Chapter 9 The Constitution: A More Perfect Union

Chapter 9
The Constitution: A More Perfect
I can explain how the Constitution created “a more perfect
• Three Branches of Government Rap
• School House Rock- Preamble
• School House Rock- 3 Branches of
• Framers wanted to
create a central
government that would
be strong and lasting
but not so strong that it
endangered citizens
• They wanted it to be simple
and organized…
• IT is divided into sections or
• Article I- Legislative Branch
• Article II- Executive Branch
• Article III- Judicial Branch
• Article IV- Relations Among the
• Article V- Amending the Constitution
• Article VI- National Supremacy
• Article VII- Ratification of the
• Bill of Rights (Amendments)
9.1 Introduction
• The Constitution is
flexible and includes
procedures for
• The Constitutions
flexablity is its strength.
9.2 The Preamble
• Explains the reasons for
the new government.
• Begins with famous
words… “We the
• Popular Sovereigntygovernment's authority
comes for the people.
• 1. Establish Justice- rule by
laws not by kings.
• 2. Domestic Tranquilitypeace & order w/in the
• 3. Provide for the Common
Defense- protect against
foreign enemies.
• Promote General Welfaresupport economy & society.
• Secure the Blessings of
Liberty to ourselves and out
Posterity.”- Protect the
freedoms of generations of
the future.
9.2 The Preamble
9.2 The
• The framers want a strong
central government…but
are afraid b/c of their
experience with kings.
• But if the central
government is to weak they
are afraid b/c of their
experience with Shays’
Rebellion & problems with
the Articles of
• Must create a “balance”
How are they going to create this
• School House Rock- I’m Just a Bill
9.3 Legislative
• Article I of the the
Constitution gives the
power to make laws to
the legislative branch.
• 2 part Congress– House of Rep
– Senate
Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
9.3 Legislative Branch
House of Representative
• 2 from each state- balance
the large & small states.
• Based on population- based on
census taken every 10 years.
(set at 435)
• 6 year terms
• 2 year terms
• 30 years old
• 25 years old
• Citizen for 9 years
• Citizen for 7 years
• Elected by the people
• Elected by the people.
House of Rep. (435)
9.3 Legislative Branch
Congress makes the Laws/Taxes.
House of Rep
• New Taxes can only come
from the house…if a
majority approves goes to
• Senate debates new
taxes…if both approve the
tax it goes to the pres.
The Pres. Can approve
or veto.
The congress can over-ride the pres.
…but must have 2/3 majority (super
9.3 Legislative Branch
Congress makes the Laws/Taxes.
House of Rep
• Any member can propose
new law (called a bill.) Must
be approved in both House
& Senate.
• Any member can propose
new law (called a bill.) Must
be approved in both House
& Senate.
The Pres. Can approve
or veto.
The congress can over-ride the pres.
…but must have 2/3 majority (super
9.3 Legislative Branch
Other Powers
• Make the LAWS
• Propose taxes & amendments to
the Constitution.
• Approves Presidential
• Pay government debts
• Decide how to spend tax money.
• Grant citizenship.
• Approve funds for laws and
• Est. Federal courts
• Approve treaties
• Elastic clause- can make any laws
that seem necessary to carry out
• Declare war
• Raise army or navy.
• Impeachment
• School House Rock- Electoral College•
9.4 Executive
• Article II gives the
power to enforce or
execute the laws to the
chief executive…
• the Pres.
• The Pres is elected by the
elector college.
9.4 Executive
• The elector college is based
on population.
• House of Rep + Senators =
number of Elector college.
• Pres must win a majority of
the elector college.
• (magic no. 270 Electoral
Simple Majority
• House of Rep + Senator = # of Elector college.
• Kentucky
– 6 Reps & 2 senators = 8 elector college members
Electoral College Map 2012
Qualifications To Be Pres.
• 4 year term
• Can only serve 2 terms
• At 35 years old
• Must be nature born citizen
• Nature born citizen- born in
the U.S. or born out the U.S.
but one or both parents are
U.S. Citizens that have lived in
the U.S.
Title 8, Section 1401, of the U.S. Code provides the current definition for a natural-born citizen.
• Anyone born inside the United States and subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, which
exempts the child of a diplomat from this provision
• Any Indian or Eskimo born in the United States, provided being a citizen of the U.S. does not
impair the person's status as a citizen of the tribe
• Any one born outside the United States, both of whose parents are citizens of the U.S., as long as
one parent has lived in the U.S.
• Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least
one year and the other parent is a U.S. national
• Any one born in a U.S. possession, if one parent is a citizen and lived in the U.S. for at least one
• Any one found in the U.S. under the age of five, whose parentage cannot be determined, as long
as proof of non-citizenship is not provided by age 21
• Any one born outside the United States, if one parent is an alien and as long as the other parent
is a citizen of the U.S. who lived in the U.S. for at least five years (with military and diplomatic
service included in this time)
• Enforce laws & defend
• Commander of armed
• Make treaties & formal
agreements w/consent
from senate
• Nominates ambassadors,
supreme court judges
• Veto
• Grant pardons
• Pres. has special
departments to help him
manage all his
• For Example– State Department
– Justice Department
– Department of Health
The Head of Each Department
makes up the Cabinet.
