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The Six Basic Principles

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Presentation on theme: "The Six Basic Principles"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Six Basic Principles
The Constitution sets out basic principles upon which government in the United States was built and operates today. *The Constitution is a living/breathing document. The six basic principles are: Popular Sovereignty Limited Government Separation of Powers Judicial review Federalism Checks and Balances

2 The Six Basic Principles
Popular Sovereignty -In the United States, all political power resides in the people, therefore, the people are sovereign. -Government can govern only with the consent of the governed. “We the People of the United States….do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

3 The Six Basic Principles
2. Limited Government -A lot like Popular Sovereignty. -The Government has only the authority that the people have given it. -Constitutionalism- The government must be conducted according to the Constitution’s principles. -Rule of Law- The government and its officers are always subject to- never above- the law.

4 The Six Basic Principles
3. Separation of Powers -The basic powers of government are distributed throughout three distinct and independent branches. -The executive, legislative, and judicial branches. *The idea of the Constitution was to ensure that a stronger central government was made. However, the framers used separation of powers to limit that central government from becoming too powerful*

5 The Six Basic Principles
4. Judicial Review The power of a court to determine the constitutionality of a governmental action. -Judicial Review is basically the power to declare a governmental action unconstitutional. 5. Federalism The division of power among a central government and several lesser governments. - The Framers used federalism as an alternative to a system of nearly independent states (confederation).

6 Checks and Balances The 3 branches of government are not entirely separated or independent from one another. They are tied together through a system of checks and balances. -Each branch is subject to a number of constitutional checks by the other branch. *This idea of separation of powers was introduced by Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws. *Montesquieu argues that the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of government should be assigned to different bodies (branches).* This, he argues, will prevent one branch from becoming too powerful.

7 Checks and Balances Main Aspects of the Checks and Balances System
-The Judicial Branch can declare any acts of Congress or the President unconstitutional. -The President can veto legislation, but be overridden by a 2/3 vote from Congress. -Congress can impeach the President and Supreme Court Justices. *For the most part this system works exactly the way that the Framers of the Constitution intended it to.* -Checks and Balances runs smoothly most of the time. (when does it not?)


9 Interstate Relations The Constitution outlines how states should interact with one another in which Article? As we know, states cannot enter into any treaty or alliance. Interstate Compacts- with the consent of Congress, states may enter into agreements with one another and foreign states as well. -The amount of compacts made has grown from 26 to well over 200 since 1920. -Compacts include subjects ranging from conservation of national resources, promoting motor vehicle safety, etc. -ex: Colorado River Compact- several states share the water resources of the Colorado River under this compact.

10 Full Faith and Credit Clause
“Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state.” -Public Acts = laws of a state -Records = documents such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. -Judicial Proceedings = outcome of court actions Exceptions One state cannot enforce another State’s criminal law. Full faith and credit doesn’t need to be given to certain divorces granted by one state to residents of another state. Ex: Williams v. North Carolina

11 Extradition Clause “A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other crime, who shall flee from justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the state having Jurisdiction of the Crime” –Article IV, Section 2, Clause 2 Extradition- The legal process by which a fugitive from justice in one State can be returned to that State. *Up until 1987, some State Governors would, on occasion, refuse to return fugitives. Puerto Rico v. Brandstad allowed Federal Courts to order an unwilling governor to extradite a fugitive.

12 Privileges and Immunities Clause
“ The Citizens of each state shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.” –Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1 -In other words, no state can draw unreasonable distinctions between its own residents and those persons who happen to live in other states. -Examples: -Each state must allow citizens of other states to travel or become a resident in another State. -States cannot create hiring preferences to in-State residents. *But what about In-State or Out-of-State Tuition? Isn’t that granting privileges and immunities to state residents?*

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