What are the 3 branches of government?
What branch of government is established in Article I of the Constitution?
the legislative branch
What branch of government is established in Article II of the Constitution?
the executive branch
What branch of government is established in Article III of the Constitution?
the judicial branch
What are checks and balances?
Measures taken so that no one branch has more power than another
Each branch of government has the ability to check the power of another branch
e.g. The judicial branch may check the legislative branch by deeming legislative acts to be unconstitutional.
Name specific examples of checks and balances.
the presidential veto
What are the requirements to become a member of the House of Representatives?
be ≥ 25 years old
be a U.S. citizen for ≥ 7 years
reside in the state he/she represents at the time of election
What are the requirements to become a member of the Senate?
- be ≥ 30 years old
- be a U.S. citizen for ≥ 9 years
- reside in the state he/she represents at the time of election
Congress can be referred to as a ____ body because it consists of both the House and the Senate.
How does representation differ between the House and the Senate?
House Representation depends on a state's population
In the Senate, each state always has 2 votes
How do the elections and term lengths differ between the Senate and the House?
1/3 of the Senate is elected every 2 years to 6-year terms
All representatives (of the House) are elected every 2 years to 2-year terms
Do limits exist on the number of terms Senate or House members can be elected?
No limits exist
What are 3 requirements to be eligible for President?
be a natural-born citizen
be ≥ 35 years old
have resided in the U.S. for ≥ 14 years
What are the special powers of the House?
- draft all revenue bills and budgets
- power of impeachment
What is impeachment?
an accusation of misconduct; does not necessarily imply removal from office
What are the special powers of the Senate?
tries all impeachments (convicts or acquits)
How does a bill become a law?
congressperson proposes a bill
committee in the House of Representatives or the Senate writes the bill; then that house votes on the bill
if passed by a simple majority, the other house votes; if the second house passes the bill with no amendments, the bill is sent to the President to sign
if differences exist between the bills from the Senate and House, then a joint-congressional committee negotiates
new bill must be voted on again in the House and Senate; if passed by a simple majority in both houses, the bill is sent to the President to sign
if the President signs it, the bill becomes a law
if the president doesn't sign it within 10 days, if Congress is still in session it becomes law; if Congress has already adjourned, it does not become law
if the President vetoes (objects to the law), Congress can override the veto with a 2/3 majority in each house
What are some of the powers of Congress?
determine and collect taxes
regulate commerce (inter-state and international)
create a post office and roads
create lower courts
create and support an army and a navy
How long are the presidential and vice-presidential terms?
4 years each
How is the President elected?
the electoral college votes
for the President
How is each state's representation in the electoral college determined?
the number of electors is equivalent to the sum of the state's representatives and senators in Congress
What are some of the President's responsibilities?
act as commander-in-chief of the army and navy
appoint Supreme Court justices with Senate approval
make treaties with Senate approval
How can the President, Vice President, or other civil officer be removed from office?
The Senate can convict him or her of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."
What is the highest court in the United States?
The Supreme Court
What are concerns with the federal courts' jurisdiction?
problems relating to the Constitution
problems between states
What are concerns with the Supreme Court's jurisdiction?
appeals from federal courts
problems relating to ambassadors, ministers, or other public officials
True or false: Article IV of the Constitution declares the state right that fugitives must be returned to their original state.
If a new state were formed, would it be allowed to claim the land of existing states?
No, according to Article IV of the Constitution, new states may be admitted but may not claim the land of existing states without consent.
Article IV of the Constitution declares the state right that the national government must guarantee a democracy in each state. What else does Article IV declare in regards to the federal government's obligations to the states?
The national government must also protect individual states from invasion.
True or false: there is no article in the Constitution that actually stipulates the conditions under which amendments may be passed.
False; Article V stipulates the conditions under which the House and Senate may propose and pass amendments to the Constitution.
The Constitution is known as the "Supreme _____ ."
In Article VI, the Constitution is declared the "Supreme Law of the Land."
How did the Constitution deal with debts that had been contracted under the Articles of Confederation?
According to Article VI, all debts contracted under the Articles of Confederation were deemed still valid.
Does religion have anything to do with potential (federal or state) legislators' eligibility?
No; Article VI declares that religion does not determine eligiblity.
At least how many states had to ratify the Constitution?
Article VII declared that nine states needed to ratify the Constitution for it to become law.