Political Science 1101 Congress Notes

Political Science 1101 Congress Notes - Congress Congress...

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Congress Congress in the Constitution - The Great Compromise o representation that resulted in bicameral legislature. o Mirrored in every state except Nebraska - House of Representatives o Short Terms (Two Year terms) All House seats up for election at the same time o Popularly elected by district - The Senate o Longer Terms (six year terms; re-elected 1/3 at a time, staggered term) o Selected by state legislatures o Senate as a chamber is involved in two particular jobs that the House has no influences on Treaty ratification-president negotiates treaty and must be ratified by 2/3rds of Senate (super-majority) Confirming appointments- all federal judicial appointments are done by president and must be confirmed by Senate simple majority. Also any appointment made to the executive branch by president has to be confirmed by simple majority in Senate Qualifications for Office - House o 25 years of age o Citizen for at least 7 years (not necessarily a natural born citizen) o Resident of state being represented; do not have to be a resident of the district within the state you run for though. - Senate o 30 years of age o Citizen for at least 9 years (not required to be natural born though) o Resident of state being represented The Electoral System - A Separated System o Members of Congress and president are elected separately o Elected by plurality vote from states/districts Single-member districts (if a state has more than one house seat, they must draw districts to represent those house seats, only one seat per district) Congressional Districts - Total House membership: 435 (Congress itself set this number and was capped in 1911. Ability to change it but that is unlikely) o Senate is constitutionally set and cannot be changed without an amendment. D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, etc. do not get representation in Congress - Average House District: 610,000 constituents as of 2000 census o Each state is guaranteed one House seat, not considering their population Apportionment - Chief reason for census is to get population count by state in order to reapportion seats equitably based on population - Everyone alive and breathing is counted in census as a constituent for representation in a House district. - Apportionment (re-apportionment): allocation of House seats among states following a Census
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- Malapportionment: districts which contain unequal numbers of citizens resulting in an inequality of voter representation (urban vs. rural) o Rural areas end up being more represented and urban areas are seriously under- represented o Courts dismissed it for a long time because they deemed it a political issue o Baker v. Carr (1962) Malapportionment violated the 14 th Amendment (one person/one vote); Must use Census figures to accomplish near equality. -
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Political Science 1101 Congress Notes - Congress Congress...

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