Powers of Congress Congress has three types of powers 1.delegated assigned to the legislative branch by the Constitution 2.implied based on interpretation of constitutional powers 3.impeachment checks and balances system created by Constitution Delegated Powers Article I, Section 8, Clauses 1-17 of the Constitution called delegated because they are specifically assigned to Congress these powers give Congress the authority to make laws in five important areas 1.financing the government 2.regulating and encouraging trade and industry 3.defending the country 4.creating lower courts 5.providing for growth
Financing Government raise and collect taxes borrow money print and coin money pay the debts of the U.S. provide for the country's defense and general welfare Delegated Powers
Regulating and Encouraging American Trade and Industry regulate trade with foreign countries regulate trade between the states (domestic) sets a uniform standard of weights and measures English and Metric system protect the rights of inventors patents, copyrights, trademarks establishment of post offices regulates the building of roads U.S. routes, interstates set punishments for piracy and other major crimes committed against American ships on the high seas Delegated Powers
Defending the Country power to declare war maintain an army and a navy provide for a citizen army that can be called to duty during wartime or national emergencies national guard or state militia Delegated Powers
Creating Lower Courts pass laws concerning such crimes as counterfeiting and treason established a system of national courts to ensure that these and other federal laws are upheld
Delegated Powers Providing for Growth regulate immigration pass naturalization laws make it possible for immigrants to become U.S. citizens power to govern the country's territories provide for the admission of new states
Implied Powers the necessary and proper clause (elastic clause) Article I Section 8 Clause 18 Congress has the power "to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution [carrying out] the foregoing powers [delegated powers]. known as the elastic clause allows Congress to stretch the delegated powers listed in the Constitution to cover many other subjects permits Congress to pass laws related to situations that developed after the Constitution was written defend the country – create military academies regulate trade and industry – set minimum wage Implied Powers = Powers not specifically granted to Congress by the Constitution that are suggested to be necessary to carry out the powers delegated to Congress under the Constitution.
Impeachment Power Impeachment power to accuse high federal officials of serious crimes against the country president, vice president, and federal judges members of the executive branch and judicial branch part of checks and balances system power to bring these officials to trial for their crimes power to remove these officials from office if they are found guilty of these crimes treason an act that betrays or endangers one's country abuse of power Watergate scandal perjury or obstruction Clinton affair Impeachment = The House procedure of drawing up and passing a list of charges against a high federal official.
House of Representatives draws up charges against an accused official list of charges is read before the entire House representatives vote if a majority vote in favor of the list of charges, the official is impeached, or formally accused and put on trial Senate holds trial on the impeachment charges vice president usually acts as the judge if the president is impeached the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial instead members of the Senate become a court jury hear the evidence examine all witnesses votes on the guilt or innocence of the official two thirds of the Senate must find the official guilty before he or she can be dismissed from office Impeachment Power
Impeached Officials impeachment process has rarely been used 17 federal officials have been impeached seven of them, all judges, were found guilty of the charges brought against them and dismissed from office two presidents have been impeached - Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton 1868 - President Johnson was found not guilty by only one vote 1998 - President Clinton was impeached on charges that he lied under oath and obstructed justice - found not guilty of both charges 1974 - the threat of impeachment led President Richard M. Nixon to resign from office Watergate scandal
House of Representatives 1.The House alone can start impeachment proceedings. 2.All bills for raising money must begin in the House. 3.If no presidential candidate receives the number of electoral votes needed to be elected, House members choose the president. Senate 1.All impeachment trials must be held in the Senate. 2.If no vice-presidential candidate receives the number of electoral votes needed to be elected, then senators choose the vice president. 3.All treaties, or written agreements, with foreign nations must be approved in the Senate by a two-thirds vote. 4.Certain high officials appointed by the president must be approved in the Senate by a majority vote. Such officials include justices of the Supreme Court. Special Powers
Limits on Powers powers of Congress are limited in several ways 1.The Supreme Court has the power to decide when Congress has overstepped the powers granted to it by the Constitution judicial review – part of checks and balances if Court rules that Congress has passed a law that exceeds Congress's constitutional powers the law has no force 2.Tenth Amendment reserves powers not specifically granted to the national government for the state governments states have authority regarding elections, education, marriage 3.Article I, Section 9, denies certain powers to Congress 1.passing ex post facto laws 2.passing bills of attainder 3.suspending the writ of habeas corpus 4.taxing exports 5.favoring trade of a state 6.granting titles of nobility 7.withdrawing money without a law 4.Congress cannot pass laws that violate the Bill of Rights
Ex Post Facto Law = A law that applies to an action that took place before the law was passed. Congress cannot pass a law banning the use of foreign cars and then have people arrested who used foreign cars before the law was passed *Bill of Attainder = A law sentencing a person to jail without a trial. the Constitution provides that anyone accused of a crime must be given a trial in a court of law *Writ of Habeas Corpus = A court order requiring that an accused person be brought to court to determine if there is enough evidence to hold the person for trial. this system prevents a person from being kept in jail indefinitely the only exception to this rule can occur in times of rebellion or invasion * these would both violate the 5 th amendment due process of law Denied Powers
Taxing Exports goods that are sent to other countries are called exports a tax on exports would harm the country's foreign and domestic trade Congress can pass taxes on imports Favoring Trade of a State Congress cannot pass laws giving a state or group of states an unfair trade advantage laws regulating trade must apply equally to all states Granting Titles of Nobility Americans believe that all people are created equal they are opposed to establishing a noble class, or small group of persons with rights superior to those of other citizens (like England) Withdrawing Money Without a Law must pass a law indicating how money shall be spent it must specify the amount to be spent before public funds are made available must pass additional laws to provide the money for carrying out any new laws it passes Denied Powers