Essential Question How Have The Values And Principles Embodied In The Constitution Shaped American Institutions And Practices?
Unit Overview Lesson 21: What is the Role of Congress in American Constitutional Democracy? Lesson 22: How Does Congress Perform Its Functions in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 23: What Is the Role of the President in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 24: How Are National Laws Administered in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 25: What Is the Role of the Supreme Court in the American Constitutional System? Lesson 26: How Dies American Federalism Work?
Unit 4 Purpose The Constitution is a general framework that describes the organization of the national govt in terms of its powers and limits. The Framers knew many details would need to be added. The system of federalism was devised to reconcile tension between national and state govts. In this unit you will learn How the three branches of govt embody constitutional principles and how they operate. How federalism remains a dynamic characteristic of American govt.
Purpose Congress is often called Americas first branch because of its lawmaking powers and control over the nations purse. Congress is also considered the Peoples Branch since it is directly accountable to the electorate. This lesson examines Congresss constitutional powers and how it represents both the people and the states.
Objectives Explain basic differences between Congress and the British Parliament and how Congress reflects Americas commitment to representative government and federalism. Identify several constitutional sources of power and some of the challenges members face in representing and serving constituents. Evaluate, take and defend positions on contemporary issues about congressional representation and organization.
Terms to Know delegate theory The idea that a legislative representative should exactly mirror his or her constituents' views in deciding on public policy. enforcement powers The power of Congress to enforce laws. enumerated powers Those rights and responsibilities of the U.S. government specifically provided for and listed in the Constitution. federalism A form of government in which power is divided and shared between a central government and state and local governments.
Terms to Know gerrymandering Drawing the boundaries of an electoral district to favor a political party. implied powers Those powers authorized by a legal document that are not expressly stated but can be inferred from expressly stated powers. The power of Congress to do all things "necessary and proper" to carry out the powers delegated to it by Article I, Section 8, Clause 18 of the U.S. Constitution. The "necessary and proper" clause is also known as the "elastic clause," because it greatly expands the Constitution's enumeration of the powers of Congress. Implied powers can be distinguished from "inherent powers," those that are expressly provided for in the Constitution. inherent powers Those powers ingrained so deeply in an institution that they need not be stated. For example, what the "inherent powers of the presidency" might be is a hotly contested subject in American national politics. trustee theory of representation The idea that a legislative representative should use his or her best judgment in making decisions on public policy, regardless of constituent opinion.
Differences Between Congress and the British Parliament Although British Parliament served as a model for our 2-house legislature, there are 4 major differences. 1) Representation British Parliament Designed to represent specific order in society. House of Lords - traditionally an inherited seat. Today hold honorary lifetime appointments. (1200 members) House of Commons – elected, represent geographic regions Congress House of Reps – represent viewpoints of district / frequent turnover (2 yr. terms) Senate – represent whole state / longer terms ( 6 yrs.)
Differences Between Congress and the British Parliament 2) Separation of Powers British Parliament Leader of majority party appoints prime minister (chief executive and chief legislator) Members of Parliament hold Cabinet positions as well House of Commons is much more powerful house http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= TsAa9VmwOaI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= TsAa9VmwOaI Congress Article 1 Sec 6 prohibits mingling of executive and legislative powers House & Senate both powerful, frequently limit each others power
Differences Between Congress and the British Parliament 3) Term Lengths British Parliament No fixed election schedule, but at least every 5 yrs. depending on confidence in prime minister and party in power Congress Reps (2 yr terms) / Senate (6 yrs., staggered) 4) Federalism British Parliament Local governments are primarily administrative units of central government. Most powers simply delegated from national level. Congress State legislatures wield considerable power, leading to dynamic system of federalism.
