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Spring 11 POS 2112 Chapter 2 Notes-1

Spring 11 POS 2112 Chapter 2 Notes-1 - POS 2112 American...

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POS 2112 American State and Local Government Notes Chapter 2 Democracy and Constitutionalism in the States Question- What is the purpose of a constitution? I. Constitutional Government in the States- constitutions govern governments. A. Limited Government 1. Constitutionalism means that? a. The power of government over the individual is clearly limited. b. There are some aspects of life that even the majority can not regulate c. Government itself is also restrained by a higher law. B. Legal Status 1. State constitutions are the supreme law of the state. They take precedence over any law of the state that may conflict with them. 2. The U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land. State constitutions subordinate to the U.S. constitution and the laws of the U.S. 3. Think about the order of precedence this way. a. C. State Constitutional Politics 1. State constitutions differ from the federal constitution in that they are more specific. 2. Constitutional decision making is deciding how to decide. 3. Example- Are any of you from Florida? Can you think of any recent amendments to our state constitution? a. Think about the class size amendment or the minimum wage amendment. II. State Constitutions: An Overview A. All state constitutions have: 1. a Bill of rights a. That guarantees basic rights for individuals.
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