The supreme law of the land
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“The Supreme Law of the Land”. Constitution. It has now been over 200 years since the Constitution was ratified. From 13 states to 50 But how has the constitution kept up with the astounding growth and change over the years?

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“The Supreme Law of the Land”

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The supreme law of the land

“The Supreme Law of the Land”



  • It has now been over 200 years since the Constitution was ratified.

  • From 13 states to 50

  • But how has the constitution kept up with the astounding growth and change over the years?

  • Answer: a lot of the Constitution has stayed the same, however a lot has changed (words were added, eliminated, and changed)

  • The process of changing the constitution comes from two basic ways: formal amendment and informal means

Formal amendment

Formal Amendment

  • Framers were prepared for change

  • Article V of the constitution gives four possible methods of formal amendment

  • First: an amendment can be proposed by 2/3 of each house in congress and be ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures, 38 states legislatures must approve. (26 of the 27 have been adopted this way)

  • Second: an amendment may be proposed by Congress and then ratified by conventions called for that purpose, in ¾ of the states (21st amendment)

Formal amendment1

Formal Amendment

  • Third: an amendment may be proposed by a nat’l convention, called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures. Then it must be ratified by ¾ of state legislatures (none)

  • Fourth: an amendment may be proposed by a nat’l convention and ratified by conventions in ¾ of the States (similar to how our constitution was ratified)

27 amendments pg 759

27 Amendments (pg 759)

  • Since the new constitution gave a lot more power to the National government, people were scared that their rights were going to be violated.

  • People began to fight for a Bill of Rights

  • Bill of Rights are the first 10 amendments

  • These are peoples basic rights that can not be taken away

  • Includes freedom of belief and expression, security of the person, and fair and equal treatment before the law

Other ways to change the constitution

Other ways to change the Constitution

  • Basic Legislation

    Congress has been a major agent of change

  • Congress has made provisions to the Constitution when the time was needed

  • Executive Action

    Presidents have used their power to contribute to the growth of the constitution

  • Court Decisions

  • Party Practices

    -Constitution does not mention political parties

  • Customs

Bill of rights pg 759

Bill of rights…pg 759.

  • 1. Freedom of Religion, Assembly, Petition, Press, Opinion, and Speech

  • 2. The freedom to bear arms

  • 3. No military in your home except in war time.

  • 4. No unreasonable searches

  • 5. The right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself

  • 6. The right to a speedy and public trial

  • 7. The right to a jury trial in civil matters of $20 and over.

  • 8. The right to fair fines and bail. No cruel and unusual punishment

  • 9. Individual Rights. Rights that are not in the constitution are still rights given to citizens.

  • 10. State Rights. Any right not given in the constitution is given to the states to legislate.

Later amendments

Later Amendments

  • 11. You cannot sue another state except with permission by that state’s judicial system.

  • 12. The electoral college must have two separate elections for president and vice president

  • 13. Emancipation. All slaves are free.

  • 14. Foreign born citizens can vote

  • 15. All men get the right to vote – including ex-slaves

  • 16. The Federal Income Tax is established

  • 17. The people elect their own US senators

  • 18. Alcohol is prohibited

  • 19. Women get the right to vote

  • 20. January 20th is the day that a new president takes office

  • 21. It is no longer illegal to drink Alcohol. The 18th amendment is struck down.

  • 22. A president can only have 2 terms in office.

  • 23. Washington DC can vote for the president

  • 24. You may not charge people money so that they can register to vote.

  • 25. Lays down the rules for who becomes president if the president dies/resigns etc.

  • 26. You can vote at the age of 18.

  • 27. Congressmen cannot vote to give themselves a raise in the same term.

Federalism division of powers

Federalism: Division of Powers

  • What is Federalism?

  • The constitution assigns certain powers to the National Government and certain power to the states. (10th Amendment)

Powers of the national govt

Powers of the National Govt.

