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Mr Pullan US Politics 18-20 > Constitution > Flashcards

Flashcards in Constitution Deck (48)
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What is a constitution?

AJ Bennett: "A code of rules laying down both the framework and powers of the government and the relationship between the government and the governed."


What is a federal state?

One where power is distributed between central government and local institutions.


What is the opposite of a federal state?

A unitary state - where ultimate power lies in one place.


What is the collective name given to the people who wrote the Constitution?

The Founding Fathers, or the Framers


Name three Founding Fathers.

Any three from John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington


How many times has the US Constitution been amended?



What are the first ten amendments to the Constitution collectively known as?

The Bill of Rights.


What to strict constructionists believe?

That the Constitution should be interpreted strictly as it is written.


What do loose constructionists believe?

That the Constitution should be interpreted in today's context - so it provides a flexible framework, not rigid guidance.


James Otis famously said what about taxation?

"Taxation without representation is tyranny."


What did the Connecticut Compromise agree to?

A bicameral Congress: a House of Representatives with representatives distributed proportionately by population, and a Senate in which every state has two Senators.


To which branch of government does Article 1 relate?

The legislature


To which branch of government does Article 2 relate?

The executive


To which branch of government does Article 3 relate?

The judiciary


What is the theory which states that the three branches of government should not overlap in terms of function or people?

Separation of powers


Congress has two houses. What are they called, and what is the name for a legislature that has two houses?

House of Representatives, Senate, bicameral.


Give two reasons why HipHughes describes the House as a "mad dog".

Because its members were directly elected and therefore susceptible to local passions; they have the power to initiate impeachment; only they can initiate financial bills.


If the House is a mad dog, what is the Senate?

The wise old men and women up on the hill (says HipHughes)


What constitutes the mad dog's leash?

The two year election term in the House.


What proportion of Senators are up for election each cycle?

One third.


Who is the current Speaker of the House, and how is s/he chosen?

Nancy Pelosi, chosen by the members of the House.


Who is the President of the Senate?

The Vice President (currently Mike Pence)


What and who is the President pro tem of the Senate?

The presiding officer of the Senate who rules on points of order. S/he is traditionally the longest serving member of the ruling party in Senate - currently Chuck Grassley of Iowa.


Give an example of someone who had to change jobs due to the separation of powers.

Obama had to resign as Senator for Illinois on being elected president in 2008; Jeff Sessions had to resign as senator for Alabama on being appointed Trump's Attorney General (a Cabinet post and therefore part of the executive) in 2017.


Which part of the Constitution details how bills become law?

Article 1 s7.


Any bill for raising money starts in which House?

The House.


What can the president do if s/he does not agree with a bill passed by Congress, and which article states this?

A1 s7. S/he can "leave it on his desk" in which case it becomes law after ten working days; veto it; or leave it on his desk within ten working days of the end of the Congress (the pocket veto).


Which is the most effective form of veto?

The pocket veto, because a bill has to be completed in one session of Congress so any that are pocket vetoed will have to start all over again.


What does A1 s8 list?

The enumerated powers (i.e. what Congress can do)


Which is the most famous enumerated power?

A1 s18, the "elastic" or "necessary and proper" clause, which allows Congress to pass "all necessary and proper laws" for carrying out its powers.