FGCW 1 | Page The Constitution (2): The Document and the Battle for Ratification Big Ideas of the Constitution Limited government Checks and balances Separation of Powers -- "separate institution sharing powers" States' rights vs. national power 2 big tension: slavery and trade Question: enumerated (power that was listed in the constitution) vs. un-enumerated powers How far or how much power do they have? Just enumerated. Benefits: a good limited gov The Legislative Branch: Article 1 Structure: Bicameral legislature: House of Rep. and Senate It's the first thing mentioned in the Constitution Congress was the most powerful back then. Power of Congress Fiscal Policy * Pay off debt; raise money; claim money; power to collect income taxes Issue: Congress collect taxes to higher prices or to control Trade policy * The commerce clause -- the Congress has the power to regulate commerce among the state Issue: does the Congress has the power to ban commerce (such as marijuana)? Military policy and foreign affairs * Has the power to declare war Issue: but the US has been in war without Congress' declaration? Has the money to control over the war Has power to approve/disapprove ambassadors Judicial powers * To establish court other than the supreme court Has power over how many people are in supreme court. *Wrestling with these powers because the Constitution is vague Federal Property Power over federal lands (eg: Alaska Wild Life, Parks?) Issue: why does Congress has these power? Admit new states (limited power) Also need neighboring states permission Necessary and Proper Clause The Congress shall have power .. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all the other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. In conclusion: Congress' power is HUGE Express Power Clause (10th Amendment) Any power not listed in the Constitution for Congress is reserve to the states or the people. Purpose of this clause is to limit the N&P Clause above. Executive Branch: Article 2 Powers of the President Commander in Chief Appoint and accept ambassadors Negotiate treaties Grant Pardons Appoint cabinets Veto Legislature (this power is more as a threat than for usage purposes) Electoral College Citizens don't elect presidents, the EC elects presidents States choose how to elect these people Judiciary: Articles 3 Appointing Justices to the Supreme Court -- who appoints them? Judicial review -- power of Supreme Court to declare a law unconstitutional Other Issues with the Constitution Supremacy Clause -- national law and treaties shall be the supreme law of the land Amending the Constitution -- proposing ratification Slavery Defined as other persons; count as 3/5 of a person when voting Congress prohibited restricting slave trade. (stopping slave trade is against the law) Arguments of why let it stand? Had to do it; had to raise this issue in the Constitution A big Logroll -- the results of vote trading Logroll: practically, its "I'll vote for your policy if you vote for mine" type of deal between 2 voters Different Interest -- North and South Northern merchants -- wants strong national trade Southern merchants -- wants slavery; fear taxes Solution: We can have strong commercial policy & can have slaves Problem: How do you know they won't stab my back? The Battle for Ratification of the US Constitution Article VII : The ratification of the conventions of nine states shall be sufficient for the establishment of this Constitution between the states so ratifying the same. Law of the land, however, says every states must ratify.
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