Thursday, April 24, 2014

Due Process

Government 12 Web Page - LINK

What does it mean to receive "Due Process"?

Here is a quick explanation from Cornell U. Law School web page.  See the link below for the full article.

"The clause also promises that before depriving a citizen of life, liberty or property, government must follow fair procedures. Thus, it is not always enough for the government just to act in accordance with whatever law there may happen to be. Citizens may also be entitled to have the government observe or offer fair procedures, whether or not those procedures have been provided for in the law on the basis of which it is acting. Action denying the process that is “due” would be unconstitutional. 

Suppose, for example, state law gives students a right to a public education, but doesn't say anything about discipline. Before the state could take that right away from a student, by expelling her for misbehavior, it would have to provide fair procedures, i.e. “due process.”

Due Process  - LINK

Process of Incorporation:

The Civil War ends and the 13th Amendment is ratified in 1865 and "slavery nor involuntary servitude" is unlawful. But what is to keep the South from instituting restrictive laws for the newly freed slaves?

The intent of the 14th Amendment was to protect the rights of the newly freed slaves and offer them "due process" in every State in the Union and equal protection of the laws.  The Due Process Clause within the 14th Amendment states: "No State shall...deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law..."

The phrase in the 14th Amendment will be interpreted by the Supreme Court in a series of cases (see page 536 of your textbook) to mean this: No State can deny to any person any right that is "basic or essential to the American concept of ordered liberty."

The "basic and essential" rights will include most, not all, of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights.  The Federal Bill of Rights are "incorporated" or merged into the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause.  Meaning, States must uphold these rights, regardless whether they appear in their State constitutions or not.

Video- Due Process - LINK

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Executive Branch

Government 12 web page - LINK

Summary of the duties of the President:
The President
The President is both the head of state and head of government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.
Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress. Fifteen executive departments — each led by an appointed member of the President's Cabinet — carry out the day-to-day administration of the federal government. They are joined in this by other executive agencies such as the CIA and Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of which are not part of the Cabinet, but who are under the full authority of the President. The President also appoints the heads of more than 50 independent federal commissions, such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal offices. The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the immediate staff to the President, along with entities such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.
The President has the power either to sign legislation into law or to veto bills enacted by Congress, although Congress may override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses. The Executive Branch conducts diplomacy with other nations, and the President has the power to negotiate and sign treaties, which also must be ratified by two-thirds of the Senate. The President can issue executive orders, which direct executive officers or clarify and further existing laws. The President also has unlimited power to extend pardons and clemencies for federal crimes, except in cases of impeachment.
With these powers come several responsibilities, among them a constitutional requirement to "from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient." Although the President may fulfill this requirement in any way he or she chooses, Presidents have traditionally given a State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress each January (except in inaugural years) outlining their agenda for the coming year.
The Constitution lists only three qualifications for the Presidency — the President must be 35 years of age, be a natural born citizen, and must have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. And though millions of Americans vote in a presidential election every four years, the President is not, in fact, directly elected by the people. Instead, on the first Tuesday in November of every fourth year, the people elect the members of the Electoral College. Apportioned by population to the 50 states — one for each member of their congressional delegation (with the District of Columbia receiving 3 votes) — these Electors then cast the votes for President. There are currently 538 electors in the Electoral College.
President Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. He is, however, only the 43rd person ever to serve as President; President Grover Cleveland served two nonconsecutive terms, and thus is recognized as both the 22nd and the 24th President. Today, the President is limited to two four-year terms, but until the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, ratified in 1951, a President could serve an unlimited number of terms. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected President four times, serving from 1932 until his death in 1945; he is the only President ever to have served more than two terms.

By tradition, the President and the First Family live in the White House in Washington, D.C., also the location of the President's Oval Office and the offices of the his senior staff. When the President travels by plane, his aircraft is designated Air Force One; he may also use a Marine Corps helicopter, known as Marine One while the President is on board. For ground travel, the President uses an armored Presidential limousine.

Monday, March 17, 2014

What does the 113th Congress look like?

Government 12 - web page- LINK

Biographical Data on the 113th Congress - LINK

The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 113th Congress was 57.0 years; 
and of Senators, 62.0 years. The overwhelming majority of Members of Congress have a college

education. The dominant professions of Members are public service/politics, business, and law.

One hundred two women (a record number) serve in the 113th Congress: 82 in the House,
including 3 Delegates, and 20 in the Senate. There are 42 African American Members of the
House and 2 in the Senate. This House number includes 2 Delegates. There are 37 Hispanic or
Latino Members (a record number) serving: 33 in the House, including 1 Delegate and the
Resident Commissioner, and 4 in the Senate. Thirteen Members (10 Representatives, 2 Delegates,
and 1 Senator) are Asian American or Pacific Islanders. Two American Indians (Native
Americans) serve in the House.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Electoral College

Government 12 web page - LINK

Electoral College?  What is it?  - See Government Archives- LINK

Electoral College:   See the 2012 CNN LINK

What is a swing State?  See this LINK from Politico

Monday, March 3, 2014

In the News & Political Ideology

Government 12 web page - LINK

Marijuana May Hurt The Developing Teen Brain-   Link

Mini-Unit - Political Ideology

Find out where you stand....... Take both quizzes to check your political ideology. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Federalism- What is it?

Government 12 web page-- LINK

A system of government in which a written constitution divides the powers of government on a territorial basis between a central, or national, government and several regional governments.  In the case of the U.S. Constitution it provides for a division of power between the National Government and the States.

Why Federalism?
It allows local action in matters of local concern, and national action in matters of wider concern.
States are more flexible and efficient in dealing with local matters and the strength that comes from the union allows the National Government to deal with defense and foreign affairs along with dealing with domestic affairs, such as responding to natural disasters.

Terms to know:

Delegated powers are those granted to the National Government by the Constitution:
These include:

Expressed Powers:  spelled out expressly in the Constitution---most are expressed in Article I, Section 8.

Implied Powers:  are not expressly stated in the Constitution but are reasonably suggested—see Article I,
Section 8, Clause 18. ---Necessary and Proper Clause

Inherent Powers: these belong to the National Government because it is the government of a sovereign state---- powers include: regulate immigration, to deport undocumented aliens, to acquire territory, to protect the nation from rebellion.

Here is the Division:  The States
Powers Reserved to the StatesSee 10th Amendment.  Most of what government does in this country is done by the States.  The police power is one reserved power of the States--- power to protect and promote the public health, the public morals, the public safety, and the general welfare.

Powers Denied to the States:
No State can enter into a treaty, alliance, or confederation; nor can it coin money; nor can it deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

Exclusive Powers are exercised by the National Government Only:  power to coin money, make treaties with foreign states.  Very importantly---the power to regulate interstate commerce- see Article I, Section 8, Clause 3---Commerce Clause.

Concurrent Powers:  powers possessed by both National Government and the States;
Example: Levy and collect taxes, borrow money, establish courts, claim private property for public use.

In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) the Supreme Court  reversed the Maryland Courts and based its decision on the Supremacy Clause”…..”{T}he states have no power….to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by Congress….”  Opinion of the Court.

In addition, the case affirmed the Necessary and Proper Clause and the ability of the National Government to create what it deemed “…necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers and all other Powers vested by this Constitution…..” Article I, Section 8, Clause 18.