Presentation on theme: "Answers the vexing question of sovereignty – why are you charge? Preamble: We the People... do ordain and establish this Constitution Organization and."— Presentation transcript:
Answers the vexing question of sovereignty – why are you charge? Preamble: We the People... do ordain and establish this Constitution Organization and timing of Presidential and Congressional elections carefully spelled out States guaranteed a Republican form of government
But what might be a downside to popular sovereignty?
What if the people become a source of tyranny to minorities (racial, religious, economic, gender, sexual orientation)? Madison was most concerned about the targeting of the rich, but also a firm believer in protecting religious minorities. So the Constitution checks popular sovereignty by...
Constitutionalism – government is limited to the powers given to it by the constitution Rule of law – that everyone, even elected officials, in answerable to the law.
Functions of government divided up Congress – write the laws President – enforce the laws Courts – interpret the laws Constituency varies House – interests within the state Senate – interests of the whole state Presidency – interests of the whole country Courts - ????
Not only do you divide up functions of government, but you pit each branch against each other So that ambition could be made to counter ambition – Federalist 10, James Madison Uniquely American idea
President – Veto, enforcement (against Congress) enforcement, nominate members of courts (against federal courts) Congress – legislative initiative, appropriations, impeachment, confirmation of nominees, veto override (against President) Confirmation of court nominees, legislative initiative (against federal courts) Courts – Judicial review and life term (against Congress and the President)
Ability to void action of Congress and/or President (as well as the states) Not explicit to the Constitution, but to some extent expected Court has struck down about 150 acts of Congress but more tan a thousand state laws Enforcement?
Division of power between state and federal levels of government Reflection of the political reality when the Constitution was created Births, marriages, divorces, contracts, the bulk of criminal and civil law all happen at the state level But if a state law conflicts with either federal law or the US Constitution then the state law is voided under the Supremacy Clause
Which of these six principles contradict each other? http://www.learner.org/vod/v od_window.html?pid=1913