Week 5_ Legislative Institutions lecture powerpoint .pptx - Legislative Institutions Week 5 Reading Chapter 6 Fenno Home Style Dr Jenn M Jackson PSC 121

Week 5_ Legislative Institutions lecture powerpoint .pptx -...

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Legislative InstitutionsWeek 5 Reading: Chapter 6, Fenno Home StyleDr. Jenn M. JacksonPSC 121: Introduction to American National Government
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Congress and the Constitution*The Framers created a bicameral legislature with distinct features of each chamber being designed to resolve the conflict.A House of Representatives, with seats allocated by population and members elected by the citizenry (435).A Senate composed of two members from each state chosen by the state legislature (100).This structure resolved the conflict of large versus small states and the debate over the appropriate degree of popular influence on government.2
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Powers of CongressArticle I, Section 8, sets out the enumerated powers of Congress and includes the necessary and proper clause.Congress was given significant authority in foreign affairs.Congress does not have exclusive authority over legislation.3
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Congress and ElectionsTwo choices made by the Framers have profoundly affected the electoral politics of Congress:Members of Congress and presidents are elected separately.Members of Congress are elected from states and congressional districts by plurality vote.Almost all nominees are now chosen by voters in primary elections.4
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Congressional DistrictsIn 1911, the membership was set a 435 for the House.If one party controls the legislature and the governorship, it may attempt to draw lines to favor its own candidates.This is called gerrymandering.The constitutionality of this practice has been challenged in court, but without great success.5
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Racial Gerrymandering*6In Thornburg v. Gingles (1986), the Court ruled that district lines may not dilute minority representation, but neither may they be drawn with race as the predominant consideration.
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