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US Constitution

8th grade Constitution Test

Andrew Lewis

on 9 January 2018

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Transcript of US Constitution

History and Content
Court of Appeals
Supreme Court
District Courts
House of Representatives
US Constitution
War for Independence
1.) Who said "Give me liberty or give me death"?
2.) Who was the author of the Declaration of Independence?
3.) When was the Declaration signed?
4.) What government did US first come up with?
5.) What were some of the weaknesses of that government?
Review Questions
Constitutional Convention
Articles of Confederation
First constitution of the States
State government hold the most power
Federal gov't too weak
Weakness results in rebellion
Shay's Rebellion- Massachusetts farmers
States taxing each other harmfully
Rebelling against heavy taxes
First Constitutional Convention called in May
Meant to revise the
Articles of Confederation
Meet in Independence Hall, Philadelphia
55 men out of the invited 74 actually attend
George Washington
chosen as the chairman
Many had served in the Revolutionary War
Hope to improve the
Articles are beyond repair
Decide to replace it with a new constitution
Constitution - plan for government
James Madison
- "Father of the Constitution"
Problems and Compromises
1st major problem
Struggle between large and small states for power
The Virginia Plan (Large State Plan)
Two houses of Congress
Both based on population
New Jersey Plan (Small State Plan)
One house of Congress
All states represented equally
The Great Compromise
New government to have two houses
One based on population (House of Representatives)
One represented equally (Senate)
3/5ths Compromise
Determines that 3/5ths of a slave would count toward representation in Congress
No real president
The Question of Slavery
Delegate Distrust of the People
The Electoral College
Assigned electors to the states
Senators + Reps = # of Electors
Will vote for the presidential candidate that won the popular vote in their state
Convention required at least 9 states to ratify it
Authors trusted Congress and the Courts to make fair decisions regarding citizens
Many people feared the government would be too strong, wanted a guarantee of rights
The Bill of Rights
15 amendments proposed by James Madison
10 are approved, become the Bill of Rights
Designed to protect the rights of the people
Freedom of Religion, Speech, Press, Assembly, and Petition
Right to bear arms
Protection from housing troops
Freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
Right to due process, protection from self-incrimination and double jeopardy
The right to a fair and speedy trial
The right to a trial by jury
Protection against excessive bail or unusual punishment
People retain rights not listed in the Constitution
Powers not given to the federal government are given to the people or states
Freedom is guaranteed as long as they do not take away the freedoms of others
The Preamble
7 Articles
1.) Legislative Branch
2.) Executive Branch
3.) Judicial Branch
4.) States and the Union
5.) Amendments
6.) United States Constitution Supreme
7.) Ratifying Procedure
Explains the goals of the Constitution
The Amendments
Starts with 10 in 1791
Currently has 27
*p. 14 questions
Checks and Balances
The Star Spangled Banner
Lawmaking Process
Judicial Review
Consists of:
The Senate
The House of Representatives
Every citizen is represented by two Senators and one Representative
Term of Congress begins on 3rd day of January every odd-numbered year
Lasts two years
Special sessions can be called by the President
Different chambers
Only place Senators and Representatives meet to make laws
The Capitol Building, Washington D.C.
Rules and Privileges
May expel or punish its members
May make rules about procedure
Privileged from arrest while going to, coming from, or attending a session (unless it is a criminal offense)
May not be sued over what they say in Congress
Proceedings are printed in the Congressional Record
Copy of all bills introduced in both houses
Speeches and testimonies
Role of Congress
To improve the quality of our lives and strengthen our nation
Article 1, Section 3
100 members: 2 from each state
Designed to satisfy small states
Richard Durbin
Tammy Duckworth
6 year terms
1/3 elected ever two years
Allows there to be experienced members at all times
Salary and Qualifications
$174,000 (plus expense allowance)
Must be:
at least 30
US citizen for at least 9 years
Resident of the state they represent
Governor of the state makes a temporary appointment until the next election
Officers of the Senate
President of the Senate
Vice President of the US
Presiding officer of the Senate
May not debate or vote except during a tie
president pro tempore
Elected from the Senate
Serves in the absence of the VP
Majority and minority leaders
Represent each political party
Special Duties
Passes bills
Approves treaties by the President
Approves selection of federal officers by the President
Jury in cases of impeachment
1799- first impeachment trial
1999- latest impeachment trial
17th Amendment
Gives the people power to elect senators
Article 1, Section 2
435 Members
# fixed by law
States given representatives according to population
All states have at least 1
Largest state has 50+
Currently has 18 reps
Lost one US rep from the 2010 Census
Elected every two years for two year terms
Elected during the General Election
May be elected to unlimited terms
Salary and Qualifications
Salary- $174,000 (plus expense allowance)
Must be
at least 25
US citizen for 7 years
resident of the state represented
Vacancies filled by a special election called by the governor
House Officers
Speaker of the House
Elected by the majority party
Sam Rayburn- elected 10 times
Nancy Pelosi- 1st women speaker
Majority and Minority leaders
Special Duties
Passes laws
All revenue bills start in the House
Sole power of impeachment
Selects the President if no candidate has a majority in the Electoral College
Article 1
Requires a census (count) of our country every 10 years
2010- most recent
Managed by the U.S. Bureau of the Census
Three Reasons for the Census
Tells us the make up of the population and how government and businesses can serve it best
Tells the gov't how federal money should be divided among the states and local areas
Uses information to outline voting districts and decides how many US representatives states should recieve
Texas (+4)
Florida (+2)
Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Washington (+1)
New York, Ohio (-2)
Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (-1)
How a bill becomes a law p. 20
In order to conduct business in either house, a quorum must be present
- majority of its members
- proposed laws
May start in either house (except
revenue bills
Bill introduced, given a name, then referred to a
16- Senate, 24- House, 4 special Senate committees
- study and debate the bill
Can amend, rewrite, recommend passage, or ignore
Thousands of bills submitted
1/5 actually stand a chance at passage
Committee reports on the bill, Senate or House votes
If passed...
Goes to the other house
Goes to the President
Not sign it
Can do 4 things
Sign it
Veto it
Pocket veto
Bill becomes a law
Sent back to the two houses
Can be overridden by a 2/3rds vote in each house
After ten days, bill becomes a law
Depends if Congress is in session
Congress adjourns before the 10 days and the President doesn't sign it
Automatically vetoed
Political Action Committees, special interest groups
groups of individuals interested in certain goals
Seek to influence legislators, some provide services
Hired by companies to represent their ideas

