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
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.
and give one detailed example for each of the seven principles of the
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.