Impeachment Impeachment removes an executive from office, it is the equivalent of being charged with violating a criminal law. “Treason, bribery, or high crimes and misdemeanors.” HOUSE SENATE REMOVAL Can convict and remove from office with 2/3 vote. Brings charges against the president by majority vote. Holds a trial and acts as the jury, led by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Impeachment in the US • Three presidents have been tried for impeachment: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. • Johnson was acquitted in the House by a margin of one vote • Nixon resigned before being impeached • Clinton was impeached in 1998, but acquitted by the Senate in 1999
The Courts and the Policy Agenda • A Historical Review • John Marshall and the Growth of Judicial Review • Marbury v. Madison (1803) established judicial review—courts determine constitutionality of acts of Congress • The “Nine Old Men” • The Warren Court • The Burger Court • The Rehnquist Court
Our Representatives Senator Diane Feinstein HoR Karen Bass (33rd district) HoR Maxine Waters (35th district)
What is the Electoral College? What historical event might have added to the framers’ fear and distrust of ordinary Americans? • The Electoral College is a group of people who elect the President • Created because the writers of the Constitution did not trust the American people to choose the President
How Does the Electoral College Work? • Each state chooses people to be “electors” in the Electoral College • The number of electors each state gets is based on population • The Electoral College meets in January to formally choose the President • Winner takes all: The Presidential candidate who receives the majority of the popular votes in each state wins all of that state’s Electoral College votes. • Presidential candidates need at least 270 Electoral College votes to win the election
What Are Swing States? Map of 2008 Swing States: Who received more votes from swing states? Do you think that affected the outcome? States that do not consistently support one particular political party Swing States are important because ones with many electoral votes decide elections
Electoral Votes CA has 55 electoral votes
Cabinets Department of State Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton http://www.state.gov Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner http://www.treasury.gov Department of Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta http://www.defenselink.mil Department of Justice Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. http://www.usdoj.gov Department of the Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar http://www.doi.gov Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack http://www.usda.gov Department of Commerce Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank http://www.commerce.govhttp://www.dhs.gov
Department of Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis http://www.dol.gov Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius http://www.hhs.gov Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun L.S. Donovan http://www.hud.gov Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood http://www.dot.gov Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu http://www.energy.gov Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan http://www.ed.gov Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki http://www.va.gov Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano
House of Reps:435 Senate: 100 Supreme Court: 9
Court System Levels The Supreme Court The Supreme Court is the ultimate court of last resort. The U.S. Constitution is the "supreme law of the land." The Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of the U.S. constitution. It is, therefore, the highest and most important court in the county. The Supreme Court has the power to overturn federal or state laws that violate the constitution. Federal Courts of Appeals The U.S. Courts of Appeals are the federal intermediate appellate courts. They consist of 12 regional courts divided into circuits--11 geographic regions plus the District of Columbia. For instance, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit covers Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Another federal appellate court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit handles appeals from specific subject matters---like patents, international trade and appeals from certain agencies. Federal District Courts There are 94 federal district courts in the U.S. These courts are the federal trial courts that handle civil and criminal cases involving federal jurisdiction. Federal jurisdiction usually exists when there is a constitutional or federal issue or the parties reside in different states. In addition, all federal criminal prosecutions occur in federal district courts. State courts usually handle most other matters.
State Courts Each state as well as the District of Columbia has its own court system. Most states have a trial court, an intermediate appellate court and a court of last resort. However, some states, like Vermont, Montana, and Nevada, only have a trial court and a supreme court. State courts generally handle all civil and criminal matters arising under state law. Most states have their own constitution and a state supreme court that has the power to interpret their constitution similar to how the U.S. Supreme Court interprets the U.S. Constitution. Administrative Courts The federal government and most states have administrative courts, which are quasi-judicial bodies within government agencies. These courts are different from judicial courts and usually have limited jurisdiction. For instance, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adjudicates only federal employment discrimination claims. Parties can always appeal decisions from administrative courts to judicial courts.