Liberal- believes national government should be very active in helping individuals and communities
Conservatives- believes gov’t role should be limited in society
Extremists- someone who stops at nothing to get their political way
Participation in Lawmaking p. 22
Other Duties of Congress
: power to raise, borrow, coin, and set the value of money
: power to raise and support armed forces. Power to declare war.
s: regulates immigration, issues copyrights, governs interstate/international commerce, governs Washington D.C.
Elastic Clause
Congress “shall make all laws which shall be necessary for carrying into execution the foregoing powers”
Enumerated powers: powers actually expressed in the Constitution
Implied powers: powers that are not actually expressed, but believed to be a power of Congress
Restrictions on Congress
Congress Cannot:
Pass an
"ex post facto"
Turns an act into a crime after the act is committed
Receive a title of nobility
Vote for a pay raise during their term in office
Tax exported goods from states
Move locations without consent from opposite house
Suspend the
"writ of habeas corpus"
Jailer must bring a prisoner to court or to set a prisoner free
Pass a Bill of Attainder
Punishes a group or individual without a trial
Enforces laws
January 20th:
Assumes the duties of office
Nominated as a candidate at the party convention
Campaigns begin the following summer/fall
November election
Qualifications and Salary
Must be
a natural born citizen
at least 35 years old
a resident of the United States for at least 14 years
President's salary
Vice President's salary
May be reelected once
Oath of Office
Mandatory for new and reelected presidents
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Role of the Vice President
May be assigned duties by the president, eases the responsibilities of the president
Serves as the president of the Senate
Line of succession
• Vice President
• Speaker of the House
• President pro tempore
• Members of the cabinet (starts with Secretary of State)
Only president to leave office through resignation
Handed off to a man who was not elected
Appointed by Nixon after original VP resigned
Duties of the President
• Foreign Affairs: Makes treaties with other countries (w/ Senate approval), receives foreign dignitaries
• Domestic and Military Administration: Commander-in-chief of the armed forces, Appoints domestic officials and prepares a budget
• Legislation: Can call for special sessions of Congress, veto power, State of the Union Address
• Appointment: Appoints judges, cabinet members, advisers, department heads, etc; must be approved by the Senate
• Judicial Functions: May grant pardons and reprieves for federal offenses
System of electors to select the president
Each state would get as many electors as there was senators and representatives from that state
538 total electors, 270 votes needed to receive the presidency
Some complaints *p. 33
True or False?

