Presentation on theme: "The Constitution the Supreme Law of the Land. The Structure of the Constitution The Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more."— Presentation transcript:
The Constitution the Supreme Law of the Land
The Structure of the Constitution The Preamble: We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Structure of the Constitution SectionSubject Addressed Article ILegislative Branch Article IIExecutive Branch Article IIIJudicial Branch Article IVRelations among the States Article VAmending the Constitution Article VInational debts, supremacy of national law, and oaths of office Article VIIRatification
The Basic Principles of the Constitution
Popular Sovereignty the people are the source for all governmental power “consent of the governed” Example: “We the People of the United States…”
Limited Government no government is all-powerful; it may only do things the people have given it the power to do constitutionalism and rule of law Example: “Congress shall make no law…”
Separation of Powers power of the National Government is distributed among Congress (legislative), the President (executive) and the courts (judicial) Example: “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America…”
Checks and Balances ties the three branches together each branch has powers that allow it to check or restrain the other branches makes compromise necessary Example: “He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur…”
Judicial Review the power of the courts to determine if what government does matches the Constitution Example: Hamilton wrote, “independent judges” would be an “essential safeguard against the effects of occasional ill humors in society”
Federalism powers belong to both the National government and the state governments Example: “No state shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance or Confederation…”
Individual Rights individual rights and freedoms are protected Example: Bill of Rights
Amending the Constitution ARTICLE 5
Amendment Process Amendments allow for the Constitution to change and adapt to changing societies. Article 5 of the Constitution lays out the amendment process. Amendments may deal with any topic except that no state can lose equal representation in the Senate. The Amending process illustrates federalism because it involves both national and state-by state governments.
Proposing Amendments (2 Ways) 2/3 vote of each house of Congress many proposals are introduced each year common way a constitutional convention called by Congress on request by 2/3 of the states (today that is 34) controversial because a convention is not limited to looking at a specific amendment never been used
Ratifying Amendments (2 Ways) ¾ of state legislatures to ratify or approve it (today that is 38 states) Each state can call a special ratifying convention and ¾ of these conventions approve the amendment. only used 1 time (1933) gives people a voice in amendment process because they vote for delegates CONGRESS DECISIONS -Congress decides which ratification method will be used. -Congress also decides how much time the states will have to ratify the amendment. -In recent times, the limit has been set to 7 years.
This process symbolizes federalism—amendments are proposed by the National government and approved by the state governments. It also symbolizes popular sovereignty, since the people have to approve the changes.
Why did the framers make the constitution difficult to amend? What evidence of this do you see in the amendment process? Do you think the founders were correct in allowing the constitution to be amended? Why or Why Not? DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Proposing an Amendment 1. Select an issue you believe the Constitution needs to address today. 2. Propose an amendment and write it in formal terms. 3. Explain why it is needed and how the nation will benefit. 4. Anticipate the opposition it will face and give the arguments you will use to reply to this opposition.