Congresss Constitutional Powers Limitations Art. 1 Sec. 8 - limits powers to those herein granted / 18 th power = all laws… necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers Art. 1 Sec. 9 – lists matters congress shall not legislate Tax state exports, grant titles of nobility… Bill of Rights – list of rights Congress shall not infringe First – Congress shall make no law abridging free press
Congresss Constitutional Powers Enumerate Powers Those powers listed in Constitution Ex) Regulate Commerce Congress now regulates manufacturing, child labor, wages… Implied Powers Some expressed powers imply additional powers Ex) Necessary and Proper Clause Court Case: McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) Decision = N & P clause and power to coin & borrow money implied power to create a national bank. Congressional Oversight Implied power to create, and monitor, executive agencies designed to implement policy mandates.
Representing the People & The States No constitutional term limits Since 1842, all members of House elected from single-member districts Many states redistrict after each 10-yr. census Drawn by state legislatures or independent commissions Dissatisfied groups can challenge redistricting in court
Controversy Over Districting Court Case: Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) Decision – adopted rule of one person = one vote New requirements have not ended debate over Gerrymandering Senate initially chosen by state legislatures, but 17 th Amendment creates direct elections
Controversy Over Districting 1913 – Congress fixes size of House at 435 By 2004, average House district population over 700,000 Surpassed worldwide only by India District size creates challenges addressing needs and interests of such diverse constituencies
Theories of Representation Delegate Theory or Trustee Theory? Most representatives claim to practice both Our vast and diverse nation make it challenging to both represent constituents while also finding common ground with legislators from other regions. http://www.youtu be.com/watch?v=j V1jmvMHsS0 Congressman Specter dealing with unhappy constituent
Serving Constituents Communications Media appearances, websites, town hall meetings… Case Work Staffers help constituents solve problems involving national government. Ex) Dealing with agencies (IRS, Social Security), asking for favors (tours, meetings w/ legislators) Serving Constituents Interests and Concerns Introducing / sponsoring legislation that serves constituents interests. Working to have federal projects located in district (highways)
Purpose Congress is one of few national assemblies with the power to initiate legislation, not simply vote on executives proposals. Congress also conducts investigations that lead to important changes in policy and removal of officials. Despite its rules and leadership structures, the 535 member Congress faces challenges representing their growing and diverse constituencies.
Objectives Describe the role of rules, committees, and political parties in Congress. Describe the lawmaking process. Identify the primary sources members rely upon. Explain the importance of Congress power to investigate. Explain why compromise is required in the deliberative process. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on how Congress functions and whether it should streamline its procedures.
Terms to Know bill A proposed law placed before a legislature for approval. cloture A rule of the U.S. Senate stipulating that debate on a legislative proposal be cut off and the proposal voted upon by the full Senate if sixty members agree. filibuster The practice of refusing to surrender the floor during a debate to prevent the Senate from voting on a proposal. impeachment Charging a public official with a crime while in office and bringing him or her to trial. Convicted officials are removed from office. lobbying The practice of attempting to affect legislation by influencing legislators.
Terms to Know pocket veto A presidential practice that allows a bill to die if not signed within ten days and Congress is adjourned. The president is conceived as keeping the bill in his pocket rather than taking it out and signing it. power to investigate The power of Congress to undertake formal inquiries into matters of public business and public policy. resolution A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion put before or adopted by an assembly such as the U.S. Congress. seniority Length of service. In the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, certain powers and responsibilities of congressional members, such as committee chairmanships, are granted on the basis of their time in office.
