Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

The U.S. System of Government American Legal System Elective CELOP/Boston University Fall 2011 Joseph Pettigrew.

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "The U.S. System of Government American Legal System Elective CELOP/Boston University Fall 2011 Joseph Pettigrew."— Presentation transcript:

1 The U.S. System of Government American Legal System Elective CELOP/Boston University Fall 2011 Joseph Pettigrew

2 The U.S. System of Government The Constitution Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Political Parties How a President is Elected A Few Current Issues in American Politics

3 The U.S. Constitution Establishes basic system of government Adopted in1787 Oldest constitution still in use Can be amended Has been 27 times 1 st 10 amendments – “Bill of Rights”

4 The U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights (1791) 1 st – Freedom of speech, religion, the press, assembly 2 nd – Right to bear arms (guns) 6 th – Trial by jury Others 13 th – Abolished slavery (1865) 19 th – Right to vote for women (1920)

5 The U.S. Constitution The Federal Government Executive (President) Legislative (Congress) Judicial (Supreme Court)

6 Executive Branch President – Barack Obama Elected for 4-year term May be reelected once At least 35 years old Born in the U.S. Elected by majority vote of Electoral College (not popular vote)

7 Executive Branch Vice-President – Joseph Biden Elected with president – Vote for president is vote for VP Not from same state as president Presides over US Senate, breaks a tie vote 9 VPs have become president on death or resignation of president

8 Executive Branch Succession on death, resignation, or impeachment of president Vice President Speaker of the House of Representatives President Pro Tempore of Senate Secretary of State Other cabinet members

9 Executive Branch Cabinet – Departments (Ministries), e.g., Department of State = Foreign Affairs Department of Defense Department of Treasury Department of Transportation Department of Justice

10 Executive Branch Head of Cabinet Department – Secretary Secretary of State (Hilary Clinton) Secretary of Defense (Leon Panetta) Exception – Justice Department Attorney General (Eric Holder)

11 Legislative Branch Congress Senate – Senator – Headed by Vice President (mostly ceremonial except in close votes) – Usually President Pro Tempore (a senator)

12 Legislative Branch Congress House of Representatives – Representative, Congressman, Congresswoman – Headed by Speaker (John Boehner) Leader of majority party (Republican)

13 Legislative Branch Senators Two from each state Elected by entire population of the state 6-year term May be reelected 1/3 elected every two years

14 Legislative Branch Senators “Upper Chamber” or “Upper House” Equal in power to “Lower Chamber” Confirm/reject president’s choice for Supreme Court Ratify treaties

15 Legislative Branch Representatives Number according to population of state Census every 10 years Elected by district 2-year term May be reelected All up for reelection every 2 years

16 Legislative Branch Representatives – total 435 Vermont, Wyoming, Alaska – 1 Massachusetts – 10 (  9) New York – 29 Texas – 32 California – 53

17 Legislative Branch House & Senate Compromise by “founders” Protects small states from being overwhelmed by large states

18 Legislative Branch Duties of the Congress Creates laws Confirms president’s choices for cabinet Investigates possible wrongdoing by Executive branch Can impeach president for “high crimes and misdemeanors”

19 Bill to Law Identical versions of a bill must pass both House & Senate If differences – joint conference committee agrees on single version Goes back to House & Senate for final passage

20 Bill to Law Goes to President, who can Sign bill for it to become law Veto (reject) – Goes back to Congress – 2/3 vote in both houses will “override” veto – Bill becomes law without signature Not sign, allow bill to become law after 10 days

21 Judicial Branch Supreme Court Nine members, called Justices Nominated by president Confirmed by Senate (majority vote) Life term Only removed by impeachment

22 Judicial Branch Duties of Supreme Court Final court of appeal Can decide to hear or not hear any case Can determine “constitutionality” of any law – Law found to be unconstitutional is voided

23 Judicial Branch Famous Supreme Court Cases Brown v. Board of Education (1954) – Integrated public schools Miranda Ruling (1966) – Suspects arrested by police must be told their rights (e.g., “the right to remain silent”)

24 Judicial Branch Famous Supreme Court Cases Roe v. Wade (1973) – Legalized abortion Bush v. Gore (2000) – Ended vote counting in Florida after 2000 election – Gave presidency to G. Bush

25 Judicial Branch Recent appointments (Obama) Sonia Sotomayor Was judge on US Court of Appeals for Second Circuit 1 st Hispanic 3 rd woman on court

26 Judicial Branch Recent appointments (Obama) Elena Kagan Was dean of Harvard Law School Solicitor General 4 th woman on court

27 Checks & Balances Check = limit Each branch has some control over the other two To prevent one from becoming too powerful

28 Checks & Balances Congress controls legislation President can veto a bill Congress can override it by 2/3 vote

29 Checks & Balances President chooses Supreme Court Justices Must be approved by Senate Justices have lifetime appointments

30 Checks & Balances Supreme Court can decide a law passed by Legislative Branch or an action by the Executive Branch is “unconstitutional” Invalidates the law

