Article of Constitution
1st, 435 Districts
Trustee votes according to his/her conscience.
Delegate votes according to the constituent's.
Important Issues, like delegate (listen to what we want)
the result of
Virginia Plan - representative based on population.
NJ Plan - representative based on rep.
10th amendment -
Enumerated Powers -
Elastic Clause -
Separation of Powers -
Reserve Powers Clause - Reserve powers to states and people
-specifically state in Constitiution.
-Necessary & Proper Clause - have enumerated powers and carry out these powers (McCollough vs Maryland) / 6th Amendment - Supremacy Clause
Bills of Attainder -
Ex Post facto Laws -
Writ of Habeas Corpus-
-laws that decree a person guilty of crime without a trial.
-can't make a law and then change everybody (ie abortion).
-individual must be brought to court and shown reason for detention.
-2 govt. / a division of power between state and local govt. system of organizing and distributing political power, Best way to observe freedom
-founding to depression '30's.
-Dense and unmanageable yet sweet for everyone.
-distinct layers of government that do not mix or share power. Aka layered cake
are the powers that flow down to states - they are in charge. Powers flow up Confederacy.
-In a unitary system of government, the central government holds most of the power.
House of Representatives-
2 year term
elected by the voters the congressional district, the # of rep. from each state based on population (1 per 555,000).
2 per state
6 year term
selected by the state legislators, but not subject to direct election pursuant to the 17th amendment. 33% or 1/3
Westbury vs Sanders (1964)-
Shaw vs Reno (1993)-
Miller vs. Johnson (1995)-
-redrawing districts, state legislators draw the districts for partisan advantage.
-representation based on population and not geographical size.
-district have to be contiguous, touching, they have to be one.
-district can be drawn to benefit one race over another.
Congress does not represent the society look like the people as a whole.
- party organizations lack the power to nominate and control candidates.
- parties cannot control the nomination process (primaries)
- parties cannot control the use of the party label.
- Name recognition
- electoral Darwinism - strong challengers
- Franking - free use of he US Mail. Challenger cart use free mail.
- PACs - usually give $ to incumbents - $5K - to party, $2K - to candidate.
Pork Barrel Polictics -
- ie super collider
-I'll vote for your project if you will vote for mine.
Speaker - 3rd in line to president
Whip - serves as a liaison / go between to party leaders and other committee members
Party Leadership: Senate
Formal - President of the Senate, Vice president - votes to breaks ties
President Pro Tempore- ceremonial position usually given to long standing member of the majority party
Informal - Majority Leader - Whip, Minority Leader - Whip, majority policy committee, minority policy committee.
-dealing with the same matter (subject)
House has rules committee, Senate does not! In the house amendments do not have to be german to the bill. In the senate it does have to be german to the bill. (deal with the same subject).
Before the bill becomes LAW the wording has to be identical! If it is not it goes to the conference committee to work out the differences and wording. If they can't get it worked out they send back to each chamber to get approval. Approved on both sides goes to president.
Each bill that survives committee must go to rules committee. Determines the length of debate and the nature of amendments that maybe offered to the legislation. Contrary to the house, the senate permits open and lengthy debate on legislation.
Poison Pills -
Cloture Vote -
-amendment that is added that kills the bill!
-delay to vote, to end a filibuster it takes a cloture vote. A filibuster can be used to talk a bill to death!
-(senate) is used to defeat a filibuster (3/5th's) or 60% needed. Strom Thurman record filibuster (24 hrs.)
Presidential Action, The president may- during the normal course of session and he doesn't sign the bill, it becomes law. 2/3rds of senate and house in both chambers to override a presidential veto.
- sign the bill into law
- allow the bill to become law without a signature
- veto the bill with a formal message
- pocket veto
Texas legislators meet
every 2 years / 140 days. State legislator - $7,200/year and Governor 115K
standing - most important, it is a permanent committee that specialize in an area of public policy.
joint- are made up of members of the house and the senate. (Joint Economic Committee)
Select- are temporary committees that are created for specific purposes (committee to investigate the Watergate scandal)
Conference- works out differences between House & Senate version of legislation on the same subject (joint and conference committees get confused)
Bills that don't pass-
-a provision that permits floor debate and the addition of new amendments to the bill.
