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The US constitution
Written 1787 by 55 founding fathers (or framers)
Codified document ­ 7000 words
Written at the Philadelphia convention
o Connecticut compromise
7 articles
o Article 1 ­ Legislature, Congress
o Article 2 ­ Executive, President
o Article 3 ­ Judiciary, Supreme Court
o Article 5 ­ Amendment…

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o The Billy pulpit (use the media to persuade voters ­ pork barrel)

The powers of the president on the Supreme Court
Nominate judges/justices (e.g. Roosevelt ­ "court packing" over new deal)
Pardon e.g. Nixon/Ford

The powers of the Supreme Court on Congress
Judicial review ­ "strike down" an act…

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Judicial review
13th

amendment- right to privacy
4. Convention
e.g. the cabinet & EXOP

Amendments
Under Clinton ­ 1993-2001
1. 17 Votes on amendments (high)
2. E.g. balanced budget- republicans
Under G.W. Bush ­ 2001- 2009
1. 6 votes on amendments
2. 3 on Flag burning

Why so few amendments?…

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18th

& 21st

amendment ­ prohibition of alcohol & redaction

Strengths of the US constitution
Sovereignty lies with the constitution
Major principles entrenches
Constraints on the exercise of power
Provides for individual liberties
It is flexible
Safeguarded by the Supreme Court
Revered
Weaknesses
Right ­ difficult to amend- 2nd
amendment…

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3. Distrust of Washington (Watergate)
4. Republican appointed supreme Court (Rhenquist)
5. Republican presidents (Regan, Bush)

Is there a new phase of federalism emerging?
5. Assertive federalism?
- Clinton: Foreign Policy & economy
- G.W. Bush: Homeland security/ Patriot act
No child left behind
Obama: Obamacare
Executive orders-e.g. illegal immigrants…

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