The Role of Rules & Committees Rules and Committees not specified in Constitution, but instead created by each chamber (Art. 1 Sec. 5) Committees Standing (permanent) Committees have jurisdiction over particular subjects, appoint more specific subcommittees Ex) http://www.govtrack.us/congress/committee.xpdhttp://www.govtrack.us/congress/committee.xpd Hold hearings to hear public testimony or conduct govt oversight Select Committees (task forces) exist for limit time for specific purpose
The Role of Rules & Committees Rules Examples House rules specify size and jurisdiction of committees / govern form and structure of debate Senate more informal, filibuster option remains open at all times. However, 60 votes (cloture) brings proposal to a vote Party Organization Leaders encourage members to adhere to party platform Committee chairs appointed by seniority and party loyalty
Congressional Leadership House Leadership (3 models) Strong Institutional Speaker Speakers wield considerable power over organization and legislative agenda Powers: controls committee appointments, chairs Rules Committee, traffic cop deciding which bills come to the floor and rules of debate. Decentralized Committee Leadership Some historical periods witnessed committee chairs rebelling against speaker Party Control Strong speaker who represents majority party Committee chairs appointed based upon party loyalty
Congressional Leadership Senate Leadership VP is president of Senate, but only power is to cast tie-breaking vote. Majority and Minority Leaders chosen by each party to guide operations.
Majority Rule and Compromise in Congressional Deliberation Bill vs. Resolution Simple resolutions address rules or express sentiments of Congress Joint Resolutions device for proposing Amendments or other matters. If signed (or over-ride), has force of law Most proposals take form of a bill Bills introduced in either House (except revenue bills= H) Numbers with prefix S or H The process is as follows…
Majority Rule and Compromise in Congressional Deliberation Committee Assignments Bills assigned to at least 1 committee / usually referred to subcommittees for rigorous scrutiny and amendments Hearings Representatives of government agencies, interest groups or outside experts present testimony Deliberations At Mark Up sessions, members can review, modify, approve final version, and recommend to full House or Senate Report If bill wins favorable committee vote, reported to full chamber Committee report justifies its actions
Majority Rule and Compromise in Congressional Deliberation Floor Vote Places on calendar for consideration and a vote Referral to the Other Chamber If passed, sent to other chamber where process begins again Conference Committee When versions of bill differ (most do), conference committee (members of both house) try to reach compromise. If agreement reached, conference report submitted for vote (cannot be amended, can be filibustered) Referral to President If president signs, becomes law If vetoed, 2/3 vote needed in each chamber to over-ride If not signed, but Congress adjourns within 10 days, bill is dead (pocket veto)
Majority Rule and Compromise in Congressional Deliberation Bill must win majority support at each phase Sponsors of bill must be persistent and willing to compromise Lawmaking process demonstrates American system of representative govt, limited govt and checks and balances at work. LawCraft http://icivics.org/games/lawcraft
Ideas for Legislation & Deciding Which Bills to Support Campaign Promises Responses to Crisis Legislation Introduced by Others Library of Congress and Congressional Budget Office provide research, analysis, and projected costs. Executive Branch President outlines legislative agenda at State of the Union Party members sponsor presidents legislation Legislation also introduces by Executive departments / agencies
Ideas for Legislation & Deciding Which Bills to Support Constituents Constituents recommend enactment or repeal of laws through various forms of communication (letters, opinion polls, blogs) Interest Groups Organizations, industries, and interest groups employ lobbyists to help influence legislation Reflects right to free speech, assembly, and petition Effective Lobbyists are well-informed on issue, knowledgeable of process, well- organized, and cooperative.
The Power to Investigate Purpose Finding facts on which to base legislation Discover or influence public opinion Oversee administrative agencies Probe activities of public officials Secure partisan political gain Power to investigate also used to impeach federal officials Initiated in House. If vote on impeachement, sent to Senate Conviction in Senate requires 2/3 majority
Purpose The president is among the most powerful political figures in the world. Internatioanlly, the president speaks for the country and is the symbol of America. Domestically, the president suggests policies to Congress and is the leader of their political party. Americans look to the president for leadership, while also fearing concentration of executive power. This lesson examines sources of presidential power and ways that checks and balances limit presidential power.
Objectives Explain the presidents responsibilities and how the office has evolved. Identify various constitutional and political checks on the presidents power. Explain fundamental differences between the parliamentary prime minister and the American presidency. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving the exercise of presidential power and the relationship between the president and other branches of govt.
