Presentation on theme: "CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE BY OTHER MEANS"— Presentation transcript:
1 CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE BY OTHER MEANS American GovernmentChapter 3-3
2 Non-wording ChangesSome changes to the Constitution do not involve the written word1) The passage of basic legislation by Congress2) actions take by the President3) key decisions of the Supreme Court4) the activities of political parties5) custom
3 Basic LegislationCongress has passed a number of laws to spell out several brief provisions of the ConstitutionSubstance has been added to provisions that were intentionally left vagueExample: Article III Section 1 says the Constitution provides for “one supreme court, and … such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.”
4 Basic LegislationArticle II creates only the offices of President and Vice President. All other departments and offices have been created by Congress.XXVth Amendment says that if the office of President is vacant the Vice President automatically succeeds to the office. Who becomes President if both offices are vacant? Congress has the power to decide that(show succession on Internet)
5 Executive ActionCongress can declare war but the President is Commander-in-chiefSeveral Presidents have made war without a Congressional declaration of warExecutive Agreement—Pact made by the President directly with the head of a foreign state (no Congressional approval required)Treaty—A formal agreement between two or more sovereign states (Senate must approve)
6 Court DecisionsFederal courts, mainly the Supreme Court, interpret and apply the Constitution in many cases that they hear.“The Supreme Court is a constitutional convention in continuous session” –President Woodrow Wilson
7 Party Practices Most Framers were opposed to political parties Political parties have turned the Electoral College into a “rubber stamp” for each State’s popular vote in presidential electionsBoth houses of Congress are organized and conduct business by partyGovernment in the USA is in many ways government through party
8 Custom Unwritten custom may be as strong as written law. By custom, not because the Constitution says so, the heads of the executive departments make up the CABINET, an advisory body to the President.On the 8 occasions when the President died in office, most recently when LBJ took over for JFK (1963), the Vice President took over.Until 1967, the Constitution said only that the powers and duties of the presidency—not the office itself— should be transferred to the Vice President“No third-term tradition”—This began in Presidents would not seek a 3rd term. FDR broke tradition in 1940 & 1944 by seeking a 3rd & 4th termXXIInd Amendment made 2 terms the maximum.
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