-limits the introduction of new amendments.
Bills that don't pass go to the powerful rules committee - located in the House
Blue Dog Democrat-
Southern democrat voting across party lines on civil rights segregation (voted for republicans) during the 50, 60, 70's
Every vote in congress has been recorded. Party Unity scores are very high
-legislative branch is controlled by one party, presidency is held by the other party.
-said most powers are in congress, strongest power of the president is to persuade.
Top down budgeting-
All or nothing budgeting-
Bottom up budgeting-
Oversight-is the effort by Congress through hearings, investigators and other techniques, to exercise control over the activities of the executive agencies.
Appropriations-process is an important oversight tool.
Top -ask for 10K get 7.5k, got 5K year before
All or -everything you ask for or nothing at all
Bottom up-actually look at what we are spending.
- The senate must approve presidential appointments by a simple majority - 50% + 1 - block by filibuster
- Treaties must be approved by the senate with a 2/3 vote
- Executive agreements circumvent this process, executive agreements - walk like a duck, talk like a duck but not a treaty - agreement between two world leaders.
After FDR the presidents expanded the constitutional powers to strengthen the power of the president relative to Congress
Article II of the Constitution -
-Establishes the presidency and defines a small number of expressed powers in the office.
Dominant actor in American politics today - the President
The Selection of the President-
Struggle between those delegates who wanted the president selected by and thus responsible to, Congress and those delegates who preferred the president to be elected directed by the people.
Resulted in the electoral college - in which electors would be selected by the state legislators.
270 majority of electoral college, House + Senate = EC
Maine and Nebraska - split their votes
Faithless - those that don't vote along party lines.
12- says they can be from same state but can't get electoral. votes from that state.
(ie Bush from Texas and Cheney living in Texas but want back to Wyoming)
Framers hope to achieve a "republican" solution: a strong president responsible to the state and national legislators (held true during the 19th century)
Military - Article II, provides the power as "Commander and Chief". Thus the president si the highest military authority in America. Head of the intelligence network. Include the power to declare war.
Judicial-power to grant reprieves, pardons, and amnesties.
Diplomatic-power to receive Ambassadors and other public officials, to review the claims of any new ruling groups to determine if they indeed control the territory and population of their country.
Treaties require the advice and consent of the senate 2/3rds
Can utilize an executive agreement which is like a treaty, because it is between to world leaders, it bypasses congress.
Executive Agreements -
-an agreement, made between the president and another country, that has the force of a treaty but does not require the Senate's "advise and concent"
War Powers Resolution-
-a resolution of Congress that the president can send troops into action abroad any by authorization of Congress, only if American troops are already under attack or serious threat.
Vietnam War actions by Pres. Johnson and Nixon led Congress to pass the War Powers Resolutions. This resolution asserted that the president could send troops into action abroad only in the event of a declaration of war or other statutory authorization by Congress.
President's Power is found in Article II Section 3, which states that the president must see that all laws are faithfully executed and Section 2, provides that the president will appoint, remove, and supervise all executive officers and appoint all federal judges.
President also has veto power (pocket veto-is automatically triggered if the president does no act during the final ten days of a legislative session).
Presidents can only do what the constitution says they can do (William Howard Taft-founding president).
Chief of staff - control access to president, make sure president remains focused on his/her agenda.
- expected to provide policy leadership
- mange the economy
- mange the government
Executive Privilege - the claim that confidential communications deemed vital to the national interest between the president and close advisors should not be revealed with out consent of the president.
T. Roosevelt - president can what they want unless it is restricted by the constitution. (modern day president)
In the case of the pocket veto, Congress does not even have the options overriding the veto. In 1996, congress passed a bill giving the president line item veto. In 1998, it was ruled unconstitutional.
