3 BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT

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1 3 BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT

2 EXECUTIVE BRANCH President, Vice President, Cabinet

3 QUALIFICATIONS Written Qualifications 35 years old Lived in country for 14 years Natural-born citizen Unwritten Qualifications Experience: well-educated, possess evident leadership qualities Personal Qualities: religious background, military background, former governors, good appearance, should appear confident, poised, dignified

4 5 Official Roles from Constitution: ROLES Chief Executive Power to execute, or carry out, the nation s laws. Chief Administrator Manages the 15 executive departments & all federal agencies that help carry out government policy. Commander in Chief Has authority to order troops into action & to call them back home. Foreign Policy Leader In charge of formulating the nation s plans and procedures for dealing with other countries. Chief Agenda Setter Outlines the government s agenda during the State of the Union Address.

5 ROLES Unofficial Roles Chief of State Symbolic figurehead of the United States Party Leader Leader of political party who represents the party platform & helps shape the platform. Chief Citizen Model of good citizenship and are held to a high standard.

6 POWERS Executive Powers Appoint people to fill top posts in the executive branch, federal judges, ambassadors, Cabinet members, top military advisers, and Supreme Court justices. Executive Orders a formal statement instructing executive branch officials on how to carry out their jobs and have the rule of law. Executive Privilege Allows the president to refuse to release information to Congress or a court in order to shield information in the interest of national security. Diplomatic & Military Powers Diplomatic: Power to negotiate treaties, form alliances, establish trade relationships, diplomatic recognition (formally recognize the legitimacy of a foreign government). Military: Power to take military action without a formal declaration of war from Congress and has 48 hours to report to Congress to explain the reasons for their actions.

7 Legislative Powers POWERS Proposes legislation to Congress through the State of the Union Address & federal budget proposal. Power to veto bills passed through Congress. Judicial Powers Nominate federal judges and justices. May alter the sentences of people convicted of crimes through their powers of clemency. Reprieve Postpones the carrying out of a sentence Pardon Release a convicted criminal from having to fulfill a setnece Amnesty Grants a group of offenders a general pardon for offenses committed Commute Reduce a person s sentence. Informal Powers Access to the media President s position as party leader

8 Line of Succession SUCCESSION The process of succeeding, or coming after, someone. 25 th Amendment sets the guidelines, not only for succession, but for handling presidential disability, such as a temporary illness.

9 CHECKS ON PRESIDENT Formal Checks Judicial Review Senate can block a nomination. Congress can override a veto. Informal Checks The media keeps the American public informed and alert to potential abuses of power. Public Approval

10 VP & THE CABINET Vice President 3 Major Duties: Presiding over the Senate, opening and counting the electoral votes in presidential elections, and serving as president if the president cannot do the job. Help make policy and carry out programs Cabinet An organization made up of the heads of the executive departments who are responsible for carrying out laws, administering programs, and making regulations in their particular area of responsibility. Act as an advisory body to the president. Nominated by the president & confirmed by the Senate. 16 cabinet positions, including the Vice President.

11 LEGISLATIVE BRANCH Congress Senate & House of Representatives Senate House of Reps

12 PURPOSE Balance the needs of the constituents' with a desire to promote the common good the outcome that is best for all. Each member of Congress represents the people of a certain geographical area. Congressmen represent constituents, the people who live in their areas. Must keep in mind the needs of the country.

13 STRUCTURE OF CONGRESS Bi-cameral Legislature (2 house system) Came as a result of the Great Compromise. Combined elements of the Virginia Plan with the New Jersey Plan so that both large & small states would be represented. The House shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective Numbers. (US Constitution) Apportionment the distribution of House seats among the states based on population. Reapportionment: Every 10 years after a census, seats must be redistributed among states. Gerrymandering Drawing district boundaries for political advantage. Senate Fixes membership at two Senators from each state. 17 th Amendment: People directly choose Senators Prior to this, Senators were chosen by the state legislators.

