Students will learn about the specific processes for each branch of government and how laws are made at each level of government. It is important to know who represents you, what these representatives do, and to understand that you are considered constituents for many different people and levels of government Complete the following using your “Who Represents Me?” student activity sheet.: You will conduct research to understand your representatives at the federal, state, county, city, and school board levels. Determine who your representative is at every level of government and write a summary sentence explaining the primary job of the position. You can find helpful links to assist you in your research on my website. After completing your research and reviewing with the team, respond to the following: Prompt Based on what you have learned during your research for the “Who Represents Me?” assignment, compare the primary responsibility of lawmakers at the federal, state, and local levels. Be sure to include information you researched related to your local city/county commission or council, state legislators and U.S. congressmen. Station 2: Complete the following using your “The Great State” packet. RoundRobin read the article. While reading, underline the words or phrases that explain the structure of the state government. Using your article, complete the foldable activity on graphic organizer of pg. 1. Then, read “How Laws Are Made in Florida’s Cities” handout and provide an overview of how ordinances are proposed and passed in Florida’s cities. Respond to the following on the back: Prompt Using what you have learned in this lesson, write two informational paragraphs. In the first paragraph, summarize the lawmaking process at the federal, state and local levels. In the second paragraph, compare the three processes. Be sure to include specific evidence from your activity sheets, readings, and notes. Each group will create a one-page handout on their branch of government and the associated processes. The handout must provide a brief overview of the structure and function of the branch. The majority of the page must be dedicated to the processes listed for the assigned branch. Each handout must include cited sources. Use the research websites on my website for help. Handout should include the following: Legislative Branch: appointment confirmations, committees and committee selection (conference committees, special committees, standing committees), impeachment process Executive Branch: executive order, veto, and appointments Judicial Branch: court order, judicial review, summary judgment, and writ of certiorari Grading for this project will be based on the following criteria: Brief description of the structure of the branch of government: (15 points) Brief description of the function of the branch of government: (15 points) Description of each process for the branch of government: (55 points) Cited sources: (15 points) You will be playing LawCraft, a game where you play a member of Congress from the state of your choice. You'll pick an issue that's important to you and your constituents and take it all the way through the law-making process. If you're successful, you'll have a bill you can print and show off. See if you can make the compromises necessary to get your bill passed and still make a law you're proud of! Read the LawCraft Game Guide for instructions on how to play at the Smartboard. Answer the pre-game questions. Complete the activity and answer the post-game questions with your teammates. PRE-QUESTIONS Congress has two parts. What are they, and what is the difference between them? What is a bill? What power does the president have in the lawmaking process? POST QUESTIONS What was your goal in your own house of Congress, before the compromise process? Why do you think the compromise process involves adding so many amendments? Was it difficult to stick with your chosen value? Did you have to add an amendment that did not support your value? Why might the president veto a bill? What do you think could happen if there was no compromise process? No veto power? The House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing at which lobbyists can express their opinions regarding a bill in hopes to sway the committee’s opinion. Today, you all will be assuming the roles of a committee member, or a lobbyist for one of the following special interest groups who will be testifying at the hearing, either for or against the proposed legislation: After completion of the station rotation, we will hold this simulation and decide the fate of the bill. All members of the class will be involved in debate, deliberation, and voting. Your presentation of evidence and reports as well as a reflection on the process will be a quiz grade. Look at the chart on pg. 370. Examine the role’s of the governor, then answer the chart skills questions #’s 1-2 in complete sentences. How does the role of the governor compare to the president? The diagram below shows some of the steps involved in creating a Florida state law. What is the next step in the lawmaking process? A. The governor signs the bill into law. B. The bill goes to the Senate for action. C. The people vote on the bill in an election. D. The bill goes to the Supreme Court for a hearing. I. Congress A. House of Representatives – i. Speaker of the House, Majority Leader, Minority Leader ii. Members are referred to as “Representative” B. Senate – i. President Pro Tempore, Majority Leader, Minority Leader ii. Members are referred to as “Senator” II. Executive Branch – President, Vice President, Cabinet III. Judicial Branch – Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Associate Justices Lawmaking is central to U.S. government. Legislators are elected at every level of government which gives direct power to citizens in deciding who makes the laws. Bills must be passed by at least half of the membership of each chamber voting to approve (218 in the House; 51 in the Senate). Bills, are then considered by the president. Bills that are approved by the president become laws at the federal level which are called acts. Committees in Congress allow for discussion and debate with less people. Committees allow members to spend time on issues important to their district in order to serve their constituents well. In their discussions, committees hold hearings, conduct research, and write policy. Special interest groups often testify during these hearings in their efforts to shape legislation as it is being written. There are five different