Set budget LBB - Legislative Budge Board - only appropriation bills
Texas Govt. - 2 dominant figures 1) Speaker of House (head of house, can appoint 50% of members/seniority) 2)Lt. Governor (head of senate)
17th president Andrew Johnson (from south) - most overridden vetos.
Most veto's ever - F. Roosevelt 1933-45 (4 terms) after FDR terms limits were set to 2.
- The power to reward supporters through the power to make appointments is a important institutional resource for the president.
- The merit system, designed to end the spoils system, limits this power.
exam/written/oral to be accepted
In the politics of the United States, a spoils system (also known as a patronage system) is a practice in which a political party, after winning an election, gives government jobs to its supporters, friends and relatives as a reward for working toward victory, and as an incentive to keep working for the party—as
There are 15 cabinet departments that carry out the legislative mandates of Congress. Presidents appoints.
- newest cabinet Homeland Security (put in place to steamline information)
Chief of Staff-
White House Staff-
-Controls access to the president
-is composed mainly of analyst and advisors loyal to the president, they are not subject to the senate advise and consent.
Office of Management and Budget- most important office, prepares national budget, designs presidents programs, reports on agency activities, oversees regulatory proposals. "Top Down" budgeting in now the process used to be "bottom up".
exist to succeed the president in case of death, incapacity, resignation or impeachment. Balances the ticket.
has changed over last 40 years Hillary Clinton more active with regard to domestic policy than other First Ladies, they usually deal with Valence issues (ie everyone agrees, health, education)
A president can and will claim to have a mandate after an election. I told you when I was running for office that this is what I was going to do so when elected I will do this and this.
Can President Clinton claim a mandate with 49% of the vote in 1996? I
1995 the 20th amendment change the "lame duck" session and move the starting date of congressional sessions form March to early January.
-*When (not important)
regularity polls the nation to obtain a sense of the presidents popularity.
Popularity is a function of the economy, social and political crisis or foreign policy.
First part of presidency is called
The electoral college -
- Candidate must win a majority, all electoral votes - 270
- If there is no majority - congress consider the top 3 vote getters (this fallback does not work)
-high unemployment and interest rates
-March moved to Jan- don't do anything in 2nd term.
The Legislative Epoch -
The New Deal & the Presidency-
-1800-1933 after this the president became the dominant actor
-The great depression called for strong presidential leadership, President Roosevelt's New Deal increased the image of the office, WWII and the Cold War expanded the president's power.
The office of the president has become more powerful because it has become more democratized. Citizens are responsible of choosing a president that will successfully lead the country and manage the largest organization in the US: the federal bureaucracy.
-Judicial / Supreme Court
Roe vs. Wade (1973)-
Webster vs Reproductive Health Services (1989)-
-ruled that a state's interest in regulating abortion to protect the life of the fetus can only override a woman's fundamental right to privacy when the fetus becomes viable.
-court diminished a woman's right to have an abortion by upholding a Missouri Law that barred the use of public monies and facilities to perform abortions, and required physicians to test for fetal viability at 20 weeks. Several other states began to legislate various limits on abortion.
9th amendment -
-Right to Privacy
-is a legal dispute dealing with an alleged violation of the penal code. Criminal cases are classified according to their severity. Basic differ between Criminal and Civil is jail!
Types of criminal cases:
- Misdemeanor - minor traffic violation
- Felony must prove guilt "beyond a resonable doubt"
-are legal disputes concerning a private conflict between two or more parties-- individuals, corporations, or government agencies.
Civil cases include property, probate, domestic relations, contract and tort cases.
Plaintiff is required to prove the case "by a preponderance of the evidence".
-cases in private law, civil law, or criminal law in which one party to the dispute argues that a license is unfair, etc.
*The Constitution established
*The first congress
*The first decade
9 people on Supreme Court, there has been as many 12
Robertson - Chief Justice
Congress sets the size of the court
1st Chief Justice - John Jay
Judicial Review -
-the court's power was booted under the 3rd Chief Justice, John Marshall, who authored the opinion in the Marbury vs Madison case. Hamilton sought to minimize the power of the court the first decade the court was not so powerful.
