The Constitution - Weebly

The Constitution - Weebly

The US Constitution US Government & Politics The US Constitution Written in 1787 Took effect in 1789 Has 7,000 words The nations highest form of law in the land Outlines the basic principles upon which the government was built and operates

Deals largely with matters of basic principle Organization Preamble: Introduction & Purpose Articles: outlines the basic organization and powers of each branch and the powers given to the states 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Legislative Branch Executive Branch Judicial Branch Relations among the States Amending the Constitution

National Debts, Supremacy of National Law, and Oaths of Office Ratifying the Constitution The Six Basic Principles 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Popular Sovereignty

Limited Government Separation of Powers Checks and Balances Judicial Review Federalism Popular Sovereignty All political power resides in the people The people are sovereign The people are the only source for any and all governmental

power Government can only govern with the consent of the governed Woven throughout the Constitution Limited Government No government is all powerful A government may do only those things that the people have given it the power to do Government must obey the law Constitutionalism- the government must be

conducted according to constitutional principles Rule of Law- The government and its officers are always subject to-never above-the law Separation of Powers Presidential Democracy (aka Presidential System) The basic powers are separated among three distinct and independent branches of government 1.

2. 3. Congress (House + Senate) = Legislative Branch President = Executive Branch Courts = Judicial Branch Checks and Balances Three branches are not entirely separate Tied together by a complex system of checks and balances Each branch is subject to a number of restraints (checks) by other branches

Each branch has certain powers with which it can check the operations of the other two Judicial Review One aspect of the check and balance system The power to declare unconstitutional (to declare illegal), null and void, of no forces and effect, a government action found to violate some provision of the Constitution Held by all federal courts and most state courts Not written in the constitution (implied; secured by Marbury v. Madison (1803))

Marbury v. Madison (1803) William Marbury asked the Supreme Court to issue a writ of mandamus to order James Madison (then, Secretary of State under Jefferson) to deliver his commission as justice of the peace (appointed by John Adams) . The Supreme Court of the United States declared that: Marbury is entitled to the commission, but: The Court cannot issue the writ because the Judiciary Act of 1789, which granted the Supreme Court original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, is

unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of the United States has the power to review acts of other branches and determine their constitutionality. This power is called judicial review. The Amendment Process The process of constitutional change has come about in two ways: 1. 2.

Formal Amendment changes or additions that become part of the written language of the Constitution itself By other informal means Formal Amendment Process Article 5: The Congress, whenever 2/3 of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution Or 2/3 of the state legislatures can call a convention Either case needs of the states legislature to pass for it to be ratified

Proposed Amendments Since 1789, 10,000 joint resolutions calling for formal Amendments have been proposed. Only 33 have gone to the states and 27 have become Amendments. (ERA died in 1982) If a state rejects a proposed amendment, it is not forever bound by that decision. It may later ratify. Once a state approves an Amendment, it may not change its decision. The 27 Amendments

1-10, the Bill of Rights-Set out the constitutional guarantees of freedom of belief and expression, of freedom and security of the person, and of free fair and equal treatment before the law. The later Amendments-Most came about over a particular set of interesting circumstances 27th Amendment (took 202 years, 7 months, 12 days to ratify); initiated by Framers, signed into law in 1992 Constitutional Change by Other Means: Informal

There is a great deal in the Constitution that cannot be seen by the naked eye Over time, many changes have been made in the constitution which have not involved any changes in its written words Change occurs in five basic ways:

Change (Informal Amendment Process) 1. 2. 3. 4. Basic Legislation: Congress passes laws to clarify the constitution Executive Action: Executive Orders & Executive Agreements Key Decisions of the Supreme Court The activities of political parties: nomination process not

mentioned 1st AP Gov FRQ

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