POLS 207 chapter 4

POLS 207 chapter 4 - Charters and Constitutions...

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    Charters and  Constitutions
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    Constitutions National Time tested  Relatively short  Vague  Representative democracy  National debt  Limiting powers 
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    Constitutions States Relatively unstable  Vary in length  Specific  Representative  and  direct democracy  Balanced budgets  Broad powers 
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    Constitutions Evolution: Following independence, colonies sought to replace colonial charters with state  constitutions, establishing powerful bicameral legislatures.  First legislatures appointed both the governor and judges.  Unlimited legislative power bred corruption, such as the Jim Crow laws, and led  to ineffective governance.  Given the problems with unlimited legislative power, state constitutions began to  provide formal mechanisms for making changes.  Most common method for formally amending a state constitution is through  legislative proposal and ratification.  Once convened, constitutional conventions allow greater flexibility for revising a  state constitution.  Electorate must ratify any recommendations from the convention.  Although relatively rare, constitutional revision commissions allow a panel of  experts to convene and recommend changes to an existing constitution. 
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    Constitutions Informal changes Most powerful method for informally amending state constitutions is through court  intervention via state supreme courts.  Power of judicial review permits state supreme courts to declare acts 
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POLS 207 chapter 4 - Charters and Constitutions...

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