Chapter 2 - Chapter 2: The Constitution and The Founding...

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Chapter 2: The Constitution and The Founding President is not actually elected on Election Day in November o Elected more than a month later when the electoral votes are tabulated in Congress o Raised many subtle legal questions: What would have happened had the state legislature certified one slate of electors giving George Bush the presidency, based on the original electronic recount, and the state Supreme Court certified another slate giving Al Gore the presidency based on the partial manual recount? Most scholars agree congress had the authority to pick one slate over the other Did the fed gov’t have the right to determine the rules for counting and recounting votes, or was this the domain of the state and local governments? Did the equal protection clause of the 14 th amendment, which grants all citizens equal protection of the laws, mean that the recount could not continue because not all votes were being recounted, as the Supreme Court ultimately held? o Most important interpreter of the Constitution was the American People Jan 21, 1998 Washington Post dropped a political bombshell on the nation o Revealed that President Bill Clinton had an inappropriate sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky o Lied about it under oath in a sexual harassment suit regarding an unrelated incident that occurred when Clinton was governor of Arkansas o Clinton maintained innocence and approval rating actually increased by nine points to 67 percent after story broke Al Gore vs. George Bush Supreme Court decided that the 2000 recount should stop and that George Bush would be president Americans accepted decision because of their faith in the Constitution and the Supreme Court Illustrates the importance of understanding the constitution There are multiples interpreters of the Constitution Supreme Court has final word Many Americans are unfamiliar with the Constitution’s basic provisions o 24% could not name any First Amendment rights o 52% did not know that the Senate has 100 members o 1/6 th thought that the Constitution created a Christian nation. Large majorities of Americans hold distinctly unconstitutional views As the supreme law of the land, the Constitution’s influence is everywhere
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Chapter 2: The Constitution and The Founding Establishes the basic rules for our institutions of government Prevents the government from doing certain things to citizens o Such as denying freedom of speech Guarantees specific individual rights Determines ground rules for the process that guides politics Politics is conflictual Constitution is highly readable Only 4,608 words ----- length of a 15 page term paper Uses everyday language rather than legalese Conflict at the Constitutional Convention Constitution was created through conflict and compromise Events leading up to the Revolutionary War and the war itself led to: o Widespread support for popular control of government through a republican
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Chapter 2 - Chapter 2: The Constitution and The Founding...

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