CHAPTER FOUR

1.  List the goals of the constitution?  Explain each one.                                                              2-3-4

1 To form a more perfect union.  To operate as a single country and cooperate on major issues.

The Framers believed they could function under a federal system and protect State sovereignty.

2 To establish justice. The Framers saw treatment of each citizen equally as a fundamental principle.

Provide a national system of courts to protect the people’s rights and hear cases involving violations of federal law and disputes between the States.

3 To ensure domestic tranquility. The Constitution seeks to keep the peace among the people.

The Framers were shocked by the 1786 Shays Rebellion and wanted the ability to stopped violent protests.

4 To provide for the common defense. Give the Federal government the power to maintain armed forces to protect the country and its citizens from attack.  Under the Articles of Confederation the Country had to depend on State Militias.

5 To promote the general welfare.  Provide for the well being of the people by maintaining order and protecting individual liberties; regulating commerce and bankruptcies, and promoting science and technology by granting patents.

6 To secure the blessings of liberty for our posterity. The Framers believed that preserving liberty was the major goal of the Constitution. The Framers believed they were making a change in government that would extend beyond the Colonies and they wanted to build a government that would last beyond their lifetimes.

2.  List and give one detailed example for each of the seven principles of the constitution.         2-3-4

1 Popular Sovereignty. People are the source of government’s power. We the people meant that government derives its power from the consent of the people.  This consent was based on the election of representatives who speak on behalf of the people.

2 Republicanism.  People choose their representatives.  Elected Representatives are the ultimate source of the peoples power.

3 Limited Government. Government would only have those powers granted by the people.  The framers feared a strong central government.  Article I states what the government can and cannot do.  The Bill of Rights guarantees certain liberties and rights.  The rule of law requires that no person or group will be above the law.

4 Federalism. States gave up some independence and share power with each other in the Central Government.  The constitution defines 3 types of government power: enumerated powers only belonging to the Federal Government; reserved powers belonging to the States; and concurrent powers shared by the Federal and State governments.

5 Separation of Powers.  The government is divided into three separate branches: Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  The Framers wanted to prevent any one group or institution in the government from having too much authority.

6 Checks and Balances.  Each branch of government has ways to check, limit or monitor the power of the other branches.  The President can VETO bills.  The Congress approves Presidential appointments to the Judicial Branch.  The Supreme Court exercises JUDICIAL REVIEW to rule on the meaning of the Constitution.

7 Individual Rights.  The First Ten Amendments known as the Bill of Rights granted basic freedoms: Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly; and Petition; and protection against seizures and searches without warrants, cruel punishment or unfair bail, the requirement for due process, the right to a speedy trial by jury of peers and access to legal representation; and the Fourteenth Amendment provided for the guarantee of equal protection under the law.

#3-QUESTION:  Explain the relationship of “due process” with “equal protection under the law.”        5

Due process requires that the government must follow it’s own rules and the constitution when dealing with the citizens.  According to the Fourteenth Amendment this due process and the rule of law must be followed by all state laws.  The States cannot make laws which deny any rights under the Constitution for a group or an individual citizen, such as who can vote.


#4-QUESTION: List the principals of JUDICIAL REVIEW and describe what each means.                            3-4

1. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.  No State or local government can make a law changing the Constitution.  This includes Presidential Policies and Laws passed by Congress that are not Proposed Amendments.

2 When there is a conflict with the Constitution, the Constitution must be followed.  The Supreme Court decides the meaning of the Constitution to determine if the Constitution has been violated.

The Court has invalidated over 200 provisions in Federal Laws when interpreting the Constitution.

3 The Judicial Branch has a DUTY to uphold the Constitution.  The Supreme Court can review any laws and actions of the Government to ensure the Constitution is followed.  This was an ASSUMED power stated by Chief Justice John Marshall.

#5-QUESTION: Describe all the steps required to pass a bill into a law, include how to override a Presidential veto.                                                                                                                                                                    3-4

INTRODUCTION

COMMITTEE
ACTION

FLOOR
ACTION

PRESIDENT’s
ACTIONS

OVERIDE
PROCESS

Bills are introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives. Bills on taxation must start in the House.  They are then sent to committees for review and a recommendation is then made on a bill.  Bills are reviewed to determine what resources need to be appropriated to make it work.  Bills can be “pigeon-holed” in a committee with no action.  Bills are then sent, with any recommendations, to the Floor of the House or Senate for action.  After debate and determining any proposed changes which may require a return to committee, the bill is voted upon.  In the House debate is limited while in the Senate each Senator can speak for as long as they want on each Bill, this can lead to a FILIBUSTER. If approved it is sent to the other House/Senate for their approval.  After both Houses approve the bill, which may require a CONFERENCE Committee of both Houses to reconcile the Bill into one document approved by both Houses, it is sent to the President.  The President can sign it, do nothing and it becomes a Law in 10 working days, or VETO it and return to Congress. Congress can then OVERRIDE the VETO with a 2/3 approval vote in BOTH Houses of Congress and the Bill becomes Law.

#6-QUESTION: What is the Presidential Cabinet and describe one office in the cabinet?                3-4

The function of the President’s Cabinet is to provide a group of Secretaries of Departments and Advisors the President consults with to make decisions.  This can include Heads of Agencies, Councils, Committees, or Commissions.  Sometimes it can include non-approved advisors or personal friends of the President. LIST OF CABINETS & DESCRIPTION

#7-QUESTION: What responsibilities does the President have as the “Commander in Chief.”         4-5

The President as Commander in Chief means that he is in charge of armed forces to protect the United States.  When Congress declares war, the President is responsible for winning the war.  The President does have the authority to intervene with Military forces throughout the world to protect US National Interests for up to 60 days, then he needs Congressional approval to continue the intervention.  With the approval of Congress, the President can use the military to control serious disorders in the nation and to assist States with natural disasters. The President is responsible for anticipating what military forces Congress needs to maintain.

#8-QUESTION:  Describe the process for appealing a criminal court case tried in a local Court in California        5

After the verdict by the jury, you would appeal your case based on a question of improper Due Process or some abridgement of your rights under local, State, or Federal (Constitution) Law. You cannot appeal the decision of the jury. You would appeal to your State Court of Appeals.  If necessary you would appeal to your STATE Supreme Court.  Your next appeal would be to the US District Appeals Court, one of 14 in the US.  If necessary, you would next appeal to the US Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court could decide not to hear your appeal in which case your appeal is finished or they could hear your appeal.  Whatever decision the Supreme Court makes is final.

The usual outcome in Criminal case appeals is to over turn the verdict and require a retrial.