Terms to Know commander in chief Highest ranked person of the military forces. According to the U.S. Constitution, the president is commander in chief of the nation's armed forces. executive orders Directives issued by the president, including Presidential Directives, National Security Directives, and Homeland Security Presidential Directives. Presidents have issued such orders since 1789. Such orders are open to the public, except for National Security Directives. executive power The authority to carry out and enforce the law.
The Presidents Responsibilities Executive Power not specifically defined in Constitution, but following powers are listed (Art. II) Commander in Chief of army and navy Heads executive department Granting reprieves and pardons Making treaties (subject to Senates consent) Nominating ambassadors, consuls, judges Recommend legislation Veto bills Receive ambassadors (chief diplomat)
The Framers Vision of the Presidency Official above partisan politics Electoral College would identify people with character preeminent for ability and virtue No expectation of campaigns Wanted energetic president as opposed to legislatures deliberative nature Hamilton: Bad execution… must be… a bad government.
The Presidency Evolves Andrew Jackson Unprecedented use of veto (national bank) Abraham Lincoln Expansion of wartime powers (suspension of habeas corpus) Teddy Roosevelt Bully Pulpit – used visibility and influence of presidency to advocate his political agenda
The Presidency Evolves FDR Took control of policy process through New Deal programs. Social Security, employment programs, executive agency reform Exerted unprecedented military power during WWII Employed fireside chats to establish trust and confidence Since FDR Effective presidents have used FDRs strategies to bolster power Reagan – The Great Communicator JFK & Clinton – Used charisma to win political allies and persuade public to support policy proposals
Foreign Policy Congresss role (declare war, fund armed forces…) largely reactionary to president The President foreign relations powers… Commanding Armed Forces Military power used to defend nation and as a threat to persuade Each president since FDR has sent troops abroad w/o declaration of war. Making Treaties Sole authority to negotiate on behalf of US, pending Senate approval
Foreign Policy Appointing Ambassadors & Public Ministers President decides who represents US abroad. Ambassadors help shape US image and advise on foreign policy Receiving Ambassadors and Other Public Ministers President sole channel of international communications Assumes right not to recognize them
Expansion of War Powers During wars and emergencies, presidents often exercise power not granted in Constitution Grover Cleveland – sent unauthorized troops to put down Pullman train car strike FDR – sent war ships to Britain before entered WWII Attempts at restraint 1952 – Supreme Court rules against Truman (seizing steel mills during Korean War) 2006 – Bushs special military commissions violated US law and Geneva Convention However, Congress & Court tend to defer to president
Expansion of Presidential Power Over time, power has flowed from one branch to the other. 19 th C. – Congress dominated 20 th C. – As role of US in world grew, so did Executive power Why growth of presidential power? Over past century, polls show public demand for strong president However, polls also show public distrust of strong executives Broad constitutional powers Role in recommending legislation Increasingly active role in development of federal regulations Regulations elaborate on general laws passed by Congress
Expansion of Presidential Power Executive Orders Rule or regulation issued by the president. Must be published in Federal Register Assumption of new responsibilities Issues involving education, health care, transportation, product safety, etc. have shifted from purely state / local control to national as well.
Limitations on Power Congress Rejecting or modifying presidents legislative agenda Asserting its constitutional authority (war powers) Refusing to ratify treaties Refusing to confirm nominees Refusing to fund programs Removing president from office
Limitations on Power Supreme Court Humphreys Executor v. US (1935) Congress must approve presidents removal of official from independent regulatory agencies US v. Nixon (1974) President not entitled to automatic immunity from legal process Train v. City of NY (1975) President cannot refuse to spend money appropriated by Congress Executive Agencies Public Opinion
Differences Between American Presidency & British Prime Minister Prime Minister Chief Executive Appointed by majority party or coalition Must have served in Parliament Passage of legislation more efficient, but PM can be quickly replaced once they lose confidence of Parliament
Differences Between American Presidency & British Prime Minister Presidency Not appointed, elected. No experience required. Fixed 4-yr term, regardless of public opinion Many more checks on power than in Parliamentary system Power depends on ability to persuade Presidents standing in eyes of world can enhance or detract from international reputation of nation.
