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Journal #23. Separation of powers – the way that the federal government is divided into 3 separate branches with their own responsibilities and powers Veto – to cancel, usually talking about laws being cancelled by a president Executive order – a command that has the power of law

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journal 23
Journal #23
  • Separation of powers – the way that the federal government is divided into 3 separate branches with their own responsibilities and powers
  • Veto – to cancel, usually talking about laws being cancelled by a president
  • Executive order – a command that has the power of law
  • Pardon – freedom from punishment
quote of the day
“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”

Thurgood Marshall

Quote of the Day
thurgood marshall 1908 1993
Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993)
  • Born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Originally named Thoroughgood
  • Punishment in school was to copy the U.S. Constitution – made him interested
  • Wanted to go to law school at the University of Maryland, goes to Howard instead
  • Friends with J Edgar Hoover – leader of FBI
  • Lawyer for NAACP in Brown v. Board of Education
  • First African American on the Supreme Court
bonus questions
Bonus Questions
  • When and where was the Constitutional Convention held?
  • Who were 3 important delegates at the Constitutional Convention?
  • What were the 2 plans for the new Constitution called?
  • How were the 2 plans different?
  • What are the 3 branches of government?
  • What is the system called that makes sure no one branch becomes too powerful?
the federal system
The Federal System
  • The United States is a representative democracy – a government led by officials who are chosen by the people
the federal system1
The Federal System
  • The powers granted to the federal government are called delegated powers
    • Sometimes these powers can be stretched by using the elastic clause – “necessary and proper”
  • The powers kept by the state government are called reserved powers
  • Concurrent powers are powers that the federal and state governments share
the legislative branch
The Legislative Branch
  • Is also called Congress and it makes the nation’s laws
  • It is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate
the house of representatives
The House of Representatives
  • The House of Representatives has 435 members
  • The U.S. census determines the number of representatives for each state
  • House members represent a particular area
  • Requirements for House members
    • 25 years old minimum
    • U.S. citizen for at least 7 years
    • Must be a resident of the state where they are elected
  • House members serve two-year terms
  • One of the bodies that creates our countries laws
the senate
The Senate
  • The Senate is made up of two representatives (Senators) from each state
  • Requirements
    • Must be 30 years old
    • U.S. citizen for 9 or more years
    • Must be a resident of the state they represent
  • Senators serve 6 year terms
  • There is no limit to the number of times someone can be elected to Congress
the legislative branch1
The Legislative Branch
  • The political party that has the most members in each house of Congress is called the majority party
  • The party with fewer members is the minority party
  • The leader of the House of Representatives is the Speaker of the House
    • House members elect the Speaker from the majority party
  • The vice president of the U.S. is the president of the Senate – he only votes to break a tie
  • Congress does most of its work in committees that specialize in certain types of bills
john boehner
John Boehner
  • Is the current Speaker of the House
  • He is a republican from Ohio
the executive branch
The Executive Branch
  • Article II of the Constitution specifies the powers of the executive branch
  • This branch enforces the laws that Congress passes
  • The President is the head of the executive branch and the most powerful elected leader in the country
the president
The President
  • Requirements
    • Native born U.S. citizen
    • At least 35 years old
    • U.S. resident for at least 14 years
  • Barack Obama, our 44th president, is the first African American president
  • The president and vice-president serve for 4 years
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected 4 times, but today presidents are limited to 2 terms (22nd Amendment)
  • This is the most powerful elected leader in the country
  • The House of Representatives can impeach, or vote to bring charges of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” against a president
  • The Senate tries all impeachment cases, if the president is found guilty Congress can remove him from office
  • Impeached presidents
    • Andrew Johnson (removed from office in 1868)
    • Bill Clinton (stayed in office in 1998)
  • Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 to avoid impeachment
working with congress
Working With Congress
  • The system of checks and balances often places the president against Congress
  • It is challenging when the president’s party is different from the majority party in Congress
  • The president can ask Congress to pass or reject bills – he can also veto laws
other presidential powers
Other Presidential Powers
  • In certain situations the president may issue an executive order that stretches the laws
  • The president can also grant a pardon to people facing criminal charges
  • As commander in chief of the armed forces, the president can send in U.S. troops
  • The president has 14 executive departments who do most of the executive branch’s work
  • The heads of these departments are the president’s advisors also called the cabinet
the judicial branch
The Judicial Branch
  • Article II of the Constitution
  • A system of federal courts, headed by the Supreme Court
  • Can strike down laws if they are unconstitutional
  • The president appoints judges to federal courts
  • Judges are appointed for life
the judicial branch1
The Judicial Branch
  • Lower courts are divided based upon which type of cases they hear
  • Each state has at least 1 district court to handle federal cases
    • 94 total U.S. district courts
    • 13 courts of appeals
the supreme court
The Supreme Court
  • After a case has been decided by the court of appeals, the losing side may appeal the decision to the Supreme Court
  • Thousands are appealed to the Supreme Court each year, but only about 100 are heard
  • Supreme Court justices carefully choose which cases to hear – usually cases must involve an important constitutional or public interest issue
the supreme court1
The Supreme Court
  • The highest and most powerful court in the United States
  • Congress decides how many justices sit on the Court – it has been 9 traditionally
  • The chief justice of the United States leads the Supreme Court
  • There are no specific requirements to become a Supreme Court justice
  • Thurgood Marshall became the first African American Supreme Court justice in 1967
  • Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court justice in 1981