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The American Constitutional System. Observations?. What facts in this document are important for all citizens to know? . 3 limits on government power. Separated powers Federalism Civil liberties. Limits on government power. Separated powers. Separated System/ Checks and Balances.

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The American Constitutional System


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    Presentation Transcript
    1. The American Constitutional System

    2. Observations?

    3. What facts in this document are important for all citizens to know?

    4. 3 limits on government power • Separated powers • Federalism • Civil liberties

    5. Limits on government power • Separated powers

    6. Separated System/Checks and Balances • Three branches • Legislative: The two houses of Congress: The House of Representatives and the Senate • Executive: The President • The Judiciary: The Supreme Court

    7. Separated System/Checks and Balances • “Checks” because of different bases of support • House • The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

    8. Separated System/Checks and Balances • Three branches • Different bases of support • House • Senate • The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. • Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year

    9. Separated System/Checks and Balances • Three branches • Different bases of support • House • Senate • President • Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector. The Electors shall meet in their respective states … The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.

    10. Separated System/Checks and Balances • Three branches • Different bases of support • House • Senate • President • Judiciary • [The president] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint … Judges of the supreme Court…(Article 2 sct. 2)

    11. Madison, Federalist 51 • “In order to lay a foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted, that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others…”

    12. Madison, Federalist 51 • “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional right of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary…In framing a government…you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.”

    13. Separated System/Checks and Balances • “Checks” because of different bases of support • “Checks” because of built in conflict over shared powers • Congress’ enumerated powers • Spending • Declaring war

    14. Separated System/Checks and Balances • “Checks” because of built in conflict over shared powers • Congress’ enumerated powers • President’s powers • Veto laws • Make appointments • Command the armed forces

    15. Separated System/Checks and Balances • Specific Checks and balances • Congress overrides veto • Congress impeaches and removes president • Senate approves appointments and treaties

    16. Separated System/Checks and Balances • “Checks” because of built in conflict over shared powers • Congress’ enumerated powers • President’s powers • Judiciary’s powers • Judicial review

    17. Limits on government power • Separated powers • Federalism

    18. Federalism • What is it? • Sovereignty of states • Where is it in the Constitution? • US Senate representation • The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

    19. Federalism • What is it? • Sovereignty of states • Where is it in the Constitution? • US Senate representation • 10th amendment • The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people

    20. Federalism • What is it? • Sovereignty of states • Where is it in the Constitution? • US Senate representation • 10th amendment • Full Faith and Credit Clause, Art. 4. sct. 1 • Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State.

    21. Limits on government power • Separated powers • Federalism • Civil liberties

    22. First Amendment Rights • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    23. How does our constitutional structure affect politics? Policy?