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The Federal System Section 1 – 220-225. The US is a representative democracy = a government led by officials who are chosen by the people. The citizens cast their votes for the people they feel will best represent their interests. The Federal System.

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the federal system section 1 220 225
The Federal System Section 1 – 220-225
  • The US is a representative democracy = a government led by officials who are chosen by the people.
    • The citizens cast their votes for the people they feel will best represent their interests.
the federal system
The Federal System
  • The Constitution separates the power between the federal government and the states.
    • Delegated Powers = These are the powers that are given to the federal government.
    • e.g. making money and national defense
the federal system1
The Federal System
  • Reserved Powers = These are the powers that are kept by the states.
    • e.g. creating local governments, holding elections, controlling education
the federal system2
The Federal System
  • Concurrent Powers = These are the powers that the federal and state government share.
    • e.g. taxing and enforcing laws
the legislative branch
The Legislative Branch
  • The legislative branch is Congress.
    • Congress is separated into two “houses.”
      • Lower House = The United States House of Representatives
        • These are the representatives that we refer to as Congressmen and Congresswomen, and they serve two-year terms.
        • There are 435 members in the H.O.R.
        • Each state gets a certain number of representatives based on that state’s population.
          • The US Census, taken every 10 years determines each state’s population
          • No state can gain a representative unless another state loses one.
the legislative branch1
The Legislative Branch
  • Upper House = The United States Senate
    • These are the representatives that we refer to as Senators, and they serve six-year terms.
      • There are 100 members in the Senate = two from each state.
  • Congressmen represent the interests of a particular district within a state.
  • Senators represent the interests of an entire state.
the legislative branch2
The Legislative Branch
  • The two dominant political parties are:
    • Republican = conservative
    • Democrat = liberal
      • The political party that has the most members in Congress is called the majority party and the fewer is called the minority party.
  • The leader of the H.O.R. is called the Speaker of the House = John Boehner (R) - Ohio.
  • The leader of the Senate is the vice-president and is called the President of the Senate = Joe Biden(D) – Delaware.
the executive branch
The Executive Branch
  • The president is the head of this branch.
    • To become president you must:
      • Be a native-born U.S. citizen.
      • Be at least 35 years old.
      • Have been a U.S. resident for at least 14 years.
        • These requirements apply to the vice president as well.
      • The president may serve a maximum of two terms (8 years).
  • This branch enforces the laws that Congress passes.
the executive branch1
The Executive Branch
  • If the president breaks the law or does something unethical, the H.O.R. can impeach = vote to bring charges of treason, bribery, or other felonious and misdemeanor crimes against the president.
    • The Senate tries all impeachment cases.
    • If a president is found guilty, Congress can remove him/her from office.
  • Impeached presidents:
    • 1868 = Andrew Johnson – violating presidential power (NG)
    • 1998 = Bill Clinton – inappropriate behavior w/ female Whitehouse staff member (NG)
    • 1974 = Richard Nixon – campaign fraud (President Nixon resigned before he could be impeached).
working with congress
Working with Congress
  • The system of checks and balances many times places the president at odds with Congress.
    • This is especially true if the president’s party and the majority party are not the same.
    • Congress passes laws, however, the president may exercise his/her veto power = cancel laws that Congress passes.
      • The president’s veto can be overridden if Congress can get two-thirds of its members to vote for it.
    • The president may also grant pardons.
working with congress1
Working with Congress
  • The president is commander in chief of the armed forces and can send U.S. troops to fight; however…
    • Only Congress can declare war.
  • The executive departments that run the government are called the president’s cabinet.
    • The President chooses the department heads (secretaries), but Congress must approve them.
    • The secretaries of each department are usually experts in their field, and their job is to advise the president on important matters related to their particular department.
the judicial branch
The Judicial Branch
  • This branch is represented by all federal courts with the U.S .Supreme Court being the highest.
    • The president appoints all federal court judges.
      • These appointments are for life so that the judge shouldn’t be influenced by political parties.
    • Each state has at least one district court.
      • If someone feels that the decision made in district court was unfair, they may ask to have their case heard by a court of appeals.
        • The court of appeals judges decide whether or not the lower courts tried the case properly.
          • If the losing side in the appeals court wants to, they may send their case to the Supreme Court.
the supreme court
The Supreme Court
  • There are 9 justices.
    • When a seat becomes vacant, the president nominates someone, but Congress must approve them.
  • Thousands of cases are sent to the S.C. each year, but the justices only have time to review about 100 cases.
  • Cases that are chosen must involve important constitutional or public interest matters.
    • Dred Scott v. Sandford – 1857 “people of African ancestry are not “citizens” under the Constitution and therefore do not have citizen’s rights”.
    • Brown v. Board of Education – 1954 “Separate is not equal.”
    • Roe v. Wade – 1973 Abortion and the Right to Privacy
the bill of rights section 2 248 253
The Bill of Rights Section 2 – 248-253
  • James Madison (Federalist) promised that a bill of rights would be added to the Constitution.
    • He drafted a list which was then submitted to Congress.
      • Congress approved 12 amendments, and the states ratified 10.
        • These first 10 amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights and are designed to protect U.S. citizens’ individual liberties.
the first amendment
The First Amendment
  • The most basic rights of all U.S. citizens.
    • Freedom of Religion = The government cannot support or interfere with the practice of any religion.
    • Freedom of Speech and Press = This allows Americans the right to express their own views and hear the views of others.
