writ of certiorari=order from higher ct requiring lower ct to send record of case for review 2. Hearing the case 3. Deciding the case: majority, dissenting, and concurring opinions 4. Implementing decisions Policy-Making Power of the Supreme Court 1. Precedents--judicial decision used as a standard for later cases (principle of “stare decisis”) 2. Judicial activism vs. Judicial restraint Judicial activism=belief that justices should actively make policy, redefine Const. Judicial restraint=belief that justices should not; only decide on facts 3. Checks on Judicial Power a. Limited powers of enforcement--no police force, army b. Congress--confirmation, impeachment, amend Const, alter org of fed cts c. The President--power of appointment d. Public opinion

1ST AMENDMENT FREEDOMS Bill of Rights and Basic Freedoms The Bill of Rights 1st Amend=Religious and Political Freedom 2nd Amend=Right to Bear Arms 3rd Amend=Quartering Troops 4th Amend=Search and Seizure 5th Amend=Rights of Accused Persons; right to remain silent 6th Amend=Right to a Public Trial; right to an attorney 7th Amend=Jury Trials in Civil Cases 8th Amend=Punishments for Crimes 9th Amend=Rights of People (“Elastic Clause”) 10th Amend=Powers of States and People (“Reserve Clause”) Incorporation=gradual process of applying Bill of Rights to States 14th Amendment; Due process clause Civil Liberties vs. Civil Rights Civil Liberties=constitutionally based freedoms for individuals Civil Rights=rights belonging to citizen or member of society, regardless of race, sex, or nat’l origin to receive equal treatment under the law Rights in conflict Example: Tinker v. Des Moines (high school kids w/black armbands protesting war; Sup Ct said ok) Freedom of Religion Establishment Clause=part of 1st amend prohibiting establishment of a national religion School Prayer cases! Free Exercise Clause=part of 1st amend stating that Cong may not make laws restricting or prohibiting person’s religious practices Examples: polygamy by Mormon; snake handlers; Christian Science parents whose kids die; sacrifices; Jehovah’s Witnesses and the pledge of allegiance Freedom of Speech and Press 3 types of speech 1. Pure speech=verbal expression; highly protected by Sup ct 2. Speech plus=actions plus words (marching, demonstrations); not as protected as pure speech; traffic and safety concerns 3. Symbolic speech=expression by conduct; may be no speech; ex: armbands in Tinker v. Des Moines Flag Desecration/burning

Regulating speech Slander=spoken statements meant to injure reputation; not protected by 1st amend Treason=betrayal of your country to help enemy; not protected Sedition=actions or language inciting rebellion and advocating overthrow of govt; controversial area in US history *Schenck v. US= question of “clear and present danger”

Limiting the Press Near v. Minnesota=Sup Ct ruled against “prior restraint” or censorship unless national security involved Confirmed in NY Times vs. US (Pentagon Papers case) Miller v. California=tried to define what is obscene/pornographic which is not protected by 1st amend Recent issues Censorship and the internet--Sup Ct ruled internet is protected like books FCC regulations (Howard Stern?) Freedom of Assembly and Petition Limits on Assemblies Can’t be prohibited just because unpopular But...can consider traffic and other people’s rights to do business “Buffer zones” ok in protests at abortion clinics Freedom of Association Can’t force club to turn over membership list to state Can force male clubs to admit women

RIGHTS OF DUE PROCESS The Principle of Due Process Principle that fed and state govts can’t deprive person of life, liberty, or property by unfair or unreasonable actions Procedural due process=methods by which laws are carried out; rules to be followed by police, cts, and lawyers Substantive due process=reasonableness of the laws themselves; laws must be fair to all citizens Citizenship in the United States 3 ways to become a citizen 1. Born in US or territories 2. Born to US citizens living or traveling abroad 3. Naturalization process--18; speak English; in US for 5 cont. years; pass hearing; swear oath of allegiance Lose citizenship in 3 ways 1. Expatriation--give up citizenship 2. Punishment for federal crime (e.g. treason) 3. Fraud during naturalization process Immigrants and Immigration 250,000 aliens become citizens each year Cong makes laws; ceiling of 675,000/yr set in 1990 The Rights of Aliens Own property, run a business, attend public schools 1st Amend freedoms, due process rights, pay taxes but can’t vote 5 classifications of people who enter country 1. Resident aliens--intend to stay 2. Nonresident aliens--visiting 3. Enemy aliens--from country at war w/US 4. Illegal aliens--enter w/o passport, visa, or entry permit 5. Refugees--avoid persecution or hardship Rights of Persons accused of Crimes Provisions in the Constitution 1. Writ of Habeas Corpus=ct order requiring judge to evaluate whether there is good cause to hold person in jail Can be suspended during rebellion/invasion (Lincoln did) 2. Ex Post Facto laws=prohibited by Const; makes an act illegal after it’s been committed 3. Bill of Attainder=prohibited by Const; law that declares a person guilty w/o a trial

The 4th Amendment and Limits on Investigations Searches and Seizures 1. The police have a search warrant (judge’s order) Probable cause=reasonable belief evidence will be found 2. The individual has been lawfully arrested Exceptions to the Warrant requirement 1. Automobile exception 2. Terry exception--police think person committed or about to 3. Searches following a lawful arrest 4. Searches for evidence 5. Border searches 6. Plain view exception 7. Exigent circumstances The Exclusionary Rule=rule that evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution can’t be presented in trial (“The fruit of the poisonous tree”) Mapp v. Ohio The 5th Amendment and Protection of the Accused Grand jury must investigate and produce indictment (charging w/crime) Double Jeopardy=bringing a person to trial a 2nd time for same crime Prohibited by 5th amendment The Right to remain silent Miranda v. Arizona (1966)=Miranda rights The 6th Amendment and Trials Right to Counsel--Gideon vs. Wainwright (1963) Right to a Fair Trial --public trial; right to question witnesses The 8th Amendment and Punishment Cruel and Unusual Punishment Capital punishment--Is it cruel and unusual? Furman v. Georgia (1972)--must be carried out in fair and consistent way Simmons v. Missouri (2005)—no executions for those who committed murder before they were 18 Property and Privacy Rights Private Property Eminent domain=gov’t’s right to take private prop for public use Privacy rights Not specifically mentioned in Const. Griswold v. Conn (1965)--right to privacy inferred from Bill of Rights Issues re: surveillance; drug testing; application Q’s Abortion rights Application of privacy rights Roe vs. Wade (1973)--14th amend implied right to privacy for abortion; trimesters Right to abortion reaffirmed in 1992 Partial birth abortion ban supported in 2007

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