  • Delegated powers: National govt. only has the powers granted by the constitution

  • There are 3 types of Delegated Powers

  • 1. Expressed- these powers are spelled out in the constitution. (enumerated powers)

    -You can find these powers in Article I

    -including: collect taxes, coin money, regulate foreign and interstate trade, declare war, etc.

    -16th amendment, power to levy taxes

Powers of the national govt1

Powers of the National Govt.

  • 2. Implied Powers: “Necessary and Proper Power”

    -Sometimes called the Elastic Clause, because it has been stretched to cover so many situations

    -Examples: prohibited racial discrimination, building the interstate highway system

  • 3. Inherent Powers: powers that belong to the national government because it is the government of a sovereign state within the world community

    -”these powers exist because the U.S. exists”

    -Examples: regulate immigration, acquire territory

States powers

States Powers

  • Reserved Powers: are powers that ….

    1.the Constitution does not grant to the National government

    2. And that are not denied to the States

    Examples: Marriage Age, Drinking Age, Professional Licensing, Waste Management, Electric, Education

Exclusive concurrent powers

Exclusive & Concurrent Powers

--Exclusive: Powers that are delegated to the National Government, and only to the National Government

Examples: Power to coin money, ,make treaties

--Concurrent Powers: Powers that both the National Government and State Governments posses and exercise.

Examples: collect taxes, set crime punishments

Supremacy clause

Supremacy Clause

  • “Supreme Law of the Land”

  • -National Government stands above all law in the US

The supreme law of the land

Bill of Rights

The supreme law of the land

A person who enters a room and screams "Bomb!" just to see the reaction of the people in the room is protected under provisions in the Bill of Rights.



The supreme law of the land

A police officer comes to your door and asks to search your home without probable cause. You don't want to allow the officer to enter, but he is allowed to search your home.Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

-Patriot Act: The Act increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone, e-mail communications, medical, financial, and other records

Slowly losing rights

The supreme law of the land

Violence is getting to the point in our society where they should stop letting civilians own guns.Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

The supreme law of the land

The Death Penalty is a good way to punish those who murder another human being.Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

The supreme law of the land

Your parents own a house. They invest hours of time and many thousands of dollar into it. The government can make your parents sell the house to them so a highway can be built on the land.Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

Amendment 5: Eminent Domain

The supreme law of the land

Even after September 11th, people are still free to practice the Islamic religion in the United States.Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

The supreme law of the land

A person involved in a dispute over $10 is permitted to take his or her complaint to a civil court. Agree/Disagree: Amendment :

5th & 6th Amendment protecting criminal rights= protecting everyone’s rights

The supreme law of the land

11. President Obama is allowed to call you at home and tell you that you must let soldiers stay in your home. Agree/Disagree: Amendment:

The supreme law of the land

Everybody should be required to stand during the pledge of allegiance



1 st amendment

1st Amendment

  • Threaten to blow up airplanes, schools or the president

  • Sexual harassment

  • Create too much social chaos

  • Extremely crude language in a public forum

  • Disrespectful, vulgar language in schools

  • Hate crimes

Fourth amendment

Fourth Amendment

  • What does a policeman need in order to search your home?

    • A warrant given to him by a judge

    • Probable cause is also needed

2 nd amendment right to bear arms

2nd Amendment—Right to bear arms

Eighth amendment

Eighth Amendment

  • No excessive bail

  • No cruel and unusual punishment

Fifth amendment

Fifth Amendment

You cannot be tried for the same crime twice—called “Double Jeopardy”

You do not have to testify against your self. “I plead the fifth”

You must have due process of law before you are convicted

The government cannot take your land unless it pays.

Amendment one free exercise the person can cannot

Amendment OneFree Exercise—The personCanCannot

Break the law and claim it is religious belief

Raise children without education

Deprive children of needs

Choose whatever religion

Lead prayer in most examples

Ask questions about religions

Worship what/whoever you want

Amendment 7

Amendment 7

The right to a jury trial in civil matters of $20 and over.

Third amendment

Third Amendment

The Government cannot force you to shelter soldiers in your home without your consent in time of war or peace.

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