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Constitutionalism. Chapter 2. Purposes of a Constitution. Provide legitimacy for a government Consent of the people Tacit consent Establish and organize government Liberal Constitution Statutory Constitution. Purposes of a Constitution. Give government the powers to operate Taxation

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purposes of a constitution
Purposes of a Constitution
  • Provide legitimacy for a government
    • Consent of the people
    • Tacit consent
  • Establish and organize government
    • Liberal Constitution
    • Statutory Constitution
purposes of a constitution3
Purposes of a Constitution
  • Give government the powers to operate
    • Taxation
    • Police power
  • Limit government
    • Bill of Rights
texas s constitutions 1836
Texas’s Constitutions: 1836
  • Liberal constitution
  • Bicameral Congress consisting of House and Senate
  • President and vice president
  • Four levels of judiciary: justice, county, district, supreme
  • Short terms of office: 1-4 years
  • Typical American features: preamble, separation of powers, checks and balances, bill of rights, adult male suffrage, slavery
  • Amending process difficult; none adopted
texas s constitutions 1845
Texas’s Constitutions: 1845
  • Liberal constitution
  • Bicameral legislature with biennial meetings
  • Governor, AG and SOS appointed by governor; comptroller and treasurer elected by legislature.
  • Judiciary consisted of supreme court and district courts; judges appointed by governor
  • Homestead protection and community property
  • Public school system
  • Only one amendment (1850) which made offices elective
texas s constitutions 1861
Texas’s Constitutions: 1861
  • Liberal constitution
  • 1845 constitution revised to reflect joining the confederacy
  • Defense of slavery and states’ rights
  • Emancipation of slaves prohibited
texas s constitutions 1866
Texas’s Constitutions: 1866
  • Liberal constitution
  • Re-enter union under presidential Reconstruction
  • Slavery abolished
  • Governor’s term extended, line-item veto, salary increased, other executive officers elected
  • Legislative salaries increased
  • Supreme Court increased in size and elected to long terms. District judges also elected.
  • Segregated public education
texas s constitutions 1869
Texas’s Constitutions: 1869
  • Result of Radical Reconstruction (Congress)
    • Granted suffrage to African Americans
    • Ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment
  • Liberal constitution
  • Centralized power in the executive – majoritarian democracy
  • Appointment of most political authorities – state and local levels
texas s constitutions 1876
Texas’s Constitutions: 1876
  • Statutory Constitution
  • Reasons for 1876 Constitution
    • Reaction to Reconstruction Era
    • Reaction to Governor E.J. Davis’s administration
    • Agrarian movement sweeping United States in the 1870s that called for more democratic participation and a more limited government.
texas s constitutions 187610
Texas’s Constitutions: 1876
  • Reasons for 1876 Constitution
    • Democratic Delegates ideologies
      • Rapid commercial and agricultural growth, but otherwise no governmental functions
      • Rapid economic growth and invest in human resources, such as schools
      • Government role limited to what private enterprise would not or could not do
      • Less government generally, regardless of purpose
texas s constitutions 187611
Texas’s Constitutions: 1876
  • Seventeen Articles
  • Article 1: Bill of Rights
  • Article 2: Separation of Powers
  • Article 3: Legislature
  • Article 4: Executive
  • Article 5: Judiciary
  • Article 17: Amendment Process
amending the constitution
Amending the Constitution
  • Proposal: House and Senate by a 2/3 vote of each chamber
  • Secretary of State prepares statement describing the amendment
  • Approved by attorney general
  • Published in newspapers twice
  • Ratification by popular vote in general election or special election
criticisms 1876 constitution
Criticisms: 1876 Constitution
  • Long
  • Disorganized
  • Substantive powers lacking for legislature and executive
  • Judicial organization and selection of judges
  • Local government section archaic and disorganized
constitutional change piecemeal
Constitutional Change: Piecemeal
  • First amendment proposed in 1877.
  • Many piecemeal changes from efforts to achieve comprehensive change.
  • Governor Connally’s attempts in the 1960s resulted in an amendment to reduce the Constitution’s deadwood.
  • Representative Mowry introduced amendments between 1997 and 2001.
politics now the texas marriage amendment
Politics Now: The Texas Marriage Amendment
  • Texas Defense of Marriage Act, 2003
  • Amendment defined marriage as “only the union of one man and one woman”
  • Proponents claimed the amendment was necessary to protect against activist judges
  • Opponents argued that the amendment was unnecessary and would bind future Texans
  • Amendment passed with 76 percent of the vote
constitutional change comprehensive
Constitutional Change: Comprehensive
  • Early efforts to call a constitutional convention were unsuccessful.
  • 1971, the legislature proposed an amendment calling for a Constitutional Convention in 1974. Amendment was adopted in 1972 by a 2-1 margin.
constitutional revision 1971 74
Constitutional Revision: 1971-74
  • Legislature elected in 1972 was constitutional convention in 1974.
  • Elected Chair of the Convention and established committees.
  • Bill of Rights could not be revised.
  • Each provision adopted by majority vote.
  • Rules required two-thirds vote for adoption of proposed constitution which failed.
constitutional convention failure
Constitutional Convention Failure
  • Legislators as convention members
  • Two-thirds requirement
  • Right-to-work provision
  • Lack of leadership
  • “Revisionists” and “Cockroaches”
constitutional amendments 1975
Constitutional Amendments 1975
  • Eight Amendments presented to voters
  • Voters rejected amendments
  • Reasons
    • Concern about government’s power
    • Lack of governor’s support
    • Cynicism by voters
constitutional revision in 1999
Constitutional Revision in 1999
  • Proposal by Junell and Ratliff
  • Legislature
    • House terms increased, increased size of Senate, veto sessions, and term limits
  • Executive
    • Governor headed cabinet of nine members
    • Lieutenant governor, comptroller, and attorney general independently elected
constitutional revision in 199922
Constitutional Revision in 1999
  • Judiciary
    • Simplified into fewer courts
    • Supreme Court with 15 members (14 associates and a chief justice)
    • Merit system for selecting judges to district courts, courts of appeals, and supreme court
  • Other Changes
    • Salary commission to recommend salaries
    • Statewide property tax to fund public education
    • Legislature could call a constitutional convention, subject to voter approval
join the debate initiative process
Join the Debate: Initiative Process
  • Currently, 24 states employ some form of the initiative process.
  • The process involves:
    • Direct initiative—proposed policies placed on a ballot for popular approval
    • Indirect initiative—proposed policies must first be submitted to the state legislature during a regular session
join the debate initiative process24
Join the Debate: Initiative Process
  • Proponents
    • Increases citizen involvement in government
    • Reduces power of special interests
    • Makes government more responsive
  • Opponents
    • Increases the power of special interests
    • Subjects the minority to a tyranny of the majority
    • Reduces legislature’s authority, which means less deliberation and compromise