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Constitution & Study Guide Overview. A Nation Emerges 3-12-12. Constitution as a “living document”.

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constitution as a living document
Constitution as a “living document”
  • The founding fathers ratified the Constitution in 1787, and we still use it today in America for the basis of our rights as citizens. The document has been “amended” a lot, and is considered to be a living document?
  • Why do historians consider the Constitution to be a “living document?”
  • What are the two houses of Congress called?
  • Who is the leader of the Senate? When can this person vote?
  • Who is the leader when the official leader is absent?
  • Three special powers of the Senate include
    • 1. The power to try all impeachments.
    • 2. The power to ratify treaties.
    • 3. The power to advise and consent to all Executive Branch appointments made by the President.
congress continued
Congress continued.
  • Who is the official leader of the House of Representatives?
  • What are the three official powers of the House of Representatives?
    • 1.) Have the sole power of impeachment.
    • 2.) Originate all bills of raising revenue.
    • 3.) Elect a President of the U.S. in case the Presidential electors fail to elect one
how does a bill become a law
How does a bill become a law?
  • Please refer to your graphic organizer.
the president
The President
  • The four things a president can do with a bill are…
    • 1. He can sign it into law.
    • 2. He can veto it.
    • 3. He can allow it to become law without his signature in ten days.
    • 4. He can Pocket-veto the bill.

This 4th option takes place when the Congress adjourns. According to the Constitution, the president is given ten days (excluding Sundays) to consider a bill. If the Congress is in session during that 10 day period, the bill automatically becomes law without the president's signature, but, If the Congress adjourns during that 10 day period, and the president fails to sign the bill, the bill is dead. This is known as a "Pocket Veto."

impeaching the president
Impeaching the President
  • What are the two steps in the impeachment process?
  • Step 1 – The House of Reps. Holds hearings, then votes on the hearings. If a simple majority vote to impeach, the House sends the Articles of the Impeachment to the Senate.
  • Step 2 – The Senate conducts a trial of the President. If two-thirds of the Senate votes to accept any Article of Impeachment, the President is automatically removed from office.
presidential elections
Presidential Elections
  • When are the Presidential elections held?
  • How many terms can a president serve? What amendment put this in place?
  • How is the President elected?
  • How long do federal judges serve in our court system?
  • Cases that reach the Supreme Court - A case goes to the Supreme Court only after going through all lower levels of courts and appeals courts. A motion is filed for the Supreme Court to hear a case and the SC justice responsible for the area of the country where the case is from decides if the court will hear the case. The SC is the final authority for all court cases in the US.
amending the constitution
Amending the Constitution
  • What Article of the US Constitution has to do with amending the Constitution?
3 branches of the government
3 Branches of the Government
  • Executive
  • Judicial
  • Legislative