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1 The Constitution & Federalism US Politics and Society.

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1 1 The Constitution & Federalism US Politics and Society

2 2 The US Constitution Although the first attempt failed (Articles of Confederation), the second represents one of the oldest continually functioning political systems in the world. It has overseen the transformation of a territory, a people, an economic system, a social structure, an ethnic mixture & a geopolitical superpower

3 3 Continuity and Change ~ 4300 words 7 articles 4 million people 13 states Narrow settlement along Atlantic Agricultural, rural 1789 ~4300 words 7 articles 27 amendments million people 50 states From the Atlantic to the Pacific Urban and industrialized Nuclear power Multicultural

4 4 Four principles of the Constitution 1. republicanism: government through elected representatives  neither monarchy, aristocracy nor (for that matter) direct democracy 2. federalism: government by devolution to the constituent states  neither unitary government, nor confederation

5 5 Four principles of the Constitution 3. separation of powers: division of powers among different branches of government, i.e. legislative, executive and judiciary 4. checks and balances: not only are powers separated, but they are also configured so as to give each branch certain powers of check and balance over the other two

6 6 Checks and balances Make laws Veto legislation Submit legislation Executive orders Review legislative acts Confirm executive appts (Senate) Override vetoes Impeach president Enforce laws Review executive acts Issue injunctions Impeach judges Create/eliminate courts Grant pardons Nominate judges Interpret laws

7 7 7 articles of the Constitution Article 1: Legislative branch  the longest because of the desire of the ‘Founding Fathers’ to enforce republicanism and have only elected representatives run government  details the ‘Great Compromise’, which established a bicameral legislature based on separate representation principles  lists election principles from House & Senate  gives House the sole right to initiate bills regarding revenue

8 8 Powers of Congress to regulate customs, monetary and commercial affairs ‘with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes’ to declare war and provide for national defense, including militia, navy to establish a postal system & post roads

9 9 The ‘Elastic’ Clause Article 1, Sec. 8, final ¶: [Congress shall have power…] To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.  ‘Implied powers’, ‘necessary and proper’ clause Key provision, which has been the basis for the expansion of congressional powers since 1789

10 10 Article 2: the Executive commander-in-chief can request the ‘Opinion, in writing, of the principal officer in each of the executive Departments’ grants pardons sign treaties appoints judges, cabinet members, ambassadors—all upon the ‘Advice and Consent’ of the Senate gives Congress ‘Information of the State of the Union’

11 11 Article 3: the Judiciary Creation of the Supreme Court and other ‘inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.’ Automatic SC jurisdiction in cases involving states

12 12 Article 4: the States Mutual recognition of state laws equal privileges and immunities to all citizens extradition from state to state all states shall have republican government states shall be protected from invasion and offered assistance in times of domestic unrest

13 13 Articles 5-7: Further provisions Article 5: Amendment Article 6: the Constitution shall be ‘the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges [legislators and executives] in every State shall be bound thereby’  ‘no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States’ Article 7: Ratification, 9/13 states

14 14 Amending the Constitution Method of Proposal Method of Ratification By 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress (used 33 times) By natl constitutional convention called by Congress at the request of 2/3 of the state legislatures (never used) By legislatures in 3/4 of the states (used 26 times) By conventions in 3/4 of the states (used only once, 21 amendment)

15 15 Bill of Rights First 10 amendments Proposed as part of Virginia ratification 1.Freedom of religion, speech, press and assembly 2.Right to bear arms 3.Prohibition against quartering of troops in private homes 4.Prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures 5.Rights for the accused: grand jury indictment, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, due process 6.Right to speedy and public trial 7.Right to trial by jury in civil suits 8.Prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment 9.Rights not listed in the Constitution retained by the people 10.The States or people reserve those powers not denied to them by the Constit. or delegated to the national govt.

16 16 Types of amendments 1. structural change in govt  12 th : separate voting for president and vice- president (1804)  17 th : Direct election of US Senators (1913)  20 th : Presidents limited to 2 terms (1951)  25 th : Presidential & Vice-Presidential succession (1967)  27 th : Salaries of members of Congress (1992) 2. affecting public policy  18 th : Prohibition (1919)  21 st : Repeal of Prohibition (1933)

17 17 Types of amendments 3. expanding rights  1-10: Bill of Rights (1791)  13 th : Slavery banned (1865)  14 th : Equal protection and due process (1868)  15 th : Suffrage for black males (1870)  19 th : Suffrage for women (1920)  23 rd : Residents of District of Columbia given right to vote in presidential elections (1961)  24 th : Poll tax abolished (1964)  26 th : Voting age lowered to 18 (1971)

18 18 Types of amendments 4. overruling Supreme Court decision  Individuals prohibited from suing a state without its permission (1798)  Congress given power to create personal income tax (1913) Peculiar amendments  Repeal of a previous amendment (18 th vs. 21 st on prohibition)  27 th Amendment proposed in 1789, ratified in…1992

19 19 Proposed amendments Equal Rights Amendment: proposed in each Congress b/w  prohibition of gender discrimination  fails ratification in 1982 by just 3 states balanced budget amendment (1995) prayer in schools (1971) prohibition of flag burning (1995) anti-abortion amendment (since 1973) anti-polygamy (1898) electoral college reform (since 1789) term limits for Congress (1995)

20 20 Federal-State relations Coin money Conduct foreign relations Regulate commerce b/w the states National defense Declare war Establish federal courts Make other ‘necessary and proper laws Regulate elections Ratify constit. amendments Take measures for public health Regulate commerce w/in the state Establish local governments All other powers not given to federal government or prohibited to states Tax Borrow money Establish courts Make & enforce laws Charter banks & corporations Spend money for general welfare Take property for public domain Federal powers Concurrent powers State powers

21 21 Phases of US Federalism Supreme Court a key authority in evolution of federalism : ‘Nationalization’  Marshall Court broadly interprets constitution to expand and consolidate national power : Dual Federalism, 1  federal govt. limited to enumerated powers; states consider themselves sovereign; tension over states’ rights

22 22 Phases of US Federalism : Dual Federalism, 2  Supreme Court maintains states’ right to regulate internal commerce, while federal govt. also expands aid & regulatory policies : Cooperative Federalism  New Deal: Grants-in-aid to states, national welfare programs, greater national regulation  SC expands use of ‘commerce clause’ : Creative Federalism  Johnson’s Great Society, ‘war on poverty’

23 23 Phases of US Federalism : New Federalism  Reductions in federal aid to states, shift to ‘block grants’  State opposition to ‘unfunded mandates’ amid balanced budget amendments Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Americans with Disabilities Act  Return to states as laboratories, e.g. in welfare systems, emissions

24 24 State Government State constitutions  the powers of executives differ, altho most have line- item veto along with regular veto  state legislatures often filled by ‘citizen legislators’ 17 states with part-time legislatures, 10 with full-time range in size from 424 (NH) to 60 (Alaska) all but one state legislature bicameral (NE)  growing popularity of ‘term limits’: 20 states  ‘propositions’, direct (17) & indirect (4) initiatives State prerogatives: elections (incl. presidential) education public health transportation economic development law enforcement criminal justice

25 25 Local Government Counties: ~3000 Municipalities: ~19,300  city council, mayor Towns and Townships: ~16,700  often governed by ‘town meeting’ Special districts: ~36,000  school districts, park districts Disparities: wealth, ethnic diversity

26 26 State & Local Govt. Revenue Sources 1990s boom, 2000s bust

27 27 State & Local Associations National Governors’ Association National Conference of State Legislatures National League of Cities US Conference of Mayors National Association of Counties


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