Purpose Departments, agencies, and bureaus that administer laws (bureaucracy) touch every aspect of American life. This lesson examines the role of administrative departments and agencies in Americas national government.
Objectives Explain why Congress create administrative units, the circumstances that contribute to their creation, and the range of governmental functions that administrative perform. Identify some of the checks on the exercise of administrative power. Evaluate, take and defend positions on public administration in the United States.
Terms to Know bureaucracy Governmental departments and agencies and their staffs, principally civil service members and political appointees. cabinet The group of advisors to the president composed of the heads of the departments of the executive branch and certain other officials. Cabinet advice to U.S. presidents is not binding, as opposed to parliamentary systems, where the consensus of cabinets is said to bind prime ministers. civil service Employment in federal, state or provincial, and local governmental agencies. The civil service was formed in an effort to reduce political patronage and promote professionalism in government. independent agencies Administrative organizations located outside the structure of executive departments.
Kinds of Administrative Units Executive Departments Congress directs each to administer certain laws / President appoints each secretary, or head (Cabinet) Currently 15 departments, each head in line of succession Executive Office of the President (EOP) Created in 1939 to help with budgeting, personell management, and natural resources planning. Includes: White House Office, Office of Management & Budget, Council of Economic Advisors, National Security Council
Kinds of Administrative Units Independent Agencies Located outside structure of Executive Departments Granted quasi-legislative regulatory powers Ex) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Peace Corps Others Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) Was independent agency, now part of Dept. of Homeland Security US Postal Service Government corporation Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Designed to enforce regulations of the industry
Administrative Organizations Quasi-legislative powers delegated to implement broad congressional mandates. Rules published in Federal Register Some units granted quasi-judicial powers Hearings held to resolve disputes Example: IRS Makes & Enforces rules about tax collections. Also holds hearings for those accused of violations. Administrative Procedure Act (1946) Established rules to implement laws, requires public notice / hearings, permits judicial review of administrative decisions
Contributing Factors Growth in response to demands placed on govt Ex) Industrial Revolution lead to Dept. of Commerce and Labor, Interstate Commerce Commission, and Federal Trade Commission Great Depression / New Deal FDR creates significant growth in federal bureaucracy in response to national crises Cold War Dept. of Defense, National Security Council, CIA…
Contributing Factors Reduction Starting in 1970s, many commissions and boards abolished Ex) Interstate Commerce Commission 9/11 Terrorist attacks result in creation of Department of Homeland Security
Staffing Administrative Agencies Civil Service 1883 – Patronage substituted for merit-based system / administrative class insulated from politics Congress sill establishes office requirements, performance standards, wages, benefits, & whistle-blower protections Hatch Act (1939) Parties prohibited from pressuring workers to contribute or work for candidates in exchange for job security President makes appointments to key leadership positions Helps ensure bureaucracy enacts his policy agenda With new administrations usually complete change in leadership
Checks & Balances The President Appointment power rewards loyalists / advances agenda Executive Orders – directs agencies to take certain actions Congress Creates, consolidates, or eliminates agencies Senate confirms high-level appointees Statutes direct agency actions Appropriates funding Congressional Oversight Ex) review budgets, investigate actions
Checks & Balances Courts Decide whether agencies violate 14 th Amendment due process & equal protection requirements Requires Congress to clearly define agency standards Federalism If state and national policies differ, states sometimes resist or refuse to comply with standards (ex. Education reform) Citizens, Interest Groups, Media Those directly affected by public policy ca monitor actions, report complaints, or investigate issues regarding problems and injustice in the bureaucracy
Purpose As opposed to English tradition, the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary. Hamilton considered it least dangerous branch because it depends on other branches to enforce its decisions. This lesson examines how the Supreme Court has become a coequal branch of the national government and describes some of the institutional checks on its power.