How many cabinet members?
Impeachment/Removing the Pres.
• The Pres. is not above the
• The House of Rep. can
vote to impeach.
• The Senate puts the
President on trial..the
Senators serve as the jury.
2/3 (Supermajority)
• 2/3 majority of the Senate
to remove
Removing the Pres.
• Can be removed for “bribery,
treason, or other ‘high
• Andrew Johnson 1868-Tenure
of Office Act.
• Bill Clinton 1998- Lying to
Grand Jury.
• (Nixon ‘73 & ‘74)- Watergate
2/3 (Supermajority)
9.5 Judicial Branch
• Article III- gives the power
to judge the laws to the
judicial branch
• They have to
judge/interpret wither
laws & actions of the
government are in
conflict with the
Supreme Court,
Washington D.C.
• Judge & Interpret Laws
• Review Lower-court
• Judges whether laws and
executive actions are
• Rules on cases between
There are 2 lower
– District
– Appellate (appeal)
– District Courts cover
several states.
– If you want a
decision appealed
you go to appellate
court…you want to
go higher after that
you go to Supreme
Lower or Inferior
Federal Courts
The Last Stop
• The Supreme Court is
the last stop…all
decisions are final.
• Congress has set the
size at 9.
• Justices usually serve
for life…but can be
The Last Stop
• Lawyers ask the
Supreme Court to
review thousands of
cases, but they usually
on consider about 100.
• And only if they think a
lower court decision
conflicts with the
Constitution or a federal
• Roe vs. Wade
Famous Supreme
Court Decisions
• Miranda vs. Arizona
• Brown vs. Board of
Education of Topeka
• Dred Scott vs. John F.A.
• Engel v. Vitale (1962)
Roe vs. Wade
Keeps Congress & the Pres. In Check
• Judicial Review- the
power of the
Supreme Court to
decide whether laws
and acts made by
the legislative &
executive branches
are unconstitutional.
9.6 Checks & Balances Between the
• The Framers were
concerned about the
balance between strong
national government and
individual freedoms.
• They developed a system
of Checks & Balances.
9.6 Checks & Balances Between the
• This system allows one
branch to check or block
the actions of another
• These checks and balances
keep any one branch of
the federal government
form being to strong.
• It is one of the most
important features of the
U.S. government system.
9.7 The Amendment Process
• The framers knew that
the Constitution would
need changing over
• The made it changeable
but very difficult.
• Article V- describes
changes can be made
9.7 The Amendment Process
1. Congress may propose
a change (2/3 vote from
both houses)…
• or
2. Congress can call a
National Convention if
2/3 of states legislatures
want a change.
But wait…there’s more!
Must be ratified (approved)
• 1. may be approved by
the legislatures in ¾ of
the states…
• Or
• 2. by special
conventions in ¾ of the
But wait…there’s more!
No Just Kidding.. that’s it.
• Then it can become a part
of the Constitution.
• More that 10,000
amendments to the
Constitution have been
proposed over the years.
• Only 27 have been
• The first 10 (Bill of Rights)
• Plus 17 one-at-a-time
Amendments that have been added
that you need to have memorized…
13th- Slavery is illegal.
19th- Women’s Suffrage (Vote)
26th- all citizens over 18 have
the right to vote.
9.8 The Federal System
9.9 Popular Participation in
Review- The Preamble
• “We the People..”
• Popular Sovereigntyauthority comes directly
form the people.
Review- The legislative Branch
• Article I of the Constitution
creates a bicameral Congress
with a House of
Representatives and a Senate.
• Every state is represented by
two senators.
• Representation in the House is
based on a state’s population.
• Congress’s primary ob is to
make laws.
Review- Executive Branch
• Article II creates a the executive
• The head of the executive branch
is the president.
• The presidents serves a four-year
term and may be reelected once.
• The president carries out laws
passed by Congress.
• Other powers of the president
include making treaties and
appointing Supreme Court
Review- Judicial Branch
• Article III establishes the
Supreme Court and gives
Congress the power to create
lower courts.
• Supreme Court decisions are
binding on all lower courts.
• The power of judicial review
allows the Supreme Court to
decide whether laws and
actions by the legislative and
executive branches are
Review- Checks and Balances
• The framers developed a
system of checks and
balances that enables
each branch of
government to limit, or
check, the power of the
other two branches.
• The Constitution provides
checks and balances in
the powers of each
Review- The Amendment Process
• Article V outlines the
process by which
amendments can be
made to the Constitution.
• Twenty-seven
amendments have been
• The first ten amendments
form the Bill of Rights.
Review- The Federal System
• The Constitution
creates a federal
system of
government in which
power is shared
between the national
government and the
Review- Popular
Participation in
• Elections serve the vital
function of expressing the
will of the people.
• People also participate in
government by joining
political parties and
taking part in interest

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