CONSTITUTIONAL LAW outline.docx - 1 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 5 Big Questions for this Course 1 What is the scope and limit of government authority What is it


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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW 5 Big Questions for this Course: 1. What is the scope and limit of government authority? What is it that no government can do? 2. In regard to the scope and nature of authority among the three (maybe four) branches of the government: How do they relate? How do they function? Where does their authority come from? How do the centers of authority (executive, legislative, judicial, possible 4 th administrative) function? 3. In regards to the scope and nature of states’ authority: Which government can do a particular thing? When can they? Are there powers reserved to the states? Are there powers denied to the federal government? Are there areas of activities where there is concurrent authority? Is there balance of powers issues within the states? Yes, there are issues of the balance of power in every state. Question of federalism o Relationship of states with other states (horizontal) o Relationship of the states to the federal government (vertical) 4. What means of achieving the chief goals in the preamble of the Constitution are avail to each branch of government? What can they do and how can they do it? 5. How can citizens act as a check on or an enabler of particular policies and specific actions? What is the role of a citizens? What does citizenship mean? What authority is allocated to citizens in the constitution? Is citizenship a constitutional role? An active role or a passive relationship? 1 1
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A Republic If You Can Keep It Preamble W E THE P EOPLE OF THE U NITED S TATES , IN O RDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT U NION , ESTABLISH J USTICE , INSURE DOMESTIC T RANQUILITY , PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENCE , PROMOTE THE GENERAL W ELFARE , AND SECURE B LESSINGS OF L IBERTY TO OURSELVES AND OUR P OSTERITY , DO ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH THIS C ONSTITUTION FOR THE U NITED S TATES OF A MERICA . Hill says that the Preamble is a summary of the Constitution. It outlines the goals . These 6 purposes/goals are the following: 1. To form a more perfect Union 2. Establish Justice 3. Ensure domestic tranquility We did not want the States to be competing impermissibly with each other. When it was being written, road-blocks were being set up to have farmers/business pay tariffs to bring their goods into another state… But what about the Native Americans that were already occupying the continent?... At the time, there were state border control issues. This expansion West was going to cause the unlawful seizing of land and the killing of some (actually many). But there was no way that the Framers could have predicted the massive expansion of this country. 4. Provide for the common defense They worried about the need to protect against foreign enemies/countries. They were worried about the British soldiers in Canada attempting to return and get a different outcome… There was a fear that the British would reappear.
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