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United States Constitution

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1 United States Constitution


3 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 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.”

4 Article I Legislative Branch
Section 1 – Legislative Power, the Congress Section 2 – House of Representatives Section 3 – Senate Section 4 – Elections and Meetings Section 5 – Legislative Proceedings

5 Article I Legislative Department
Section 6 – Compensation, Immunities, and Disabilities of Members Section 7 – Revenue Bills; President’s Veto Section 8 – Powers of Congress Section 9 – Powers Denied to Congress Section 10 – Powers Denied to States

6 Article II Executive Department
Section 1 – Executive Power; The President; Term; Election: Qualifications; Compensation; Oath of Office Section 2 – President’s Powers and Duties Section 3 – President’s Powers and Duties Section 4 – Impeachment

7 Article III Judicial Department
Section 1 – Judicial Power; Courts; Terms of Office Section 2 – Jurisdiction Section 3 – Treason

8 Article IV Relations Among the States
Section 1 – Full Faith and Credit Section 2 – Privileges and Immunities of Citizens Section 3 – New States, Territories Section 4 – Protection Afforded to States by the Nation

9 Article V Provisions for Amendment
Amendments can be proposed in two ways: by a two-thirds vote in each house of Congress, or by a national convention called by congress at the request of two-thirds of State legislatures. Amendments may be ratified in one of two ways: by three-fourths of the State legislatures, or by three-fourths of the States in conventions called for that purpose.


11 Article VI Public Debts; Supremacy of National Law; Oath
Section 1 – Validity of Debts Section 2 – Supremacy of National Law Section 3 – Oaths of Office

12 Article VII Ratification of Constitution
The ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the same. Signed on September 17, 1787.

13 Informal Amendment Process by which over time many changes have been made in the Constitution which have not involved any changes in its written words. Result of the day-to-day, year-to-year experiences of government under the Constitution. There are 5 ways in which informal amendments can be put forth.

14 Basic Legislation Congress has passed a number of laws to spell out several of the Constitution’s brief provisions Added details and meanings to the Constitution Article III, Section II One Supreme Court Judiciary Act of 1789 Congress sets up federal courts, not the Supreme Court Article II Only sets up offices of President and Vice President Various offices, (SEC, FDA) set up by congress

15 Executive Action Various Presidents have used their powers to produce changes Only Congress can declare war Presidents can make war, even when war is not declared by congress Vietnam Only Congress can enter into formal treaties Presidents can enter into executive agreements directly with the heads of foreign nations.

16 Court Decisions The US Supreme Court may interpret and apply the Constitution in many ways. Marbury V. Madison, 1803 First time the Supreme Court declared an act by a governmental official unconstitutional Legislation for basic Judicial Review Courts may oversee and overrule actions of the other branches of government

17 Party Practices Political parties, though thought of as dangerous by framers, especially Washington, continue to shape the constitution No law or Constitutional statement provides for the nomination of candidates for presidency The President is elected by the electoral college The group that makes the formal selection of President Electoral college and national party conventions are “rubber stamps” for selection. US government is party government

18 Custom Unwritten customs may be as strong as written law
The heads of the 14 executive departments make up the Cabinet – presidential advisory board Presidential succession before the 25th Amendment Senatorial Courtesy – The Senate will only approve those presidential appointees that are acceptable to the senator or senators of the President’s party from the State involved. – Federal judge 2 term Presidencies – 22 Amendment



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