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Structure of the Constitution Articles 1-7– The Constitution as originally ratified 1. Legislative Branch (elastic clause – allows Congress to expand its.

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Presentation on theme: "Structure of the Constitution Articles 1-7– The Constitution as originally ratified 1. Legislative Branch (elastic clause – allows Congress to expand its."— Presentation transcript:

1 Structure of the Constitution Articles 1-7– The Constitution as originally ratified 1. Legislative Branch (elastic clause – allows Congress to expand its powers) 2. Executive Branch 3. Judicial Branch 4. Relations between the States 5. Amending the Constitution 6. Supremacy of National Law 7. Ratification

2 Amendments to the Constitution Amendments 1-10 – Bill of Rights; Adopted 1791 (1. Freedom of religion, speech, expression, press, assembly; 2. Right to Bear Arms; 4. Searches and Seizures; 5. Rights of the Accused; 6. Right to speedy trial 8. Cruel and Unusual Punishment) Amendments 11-27 – approved later 13 – Abolition of slavery 14 – Due process not to be denied due to race 17 – Direct election of senators 18 – Prohibition of alcohol 19 – Voting Rights for Women; Suffrage 21 – Repeal of 18 th Amendment/Prohibition 22 – Limit on number of Presidential terms - two 26 – Voting age - 18

3 Legislative Branch/ Congress 2 Houses of Congress –House of Representatives (435 members) Elected every 2 years; Members – 25 years old Representation based on population Presiding officer: Speaker of the House –Senate (100 members) Elected every 6 yrs. (1/3 up for election every 2 yrs.) 30 years old; 2 members for each state More prestigious/important –Approve treaties; presidential appointments Congress must meet once a year Only Congress can declare war Number of Terms for Senators/Represenatives: unlimited

4 President Executive Power “vested in” the President –Head of the Executive Branch Elected every four years Elected by an electoral college –Each state has the number of electors = number of senators + number of representatives –In most states, winner take all –If no candidate receives a majority, the House of Representatives elects the President Can only serve 2 terms –If filling someone else’s term, can be elected for 2 more terms if he/she has served no more than 2 years (can’t serve more than 10 years) Must be 35 and a natural-born citizen of the U.S. President or Congressman in office that is not reelected: Lame Duck If President dies, Vice President takes over; If President and VP die, Speaker of House takes over

5 Executive Branch ENFORCES the laws Performs the responsibilities and obligations set forth in the Constitution: –Commander in Chief of Armed Forces –Negotiate treaties with other countries –Give State of Union Address –Recommend measures/programs he thinks are “necessary” or “expedient”/appropriate –Receive ambassadors –Take care that laws are executed faithfully –Commission all officers of the United States

6 Executive Branch (Cont.) Executive Branch includes: –President –Vice President –Cabinet members and other officials –Executive Departments (Treasury Department) and Agencies (Environmental Protection Agency) President, Vice President, and all Civil Officers may be IMPEACHED and Removed (if convicted) by Congress for Treason, Bribery and Other High Crimes and Misdemeanors

7 Judicial Branch Consists of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, including U.S. Court of Appeals and U.S. District Courts The Supreme Court –The “court of last resort” – last court you can appeal things to – for federal matters –9 Members/Justices, nominated by the President and confirmed by Senate, serve for life –Can declare laws of Congress and actions by the President to be Unconstitutional (Judicial Review; part of the system of Checks and Balances)

8 Judicial Branch (continued) Federal courts only can decide the following types of cases : –Cases involving parties from different states (diversity jurisdiction) –Cases relating to federal law or the U.S. constitution

9 Relations between Federal Government and State Government Supremacy clause: –Federal law: the supreme law of the land: Federal law rules over state law Hierarchy (order) of laws –U.S. Constitution Federal laws State Constitution State Law

10 Relations between Federal Govt. and State Govt. (continued) Federal govt. must protect state governments from invasion Federal govt. must make sure each state has a “republican” government (government of the people) Only Congress can admit new states –Congress can’t take away land from states or join states without their approval

11 Relations Between the States Full Faith and Credit – Each state must recognize the validity of other states’ acts: laws, public records and court decisions of other states –(example, marriage licenses from other states) Privileges and Immunities – States can’t discriminate against other states’ citizens –no unreasonable distinctions

12 Relations Between States (continued) Extradition – States must return fugitives (fleeing criminals)

13 Additional info about States The chief executive of a state: Governor Powers shared by the states and the federal government: Concurrent powers A state may not: grant titles of nobility –(Republic – govt. by the people) A law that penalizes someone for something that was legal when it was done: an ex-post facto law Appropriate way to dispose of a flag: burn it

14 Ratifying the Constitution According to Article 7 of the Constitution, 9 of 13 states had to approve the constitution for it to be ratified In favor of the Constitution: Federalists Against the Consitution: Anti-Federalists Federalist Papers: Written by the Federalists, including James Madison, the primary author of the Constitution The Constitution was written in 1787, ratified in 1788; Purposes of the Constitution set forth in the Preamble

15 DO NOW – ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS ON A SEPARATE SHEET OF PAPER: 1.How many U.S. Senators are there? 2.How many total members are there in the House of Representatives? 3.How many representatives does each state have in the House of Representatives? 4.Which house of Congress is most prestigious?

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