1 U.S. Government The Constitution of the United States
2 Background The Constitution of the United States was created during the Spring and Summer of The Framers(the people who attended the convention) wanted a form of government that was stronger than the previous confederation. However, there was conflict on the level of power the national government should have - some felt that the states needed to have their power preserved. In order for the Constitution to be ratified, the Bill of Rights was created as a promise to those(anti-federalists) who felt that a strong national government would impede on the freedoms and rights of the states.
3 Structure of the Constitution Preamble Article 1 - Powers of the Legislative Article 2 - Powers of the Executive Article 3 - Powers of the Judicial Article 4 - Powers of the States Article 5 - Amending the Constitution Article 6 - Debts, Supremacy, Oaths Article 7 - Ratification Amendments - 27 so far
4 Preamble - We the People Form a more perfect Union Establish Justice Insure Domestic Tranquility Provide for the common defense Promote the general welfare Secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity
5 Article I - Legislature Sec. 1 - all legislative powers are given to the Congress - which is made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Sec. 2 - Matters Concerning the House of Representatives Clause 1 - elections held every two years Clause 2 - over 25, citizen for at least 7 years, and a resident of the state they represent Clause 3 - Apportionment: Reapportionment Act of 1929, Congress fixes the size of Congress at 435. Reapportionment occurs after each 10 year Census. NOTE: the Three-Fifths Compromise was in this clause - repealed by the 13th Amendment. Clause 4 - if a representative steps down or dies, the governor of that state appoints a replacement.
6 Section 3 - Senate Article I Clause 1: Two senators from each state, six year terms Clause 2: One-third of the Senate s seats are up for election every two years. Reason: So the Senate is a continuing body. Clause 3: Qualifications: Over 30 years old, citizen for 9 years, and a resident of the state representing Clause 4: The Vice-President is the President of the Senate - votes only to break a tie Clause 6: The Senate tries those officials impeached by the House: Andrew Johnson(1868), Bill Clinton(1999), Nixon resigns faced with Impeachment.
7 Article I Section 8 - Lists the Powers of Congress Clause 1: Lay and Collect Taxes Clause 2: Borrow Money Clause 3: The Commerce Clause - Congress can regulate foreign and domestic trade Clause 11: Declare War Clause 18: Necessary and Proper Clause
8 Article I Section 9 - Powers Denied to Congress Clause 2: The Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended except for cases of rebellion or invasion. Clause 7: Congress controls the money, and it cannot be spent unless authorized by Congress Section 10 - Powers Denied to the States Clause 1:States cannot make treaties with foreign nations Clause 2: State cannot tax imports, only Congress
9 Article II - Executive Department Section 1 Clause 1: Executive power is given to the President. President holds the office for four years. Same term for the Vice-President Clause 2 - The Electoral Collage - each state may appoint the number of electors equal to the number of Representatives and Senators that state has. Example: Texas has two Senators and thirty-six Congressional Districts each with a member of the House = 38 electors chosen from Texas to cast their votes for President and Vice- President whereas Alaska has two Senators and one Congressional District - 3 electoral votes.
12 Article II - Executive Department Article II, Clause 3 - repealed by the 12th Amendment. - Originally, the electors were given two ballots, one who they wanted first for President and one who they wanted second for President. - the rise of political parties early in our nation s history caused the election of 1800 to be a tie - since the parties sent delegates to cast votes for President.
13 Article II - Executive Department Section 1, Clause 5 - Qualifications: Born a citizen of the United States; at least 35 years old; and a resident of the United States for 14 years. Section 1, Clause 8 - Oath of Office I do solemnly swear(or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
14 Clinton taking Oath of Office
15 Johnson(LBJ) taking Oath on Air Force 1 after Kennedy s assassination
16 Bush taking Oath of Office
17 Article II - Executive Department Section 2, Clause 1: the President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces The President has the power to grant pardons and reprieves for offenses except in cases of Impeachment. Clause 2: the President can make treaties and appointments with the Senate s approval. The President needs 2/3rds vote of the Senate to approve treaties. The panel of Senators are often seen interviewing (interrogating) a Presidential appointment for key positions within the Executive and Judicial Branches.
18 Article II - Executive Department Section 3: the President shall from time to time deliver a State of the Union Message. - the President also has the power to call a special session of Congress Section 4: The President, Vice- President, and other civil servants may be removed from office when impeached(house of Reps) and convicted(senate).
