CHAPTER 5 - CHAPTER 5 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW GOVERNMENT POWER...

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CHAPTER 5 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW
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GOVERNMENT POWER One in a Million The Constitution of The United States is the greatest legal document ever written Drafted in 1787 It is not a perfect document The Constitution is relatively brief – this brevity and flexibility was necessary for the document to survive
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OVERVIEW The United States was the first nation in modern history founded on the idea that people could govern themselves, democratically Articles of Confederation had problems 1787 – States sent a group of 55 delegates to Philadelphia to amend the Articles of Confederation – instead they drafted a new document The Constitution is a series of compromises about power
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OVERVIEW Separation of Powers Article I of the Constitution created a Congress, which was to have legislative power Article II of the Constitution created the office of the President, defining the scope of executive power Article III established judicial power by creating the Supreme Court and permitting additional federal courts Each branch is designed to be independent and equal and to act as a check and balance on the others
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OVERVIEW Federalism The national government has considerable power, but it is limited power Individual Rights The original Constitution was silent about the rights of citizens In 1791, the first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were added to the Constitution, guaranteeing many liberties directly to individual citizens
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POWER GRANTED Congressional Power Article I of the Constitution creates the Congress with its two houses Representation in the House of Representatives is proportionate with a state’s population Each state elects two Senators
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POWER GRANTED Interstate Commerce “The Congress shall have power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states.” This is the Commerce Clause.
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