Objectives Explain the difference between the Supreme Courts original and appellate jurisdiction. Explain the four methods of constitutional interpretation. Explain how Americas system of checks and balances limits the power of the Supreme Court. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues relating to the role of the Supreme Court in the constitutional system.
Terms to Know advisory opinion In some judicial systems, a formal opinion on a point of law given by a judge or court when requested by a legislature or government official. appeal The bringing of a court case from a lower court to a higher court in an attempt to have the lower court's decision reversed. Grounds for appeal include errors of law, fact, or procedure. appellate jurisdiction The legal authority of a court to hear appeals from a lower court. jurisdiction The power or authority to hear cases and make decisions. landmark decision A legal decision that constitutes a turning point or stage. Brown v. Board of Education (1954) is an example of a landmark decision.
Terms to Know litigant A party involved in a lawsuit. methods of constitutional interpretation Interpretive methods employed by U.S. Supreme Court justices when considering constitutional issues of some cases. See strict construction, original intent, fundamental principles, and instrumentalism original jurisdiction In some cases, such as those in which a state is a party, the Supreme Court has the right to consider the facts and the law in a case without it having first been passed on by a lower court. writ of certiorari A type of writ seeking judicial review of a legal decision.
Constitutional Powers of the Supreme Court Article III Created Supreme Court, Congress has power to create inferior courts. Life tenure for all Federal Judges Jurisdiction over cases arising under national law and involving citizens from more than one state. Trial by jury in all criminal cases except impeachment Power of judicial review, deciding whether acts of Congress, executive, state laws, or state constitutions violate US Constitution
Constitutional Powers of the Supreme Court Original Jurisdiction Power of a court to pass judgment on both the facts of a case and the law. Original Jurisdiction over cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls,… [and] … Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party. Original Jurisdiction - Supreme Court only one to hear case Very few cases arise from original jurisdiction
Constitutional Powers of the Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Power of higher court to review and revise decision of inferior court Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction in all cases not in original jurisdiction unless restricted by Congress. Congress Created 3 – Tiered system Trial Courts (Federal District Courts) in each state 13 Courts of Appeal (Federal Circuit Courts) Supreme Court
Constitutional Powers of the Supreme Court Litigants who lose in lower federal court (or highest state court) can ask Supreme Court to review the case. Supreme Court not require to issue writ of certiorari Four justices need to approve Of thousands of yearly petitions, number of cases decided by court on decline 1980 – 232 cases 2006 – 72 cases
Methods of Constitutional Interpretation Written Opinions Courts issue majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions Hold Supreme Court accountable by publicizing its rationale Establishes a record that serves as precedent for future cases Methods of Interpretation Textualism, Literalism, or Strict Construction Looking at literal / ordinary meaning of each word or phrase keeps Court neutral and helps justices avoid imposing their own values on the Constitution
Methods of Constitutional Interpretation Original Intent or Original History Seek to understand what Founders originally meant helps maintain stability and neutrality in the law Fundamental Principles Looks to principles – natural rights, republican govt – to interpret meaning of words, phrases, or clauses identifying fundamental principles is useful in determining what meaning of words actually are Modernism or Instrumentalism Premise that Constitutional interpretation should adapt to changing circumstances and contemporary needs. Argue that justices should not hold back social progress by adhering to outmoded understandings of the Constitution
Checks on Supreme Court Power Self-Imposed Limits Attempt to avoid partisan politics by refusing political questions Does not issue advisory opinions, only decides specific cases Presidential Appointments Nominees can change approaches to constitutional interpretation and attitude about role of the court Executive Enforcement President may threaten to refuse enforcement. Ex) US v. Nixon
Checks on Supreme Court Power Congressional Power Congress determines appellate jurisdiction and controls budget If statute declared unconstitutional, may pass it in another form Can alter size of the court Can propose amendments in response to unpopular decisions Ex) 16 th Amendment – Income Tax Federalism State enforcement may be lax. Some states still evade entirely desegregating schools
Purpose The powers of and the boundaries between the national and state governments never have been clear. This lesson examines constitutional provisions affecting the states in their relationship to the national government. It also explains how state governments are organized, including their creation of units of local government. Finally, it describes the role of states as laboratories of democracy.
