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Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities of the United States Government.

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Presentation on theme: "Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities of the United States Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structure, Roles, and Responsibilities of the United States Government

2 6 principles of the Constitution Popular Sovereignty Limited Government Separation of Powers Checks and Balances Judicial Review Federalism

3 Popular Sovereignty The belief that the legitimacy of the state (nation) is created by the will or consent of its people, who are the source of all political power. Government has no power unless “We the People” give it to them.

4 Popular Sovereignty It is closely associated to the Enlightenment philosophers, among whom are Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A little rebellion now and then...is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government. Thomas Jefferson, Letter to James Madison, 1787 3rd president of US (1743 - 1826) How can we rebel against our government?

5 Popular Sovereignty The doctrine of popular sovereignty was used to decide the slavery issue in new territories. The people that lived in the territories (not Congress) would decide whether or not to allow slavery in the individual territories. Was it a good idea to allow the people decide the fate of slavery or should Congress decide?

6 Limited Government The Declaration of Independence stated the concept of limited government. Governments derive "their just powers from the consent of the governed" The few and limited powers of the United States government are enumerated and defined in the people's fundamental law— the Constitution, as amended. This is the basis of Rule-of-Law

7 Rule of Law, is the principle that no one is above the law. The rule follows logically from the idea that law, is based upon fundamental principles which can be discovered, but which cannot be created through an act of will. The most important application of the rule of law is the principle that governmental authority is legitimately exercised only in accordance with written, publicly disclosed laws adopted and enforced in accordance with established procedural steps that are referred to as due process. The principle is intended to be a safeguard against arbitrary governance, whether by a totalitarian leader or by mob rule. Thus, the rule of law is hostile both to dictatorship and to anarchy.

8 Separation of power Three separate branches: executive, judicial, and legislative. The three branches are distinct and have checks and balances on each other. In this way, no one branch can gain absolute power or abuse the power they are given.

9 The executive branch is headed by the President and includes the bureaucracy. The legislative branch includes both houses of Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts. Separation of power

10 Checks and balances Guarantees that no part of the government becomes too powerful. For example, the legislative branch is in charge of making laws. The executive branch can veto the law, making it harder for the legislative branch to pass the law. The judicial branch may also say that the law is unconstitutional and thus make sure it is not a law.

11 Checks and balances

12 Judicial review The doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review, and possible invalidation, by the judiciary. Does the Constitution give the Supreme Court the power to invalidate the actions of other branches of Government?

13 Federalism American system of government in which the powers of government are divided between the national government, which governs the whole nation, and the state governments which govern the people of each state, creating what is often called a federation.

14 Federalism The 10 th Amendment to the Constitution allows for the doctrine of Federalism "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Should the states have more power to govern its citizens than the federal government, why or why not?

15 Federalism around the world

16 Purposes of Government Outlined in the Preamble of the United States Constitution, it was the Founding Fathers' intent to have the federal government perform six fundamental functions.

17 ConstitutionPreamble The first part of the Constitution is called the Preamble. It tells what our founding fathers set out to do W We the people In order to form a more perfect union, Establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, Constitution USA Provide for the common defense, 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.

18 Form a more perfect union While initially, the colonies weren't united, they soon came to realize that there is strength in solidarity and as such formed an alliance with one another. The Constitution provide for such a union.

19 Establish Justice Though the term justice is open to interpretation, the explanation most widely accepted is that the law must be fair, unbiased, and logical. While these standards we are not always met within this nation, the American people wish to strive for such ideals.

20 Common Defense Provide a military to defend its citizens and territories against the enemies of the state.

21 Secure the blessings of liberty The American nation was built around the ideals of individual freedom and liberty, however, the Founding Fathers also came to the realization that certain boundaries must be set forth in order to ensure that such liberties would not breach those of other citizens'.

22 Promote the General Welfare The role of the government to provide the American people with services and regulations that are for the public good. Such regulations may include health and food standards, public education, and consumer protection.

23 Insure Domestic Tranquility The government must provide order in society and allow for domestic peace. It must also present the nation from ever ascending into anarchy.

24 The Legislative Branch The Senate The House of Representatives Makes the laws Congress Powers found in Article I of The Constitution

25 The Executive Branch Carries out the laws President Vice President The Cabinet The Bureaucracy Powers found in Article II of The Constitution

26 The Judicial Branch Interprets the laws Powers found in Article III of The Constitution

27 The Constitution is the highest law of the land Our country is based on concept of rule of law. No one is above the law There are two ways judges and others view the Constitution: Strictly or loosely The 1 st Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Abridging means to shorten without losing the sense or curtail. What does freedom of speech mean to you? Are you a strict constructionist or a loose constructionist? Decide by answering the following question.

28 Does the 1 st Amendment clause of “freedom of speech” include The Internet? Twitter? Texting? Emails? These things didn’t exist during the time of the Framers. What would these guys say today?