1. The executive branch enforces our nation’s laws
2. The president may be reelected three times
3. The president and vice president must be from the same political party
4. The president can make treaties without the approval of the Senate
5. The president picks his successor.
6. A presidential candidate is selected by Congress
7. The president cannot veto bills from Congress
8. The president can call both houses of Congress into special session.
Interpret Laws
Makes the Laws
Decide whether state and federal laws are constitutional and whether actions by lower courts and government agencies are constitutional, also hears cases from lower courts
Nine Supreme Court justices with one chief justice
Number set by Congress
Six justices is a quorum, need a majority for a decision
$213,900 – regular justice
$223,500 – chief justice
13 courts, with three or more judges
Hear cases of appeal from lower courts
Created in 1891 to relieve pressure from the Supreme Court
94 district courts
1-24 judges
ordinary trial courts
most cases start here
Process by which the courts interpret the meaning of the Constitution and the laws passed under it
(implied power)
Settled in 1803
(Marbury v. Madison)
Established the precedent for judicial review
Challenged, but always upheld
Landmark Supreme Court Cases
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
Schenck v. US (1919)
Gitlow v. New York (1935)
Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Miranda v. Arizona (1966)
Roe v. Wade (1973)
US Term Limits Inc v. Thorton (1995)
Bush v. Gore (2000)
Grutter v. Bollinger (2003)
Constitutional Issues
Public School Prayer
The Pledge of Allegiance
USA Patriot Act
Flag Burning
3. Judicial branch – Declaring laws unconstitutional (Legislative & Executive)
1. Executive branch – Vetoing bills (Legislative), Appoints judges (Judicial)
2. Legislative branch – Overriding vetoes and must approve executive appointments (Executive), must approve judicial appointments (Judicial)
"Laws are a dead letter without courts to expound their true meaning and operation" - Alexander Hamilton
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Article 2
Oldest President
Youngest President
Theodore Roosevelt
Washington's cabinet originally had 4 departments
State, War, Treasury, and Attorney General
Current cabinet has 15 departments
Department of State
Department of the Treasury
Department of the Interior
Department of Agriculture
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Transportation
Department of Energy
Department of Education
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Veterans Affairs
Department of Homeland Security
John G. Roberts
Chief Justice
Chief Justice
John G. Roberts

Associate Justices
Anthony Kennedy
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen Breyer
Samuel Alito
Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan
Neil Gorsuch
Amending the Constitution
Methods of Proposing Amendments
Congress proposes an Amendment by a two-thirds majority in both houses
Two-thirds of state legislatures call Congress to a Constitutional Convention
Approval from three-fourths of state legislatures
Special conventions in three-fourths of the states approve
Ratifying Amendments
Miscellaneous Constitutional Info
16th Amendment
Allows income tax
To Repeal an Amendment...
Another Amendment must be passed
No national courts
No power to tax
All states must agree on changes to the Articles
All important laws must be approved by nine states
Do slaves count as citizens?
Should slavery be abolished?
How will the South react?
How will the North react?
Should slaves be able to vote?
If slavery is abolished, what will happen to agriculture?
If they count as citizens how many representatives will slave states receive?
What about small states?
Convention delegates distrusted the population
Believed they would make uninformed decisions
Created the
Also distrusted the people in the election of Senators
Senators appointed by State legislators
Changed by the 17th Amendment - allowed the people to elect Senators
Don't You Trust Us?????
Popular Vote
The vote of the people
Who is elected by a popular vote?
US Representatives
US Senators
State Representatives
State Senators
Why didn't the Convention trust the People?
Many Convention members were wealthy, didn't identify with the "common man"
None were small farmers
Evident that the US needed a strong central government
Midway through 1788 - 9 states approve
All states approve by 1790
Federalists supported the Constitution
Publish the Federalist Papers to gain support
Anti-Federalists fight against the Constitution
1789 - George Washington elected as first president
Strengths of the Constitution
Has lasted over 200 years because:
provides for a government by the people
provides for a government that can act when in danger
provides for a federal union where people retain certain rights and powers in their own states
guarantees individual rights even when the individual's views are unpopular or in the minority
has preserved the Union
provides the leaders of our government an opportunity to interpret the Constitution and apply it to changing times
has provisions for orderly changes
Branches of Government
Described in Article 1
Primary Duty:
Acts of Congress *p. 16
Term expires: 2020
Term expires: 2022
of the Senate
of the House
Compare and Contrast
Similarities between the House and the Senate
House of Representatives
Differences between State and Federal Legislatures
Federal laws: Apply to all 50 states
State laws: Applies only to the specific state
Federal Bodies: US Senate and House of Rep
State Bodies: Illinois Senate and House of Rep
Number of Federal Members: 535
Number of State Members: 177
Speed of Federal Legislation: Longer legislative sessions
Speed of State Legislation: Shorter legislative sessions
Federal Scope: National defense, federal taxing, immigration laws
State Scope: Funding schools, state environment, state taxing
42 years old
Described in Article 3
Primary Duty:
Paul Ryan
Mike Pence
Orrin Hatch
Senator from Utah
Donald Trump
45th President
Donald Trump
70 years old
Oldest to leave office was Ronald Reagan at 77 years old
Full transcript