GOVP4 The US Consitution

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  • The Constitution
    • Amendment process
      • proposal = 2/3 in both houses
        • OR national constitutional convention (called by 2/3 states)
          • Never used. Although 1992 = balanced budget was 2 states short of 2/3
      • 3/4 ratification by state legislatures
        • OR state constitutional conventions: 3/4 states must hold one and vote
          • Used once = 21st amdnt.Repeal of 18th
      • Deliberately hard
        • Rare to gain political consensus over issues
      • Deliberately unspecific to evolve. Judicial review to interpret
    • Checks and balances
      • Judiciary
        • On Congress = 1998 Clinton vs. NYC. Line Item veto
        • On president = 2006 Hamden vs. Rumsfeld
      • Congress -> President
        • Veto override by 2/3 both houses. Overrode 4 of Bush's 11, making him lowest success rate
        • Impeachment. Nearly Clinton. Found not guilty at trial
        • Power of the purse. Must be voted for by Congress
        • Declaration of war (only used twice)
        • Advice and consent
          • Ratify treaties by 2/3 majority of Senate. Test Ban Treaty rejected 1999 but START accepted in 2010
          • Confirm appointments. 1989 John Tower rejected as Secretary of State
        • Amend, block or reject recommended legislation. Blocked Clinton's healthcare reforms
        • Investigation (through committees). 2012 security failures by Obama. 4 American diplomats murdered by Libyan terrorists
      • President -> Congress
        • Veto = Bush used 11, Obama used 2 in first term
        • State of union address. Bush = war on terror. Obama = help for small businesses. Financial reform. Obamacare
      • Congress -> Judiciary
        • Impeachment. 2010 Judge Thomas Porteous
        • Propose constitutional amdnts to overturn court rulings. 1896 16th amdnt to levy income tax.
          • Recent attempts = flag burning and prayer in schools
    • Separation of powers
      • Montesquieu - fear of tyranny
        • Framers wanted limited government
      • Does it prevent effective gov?
        • No = checks and balances still work
      • Separate institutions sharing powers
    • Federalism
      • Decentralisation
        • Federal gov and states equal and have their own powers
          • Federalism
            • Decentralisation
              • Federal gov and states equal and have their own powers
                • 10th AMENDMENT
            • Dual. Cooperative. New. Lack of now due to Bush and Obama
            • Size of federal gov increased
            • Consequences
              • Variety in state laws
              • States = policy laboratories
              • Complex tax system. Both collect income tax
              • Elections are state-based, they decide how/when they are held
          • 10th AMENDMENT
      • Dual. Cooperative. New. Lack of now due to Bush and Obama
      • Size of federal gov increased
      • Consequences
        • Variety in state laws
        • States = policy laboratories
        • Complex tax system. Both collect income tax
        • Elections are state-based, they decide how/when they are held
    • History
      • Bill of Rights 1791
        • 1st = Freedom of speech, religion, liberty. 2nd = guns. 8th = cruel and unusual punishment. 10th = state's rights.
      • Connecticut compromise 1787
        • New Jersey plan
          • Small states = one house, equal representation
        • Virginia plan
          • Bigger states = two houses, proportional representation
      • Articles of Confederation (loose collection of independent states rather than national gov) 1781
        • Scrapped due to weak gov. At Philadelphia convention 1787
          • Connecticut compromise 1787
            • New Jersey plan
              • Small states = one house, equal representation
            • Virginia plan
              • Bigger states = two houses, proportional representation
      • Independence 1776
    • Supreme court
      • Implements the constitution and amendments
      • Activist court = interprets
      • Restraint court = takes the words literally

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