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System of Government, Fundamental & Supreme Law

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1 System of Government, Fundamental & Supreme Law
The Constitution System of Government, Fundamental & Supreme Law

2 “We the People . . . .” fundamental law contract among the people
can be changed only by amendment

3 Constitutional Convention
May 25-September 17, 1787 Philadelphia’s Independence Hall James Madison: “Father of the Constitution” Washington presided (symbol of unity) “Virginia Plan” “New Jersey Plan”

4 “Themes” of the Convention
Liberty vs. Order (Shays’s Rebellion) minority rights tyranny of the majority representation executive power strong central government vs. states’ rights small vs. large states

5 Compromises Great Compromise: representation
small states: equal large states: based upon population Deal: Senate equal (2/per state), House by population 3/5s Compromise: how should slaves be counted for representation & taxation? North: just for taxation South: just for representation Deal: “others” counted as 3/5 of a person

6 Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists
“Federalist Papers” (Hamilton, Madison, Jay) promised Antis bill of rights Jefferson & Adams in Europe Antis (Patrick Henry) lack of bill of rights no alternative plan

7 Ratification power of the people
special reps elected to constitutional conventions in states need ¾ of states (9/13) country split about 50/50 greater political & organizational abilities of Federalists Antis had no alternative plan Delaware 1st to ratify Constitution ratified June 21, 1788

8 Principles of the Constitution
Enlightenment/Classical Greco-Roman influences balanced government: all classes/interests represented limited government federalism

9 Principles of the Constitution 2
Three Departments Legislative Executive Judiciary Separation of Powers Checks & Balances

10 Legislative Branch (Article I)
Congress: Senate & House of Representatives make laws “power of the purse” taxation (House) approve budget regulate interstate commerce coin money & set value approve appointments & treaties (Senate) declare war

11 Executive Branch (Article II)
President, heads of departments, federal officials “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution” enforce laws veto laws negotiate treaties national defense appoint officials (Supreme Court justices)

12 Judicial Branch (Article III)
Supreme Court federal courts 9 justices, including 1 Chief Justice appointed by President approved by Senate judicial independence “judicial review” constitutionality of laws Marbury v. Madison (1803)

13 Law-Making Process Congress committees separate bills each house
one combined version simple majority both houses to pass

14 Law-Making Process 2 President sign: bill becomes law
veto: bill goes back to Congress pocket veto: bill dead

15 Law-Making Process 3 Congress (in the event of a veto by President)
must re-pass both houses 2/3 majority each house if 2/3, bill becomes law if not, dead or back to committee

16 The Bill of Rights 1st ten amendments personal freedoms & rights
justice & legal protections powers not given to government remain with people & states

17 Amendment Process changes can be made only by the people
Constitution amended only 27 times 1) amendment can be proposed by: 2/3 majority vote of Congress constitutional convention called by 2/3 of state legislatures (never happened) 2) Archivist of US submits to governors of states governors give to state legislatures for vote 3) ¾ states (38/50) must ratify to make part of the Constitution

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