-is the power of the courts to declare actions of the legislature and executive branches invalid or unconstitutional. McCollough vs Maryland
Marbury vs. Madison (1803)
McCulloch vs. Maryland (1819)
Gibbons vs Ogden (1824)
Plessey vs Ferguson (1896)
-upheld implied powers clause
-power to regulate interstate commerce, federal law prevails over state law
Brown vs. Board of Education (1954)
Dred Scott vs. Sandford (1857)
Roe vs. Wade (1973)
Loving vs. Virginia
-Separate is inherently equal
-contributed to the civil war
-right to privacy (abortion statues)
only about 2% of the time does the case actually begin in the Supreme court.
98% of the time it is an appellate court. Facts of case has been reviewed in lower courts first.
94 Districts courts are organized into 12 regional circuits (11 circuits + DC Circuit). Supreme Court overseas each district/circuit.
Each circuit has a Court of appeals - appeals from district courts and decisions of federal admin agencies
1 special circuit - the Federal Circuit, patent cases, appeals International trade, federal claims
Texas located in 5th Circuit, in New Orleans
-give an outcome or to judge
-to support their decisions judges give reason in writing. These are called
-look at how other cases are decided, establish a precedence.
The Supreme Court -
Statutory Law -
-is made up of one chief justice and 8 associate judges.
Congress has the authority to change the court's size.
The number of judges has been 9 since 1869. Period of Reconstruction.Opinion writing gives judges influence.
Common Law- When judges interpret prior decisions this is called common law or a judge-made law.
Statutory Law- when judges interpret legislation
Judges are appointed by-
- the president, confirmed by the senate, senate can prevent by filibuster or simple majority
- go to the state to get approval for the federal judge
-congress go into recess and president appoints judge. (ie Hormel)
The case must be ripe-
Court decides how many cases a year/how many requests-
-it can't go any place else has to go to the supreme court - court of last resort
-100 cases a year / 9000 requests
Civil Rights / Civil Liberties -
Judges to agree to hear case-
Amicus Curiae Brief-
-ie flag burning 60-61, 70-71 civil rights cases (1940 to 4212 cases filed)
-only 4 have to agree to hear case called Rule of Four
-is called friend of court
the top government lawyer in all cases before the Supreme Court where the govt. is a party.
Solicitor General exerts especially strong influence by screening the cases before any agency of the fed. govt. can appeal then to the Supreme Court. The SG can enter a case even when the fed. govt. is not a direct litigant by writing a Amicus Curiae.
SG works for the Govt.
AG works for the people.
- the case before the court must be an actual controversy, not a hypothetical one, with two truly adversial parties.
- standing- parties must show that they have a substantial stake in the outcome of the case.
- Mootness (it doesn't matter)- a criteria used by the courts to screen cases that no longer require resolution.
Writ of Certiorari-
Writ of Habeas Corpus-
-a decision of at least (4) of the nine SC justices to review a decision of a lower court (rule of 4) - most cases reach SC by Writ of Certiorari
-the individual in custody bought into court and shown the cause for detention. This writ gives state prisoners a second channel toward the SC review in case their direct appeal from the highest court fails. (ie Gideon vs. Wainright - 1963) given right to attorney in all felony cases.
Oliver Wendel Holmes - Associate and Chief Justice 1902-1931
"The Great Dissenter"
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. A lifelong skeptic, he disdained all individual rights, including the right to express one’s political views. But in 1919, it was Holmes who wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States.
-occur when the justices agree with the majority decision, but offer a somewhat different rationale to support it.
-a decision written by a justice in a particular case in which the justice wishes to express his/her reasoning in the case.
-maintains that judges should interpret laws loosely using their power to promote their preferred social & political goals. (ie Ted Poe)
-maintains that legislators should make laws. Judges should follow these laws very closely.
Political Ideology -
How the justices vote -
-plays a role in SC judges
-Behavioral characteristics, Ideology, the attitudinal model, public opinion
-prior judicial decisions serve as a rule for settling subsequent cases of a similar nature.
Most judges are Catholic