      • Not protected by the First Amendment are:
        • Slander = false statements meant to damage someone’s reputation.
        • Libel = Intentionally publishing a lie that hurts another person.
        • “Crying Wolf”
the first amendment1
The First Amendment
  • The First Amendment also protects:
    • Freedom of Assembly = Any group of people may gather to discuss issues or conduct business as long as the gathering is peaceful and does not involve any illegal activity.
    • Freedom of Petition = Any American may submit a petition to a government official to show their dissatisfaction with a law or to suggest a new law.
protecting citizens
Protecting Citizens
  • The Second Amendment:
    • Each state needs to have a militia (National Guard).
      • NG troops serve in wars and help restore order during crisis such as natural disasters (Hurricane Katrina).
    • The right to bear arms.
      • Any citizen may posses a non-military firearm provided they are not a convicted felon and have met the eligibility requirements set forth by the state in which they live.
protecting citizens1
Protecting Citizens
  • The Third Amendment:
    • No Quartering:
      • The Military cannot force citizens to give housing to soldiers.
  • The Fourth Amendment:
    • No Unreasonable Search and Seizures:
      • Before authorities search someone’s property, they must get a search warrant.
        • A judge will issue a search warrant if they have been shown by the authorities that it’s necessary.
        • The police may conduct an emergency search, without a warrant if they feel a suspect is trying to destroy evidence or hide a weapon.
the rights of the accused
The Rights of the Accused
  • The Fifth Amendment:
    • The government cannot punish anyone for a crime without Due Process of law.
      • The law must be used fairly.
    • People cannot be forced to testify against themselves in their own trial.
      • “Taking the Fifth.”
the rights of the accused1
The Rights of the Accused
  • The Fifth Amendment continued:
    • Anyone found not guilty in a criminal trial cannot face double jeopardy.
      • That person cannot be tried for the same crime again.
    • No one will have their property taken without due process of law.
      • Except:
        • The government’s power of Eminent Domain = Personal property can be taken if it benefits the public.
          • Example: taking private property to build a public road.
          • The government must pay full-market value for the property.
          • If the property is owned illegally, the government doesn’t have to pay anything.
the rights of the accused2
The Rights of the Accused
  • The Sixth Amendment:
    • Anyone indicted for a crime must have a quick public trial by a jury.
    • The accused person has the right to know the charges against him or her.
    • The accused can hear and question the witnesses testifying against him or her.
    • The accused is protected by the Miranda Warning:
      • “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be…”
the rights of the accused3
The Rights of the Accused
  • The Seventh Amendment:
    • Juries can decide civil cases.
      • Someone may cause physical or financial harm to someone else without committing a crime.
        • Example: not paying back a loan
      • The injured party may sue for damages in civil court.
bail and punishment
Bail and Punishment
  • The Eighth Amendment:
    • Defendants are allowed to post bail.
      • Money that defendants promise to pay the court if the do not appear at the proper time.
        • This allows a defendant to not have to stay in jail during the trial.
        • A judge is allowed to not set bail if they feel the defendant is a flight risk.
    • Cruel and Unusual Punishment is banned.
      • The Death Penalty is still up for debate.
the rights of states and citizens
The Rights of States and Citizens
  • The Ninth Amendment:
    • The rights listed in the Constitution are not the only rights that citizens have.
      • Example: free and public education from elementary to high school.
  • The Tenth Amendment:
    • The states and the people have additional powers beyond those specifically mentioned in the Constitution.
      • This amendment protects citizens rights by keeping a balance of power between the federal and state governments.
becoming a u s citizen section 3 254 259
Becoming a U.S. Citizen Section 3 – 254-259
  • People can become U.S. citizens in several ways:
    • Automatic citizenship to anyone born in the U.S. or one of the commonwealths it controls.
      • Puerto Rico is a commonwealth
    • Naturalized Citizen = A person of foreign birth who is granted full citizenship.
      • Naturalized Citizens can lose their citizenship and cannot be president or vice president.
    • People born in a foreign country can become citizens if one of their parents is a citizen.
becoming a u s citizen
Becoming a U.S. Citizen
  • Requirements to become a naturalized citizen:
    • Must be a legal immigrant and living in the U.S. for at least five years.
    • Must be financially self-supporting or have someone who has agreed to support them.
    • Must prove to be law-abiding and of good moral character.
    • Must pass a series of tests to prove they can read, write, and speak English.
    • Must have a basic understanding of U.S. history and government.
    • Must pass a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) background investigation.
duties of a citizen
Duties of a Citizen
  • For a representative democracy to work, citizens must fulfill their civic responsibilities.
    • Ways that they can do this are:
      • Voting
        • Following the laws that the leaders they’ve voted for have created.
      • Respecting authority and the rights of others.
        • Parents, Police Officers, Teachers, etc.
duties of a citizen1
Duties of a Citizen
  • Citizens should also:
    • Pay Taxes
      • Taxes support our country’s ability to:
        • build roads, support education, have a military, etc.
    • Protect and Defend the Nation
      • Serve in the military, support the war effort at home
    • Serve Jury Duty
      • Doing this supports the Sixth Amendment’s “right to a trial by jury.”
community service
Community Service
  • Becoming a volunteer is an excellent way to serve your community.
    • Many small, rural communities rely heavily on volunteers.
    • Some groups that promote volunteerism are:
      • American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America