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American Government Chapter 24

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1 American Government Chapter 24
Governing the States

2 Section 1 State Constitutions
5 Main Categories by which all State constitutions can be described 1. popular sovereignty & limited government 2. protections of civil rights 3. structure of state government 4. powers of the branches of State government 5. process of constitutional change

3 Amending the State constitutions
Amendments can be proposed by: 1. constitutional convention 2. legislature 3. voters Amendments can be ratified by: A vote of the people

4 Statutory and Fundamental Law
Statutory laws - laws passed by the legislature Fundamental laws - laws of basic and lasting importance that should be in a constitution

5 Terms Popular Sovereignty
- The people are the sole source of the government’s power Limited Government - Powers that the government has are limited Initiative - process by which voters sign a petition favoring a proposal

6 Section 2 State Legislatures
Formal qualifications for most states’ legislature Age, citizenship, residence Usual term for State legislators 2 or 4 years

7 The 8 most important legislative powers
1. tax 2. spend 3. borrow 4. police 5. establish courts 6. define crimes and provide punishment 7. regulate commercial activities 8. maintain public schools

8 Non- legislative functions of state legislatures
1. Approve Governor’s appointments 2. Impeachment 3. Constitution-making and amending

9 Committee System in State legislatures
How does it work? Laws are referred to committees for recommendation to full houses, similar to Congress

10 Where do bills originate from?
All kinds of public and private sources i.e. – MADD, SADD, etc.

11 Terms 1. Constituent Power - constitution-making power 2. Police Power
- State’s power to protect and promote public health, safety, morals, and welfare 3. Referendum - Process by which a legislature sends bills to the electorate for approval

12 Section 3 The Governor and State Administration
Powers of The Governor Executive 1. Appointment and removal of key assistants 2. Supervise staffs of executive branch 3. prepare and submit budget 4. commander in chief of State National Guard

13 Legislative - 1. recommend legislation - 2. call special sessions of legislature - 3. veto bills Judicial - 1. commute - 2. reprieve - 3. pardon - 4. parole

14 Terms Reprieve - to postpone a sentence Pardon
- Release a person of legal consequences of a crime Parole - Release a prisoner short of the completion of their sentence Commutation - to reduce a sentence

15 Section 4 In the Courtroom
Kinds of Laws in State Courts 1. constitutional law - body of law based on the U.S. and state constitutions and judicial interpretations of them 2. statutory law - body of law based on statutes enacted by legislative bodies

16 Kinds of Laws cont. 3. administrative law
- rules, orders, and regulations issued by executive branches of government 4. common law - the unwritten, judge-made law that has developed over the centuries 5. equity - body of law that provides remedies for wrongs before they occur

17 Criminal and Civil Law Two Kinds of Crimes 1. felonies
- serious crimes 2. misdemeanors - lesser offenses What is civil law? Disputes between individuals and between individuals and governments

18 Jury System What does a grand jury do?
They determine whether the facts of a case warrant bringing a criminal case to trial How have petit juries changed over the years? They used to be all men (12) Now they are men & women and may only be 6 in number How are petit jury members chosen? They are selected from various lists of citizens in a community

19 Precedents & Common Law
What is a precedent and what part does it play in common law? Following precedent is abiding by earlier court decisions as they have been handed down over the years by judges Precedents create a body of law known as common law

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