Three Branches of Government. Article I: Legislative Branch Congress-Two Houses. Upper House-Senate Each state has two Senators=100 U.S. Senators
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Article I: Legislative BranchCongress-Two Houses • Upper House-Senate • Each state has two Senators=100 U.S. Senators • Senators must be at least 30 years old; must be a U.S. citizen for 9 years; and are elected every 6 years. Every senator must be a resident of the state they represent. • Lower House-House of Representatives • Total of 435 members • Based on each states population-each state has at least 1 member. • House members must be at least 25 years old; a U.S. citizen for 7 years and are elected every 2 years. Every member of the House must be a resident of the state they represent.
What Does Congress Do? • The most important power of Congress is to make National Laws. • A bill (proposal for a new law) may be introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives. • The Framers of the Constitution intended Congress to be the most powerful branch of government. It gives specific details about the powers of Congress. • Other duties of Congress include: collecting taxes; coining money; establish post offices; impeachment; and declare war.
Legislative Branch:Our Law Makers • The leader of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States. • He cannot partake in any debates on the Senate floor or vote on any bill unless there is a tie in the Senate-he may break the tie. • (Joe Biden-former Senator from Delaware, 1973-2009)
California Senators Barbara Boxer (D) 1992-present Dianne Feinstein (D) 1992-present
House of Representatives • The Speaker of the House oversees the House. • He/She is chosen by the majority party in the House of Representatives. • Unlike the VP in the Senate, the Speaker is allowed to debate, argue, vote and control the agenda of the House. • If the President and Vice President were to die in office, the Speaker of the House would become President. • John Boehner-Speaker since 2011; (R) Ohio. He has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2000.
The Senate Senate: • Currently there are 53 Democratic Senators, 45 Republican Senators and 2 Independent Senators in Congress. • Each Senator is a member of a “committee” and focuses on creating laws within that committee. • Examples of Senate Committees: Transportation, Foreign Relations, Veterans’ Affairs, Energy and Natural Resources, etc.
The House: House of Representatives: • Currently there are 232 Republicans, 200 Democrats, O Independents and 3 Vacancies in the House. • Each House member is part of a “committee” and focuses on creating laws within that committee. • Examples of House Committees: Agriculture, Armed Services, Education, Budget, etc.
Your Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives: • California is broken into 53 Congressional districts. Walnut Creek is part of the 11th District. • George Miller – Democrat; 11th Congressional District. • He is the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. • He has been a member of the House since 1975. • What is Congressman Miller working on? HR 521 The Transforming Education Through Technology Act would require states and school districts to develop plans and policies that put the best technology in the hands of students and teachers to support learning and achievement for all students, including allowing students and teachers to receive real-time feedback, exchange information, and connect instantly with peers beyond school walls.
Article II: The Executive Branch • The leader of the Executive Branch is the President. • The President must be at least 35 years old; and be a natural born citizen of the U.S, and lived in the United States for 14 years. • Until 1951 the President could serve more than 2 terms if he wanted. In 1951 the 22nd Amendment was added to the Constitution limiting it to 2 terms. The maximum amount of years a President could serve would be 10 years. How? • President Barack Obama (D); Former U.S. Senator from Illinois 2005-2008.
The Executive Branch • The Constitution is not as detailed with the powers of the Presidency as it is with the powers given to Congress. • As a result, each President can try to reshape the Presidency to try and meet the needs of a changing country. • Powers granted to the President are: Commander and Chief, Propose laws, grant pardons, appoint federal judges, ambassadors and other high officials, and negotiate foreign treaties.
The President’s Cabinet Members • The tradition of the Cabinet dates back to the beginnings of the Presidency itself. Established in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, the Cabinet's role is to advise the President on any subject he may require relating to the duties of each member's respective office. • The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments — the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Attorney General
Presidential Impeachments • When a President, or any government official, is impeached it means that a formal process has started to remove that person from their position because of a crime or wrongful act they have committed. • Impeachment is a two step process involving a combination of the House of Representatives the U.S. Senate with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presiding over the case if it moves to the Senate. • Once the House votes on the impeachment, the President is considered “impeached.” • There have been two/ three Presidential impeachment trials in U.S. history • Andrew Johnson • Richard Nixon (?) • Bill Clinton
Andrew Johnson-1868 • In 1868 Johnson fired the Secretary of War who had been given the position previously by Abraham Lincoln. • In 1867 Congress had passed the “Tenure of Office Act” that made it “illegal” for a government official to get fired without cause. • The impeachment was passed in the House, but failed in the Senate by one vote. • The Tenure of Office Act was later found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Bill Clinton- 1998 • In 1998 Clinton by the House of Representatives for “perjury” or lying to a Federal Grand Jury and “Obstruction of Justice.” • Clinton was successfully impeached by the House of Representatives, but the Senate vote fell short of the needed 2/3 vote to remove him from office.
Richard Nixon--1974 • When we think of impeached presidents the first president that usually comes to mind is Richard Nixon-but Nixon was never impeached. • In 1972 Nixon was accused of illegally listening in on phone conversations and breaking into the offices of his political opponents in the Washington D.C. offices know as Watergate. • Before the impeachment process started, Nixon resigned from the Presidency.
Article III: The Judicial Branch • Every state in the country has a State Supreme Court. • California has a total of 7 CA Supreme Court Judges. They are the highest court in our state and are appointed by the Governor of California. • The only court higher than each state’s Supreme Court is the U.S. Supreme Court. If a case is brought before the U.S. Supreme Court it’s decision becomes the “law of the land” and is final unless it overturns itself.
U.S. Supreme Court Justices • The U.S. Supreme Court is made up of 8 Judgesand 1 Chief Justice. • All Judges are appointed by the President and must go through a Senate Committee Hearing before given approval. • The Supreme Court is the only Branch of Government that are not voted in by the people, and do not have any of the requirements that the other two branches have. • Age Requirement? • Years of Citizenship? • Terms of Office?
Who Are They? • Antonin Scalia • Longest Serving Judge on the Supreme Court. • Serving since 1986-Appointed by Ronald Reagan. • 77 Years Old; Conservative.
Who Are They? • Anthony Kennedy • Serving since 1988-Appointed by Ronald Reagan. • 77 Years Old; Considered to be the “Swing Vote” Judge. Meaning he tends to make decisions not from a “liberal” or “conservative” view point.
Who Are They? • Clarence Thomas • Serving since 1991-Appointed by George H.W. Bush. • 65 Years Old; Only the 2nd African American Supreme Court Judge. Considered by many to be the 2nd most conservative Judge.
Who Are They? • Ruth Bader Ginsburg • Serving since 1993; Appointed by Bill Clinton. • 80 Years Old; Only the 2nd Female Supreme Court Judge and the first Jewish Female Judge. Liberal
Who Are They? • Stephen Breyer • Serving since 1994; appointed by Bill Clinton. • 75 Years Old; Liberal
Who Are They? • Samuel Alito • Serving since 2006; appointed by George W. Bush. • 63 Years Old; Considered by many to be the most Conservative Judge.
Who Are They? • Sonia Sotomayor • Serving since 2009; Appointed by Barack Obama. • She is just the 3rd female Supreme Court Justice and the 1st Hispanic. • 58 Years Old; Liberal
Who Are They? • Elena Kagan • Serving since 2010; Appointed by Barack Obama. • 4th female Supreme Court Justice. • 53 Years Old; Considered to be moderately Liberal.
Who Are They? • John Roberts-Chief Justice • Serving since 2005; Appointed by George W. Bush • He is the 17th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. • 58 Years Old; Moderately Conservative.