29 Thomas Jefferson believed in a strict construction of the Constitution; that means, he believed people should follow exactly what was stated and allowed in the document. Anything not given to the federal government in the Constitution would be given to the states and the people. Alexander Hamilton believed in a loose construction of the Constitution; he thought you could take whatever action you wanted, as long as the document did not specifically say you couldn't do it. In other words a strict constructionist would feel the need to follow the specific instructions and rules of something, while a loose constructionist would feel it was acceptable to find a loophole, or do something not directly forbidden

30 Roe v. Wade is the historic Supreme Court decision overturning a Texas interpretation of abortion law and making abortion legal in the United States. The Roe v. Wade decision held that a woman, with her doctor, could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without restriction, and with restrictions in later months, based on the right to privacy. Strict or Loose Constructionist All state laws limiting women's access to abortions during the first trimester of pregnancy were invalidated by Roe v. Wade. State laws limiting such access during the second trimester were upheld only when the restrictions were for the purpose of protecting the health of the pregnant woman. Roe v. Wade legalized abortion in the United States, which was not legal at all in many states and was limited by law in others. The case decision was based on the 9 th Amendment. The Court said the 9 th Amendment protected a person’s right to privacy. Read the 9 th Amendment and see what you think.

31 Strict or Loose Constructionist The U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision overturning Washington, D.C.'s handgun ban is the biggest gun rights ruling since the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. The Court had not waded into this divisive issue since 1939, when it declared, "We cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear" arms. But on Thursday the Court broke its silence to do just that, ruling for the first time that the Constitution confers an individual right to gun ownership beyond providing for "a well regulated Militia," as the amendment states. The Constitution does not permit "the absolute prohibition of handguns held and used for self-defense in the home," Justice Antonin Scalia, the court's arch-conservative, wrote in the majority opinion. Time Magazine article from June 2008 You decide!

32 In 1808, the government of New York granted a steamboat company a monopoly to operate its boats on the state's waters, which included bodies of water that stretched between states. Aaron Ogden held a license under this monopoly to operate steamboats between New Jersey and New York. Thomas Gibbons, another steamboat operator, competed with Aaron Ogden on this same route but held a federal coasting license issued by an act of Congress. Ogden filed a complaint in New York court to stop Gibbons from operating his boats, claiming that the monopoly granted by New York was legal even though he operated on shared, interstate waters. Gibbons disagreed arguing that the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the sole power over interstate commerce. After losing twice in New York courts, Gibbons appealed the case to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court determined that the commerce clause of the Constitution grants the federal government the power to determine how interstate commerce is conducted. Strict or Loose Constructionist Huh???

33 Which branch of government is mainly responsible for passing laws, approving budgets, and approving appointments of officials? Which branch of the national government is the U.S. Congress in? The Supreme Court hears important legal cases, and has the power of "judicial review." That means the Supreme Court has the power to declare a law ____________. Which branch of government is mainly responsible executing the laws, preparing budgets, administering government agencies, and appointing officials?

34 Which branch of the national government is the president the head of? Which Supreme Court case declared abortion is illegal? Someone who follows the Constitution word for word and does not interpret what it is meant say is known as a _______________________________ What does “rule of law” mean? What is meant by domestic tranquility? The Preamble includes the phrases “establish justice” and “secure the blessings of liberty. ” The Pledge of Allegiance contains the words, “with liberty and justice for all.” What do the terms liberty and justice mean to you?

35  delegated – These powers are also called expressed or enumerated powers. They are directly granted to the federal government by the Constitution in Article I, Section 8.  reserved – powers that are neither granted to the federal government nor expressly forbidden to the states and are therefore retained by the states or by the people. 10th Amendment. Powers of Government Federal PowersState Powers concurrent – powers held by both the federal and stategovernments.

36  implied (necessary and proper clause, elastic clause) – the powers granted to the federal government in Article I, Section 8, Clause 18, of the Constitution. Congress is given the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out its responsibilities. Aka the elastic clause because it gives Congress powers that can be reasonably inferred from the brief wording of its expressed powers. Implied Powers What is an example of an necessary and proper law?

37  These are the powers expressly denied to the federal government in Article I, Section 9 and in the First through Eighth Amendments; for example, the federal government can not tax goods sold to other countries, nor can it pass laws that significantly restrain our constitutional rights and liberties. Denied Powers

38 Suspension of habeas corpus Bills of Attainder Ex post facto laws

39 Habeas Corpus  A court order commanding an officer holding a prisoner bring the prisoner before the court. The officer must show good cause in order to hold the prisoner longer. Bills of Attainder Inflicting punishment without a court trial. Remember a person is due a speedy and public trial. Ex post facto laws Punishing someone for an act before the act was ruled a crime Which of the Bill of Rights reflect these denied powers of government?

40 Reserved Powers Powers given to the states, among these are: Licensing Marriage and divorce laws Drinking age Set up public school systems What are some other powers states have that the Federal government does not?

41 Supremacy Clause Supremacy Clause- Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution, establishes two principles. The federal government is superior over all state and local governments. It also establishes the Constitution as the “supreme law of the land,” making it superior over all levels of government in the United States.

42 Some terms to know and apply Preamble to the Constitution purposes of government domestic tranquility common defense general welfare justice liberty Governmental powers: delegated concurrent reserved implied (necessary and proper clause, elastic clause) denied

43 Limits on government: checks and balances separation of powers federalism judicial review consent of the governed popular sovereignty states’ rights due process Some terms to know and apply


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