14 SENATE VS HOUSE SENATE 30 years old, citizen for 9 years, resident of state representing 6 year terms Staggered elections Less subject to public passions 100 members Oklahoma s Senators: Jim Inhofe & James Lankford HOUSE OF REPS. 25 years old, citizen for 7 years, resident of state representing 2 year terms All members are up for re-election at the same time. Most closely reflects the people s will 435 members Oklahoma s Representatives: Jim Bridenstine, Markwayne Mullin, Frank Lucas, Tom Cole, Steve Russell

15 CHECKS & BALANCES Power of the Purse Approves spending by the federal government by passing a budget. Can prevent the President from carrying out policies it disagrees with by not funding it. Cannot lower the pay of the President or judges during their time in office. Power of Advice & Consent Treaties negotiated by the President must be approved by 2/3 of Senate to become law. Approve &/or reject presidential appointees (ambassadors, federal judges, Supreme Court justices)

16 CHECKS & BALANCES Impeachment Power Power to charge officials in the other branches with wrongdoing & bring them to trial. The House presses the charges against the official & then the Senate holds a trial, with the vice president serving as the judge. (Chief Justice serves as judge if Pres/VP is on trial) Reasons for Impeachment: Treason, bribery, or high crimes & misdemeanors. Other Powers Starting the process of amending the Constitution. Overriding a presidential veto, which requires 2/3 of the vote.

17 POWERS OF CONGRESS Expressed Powers Specific powers that Congress is meant to hold. 18 Powers: Collect taxes; borrow money; regulate trade; establish uniform rules of citizenship; coin money; punish counterfeiters; establish post offices; make copyright & patent laws; establish national courts inferior to Supreme Court; define and punish piracy; declare war; raise & support armies; raise & maintain a navy; establish military laws; call up a national militia when needed; to organize, arm & discipline a militia when called into service; exercise jurisdiction over DC, and to make all laws necessary and proper to the execution of any of the other expressed powers. Implied Powers Powers only suggested by the Constitution. Make all laws that are deemed necessary & proper (aka the necessary and proper clause) Inherent Powers powers that all governments possess because they do not have to be spelled out. Control borders, make agreements with other nations

18 NON-LEGISLATIVE POWER Propose amendments to the Constitution, which requires 2/3 vote of both houses. Congressional Oversight Power to review how the executive branch is running & to make sure it is following the laws Congress has passed and can hold hearings and force witnesses to appear, including officials from the executive branch. House has the sole power of choosing a president if no candidate gets a majority of votes in the electoral college. Each state gets one ballot. Senate has the power to choose a Vice President if no candidate gets a majority of the electoral college vote. Each senator receives a vote.

19 POWERS DENIED TO CONGRESS Powers Denied Prohibiting slave trade until 1808 Making laws that might favor one state over another Cannot suspend the writ of habeas corpus cannot hold you without pressing charges Cannot pass a bill of attainder law that punishes a person without a trial. Cannot pass an ex post facto laws criminalize an action that took place in the past and that was legal at that time.

20 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Leadership Speaker of the House Presiding officer of the House who is elected by members of the House & comes from the party who has majority. (Current Speaker: Paul Ryan) Floor Leader Each party elects a leader who helps manage the actions & strategy of the party. The floor leader of the majority party serves as assistant to the Speaker. (Current Floor Leader: Rep. Kevin McCarthy) Whips Encourages fellow party members to vote as the party leadership wants. House Rules Can create whatever rules it considers necessary Can expel members, issue reprimands, and censure members.

21 SENATE Leadership President of the Senate Vice President of the United States. Presides over debates, ensures rules of debate are followed, does not debate, only votes in a tie. President Pro Tempore Person who presides in the absence of the president of the Senate. Goes to the senator from the majority party who has the longest record of service. Senate Majority Leader Serves as spokesperson and main strategist for the majority party in Senate who is elected. Senate Minority Leader Serves as spokesperson for the minority party in the Senate and is elected. Rules & Tradition Places few limits on debates. Filibuster when opponents of a measure take the floor of the Senate and refuse to stop talking in an effort to prevent the measure coming up for a vote. They hope that if they can stall action long enough, then they ll be forced to move on to other business. Cloture an end to debate that requires 60 votes to achieve.

22 OTHERS INVOLVED IN THE L. BRANCH Interest Groups organized groups of like-minded people who join together to influence government & its policies. Puts demands and pressure on members of Congress Committees Each one concentrates on a specific area of public policy. Each committee is headed by a chair, which is chosen by the majority party. Members request committee assignments. House: Can serve up to 2 committees & 4 subcommittees. Senate: Can serve on 3 committees & 5 subcommittees. 3 Types in the House: Standing Committees permanent committees that address the major areas in which most proposed laws fall Select Committees to carry out tasks that aren t already covered by existed committees Joint Committees Committee from both House & Senate

23 HOW A BILL BECOMES LAW Bills must be passed by both houses before it goes to the President to sign into law. Rider Provision that bears little relationship to the bill s main topic. Pocket Veto Bills become laws if Congress stays in session for 10 days while the bill sits on the President s desk. If Congress adjourns during those 10 days, it does not come law.

