Chapter 3 The Constitution pp. 62-84 Six Basic Principles • Constitutionalism • 65 the government must operate according to the principles of the Constitution. • Rule of law • 64 The government and its officers are always subject to –never above– the law. The Constitution • Separation of powers • 66 idea that government powers should be divided. – Protect the country from a dictatorship – Three branches • Legislative (make laws, policy) • Executive (carries out/enforces law, policy) • Judicial (interprets laws) Checks and balances • 67 each branch has controls over the other two branches – Each branch is controlled by the other two. • Graphic organizer: p. 68 EC: Veto (2) • 67 power to reject the act of another. – The President has the power to stop an act of Congress. • Congress, however, may pass the law again, forcing the President to accept it – override the veto Judicial review • 69 power of the federal courts to decide whether an act of a legislature or executive is “constitutional” or not. – Can cancel/reverse that law/act or part of it. • “unconstitutional” Federalism • 70, 88 the division of lawmaking, jurisdictional, and enforcement power between the – National (federal) – State – Local (county, city, town) Amendment • Amendment – 72 addition or change to the Constitution, – Follows rules listed in Article V • • • • Bill of Rights 72 list of first ten amendments…. Added by Federalists to satisfy Anti-Federalists….. Ensure state and individual rights and limits on federal government regarding those rights. EC: Informal amendment process Changing the Constitution through daily acts over the history of our nation. • 78-82 Legislative actions – acts/bills/ – customs/practices/traditions • Executive actions – actions/practices/traditions • Judicial actions – judgments • Political parties – Practices Informal Amendment • Treaty • 79 binding commitment between two or more nations. – Made by executive branch – Must be approved by Congress • Executive Agreement – 80 a pact between the leaders of a nation, more policy, not legally binding – Congressional approval not needed Informal Amendment • Electoral college • 81 a second group of delegates specified in the Constitution that elects the President separately from the popular vote. – The political parties select their delegates and the winning party in a state commits all the state’s electoral votes for their candidate. • Nowhere in the Constitution is this written. Informal Amendment • Presidential Cabinet • 81 advisors to the president. – Not written in the Constitution, but has become an important part of the executive • Head the executive departments. • Head some key advisory councils – Advise and report to the president on matters relating to their department Chapter 3 pp. 62-84 Preamble to the US Constitution (ideals/purposes) 64, 758-779 • • • • • • To 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. Formal Amendment Methods • 73 Proposed by a national convention, called by Congress, supported by 2/3 of state legislatures • Ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures • Proposed by a national convention • Ratified by conventions in ¾ of the states Formal Amendment Methods • 2/3s of both houses approve proposal • Ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures • Proposal by Congress • Ratified by conventions in ¾ of states EC: The Judiciary Act of 1789 • 79 Congress gave the federal courts this power, not the Constitution (Only the Supreme Court is listed there. • Set up all the lower federal courts How can the Executive Action Change the Constitution • 80 EC: Presidential decisions that have continued without Congressional approval affect the way the government works. (2) – Executive agreement: – Policy speeches Classwork p. 65 • How do the first three Articles of the US Constitution differ from the last four? • They outline the basic structure and powers of the of the government. • The last four address more specific topics. p. 65 • Some call the Constitution “living” , meaning that it is growing with the nation and its needs. • Which of the Articles makes it a “living” Constitution? explain • Article V – Amending the Constitution: • Adding/changing the Constitution Outline of the Constitution • Preamble – Basic purposes of the government • Articles: – powers of the branches – Various constitutional rules and procedures • Amendments – Rights, rules, and procedures, added as needed p. 67 • Political cartoon? • What does it mean, “carved in stone”? • That the words cannot be changed. There is only ONE way to read it. • Is the Constitution “carved in stone”? • Yes, – if interpreted strictly, according to what is actually written there. • No, – since it can change with the times as deemed necessary by the legislature. p. 68 • In what way can the power of the judiciary be checked by the other branches? • Executive (President) – nominates (appoints) Supreme Court justices and federal court judges. • Legislative (Congress) – Creates lower courts – approves Supreme Court nominees and federal court nominees. – Impeaches justices and judges p. 69 • What characteristic of a law can lead the Supreme Court to overturn it? • If it is deemed to be unconstitutional by a federal court. p. 73 • How does the formal amendment process illustrate federalism? • It involves both the Federal Government and the States. p. 74-75 • 1. What was the Court’s reason for protecting a protester who burned an American flag? • It is a form of free speech, protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution. p. 74-75 • 2. Both the Schenck case (1919) and the Tinker case (1969) involved anti-war protests. How would you explain the difference between Supreme Court decisions? • Schenck: – Sending anti-war pamphlets to draftees was not protected by the First Amendment – It presented a “clear and present danger” to US national security. • Tinker: – Wearing an armband in school to protest the war was protected by the First Amendment because it did not present a “clear and present danger” to national security. p. 76 • Which amendment was adopted in the shortest time? – The 26th Amendment • Which one took the most time to ratify? – The 27th Amendment p. 80 • Should the president be able to make war without a declaration of war by Congress? • It depends if the president is abusing war powers as commander-in-chief by committing troops abroad. p. 82 • Why did Roosevelt’s reelection lead supporters of the “no-third-term” tradition to push for a constitutional amendment? • They no longer believed that presidents would follow custom alone. • EC: What custom existed about how many terms a president should have? – All presidents before FDR only had two terms. • EC: Who started it? – George Washington p. 82, Amendments to the Constitution • There are 27 presently. • What are they about? – Rights – Procedure – Social issue Review • What is the difference between formal and informal amendment of the Constitution? Describe. • Formal: (2) – Actual change/addition to the Constitution, using procedures/rules described in Article V. • Informal: (2) – Changes in laws through daily acts/decisions/policies by various government agencies and leaders. Amendment • EC: Which of the four methods on the previous slides is the only method used in all 27 Amendments: • Proposed by a national convention, called by Congress, supported by 2/3 of state legislatures • Ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures p. 85 • 28. what point is the cartoonist trying to make about the ease or difficulty of proposing constitutional amendments? – Cartoonist is proposing that it is or should be as simple as posting a letter. • 29. based on your reading, do you agree or disagree with the cartoonist’s question? Explain your answer. – Whether one agrees or not, presently, it is quite complex to amend the Constitution.