chapter_6 - Congress in the Constitution 1 Bicameral...

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Congress in the Constitution 1 Bicameral legislature with features of each chamber designed to resolve the conflict between large states and small states. A House of Representatives, with seats allocated by population and members elected by the citizenry and A Senate, composed of two members from each state chosen by the state legislature.
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Side by Side Comparison 2 House Senate Members 435 100 Length of terms 2 yrs 6 yrs Method of election Popular election Selected by state legislature (until passage of the 17 th Amendment in 1913) Age requirement 25 30 Citizenship requirement 7 yrs 9 yrs Who do they represent? Geographic districts with about 680,000 States
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Powers of Congress 3 The Constitution established a truly national government by giving Congress broad powers over crucial economic matters. Necessary and Proper Clause Congress was given significant authority in foreign affairs
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Single-Member Districts/Plurality Winners 4 Proportional system Voters choose among parties, not individual candidates Party lists Members of Congress are elected from states and congressional districts by plurality vote Get their party’s nomination directly from voters, not from party activists or leaders.
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Redistricting and Gerrymandering 5 Redistricting: redrawing district lines after the census every 10 years to reflect changes in population Gerrymandering: redrawing lines in order to favor a party, a type of candidate, or a voting bloc Important Supreme Court rulings: 1964: districts must have equal populations. 1986: a gerrymander is unfair if it is too unfair to one of the parties 1986: district lines may not dilute minority representation, but cannot be drawn with race as the predominant consideration. 1995: districts cannot be drawn solely to benefit one race
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Candidate-Centered v. Party-Centered 6 Parties began to lose their grip on running campaigns after the passage of the 17 th Amendment and the emergence of direct primaries Candidate emergence as opposed to party recruitment Candidates organized their own campaigns.
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  • Spring '08
  • JASONSTRANDQUIST
  • United States Congress, United States House of Representatives, Party Leadership, Senate minority party

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