2 IntroductionServing as the framework of national government and the source of American citizens’ basic rights, the Constitution is the most important document of the United States. To preserve self government, all citizens need to understand their rights and responsibilities.
3 Seven Major Principles Popular SovereigntyRepublicanismLimited GovernmentFederalismSeparation of PowersChecks and BalancesIndividual Rights
4 Popular Sovereignty and Republicanism People consent to be governed and specify the powers and rules by which they shall be governedPut the above phrase in your own words.A system of interlocking responsibilities creates limited powerVoters have the ultimate authority to elect or not re-elect representatives
5 Limited GovernmentArticles I, II, and II of the Constitution describe the powers of the federal government and the limits of those powersOther limits are set forth in the Bill of Rights
6 Federalism – state and the national government sharing power States deal with their needs in their own wayThe National government helps the states act together to deal with matters that affect all AmericansThree Types of Gov. PowerEnumerated – coin money, regulate interstate and foreign trade, maintain armed forces, and create federal courtsReserved – establish schools, set marriage and divorce laws, and regulate trade.Concurrent (national and state gov. share) – right to raise taxes , borrow money, provide for public welfare, and administer criminal justice.Constitution is the supreme law of the land
7 Separation of Powers Executive Branch (President) Carries of the laws Voters indirectly elect president through electorsLegislative Branch(Congress)Makes the lawsPeople vote for membersJudicial BranchSupreme court and other federal courtsInterprets and applies lawsPresident nominates federal judges
8 Checks and Balances President Can veto a law passed by Congress Can override a veto if 2/3 of both senate and house vote to approve lawJudicialUS Supreme and Federal Courts can rule laws unconstitutional
9 Individual RightsBill of Rights – First ten amendments added to the Constitution in 1791Provide freedom of speech, religion, and the right to trial by jury17 more amendments were added to the ConstitutionIncluding the abolishment of slavery, guaranteed voting rights, authorize an income tax, and set a 2/3 limit on the presidency.
10 The Legislative Branch Includes House of Reps and the SenateTwo Primary RolesMake the lawsDecide how federal funds are spentAll tax and spending bills must start in the House and be approved by the SenateCongress also monitors the executive branch and investigates abusesThe House can impeach any federal officialThe Senate acts as the court and tries the officialAdditional Senate PowersRatify Treaties Made by the SenateMust confirm presidential appointments
11 How a Bill Becomes a Law1. Member of Congress introduces bill, referred to committee for review.2. Committee decides to shelve it or send it back for revisions.3. House or senate debates bill and can make revisions. If bill is passed, it is sent to other house4. House and Senate meet to compromise if they both pass a similar bill.5. Compromise bill is then sent to both houses.6. If both houses pass the bill, it is sent to the president to sign.7. If president signs it becomes the law8. President may also veto bill9. If House and Senate can garner 2/3 vote they can overrule president
12 The Executive Branch The President’s Role Chief Executive – responsible to carry out the nation’s lawsCommander in Chief – directs military operations, can send troops to other nations for up to 60 days, may remain longer only if Congress declares war.Chief of State - Symbolic representative of all AmericansLegislative Leader – proposes laws and presents his goals in the annual State of the Union address.Appoints the leaders of 15 Executive Cabinets
13 The Judicial Branch District and Appellate Courts US Supreme Court 94 District Court – at least one in every stateHere federal issues such as tax evasion, kidnapping, and free speechAppellate Courts her appeals of a verdictUS Supreme CourtFinal authority in the federal court systemChief justice and eight associatesCourt Independence – president appoints justices for life and senate confirms appointments, public has no input.Judicial Review – ultimate authority to interpret the constitution
14 Rights and Responsibilities as protected by the Constitution The Rights of AmericansProtection from Unfair ActionsRight to a lawyer, trial by jury, protection from unreasonable search and seizuresEqual TreatmentRight to be treated under same law5th Amend provides due process – no person shall “be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”14th Amend provides equal protection of laws
15 Rights and Responsibilities Cont.. Basic FreedomsDescribed in First AmendmentFreedom of speech, religion, press, and the right to petitionAllows citizens to criticize the government to an extent, in speech or in the press, without the fear of punishment.Limit on RightsRights are not absoluteLimited based on the principle of respecting each others rightsMany cities require groups to obtain a permit to march.The goal is to create a balance between citizens rights and the rights of the government.
16 Citizens Duties & Responsibilities One basic duty of all American is to obey the lawLaws serve three functions1) Maintain order2) They protect health, safety, and property of all citizens3) Make it possible for people to live together peacefullyAmericans are required to pay taxesTaxes are used to defend the nation, build roads and bridges, and to assist peopleDefend the NationAll males 18 or older must register with the governmentTrial by Jury – All Americans have the right to trial by juryPeople 18 and older can be called to jury dutyEducation – Schools require citizens to attend school to a certain age.
17 Citizens Duties and Responsibilities Cont... Active citizensInformed of local, state, and national issuesBeing informed helps citizens maintain a responsible and responsive governmentRespecting the Rights of OthersOur democracy also supports respecting others regardless of race, religion, beliefs or other differencesVotingAllows one to participate and guide the governmentCitizens can also directly contact their local, state and national representatives.