AMENDMENTS 1-10 The Bill of Rights
Constitutional Change by Other Means
Basic Legislation 1. Congress has passed laws to fill out parts of the Constitution Example: Article II ; presidential succession 2. Congress has used many of its powers to define some of the vague parts of the Constitution Example: foreign and interstate commerce
H.R. 358: Protect Life Act 112th Congress, 2011–2012 To amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to modify special rules relating to coverage of abortion services under such Act. Sponsor: Rep. Joseph Pitts [R-PA16] Status: Passed House H.R. 3630: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of th Congress, 2011–2012 A bill to extend the payroll tax holiday, unemployment compensation, Medicare physician payment, provide for the consideration of the Keystone XL pipeline, and for other purposes. Introduced: Dec 09, 2011 Sponsor: Rep. David “Dave” Camp [R-MI4] Status: Signed by the President S. 3313: Women Veterans and Other Health Care Improvements Act of th Congress, 2011–2012 A bill to amend title 38, United States Code, to improve the assistance provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to women veterans, to improve health care furnished by the Department, and for other purposes. Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray [D-WA] Status: Reported by Committee
Executive Action action taken by the President of the United States Example: making war; executive agreements vs. treaties
EXECUTIVE ORDER : IMPROVING ACCESS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR VETERANS, SERVICE MEMBERS, AND MILITARY FAMILIES EXECUTIVE ORDER: PROVIDING AN ORDER OF SUCCESSION WITHIN THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Court Decisions the courts interpret and apply the Constitution Example: Marbury vs. Madison, 1803
UNITED STATES v. ALVAREZ- Argued February 22, 2012—Decided June 28, 2012 The Stolen Valor Act makes it a crime to falsely claim receipt of military decorations or medals and provides an enhanced penalty if the Congressional Medal of Honor is involved. 18 U. S. C. §§704 (b), (c). Respondent pleaded guilty to a charge of falsely claiming that he had received the Medal of Honor, but reserved his right to appeal his claim that the Act is unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit reversed, finding the Act invalid under the First Amendment. Held: The judgment is affirmed. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION et al. v. FOX TELEVISION STATIONS, INC., et al.-Argued January 10, 2012—Decided June 21, 2012 Title 18 U. S. C. §1464 bans the broadcast of “any obscene, indecent, or profane language.” The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) began enforcing §1464 in the 1970’s… It was against this regulatory background that the three incidents at issue took place. Two concern isolated utterances of obscene words during two live broadcasts aired by respondent Fox Television Stations, Inc. The third occurred during an episode of a television show broadcast by respondent ABC Television Network, when the nude buttocks of an adult female character were shown for approximately seven seconds and the side of her breast for a moment... On remand, the Second Circuit found the policy unconstitutionally vague and invalidated it in its entirety. In the ABC case, the Commission found the display actionably indecent, and imposed a $27,500 forfeiture on each of the 45 ABC-affiliated stations that aired the episode. The Second Circuit vacated the order in light of its Fox decision.18 U. S. C. §1464
Party Practices Constitution makes no mention of political parties Example: nominating conventions
Custom unwritten custom can be as strong as written law Example: Cabinet; Presidential succession; Presidential term limits
General Provisions ARTICLE 6
all debts and treaties in existence prior to the Constitution will be valid the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” any state laws that contradict the Constitution will be invalid all Federal and state officials must swear an oath that they promise to uphold and support the Constitution, but no religious test can even be a condition of employment
Why do you think the writers of the Constitution insisted that there be no religious test given as a condition of any public employee’s getting a job? How does the philosophy expressed in the second paragraph of Article 6 differ from the philosophy of the old Articles of Confederation? The answer is one of the key reasons the Articles did not work.
Ratification ARTICLE 7
conventions in 9 of the states had to approve
CHAPTER 4-SECTION 1 Federalism
Think about the following questions… 1. What decisions do you believe your parents should make for you? 2. What decisions should you be able to make for yourself? 3. What decisions should be made cooperatively?
What is federalism? system of government where a written constitution divides power between a central or national government and several regional governments (states)
Disaster Relief Who’s job was it to clean up New Orleans and the rest of the coast after Katrina?
No Child Left Behind Should the national gov’t step in to regulate school performance?
A. delegated to the National Government; directly stated in the Constitution G. not expressly stated in the Constitution, but reasonably suggested; required to carry out the powers expressly defined in the Constitution F. belong to the National government, because it is the national government of a sovereign state C. powers the Constitution does not grant to the National Govenrment and does not, at the same time, deny to the States E. powers exercised by the National Government alone D. powers that both the National Government and the States have B. powers that levels of government can not do
expressed implied inherent denied reserved exclusive concurrent A. delegated to the National Government; directly stated in the Constitution G. not expressly stated in the Constitution, but reasonably suggested; required to carry out the powers expressly defined in the Constitution F. belong to the National government, because it is the national government of a sovereign state B. powers that levels of government can not do C. powers the Constitution does not grant to the National Govenrment and does not, at the same time, deny to the States E. powers exercised by the National Government alone D. powers that both the National Government and the States have