Unit 3Chapter 3, Section 2-3 Three Branches of Government/ Amending the Constitution Mr. Young American Government
Essential Question • What articles set up the 3 branches of government and what powers did the Founding Fathers give each branch according to the constitution?
Article 1 House of Representatives Senate Represented the broad interest of the states • Was to be the voice of the people
Articles • Article 2- A president with specified, limited powers was further guarded by an impeachmentclaus • Article 3-Congress has the authority to set up additional courts as it saw need because Article 3 only set up the Supreme Court.
Legislative Branch • Founders expected Congress to be the most important of the national branches • Powers found in Article 1, Section 8 • Expressed- powers directly stated in the Constitution • Enumerated- are those express powers that are numbered from 1-18
Legislative Branch Cont. • Five deal with economic, seven deal with defense • Final enumerated power is the Elastic Clause, that gives Congress the right to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the power needed to run country • Court Case McCulloch v Maryland, supported the idea that the elastic clause gave Congress the right to make any laws necessary to carry out its other powers
Executive Branch • The President is head of the Executive branch • Used to carry out the acts or laws of Congress , so as to hold them in check • Grants president broad but vaguely described powers in Article 2, Section 2-3
Vague Powers of President • The President can fire officials of the executive branch, make agreements with foreign nations, or take emergency action to save the country. • Presidents did not use to do much, but now they preside over a White house staff and a vast federal bureaucracy, made up of all executive branch employees
Judicial Branch • Judicial Branch seems to be the weakest of all braches • Broken into two different court systems, federal, whose powers derive from Constitution and federal laws, and state, whose power derives from State constitutions and laws
Judicial Branch • Federal courts may only try cases that involve U.S Laws, treaties with foreign nations, or interpreting the Constitution, cases involving admiralty or maritime law, or bankruptcy.
Judicial Branch Cont. • Court Case Marbury v Madison, gave Supreme Court their right to declare laws Constitutional or unconstitutional, known as judicial review. • Supreme Court may only be overturned by changing its mind or by Constitutional Amendment. • John Marshall, Chief Justice
The President as Legislator • In practice, the executive branch provides plans for much of the legislation that Congress considers
The President vs. Congress • Congress is to monitor the way the executive branch enforces laws • Federal courts have to step in when the executive and legislative branches quarrel over the interpretation of legislation • If the executive branch is controlled by one party, and the legislature by another, then cooperation is unlikely
Congress vs. The Courts • The Constitution gave Congress powers to both create the lower federal courts and to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court
Chapter 3, Section 3 Amending the Constitution Mr. Young American Government
Amending the Constitution • Priceless heritage of Constitution has been its ability to adapt to new conditions of a changing nation while preserving the basis of American government
Chief Justice John Marshall • “We must never forget that it is…a Constitution intended to endure for ages to come, and, consequently, to be adapted to the various crises of human affairs.” (1819)
Amendment Process • Article 5- May deal with any topic except that no state may lose equal representation in Senate with state’s consent • Amendments may be proposed and ratified, approved, in two ways • Amendment process helps to show the federal system at work, they are proposed at national level and ratified on a state-by-state basis.
1) Congressional Consent • One method is by a 2/3 vote of each house of Congress • Only way the Constitution has been changed
2) National Convention of States • Also can propose by a national convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the states • A national convention is scary because such a convention is not required to limit itself to a specific amendment.
Petition, means to appeal, when states petition Congress for Convention Balanced budget means when the federal government spending never exceeds its income 2) State Convention Cont.
Ratification Process • 3/4 of State Legislatures • 3/4 of State Ratification Convention • A state may revoke/repeal its decision of ratification, as happened with the Equal Rights Amendment, that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender.
Ratification Process Cont • State ratifying conventions have only been used once, in the case of the repealing of the 18th amendment, and the addition of the 21st. • Congress has set the limit of seven years that an amendment has to be ratified within.
Informal Changes • Does not involve changing the written wording of the Constitution • They occur as government leaders and citizens fill in the details of government on a day-to-day, year-to-year basis to suit the needs to the time
Changes through Law and Practice • Congress has used this to pass laws to help fit a changing nation, such as expanding its taxing authority, given the executive branch different cabinets, agencies, boards, and commissions
Changes Cont. • Also, the House may impeach, or accuse, federal officials of different crimes, while it is up to the Senate to determine a person’s guilt or innocence • Three ways a person may be impeached: Treason, Bribery, or high Crimes and misdemeanors
Informal Presidential Changes • The 25th amendment clarified presidential succession • Many presidents use executive agreement, which are made directly between the president and the other head of state in another country, where treaties are agreements between nations • Presidents have become more aggressive with requesting legislation from Congress
Judicial Restraint, holds that the Supreme Court should avoid taking the initiative on social and political questions, leave policy making to others: tend to be conservative Judicial Activism, holds that the Supreme Court should play a role in shaping the national policies, occurred under Chief Justice Earl Warren: tend to be liberal Court Decisions
Court Decisions Cont. • The Supreme Court has been known to change its mind on some cases, such as in 1896 the court ruled that separate public facilities for African Americans were constitutional as long as they were equal. In 1954, the court reversed its decision when it decided to outlaw racial segregation in public schools.