31 Political Parties Not specifically mentioned in Constitution Republicans Democrats Greens, Socialists, Communists, …

32 Republican Party (GOP) George Bush Sr/Jr, John McCain, Ronald Reagan Limited government Low taxes Pro-business Strong military Traditional on social issues Traditional support Business community Conservative protestants Voters in suburbs & rural areas

33 Democratic Party Barack Obama, Bill & Hilary Clinton, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy Government is a force for good Economic fairness Social justice for minorities Progressive on social issues Traditional support Labor unions Minorities Liberal Christians Jews Voters in cities

34 Presidential Election Every 4 years (next 2012) The 1 st Tuesday after the 1 st Monday in November System of primaries within the two major parties Winner of primaries is party’s candidate The winner is determined by the Electoral College – not the popular vote

35 Presidential Election Primaries Republicans vs. Republicans Democrats vs. Democrats Winners face each other in general election

36 Presidential Election 2008 Democratic Primary Obama vs. Clinton

37 Electoral College Each state has a number of electoral votes Equal to number of representatives it sends to US Congress –(# of House seats + 2 Senate seats) –Minimum: 3

38 Electoral Votes in 2008 2 senators + # of representatives: Vermont = 3 Massachusetts = 12 Florida = 27 Texas = 34 California = 55

39 Electoral Votes in 2012

40 Electoral College “Winner Take All” system The candidate who wins the most votes in a state wins all of that state’s electoral votes Total votes = 538 (3 votes for DC) Number needed to win = 270

41 Red & Blue States Comes from maps used on television on election night Red = state won by Republican (Bush 2000 & 2004, McCain 2008) Blue = state won by Democrat (Gore 2000, Kerry 2004, Obama 2008)

42 Red & Blue States Usually Red (Republican): The South (Texas, Georgia, Mississippi, etc.) The West, except for the west coast (Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Idaho)

43 Red & Blue States Usually Blue (Democratic): The Northeast (Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island) The Upper Midwest (Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois) The West Coast (California, Oregon, Washington State)

44 Swing States Can go Republican one election and Democratic the next, e.g.: Pennsylvania Ohio Florida Missouri Result: time, money, & advertising concentrated in swing states

45 Results of 2000 Election Bush:50,456,002 47.87% 271 electoral votes Gore:50,999,897 48.38% 266 electoral votes Nader:2,882,955 2.74% 0 electoral votes

46 Results of 2004 Election Bush: 62,028,285 total votes 50.7% 286 electoral votes Kerry: 59,028,109 total votes 48.3% 251 electoral votes

47 2004 Election

48 Other Maps 2004 By county: Republican / Democrat

49 Other Maps 2004 % Republican / Democrat

50 Other Maps 2004 Size = number of electoral votes

51 Other Maps 2004

52 2008 Election Barack Obama & John McCain

53 Barack Obama Born 1961 in Hawaii Mother from Kansas Father born in Kenya Parents met at Univ. of Hawaii Divorced; father eventually returned to Kenya; died 1982 Mother died 1995

54 Barack Obama Spent time in Indonesia as a child Raised mostly by grandparents Community organizer in Chicago Graduated Harvard Law School Senator from Illinois 2004 - 2008

55 John McCain Born 1936 in US Canal Zone (now Panama) Father US navy officer Graduated from US Naval Academy US Navy pilot during Vietnam War Shot down, taken prisoner

56 John McCain Spent 5½ years in prisoner of war camp US senator from Arizona since 1986 Ran against Bush in 2000 for nomination Considered a “maverick” by some Republicans

57 2008 Election McCain: 58,3434,671 total votes 46% 173 electoral votes Obama: 66,882,230 total votes 53% 365 electoral votes

58 2008 Election

59 2004 & 2008 Elections BlueRed Blue = Democrat Red =Republican 2004 2008

60 2010 Congressional Election Republicans gained control of House; Democrats barely held on to Senate 193 Democrats 242 Republicans (+ 63) 51 Democrats + 2 Independents 47 Republicans (+ 6)

61 2012 Presidential Race Battleground States

62 Political & Social Trends By 2050 “majority minority” population Younger voters more liberal on social issues

63 Current “Hot” Issues Same-sex marriage –Several states have allowed it; several others have banned it –Republican “base” strongly against –Less divisive for younger voters

64 Current “Hot” Issues Health care –2010 Democratic- controlled Congress passed new health care law –Requires all to purchase health insurance –Republicans opposed to “socialized medicine”

65 Current “Hot” Issues The Economy –How to deal with recession –How much to regulate business –Growing deficit –Raising the debt limit

66 Current “Hot” Issues Immigration –Over 33 million legal & illegal immigrants in US –How many more to allow in –How to deal with illegal immigrants

67 Thank You

Download ppt "The U.S. System of Government American Legal System Elective CELOP/Boston University Fall 2011 Joseph Pettigrew."

Similar presentations

Ads by Google