committee types in Congress: Standing Permanent legislative panels that consider bills and issues Select Temporary committee that addresses a specific issue. Special Performs a special function beyond the standing committee. Joint Policy investigation with a narrow power Temporary committee formed to resolve differences in legislation passed by both chambers. Conference Political parties are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution. Still, political parties play key roles in the organization of Congress, particularly committees. The Democratic and Republican parties are the only parties recognized in Congress There is a majority and a minority party in Congress. Majority parties in Congress enjoy unique leadership opportunities. The majority party selects the Speaker of the House of Representatives, which is the only office chosen by Representatives named in the U.S. Constitution. The Senate majority party elects the “President pro tempore”, or “pro tem” who serves in the absence of the Vice-President as president of the Senate. Majority party members also chair all standing and select committees. The Vice-President breaks ties in the Senate. Lawmaking in Florida follows a system similar to that practiced by the U.S. Congress. There is both a committee system and party leadership system in each legislative house. Florida has a bicameral (two house) legislature comprised of a 120 member House of Representatives and a 40 member Senate. A majority of each house of the Florida legislature must agree on all proposed laws, or bills, introduced before being sent to the governor. Bills passed by the Florida legislature and signed by the governor at the state level are called statutes. The table below shows how the president’s powers are checked by Congress. Presidential Power Chief Executive Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces Check by Congress Congress creates laws Congress declares war Negotiates treaties Senate approves treaties for ratification Congress may override a president’s veto with a 2/3 vote of each house of Congress. Congress raises and supports armies and navies Nominates high level officials Senate confirms nominations Vetoes congressional bills The president’s one unchecked power is the power to pardon. A presidential pardon cannot be vetoed or overturned, and may be viewed as a check on the courts or the legislature in that the president is pardoning someone who has already been convicted by the courts or who might later be impeached by the legislature. The president’s Cabinet was established in Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. Each executive department head is titled “Secretary” with the exception of the Department of Justice, which is headed by the Attorney General. Department Secretaries must be confirmed by a majority vote in the Senate. Article IV of the Florida Constitution outlines the Governor’s core duties as follows: The supreme executive power shall be vested in a governor, who shall be ◦ commander-in-chief of all military forces of the state ◦ take care that the laws be faithfully executed, ◦ Commission all officers of the state and counties, and transact all necessary business with the officers of government. ◦ chief administrative officer of the state responsible for the planning and budgeting for the state. • The state lawmaking process is also similar to the federal process. There is a provision for an override of a governor’s veto requiring a 2/3 vote in each house. • The governor also serves with a cabinet. The U.S. Constitution creates the U.S. Supreme Court. All other lower courts, are created and supported by Congress. There is no set number of judges on the U.S. Supreme Court (Tradition keeps the number at nine; this number is not a constitutional requirement) The U.S. Constitution requires that U.S. Supreme Court justices “hold their offices during good behavior” which translates to lifetime appointments unless removed by Congress. All cases are decided with a majority vote. Cases that are first heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (“original jurisdiction”) tend to involve disputes which may include conflicts between two states, between the president and Congress, or cases where a state is a party. All other cases come before the U.S. Supreme Court in its role as the highest court of appeal. The Supreme Court can also decide whether an act of Congress violates the U.S. Constitution. To appeal a case, you must go through a procedure to see if the U.S. Supreme Court will hear the case. A writ of certiorari is issued when a higher level court agrees to hear an appeal of an inferior court’s decision The Florida Supreme Court, is the highest state court. It is made up of 7 Justices. The bulk of trial court decisions that are appealed are never heard by the Supreme Court. Rather, they are reviewed by threejudge panels of district courts of appeal. District courts may issue summary judgments, which are judgments issued without a trial. Most jury trials take place before one judge sitting as judge of the circuit court. Most criminal and civil cases originate at this level. Circuit courts have general trial jurisdiction over matters not assigned by statute to the county courts and also hear appeals from county court cases. Florida’s constitution establishes a court in each of Florida's 67 counties. The county courts are sometimes referred to as "the people's courts," because a large part of the courts' work involves citizen disputes, such as traffic offenses and misdemeanors. Florida’s local governments are comprised of counties and municipalities such as cities, towns and villages. An elected board of county commissioners governs in each of Florida’s 67 counties. Counties carry out responsibilities like: ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ ◦ law enforcement and jail tax collection election supervision road maintenance, public health waste disposal Ordinances are the laws that govern cities. The city charter serves as a constitution. The charter sets forth the boundaries, its form of government, the size of the council and governmental processes. In Florida a city is recognized with certain rights and privileges; the most important is home rule. Florida’s constitution recognizes that cities may enact their own ordinances and self-govern as long as the city’s law does not conflict with state and federal law. Self-government at the city level occurs with mayors, who serve as cities’ chief executives, and city councils, who serve as city legislatures.