Constitution Notes PSCI 1014
Popular in U.S. Government/Politics
Popular in Political Science
This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Maddie Notetaker on Monday September 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSCI 1014 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Caitlin E. Jewitt in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see U.S. Government/Politics in Political Science at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.
Reviews for Constitution Notes
Report this Material
What is Karma?
Karma is the currency of StudySoup.
You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!
Date Created: 09/19/16
McQuade 2016 Political Science 1014 Features of the Constitution President as the head of the executive branch. Elected by the Electoral College for a four-year term. o In general citizenship follows the mother, because it’s clearly less debatable. Analyzing the Constitution o Looking back at British common law to try and figure out what the framers meant It’s the framers frame of reference, what they really meant. o Most of the men who wrote the constitution became members of congress Using proceedings from the first congress allows us to better interpret what the framers had in mind. o Ted Cruz was born in to an American mother, making him American from birth though he wasn’t born on American soil. o If the speaker of the house doesn’t meet standards, then it just skips down the line of procession. Bicameral Legislature Independent Judiciary. Justices serve for life after presidential nomination and Senate confirmation Separation of Powers The Powers of Congress The Americans at the time (and let’s face it now) were very fearful of a big government. Largest number of expressed powers, including the commerce clause The framers closed their long list of powers with the necessary and proper clause o Also known as the Elastic clause In 2010, the house passed a law that expresses where in the constitution it is justified The Powers of the Executive Limited enumerated powers with clear checks on presidential power Fear of a power executive Limited the scope and ability of the office to demand authority. Had powers to o Receive ambassadors o Commander in chief o Nominating executive officers o Negotiate treaties o Veto power over Checks on those expressed powers McQuade 2016 Political Science 1014 o Senate approval o Cannot declare war o Can override a presidential veto Take care clause o Article 2 states that the president takes care that the laws are faithfully executed President uses it to “take care” of the people The Powers of the Judicial Branch Final Jurisdiction Supremacy clause o Federal laws trump state laws Amending the Constitution 2/3 of each legislative chamber and ¾ of state legislatures 2/3 of state legislatures call for a convention. Proposed amendments need ¾ of state legislatures. The Constitution and Current Events Clinton wants a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United The Constitution is a living document Living Constitution Can the constitution provide the blueprint for modern democratic governance? If so, how has it remained relevant after more than 200 year o The constitution is just a framework for how the government should be run o It can evolve as society evolves. Four reasons the constitution is a living document o We ignore the parts that have become irrelevant That a slave is 3/5 of a person Quartering Soldiers, just ignore it o Ambiguity The constitution is very flexible Written in variable and indeterminate language o Such as the supremacy and necessary and proper clause o Amending process Narrow, technical corrections Mandating equal protection o Multiple interpreters Presidents interpreter it quite broadly McQuade 2016 Political Science 1014 The framers didn’t think we would have a large, standing army Every interprets it differently Public opinion Ratification Debate Federalists argued for ratification o A series of 85 essays published by Publius John Jay, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton Hamilton wanted a stronger federal government o More educated and concerned for a strong economy Antifederalists urged rejection and thought the proposed federal government was too strong o Wanted distance from the people o The Electoral College o Didn’t trust the “people” o Were likely farmers and not as well organized o Didn’t want a government who would levy taxes o Concerned that the constitution granted too much power in the federal government and wanted strong state governments o Wanted America to act as an isolationist nation The Federalist Papers People are self-interested and are sneaky o Causing collective action problems, because people only care for themselves Federalist Paper no. 10 discusses how to control factions in the new republic o Argues that a weak republic will not last if it does not have a strong national government o Needed to explain how the government needed to control factions Factions- Citizens united by a common cause and a common goal Can control factions by Authoritarian governance o Take away people’s liberty (North Korea) o Madison says that this would be a remedy that is worse than the disease Maximize the number of factions so that no one faction can become too power o A diverse constituency o No one faction can tyrannize another McQuade 2016 Political Science 1014 Federalist Paper no. 51 lays out separation of powers and checks and balances o How these mechanisms will keep any one branch of government from becoming too powerful o People argue that the framers have made this system too complex and precarious Making things difficult to accomplish these things Did the Framers overdo it Better safe than sorry Trump and Clinton have high unfavorability ratings than any candidate ever Bill of Rights First Ten Amendments to the Constitutions o Some thought that the rights not written were not protected or of importance Provides protections for free speech, right to counsel, those charged with crimes, and others o All liberties and rights protected by the constitution The Constitution and Federalism Why have the states and the American people allowed the federal government’s power to grow in the past century? o The Federal government providing aid during the great depression For the founders’ federalism was a compromise for those who preferred stronger state gov’t and those who preferred a stronger federal gov’t Federalism The relationship between two or more levels of government Each level of government has some independent power No level is entirely dependent on another for its existence Possible Alternatives to Federalism Unitary System o Central government has all of the power o If a state pisses of the central gov’t then that state would be dissolved Like Britain and Maggie Thatcher Confederal System McQuade 2016 Political Science 1014 o The local units have all the power o The central gov’t only has the power that the local units give it The European union Federal System o Is a solid mix of the two o State and Federal gov’ts both have their own power. Consequences of Federalism Creating Competition among the states o If Virginia creates great Welfare benefit and WVA doesn’t then everyone on welfare will move to Virginia Provides much more access to government for systems Allowing Flexibility o To preserve local standards and respond to local needs o The same solution might not work across the board American Federalism Over Time Most early court decisions favored the national government o McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) About whether congress can create a bank and whether Maryland can tax the bank Ruled that congress could create a bank (ref. necessary and proper) o Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) No steamboat monopolies in New York Commerence is interpreted very broadly, giving the federal gov’t dominance over the state gov’ts Civil War Era (1861-1865) o Fought in large part over national vs. state supremacy o States withdrew to reject national authority o The national gov’t is proven to reign supreme
Are you sure you want to buy this material for
You're already Subscribed!
Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'