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Chapter 3: The Constitution of the United States of America.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 3: The Constitution of the United States of America."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Chapter 3: The Constitution of the United States of America

3 Why Does the Constitution Matter? Constitution – body of fundamental laws which say how a government is to operate It is the supreme law of the land It is the supreme law of the land It explains how the government works It explains how the government works It protects your civil rights It protects your civil rights

4 A Brief Outline The Preamble – lays out the purpose and introduces the Constitution The Articles – the substance of governmental law The Amendments Uncle Sam needs you to study harder!

5 The Seven Articles I. The Legislative Branch II. The Executive Branch III. The Judicial Branch IV. Relations Among States V. The Amendment Process VI. National Debts, National Supremacy, Oaths of Office VII. Requirements for Ratification

6 1. Popular Sovereignty – supreme power rests with and only with the people Some parts of the Constitution mitigate popular sovereignty Some parts of the Constitution mitigate popular sovereignty Electoral College chooses the president, not popular vote State Legislatures chose the Senate, not popular vote Later changed to direct popular election by 17 th Amendment Later changed to direct popular election by 17 th Amendment The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution

7 2. Limited Government Also called constitutionalism, and rule of law Also called constitutionalism, and rule of law Government is not all-powerful Government is not all-powerful Powers government has and doesnt have are listed Powers government has and doesnt have are listed

8 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 3. Separation of Powers U.S. uses a presidential government, where the executive and legislative branches are chosen separately U.S. uses a presidential government, where the executive and legislative branches are chosen separately Each branch has its own powers and responsibilities Each branch has its own powers and responsibilities

9 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 4. Checks and Balances Each branch is not totally independent of the others Each branch is not totally independent of the others

10 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 4. Checks and Balances They have powers to override each other when necessary They have powers to override each other when necessary

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12 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 5. Judicial Review Courts may determine whether or not what the President or Congress does is Constitutional

13 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 5. Judicial Review If court declares an act unconstitutional, the act is not a law, and the decision cannot be overridden

14 The Six Basic Principles of the Constitution 6. Federalism The national government is given certain powers by the Constitution The national government is given certain powers by the Constitution Whatever is left is a power for the states to use Whatever is left is a power for the states to use

15 Key Parts of Article I Section 8 List of all expressed powers Congress has List of all expressed powers Congress has Also includes the necessary and proper clause Also includes the necessary and proper clause Gives Congress additional implied powers Section 9 Prohibits certain actions Congress may take Prohibits certain actions Congress may take No ex post facto laws – punishment for doing something before it was illegal No suspension of habeas corpus – the right to challenge ones own detention in court

16 Key Parts of Article II Section 2 President can appoint people to many positions President can appoint people to many positions Must have advice and consent of the Senate Must have advice and consent of the Senate Senate takes a majority vote to confirm appointments Section 4 Can only be removed by impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors Can only be removed by impeachment for high crimes and misdemeanors

17 Key Parts of Article IV Section 1 – Full Faith and Credit Clause States must grant each other full faith and credit on public acts, records, and judicial proceedings States must grant each other full faith and credit on public acts, records, and judicial proceedings Means legal decisions of states must be respected and held to by other states Section 2 – Privileges and Immunities Clause States must grant residents of other states all privileges and immunities they give to their own residents States must grant residents of other states all privileges and immunities they give to their own residents

18 Article V - Formal Amendment Process Step 1 – Must Be Proposed (happens at the national level) Step 2 – Must Be Ratified (happens at the state level) This is a reflection of federalism

19 2 Ways to Propose an Amendment 1. 2/3 vote in both houses of Congress All 27 Amendments were proposed this way All 27 Amendments were proposed this way 2. Constitutional Convention requested by 2/3 of the states Has not ever been used Has not ever been used

20 2 Ways to Ratify an Amendment 1. 3/4 of state legislatures approve it 26 of the 27 Amendments were ratified this way 26 of the 27 Amendments were ratified this way 2. 3/4 of conventions called by the states approve it Only the 21 st Amendment was ratified this way Only the 21 st Amendment was ratified this way

21 Key Parts of Article VI Section 2 – Supremacy Clause Federal laws are always supreme over state laws, U.S. Constitution is supreme over all state constitutions Federal laws are always supreme over state laws, U.S. Constitution is supreme over all state constitutions

22 The First Ten Amendments…

23 The Bill of Rights These are awesome! And you get to memorize them!

24 The 1 st Amendment Freedom of Religion Establishment Clause – government cannot establish a religion Establishment Clause – government cannot establish a religion Free Exercise Clause – government cannot prohibit you from practicing religion Free Exercise Clause – government cannot prohibit you from practicing religion Freedom of Speech Freedom of the Press Right to Assembly Right to Petition

25 The 2 nd Amendment The Right to Bear Arms Not the Right to Bare Arms

26 The 3 rd Amendment No Quartering of Soldiers in Times of Peace

27 The 4 th Amendment Protection Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure

28 The 5 th Amendment No Double Jeopardy (Cant be charged with the same crime twice) Protection against self- incrimination Guarantee of Due Process of Law

29 The 6 th Amendment Right to a Criminal Trial by Jury Trial must be speedy, public Trial must be speedy, public Must be in the state where the crime was committed Must be in the state where the crime was committed Right to legal counsel Right to legal counsel Right to call witnesses favorable to the defendant Right to call witnesses favorable to the defendant

30 The 7 th Amendment Right to a Civil Trial by Jury Civil – not criminal, typically a lawsuit for money or to repeal a government action Civil – not criminal, typically a lawsuit for money or to repeal a government action

31 The 8 th Amendment Protection Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment

32 The 9 th Amendment Rights Retained by the People In other words, just because a right isnt listed here in the Constitution doesnt mean that people dont have that right In other words, just because a right isnt listed here in the Constitution doesnt mean that people dont have that right Truth from your teacher – yes, it does. Truth from your teacher – yes, it does.

33 The 10 th Amendment Powers Reserved for the States All powers that are not given to the national government are reserved for the states All powers that are not given to the national government are reserved for the states

34 Informal Amendments The vast majority of changes to the Constitution have not changed the words in the Constitution

35 Basic Legislation Congress laws provide specific details about the vague purposes and ideas in the Constitution

36 Basic Legislation Congress also changes its own powers over time, based on the words of the Constitution Result of Necessary and Proper Clause

37 Executive Action Presidents are always looking for ways to stretch and grow their powers Thus, presidents today are much more powerful than in the past

38 Court Decisions Since Marbury v. Madison, the court has had the power to declare acts of the president and Congress unconstitutional

39 Court Decisions This power is called judicial review, and the court uses it to tell us what they interpret the Constitution to mean

40 Party Practices Political parties did not exist at the nations start, but they have become an almost necessary element

41 Party Practices The electoral college used to decide together who would be the president. Now, they just rubber stamp the choice of voters

42 Custom Many customs have developed that we follow just as strongly as laws Senatorial Courtesy – when nominating a judge, the president always asks the permission of the two Senators from the judges state Senatorial Courtesy – when nominating a judge, the president always asks the permission of the two Senators from the judges state Cabinet – 15 advisors for the president are not in the Constitution Cabinet – 15 advisors for the president are not in the Constitution


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