24 JUDICIAL BRANCH The Federal Court System

25 AMERICAN COURT SYSTEM The rule of law the belief that no person is above the law and all persons are entitled to equal justice under the law. Courts perform 3 basic tasks: 1. Determine whether a law has been broken & penalties to be applied. 2. Decide how to provide relief for those who have been harmed by someone else s actions. 3. Determine the meaning of a particular law or of the Constitution itself. Constitution created a dual court system: a state court system with a national court system. Jurisdiction decides which court system has the authority to hear a case. State courts hear matters of state law and federal courts hear cases that involve the Constitution or other federal laws.

26 BASIC LAW TERMS Jurisdiction the authority to hear and decide a case Exclusive Jurisdiction the sole right to hear a case Concurrent Jurisdiction cases that fall under both state and federal jurisdiction Original Jurisdiction the court that first hears the case Appellate Jurisdiction the authority of some courts to review decisions made by lower courts Plaintiff person making the legal complaint Defendant the person against whom the complaint is filed

27 STRUCTURE OF THE FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM Judiciary Act of 1789 created a 3-tiered structure for the federal courts. District Courts Spread throughout the country & serve as the trial courts of the federal system. Hold original jurisdiction over nearly all the criminal & civil cases heard in the federal system. (Criminal Cases = kidnapping, murder, etc. Civil Cases = disputes between money or property) 94 federal judicial districts with at least one court in every state. Court of Appeals (originally called Circuit Courts) Had original jurisdiction over some types of federal cases. Hear appeals from district courts and from federal agencies that have rule-making and rule-enforcement powers. U.S. is divided into 12 different circuits. Holds nationwide appellate jurisdiction The Supreme Court Occupies the top tier of the federal court system & is mainly an appellate court. Original jurisdiction in cases affecting ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and against states

28 FEDERAL JUDGES Appointed by the President who factors 4 things into their decision: 1. Legal Expertise Most are trained lawyers 2. Party Affiliation Good politics and can be seen as rewarding someone 3. Judicial Philosophy Their viewpoint on the Constitution according to the Framers original intention with how it can be adapted to meet the demands on contemporary realities 4. Approval of the Senate Often the president will consult with senators to prevent a confirmation battle or a rejection.

29 CHECKS & BALANCES Checks the other branches by holding the power to rule on whether laws or executive actions violate the Constitution. Checks on the Judiciary: The appointment process is a check Judges may be impeached and removed from office

30 Interpret the Constitution THE SUPREME COURT 9 justices on the Court: one Chief Justice and eight associate judges Current Supreme Court: Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, John G. Roberts, Samuel A. Alito Jr, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Justice Antonin Scalia died in Feb & Pres. Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to replace him. Justices can have a significant impact that can be felt for generations. Constitution gives no formal requirements for the job, but all justices have had a background in law with most having served as federal judges, state governors, judges on state courts, or in various other government posts. Once the President has nominated a justice, the nominee must go through a confirmation hearing in the Senate that begins in the Senate Judiciary Committee which are usually televised, they vote on the nomination, then goes to a vote in the full Senate with most nominees being confirmed. They have rejected 28 nominations since 1789.

31 SUPREME COURT PROCEDURES Terms begin on the first Monday in October and remains in session until June/July. While in session, the Court hears cases, writes opinions, and carries out other duties. Selecting Cases Choose which cases it wants to hear. Choose about 100 per term out of around 8,000 requests and are chosen because they represent major questions about the Constitution or federal law. Briefs & Oral Arguments 1 st Step: Reading briefs The written arguments prepared & submitted by each side in the case. 2 nd Step: Oral Arguments The lawyers representing each side have precisely 30 minutes to present their case. 3 rd Step: All of the justices meet privately to discuss the case. The CJ leads the discussion and every justice gets an opportunity to share their opinion.

32 SC PROCEDURES CONT D Opinions Based on discussions and their own study, the SC produces a formal, written opinion, which explains the issue, judicial precedents, and legal reasoning behind a decision. 3 Types of Opinions: Majority Opinion one that is signed by at least five of the 9 members of the Court that represents the actual ruling of the case. Concurring Opinion agree with the overall conclusion in the case but stress some different or additional legal reasoning. Dissenting Opinion Written by the minority of the justices who do not agree with the ruling in the case and have no legal impact on the case, however, t hey can influence future judgments. Court Orders Disposes of cases with brief, unsigned court orders to the lower courts.

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