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The Living Constitution * Assessment

The Living Constitution * Assessment. U.S. Constitution. Constitution in your book, page 82 Assessment, page 106. Article 1 – Legislature. National legislature is called Congress Two houses Senate – equal representation, 2 members from each state

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The Living Constitution * Assessment

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  1. The Living Constitution* Assessment

  2. U.S. Constitution Constitution in your book, page 82 Assessment, page 106

  3. Article 1 – Legislature • National legislature is called Congress • Two houses • Senate – equal representation, 2 members from each state • House of Representatives – proportional representation, now for about every 600,000 people (Texas has 35 representatives)

  4. Article 1 – Legislature • Why does the legislative branch more directly represent the people? A. Think of how branches are selected B. Senate is now directly elected, every 6 years C. House of Representatives is directly elected – whole House, every 2 years

  5. Article 1 – Legislature • Why more Representatives than Senators? Answer – House is proportional, “based on population,” while each state has only 2 senators.

  6. Article 1 – Legislature • Name four powers of Congress. Answer – See Section 8 of Article I (page 88) – it lists 18 “enumerated” powers of Congress. List 4. • Tax, borrow money, regulate commerce, coin money, establish post offices, create federal courts, declare war, raise an army, make laws

  7. Article 1 – Legislature • What powers are denied to Congress? • Can’t suspend habeas corpus, illegally punish people, levy direct taxes, levy export taxes on goods from any state, take money from treasury illegally, issue titles of nobility (no kings in America) • Denied to states? States cannot enter treaties, coin money, levy import/export taxes, wage war on their own.

  8. The Constitution Article II – The Executive Branch (President)

  9. Article II - Executive • Main function of the executive branch? Answer: To carry out the laws made by Congress Also – to conduct foreign policy Must follow the Constitution

  10. Article II - Executive • Who officially elects the president? Explain Answer: The Electoral College selects the president, by vote of the states’ electors (see Article II, section 1, paragraph 2 – page 90) Electors are elected by people in the states

  11. Article II - Executive • How can the president lose her/his job before the next election? Answer: Impeachment, as listed in the Constitution. Also – death (which the Constitution anticipated) or resignation (which the Constitution does not mention) Two other ways, in elections: Does not run for re-election, or defeated for re-election

  12. Article III - Judiciary • How are Supreme Court Justices appointed? Answer: See Article II, Section 2, “Treaties and Appointments” (page 91) The president nominates federal judges, “with the advice and consent of the Senate” In practice, president nominates, Senate confirms Note: There are nine Supreme Court justices; they serve for life, or until they retire

  13. Article III - Judiciary • What kinds of cases does the Supreme Court hear? Why is their decision to hear a case important? Answer: Generally, they hear appeals of cases from the lower federal courts – a decision not to hear a case means the lower court’s ruling stands, with no further appeal

  14. Article IV – The States • Extradition, means to send a prisoner to another state for trial. Why is this an example of state relations? It exemplifies (is a good example of) cooperation among the states Other ways states cooperate: State compacts on river management; State cooperation on commercial laws

  15. Article V - Amendment • How many states does it take to ratify an amendment? Why that many? It takes ¾ of the states (we have 50 states; ¾ is 75%, or 38 states when rounded to the whole number) So many states are required to make amendment difficult, to show the gravity of amendments (gravity=“seriousness” or “importance”)

  16. Article VI - Supremacy • How does Article VI establish supremacy of the Constitution? ANSWER: It makes the Constitution “the supreme law of the land” All laws at every level of government must uphold the Constitution Nota bene: Article VI also contains a ban on religious tests for any office

  17. Amendments • Does the First Amendment allow complete freedom of speech, the right to say anything you want, any time, any where? Explain ANSWER: No, there are limits – you can’t yell “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre, for example, because that causes panic and people could die. We do not have the right to slander or libel freely, either

  18. Amendments • What is the newest amendment? What protection does it give to the American people? ANSWER: The 27th Amendment is the latest amendment; it prevents members of Congress from using taxpayers’ money for their own gain

  19. The Constitution A few further notes on Amendments

  20. Civil War Amendments • Amendment 13 – abolishes slavery • Amendment 14 – Civil Rights – expands rights of citizens to everyone native or natural born, including rights against states; expands due process rights • Amendment 15 – Expands protection of right to vote to all citizens regardless of race, color, or “previous condition of servitude” (slavery)

  21. Prohibition and repeal • 18th Amendment gave states the right to ban the manufacture and sale of liquor and alcoholic beverages – ratified in 1919 • 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition, repealed the 18th Amendment, December 5, 1933 • This is the only amendment to have been repealed

  22. Women’s Suffrage (Right to Vote) • 19th Amendment says no state nor the federal government may prohibit women from voting because they are women • Note “suffrage” means “right to vote,” and has nothing at all to do with suffering

  23. The end. Thank you The Living Constitution* Assessment

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