Objectives Explain how American federalism involves divided sovereignty and an ongoing effort to balance power. Explain the function of three basic kinds of local government – counties, municipalities, and special districts. Give examples of governmental innovations at the state and local levels. Evaluate, take, and defend positions on continuing issues related to Americas unique system of federalism.
Terms to Know initiative A proposed law placed on the ballots of some states for voter decision. Initiatives that pass immediately become law. local government Government of a specific local area, such as state subdivisions authorized by states or governments of cities, counties, and towns. Also includes special government units, such as water districts. police powers The inherent authority of a government to impose restrictions on private rights for the sake of public welfare, order, and security within the boundaries of constitutional law. recall A process of using special or general elections for removing elected officials from office. referendum Placing a measure approved by a legislature on a ballot for popular approval. reserved powers Those powers referred to in the 9 th and 10 th Amendments that are reserved to the states or to the people.
Constitutional Status of State Governments States Role in National Government 9 of 13 states were needed to ratify Constitution (Art. VII) Determine Voting Qualifications for House Members (Art. I) Equal Representation in Senate Vital Role in Electoral College System Governing Power Left to the States Art. I Sect 8 – 9 powers states do not have (no titles of nobility) Prior list, enumerated powers for Congress, and 10 th Amendment established that powers not granted to national government are reserved to state governments.
Constitutional Status of State Governments Reserved (Police) Powers State govts power to enact legislation that protects the health, safety, welfare, and morals of those within this district Ex) Schools, making / executing criminal and civil laws, zoning Historic Tension Disputes often arise over Supremacy Clause and ambiguities regarding which level of govt has which power
Common Features of State Government Organization Bill of Rights Most include same rights as US Constitution. Many also add rights such as right to work or right to education. Legislative Branch Most legislatures (assemblies) meet annually, are bicameral, with districts for both houses based upon population. Executive Branch Governor is chief executive, most serve 2 or 4 year terms. Lt. Governor role similar to vp. 2003: US govt employees = 3 million, State / Local govt employees = 15 million
Common Features of State Government Organization Judicial Systems Trial and appellate courts. Judges elected in some states, appointed in others. Municipal courts deal with local matters such as traffic offenses. State Supreme Court has final say about meaning of state constitution. Creation of Local Governments State grants charters to carry out certain govt responsibilities. Local laws typically called ordinances. Categories of local government includes: counties, municipalities (cities & townships), and special districts that provide specific services (school districts).
Changing State Constitutions Since 1776, 144 New State Constitutions, Thousands of Amendments Only 18 states have original constitution Ballots usually contain proposals for constitutional amendments Current policy debates in the states: same-sex marriage, gambling, marijuana decriminalization / legalization
Federalism In Practice Regulation of Commerce States retain power to regulate commerce within its borders. However, courts have asserted Congresss power to regulate local activities if they have a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Ex) Medical marijuana use laws. Gonzalez v. Raich Grant-in-aid Programs In return for money from national govt, states must comply with congressional policies Ex) Federal highway funds require compliance with national speed limit. Ex) Race to the Top education funds
Laboratories of Democracy Initiative, Referendum, Recall Methods allow citizens to participate in direct democracy in their states. Environmental Protection Several states set emission standards set by Kyoto Accords, despite national governments choice not to. Health Care Several state-wide reforms have been tried in the states and served as a model for national legislation.