19 State of the Union
20 Clinton Impeached by the House of Representatives
21 Article III - Judicial Branch
22 Article III - Judicial Section 1: The judicial power of the United States shall reside in a Supreme Court. Congress sets the size of the Supreme Court(currently 9) and establishes the lower courts(check and balances) the Judges of the Supreme and lower courts have the job for life as long as they maintain good behavior.
23 Article III - Judicial Section 2: establishes the jurisdiction of the federal courts. Jurisdiction refers to any geographical area in which the court may try cases. The 11th Amendment restricted the jurisdiction of the federal courts over cases involving states.
24 Article III - Judicial Section 2, Clause 2: the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction on cases that involve Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls and cases that involve a state. All other cases it has appellate jurisdiction. Original jurisdiction means that a court can hear a case first - it does not come on appeal from another court Appellate jurisdiction means that a case comes to a court on appeal from a lower court
25 Article III - Judicial Section 2, Clause 3: Except for cases of impeachment, all criminal cases will by trial by jury in the state where the offense was committed. The 5th and 6th Amendment further defines the rights of the accused in criminal matters.
26 Article III - Judicial Section 3: The framers made a special provision for treason. Treason is the only crime mentioned in the Constitution. Treason is making war against your mother country or helping someone else do it. Treason can only be committed during times of war. For a conviction, the testimony of two witnesses it necessary. The Framers were careful in this definition because they did not want people who criticize the government to be charged with treason.
27 Benedict Arnold - Revolutionary War Hero turned traitor Jerk
29 Structure of the US Court System
30 Article IV Section 1. - The Full Faith and Credit Clause basically states that each state must recognize the validity of the laws, public records, and court decisions of every other state. ex: Ray gets married in New Mexico, his marriage is valid in all states. note: If Ray gets married to Bill in New Mexico, is his marriage valid in all states? 30
31 Article IV Section 2: Privileges and Immunities of Citizens Clause 1: States cannot discriminate against people from other states. It cannot make unreasonable distinctions between their residents and outsiders. Clause 2: Extradition - the term extradition is a contraction of interstate rendition which means that one state may request that a fugitive from their state, found and arrested in another state, be returned to the state where the crime was committed. 31
32 Article IV Section 2, Clause 3 requires that slaves that escape to non-slavery states are not free; but are to be returned to their owners. That clause was nullified by the 13th Amendment which abolished slavery in
33 Article IV Section 3 Clause 1: New states can only be admitted by Congress and they can t be parts of existing states unless the legislature of the state losing territory approves. Aside from the original 13 states(do you know them?) Texas was an independent republic prior to statehood; California was ceded from Mexico; Vermont, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maine, and West Virginia were states made from parts of other states; 33 The rest(30) were at some point territories
34 Article IV Section 3: Congress shall make the laws concerning American territories and other public lands What are the current American Territories? Puerto Rico Guam American Samoa American Virgin Islands Northern Mariana Islands several other islands, mainly in the South Pacific 34
37 Article IV Section 4: Every state will have a republic form of government. The definition of republic, it is generally thought, means a representative form of government. This section also makes the federal government responsible to protect the states from outside invasion and to aid states when they request aid to put down internal disorders. 37
38 Article V - Provisions for Amendment There are four ways to amend the Constitution. They can be proposed two ways and can be ratified two ways. Proposed by 2/3s vote in each house in Congress; ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures.(26 of the 27 Amendments were done this way) Proposed by a National Convention called for by Congress at the request of 2/3s of the state legislatures; ratified by 3/4 of the state legislatures. The 3rd and 4th method would be proposed the same two methods, but ratified by state conventions instead. Only the 21st Amendment was ratified by state conventions(the repeal of prohibition). 38
39 Article VI Section 1: The United States shall honor its debts. Section 2: The SUPREMACY CLAUSE. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the laws that the national government make supersede state and local laws. Section 3: States that high public officials(senators, representatives, judges, members of state legislatures) are bound to affirm allegiance to the Constitution, but not required to have any religious qualifications. 39
40 Article VII - Ratification Nine of the thirteen original states needed to ratify the Constitution in order for it to go into effect. All thirteen states ratified the Constitution George Washington and 37 other Framers signed the document. Of the most noteworthy: Alexander Hamilton; Benjamin Franklin and James Madison The Constitution was signed on September 17th,
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