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Texas Government. State constitution  Basic principles  Protection of civil rights  Structure of state government  Powers of the branches of State.

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Presentation on theme: "Texas Government. State constitution  Basic principles  Protection of civil rights  Structure of state government  Powers of the branches of State."— Presentation transcript:

1 Texas Government

2 State constitution  Basic principles  Protection of civil rights  Structure of state government  Powers of the branches of State government  Process of constitutional change

3 Texas Constitution One of the longest with 390 amendments It is about 2.5 times longer than the average state constitution

4 Amendments  Amendments can be proposed by: 1) Constitutional Convention 2) Legislature 3) Voters

5 Ratification  All State amendments can be ratified by a vote of the people

6 Laws  Statutory Laws are laws that are passed by the legislature  Examples: agricultural, educational, tax codes Fundamental laws are laws of basic and lasting importance. Examples: court cases that focus on a person's rights: San Antonio ISD vs Rodriguez (1973): dealt with implied rights and written rights.

7 Popular Sovereignty  The people are the sole source of the government's power.

8 Limited Government  Powers given to the government are limited

9 Initiative  Process by which the voters sign a petition favoring a proposal

10 Texas State Legislature

11 Qualifications for State Legislature  Age: representative:21 senator: 26  Citizenship representative:2 years senator: 5 years  Residence representative: 1 year senator: 1 year

12 State Legislatures  Terms: 2 for house 4 for Senate

13 8 most important powers 1) tax 2) spend 3) borrow 4) establish courts 5) police 6) define crimes and provide for their punishment 7) regulate commercial activities 8) maintain public schools

14 Non-legislative functions 1) executive: approve governor's appointments 2) Judicial impeachment 3) Constitution: Constitution-making and amending

15 Committee System  Laws are referred to committees for recommendations to the full House  Similar to national Congress system  A large number of these bills originate from public and private sources

16 Constituent Power  Constitution-making power

17 Police Power  State's power to protect and promote public health, safety, morals and welfare

18 Referendum  Process by which a legislature sends bills to the electorate for approval

19 The Governor Qualifications: 1) 30 years old 2) 5 years Selection: popular vote Term: 4 years Pay: $115,000 Succession: Lieutenant Governor Removal: impeachment

20 Powers Executive 1) appoint and remove key assistants 2) supervise staff executive branch 3)prepare and submit biennial budget 4) serve as commander in chief of State National Guard

21 Legislative powers 1) Recommend legislation 2) Call special sessions of legislature 3) Veto bills

22 Judicial powers 1) Pardons- release person from crime 2) Commute- reduce sentence of criminal 3) Reprieve- postpone execution 4) Parole- release a prisoner

23 Constitutional law The body of law based on the United States and State constitutions and judicial interpretations of them

24 Statutory Law The body of laws based on statutes enacted by legislative bodies

25 Administrative Law Rules, orders, and regulations issued by executive branches of government

26 Common law The unwritten, judge-made law that has developed over the centuries This is used to punish crimes after they happen They follow a Precedent, a guide to be followed by all later on

27 Equity Body of law that provides remedies for wrongs before they occur This is used to prevent crimes or situations

28 Types of Crimes 1) Felonies Serious crimes punished by long-term jail, large fine or even death 2) misdemeanors Lesser offenses with small fines and quick time in prison

29 Civil law Disputes between individuals and between individuals and government

30 Grand Jury Determines whether the facts of a case warrant bringing a criminal case to trial

31 Petit Jury Selected from lists of registered voters and licensed drivers.

32 Justice of the Peace Usually hears only misdemeanor cases Also performs marriage ceremonies- nonreligious

33 Municipal Court Hears criminal cases which the fines are less than $2000 Traffic violations are a majority of the workload

34 Juvenile Court Only hears cases involving young people under the age of 18

35 General Trial Court Hears most of the important civil and criminal cases Exercises original jurisdiction

36 Immediate Appellate Court Reviews cases in lower courts Has the ability to reverse decisions made

37 State Supreme Court The State's highest appellate court in civil cases

38 Court of Criminal Appeals The State's highest appellate court in criminal cases

39 Warrant A court order authorizing an official action

40 Preliminary Hearing First step in a major criminal prosecution Determines if actual case will go to trial

41 Appellate Jurisdiction Courts that reviews cases that have already been heard in another court

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