Review GOV310L Final Exam

Review GOV310L Final Exam - Review Session Final Exam...

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Review Session Final Exam Section I: Government and Politics at the Founding Section II: Constitutional Silences Section III: Political Institutions and Processes Comprehensive : 1. Professor Sanford Levinson (UT School of Law) has prominently argued that the United States needs a new constitutional convention; on may grounds he sees the current Constitution as deeply flawed. From what we have learned thus far in this course and from what you know of the contemporary political system, what areas would you say that the US Constitution needs redrafting (if any), and explain what areas you think it does just fine (if any). Pick out three issues/areas in all and address them as thoroughly as you can. Arguments about the Strengths/Weaknesses of the Constitution : Richard Henry Lee: “The Federal Farmer” Bad: It leaves the powers of government and the representation of the people so unnaturally divided between the federal and state gov’ts that the operations of our system must be very uncertain There’s unequal representation in the House….The interests, feelings , and opinions of millions of people cant be collected in such a small group and mostly only men in the upper class will be selected. There isn’t a well-balanced government…so its not safe and absurd to lodge power in a gov’t before it is fitted to receive Many of the powers are undefined and may be used to good or purposes as honest or designing men shall prevail Good: It’s founded on elective principles, and the deposit of powers in different hands in essentially right Beard: “The Constitution as an Economic Document” Good: The power to raise and fund the army and navy: o Force open foreign markets o Defend US trade The power to lay and collect indirect taxes on consumers; not wealth Dolbeare and Metcalf: “The Dark Side of the Constitution” Hamilton helped to form a document that deflected popular preferences away from the most sensitive and crucial area of public policy--- financial affairs and the nature & distribution of wealth in the country
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Lazare: “How the Constitution is Paralyzing American Democracy” Founders created a system that has turned in a “political straightjacket” 3 branches suspended in an almost perfect equipoise so that a move by one in any direction would be almost immediately offset by a countermove by one or both in the opposite direction We are going on under an 18 th century form of gov’t in the 21 st century…. .we shouldn’t abandon the founding fathers ideas but we should feel bound and constrained by them. The Federalist Papers Federalism: Amendment Process/ McCullough v. Maryland John Marshall Constitution of the people not the states Affirms supremacy clause, “implied powers” and constructs “necessary and proper” clause, and importance of taxation “necessary and proper” acting in the general welfare of the US Constitutional Silences: African Americans Founders had clear views about racial hierarchy and about the protection of property
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Review GOV310L Final Exam - Review Session Final Exam...

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