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Test II for TX and Amer. govt


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16th ammendment
Congress hgas power to lay and collect any taxes to pay debts, provide for the common defense, and general welfare of the US.
Why pay taxes?
legislative majorities respresenting voting majorities have decided that for the common good we each should share in the cost of services. Deadbeat citizens don't pay.
National deb and deficit, who is authorized to borrow money?
Congress authorized to borrow money in article 1, but president's set budget tone. Deficit: difference betwen revenue raised and additional amount spent, national debt-- accumulation of all anuual budget deficits
unnecessary things that politicians borrow money for.
Current national debt?
8.25 trillion
How debt changed from 1980 to now?
80-93 Reagan and bush debt jumped to 4.4 trillion.
legislative power of congress
"all legislative powers" Only congress can legislate by debating and passing bills. Not only get power from specific phrases, but also by adding ogether clauses to get a new meaning. Like power to make war and power to make treaties together gives congress the power to acquire land
Baker v. Carr
Tennesse apportioned both houses-- but for six decades refused to redistiribute districts while population shifted from rural to urban. Too few legislators respresented urban constituents. SC stated that voters have right to challenge in federal court the way state legilatures allocate legislative districts
Reynolds v Sims
SC applied "on person, one vote principle to all state legislature districts. Must have roughly equal population
Wesberry v. Sanders
SC stated one man's vote in national congressional elections is worth as much as anothers and that districts must be equal in poulation.
Davis v Bandemer
stated that excessive partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional if too unfair to one party
Thornburg v. Gingles
SC decision required that legislative district lines not discriminate, even unintentionally, against racial minorities
House member qualifications
2 year terms
25 years old
US citizen 7 years
no residency requirement until elected
House leaders
Speaker-- Hastert
Majority Leader-- Boehner
Majority whip-- Blunt
Minority leader-- Pelosi
Minority whip-- Hoyer
Impeachment accusation
house has sole power of impeachment, like a criminal grand jury. Political- civil process only. Judiciary Committee decides by majority vote whether to send civil/political charges to house floor for vote to send to Senate trial.
Senate qualities
100 senators
6 year term
1/3 elected every 2 years (the continuing body)
Senator qualifications
30 years old
ctizen for nine years
no residency until elected
originally selected by the state legislatures
17th ammendment
Before this-- senators chosen by state legislatures
Vice President duties
President of Senate (Dick Cheney); Only constitutional duty. Power to: recognize members, arbitrate senate rules, vote in case of tie.
Senate Officers
Majority Leader-- Frist (most powerful)
Asst. Leader-- McConnell
Minority Leader-- Reid
Asst. Min. Leader-- Durban
President Pro Tempore-- Stevens
Impeachment process in senate
sole power of impeachment trial, requires conviction only by 2/3 present of quorum. Only punishments: remove from office, disqualify person to hold another office. Chief Justice presides in trials of president.
Andrew Johnson Impeachment
Democrat president Andrew Johnson tried for firing his radical republican secretary of war and that he had "criticized" congress. Acquitted by one republican deciding vote.
Nixon Impeachment
republican vp Spiro Agnew convicted of bribery Minority Leader Ford now VP. President Richard Nixon would have gone to impeachment trial for felonly crimes, but resigned.
Congress' Power in elections
Power to choose Manner of elections, qualifications of members (not voters), and may exclude someone elected from taking his seat or may expel a member for disorderly behavior.
Who makes rules for Congress?
Congress makes its own rules and not subject to review by court-- closed (not ammendments) and open rules. Congressional Record, and quorum rule required.
Who can raise Congress' salaries
Can raise their own salaries. Used to be paid very little. Now reg members get 165,00/ and have a COLA 2-4%
How bills become law?
tax bills must originate in the house. House bill introduced, assigned to committe, hearings, decision to report out, rules committe, 2 floor debates, majority votes for passage, over to Senate, filibuster, agree, then... President's options
President's Options
President within 10 days can sign or not sign-- becomes law. Or can veto and send back to congress for 2/3 veto over-ride attempts in both houses. Pokcet veto. If congress adjourns within 10 days and pres. does not sign... bill is dead.
Arrest of members of senate?
members privileged from arrest except for treason, felony and breech of the peach. Cannot sue a member in civil court.
Commerce clause
power to regulate business. Chaotic under articles of confederation. Used to regulate traditional unfair business practices. Today usedin civil rights cases to stop discrimination when conducted by businesses engaged in interstate commerce.
Gibbons v. Ogden
New York legislature gave exclusive right of steam boat navigation in NY waters to Ogden. Gibbons ran 2 steam boats btwn NY and NJ in violation of the law. Ogden sued to stop Gibbons. chief Justice Marshal ruled for Gibbons since stopping him would effect interstate commerce.
Power to decide citizenship
congress has absolute power to decide who can be a citizen. Naturalized have same rights as natural born except cannot be president.
congress can regulate bankruptcy. Federal court supervises those seeking protection to better protect creditors. No such protection existed under Articles of Confederation.
standardized money
Congress can require standard money and measures required in all states. Counterfeit money prohibited
Courts, post offices and roads
Congress authorized to build post offices and roads to transport mail. Not only gave birth to federal highways, but also regulating what can be sent through the mail. Copyright (life of author+ 70 years); patent (good for 17 years). Congress has power to create courts lower than supreme court
Laws of nations
how coutnries treat aliens. Congress has power to punish pirates and felonies on high seas, and offenses against the law of Nations. English courts defined piracy during trials. Never knew what the law was until informed during trial.
War Powers Clauses
Congress authorized "to declare war."
Sometimes conflict with liberty and bill of rights.
May grant 'letters of marque and reprisal," and to make rules concering captures..." (authorize private ships to attack enemies at sea. Pirate if letters not in possession. Enemy plunder regulated by congress. From this came our participation in the Geneva convention treatment of POWs)
Congress has power to:
-create armies
-control of the military purse
-establish Navy
-b/c of power to create, also has darft authority
-military code authorized (diff. than civilian law)
-congress authorized to call up the militia (National guard) to execute laws of nation, suppress insurrections, repel invasions).
President can commit troops only by
-Congressional declaration of war
-Congressional statutory authorization
-an "emergency" created by attack on US soil or on US forces
Declarations of War by Congress
War of 1812
Mexican War
Spanish American War
How president can commit troops through War Powers Clauses
President can commit troops only by
-Congressional declaration of war
-Congressional statutory authorization
-an "emergency" created by attack on US soil or on US forces
-If president uses them in an emergency he must report to congress within 48 hours and must withdraw w/in 60 days unless Congress provides what he need to declare
Power over militia
Congress has complete power over militia. Includes organizing, arming, disciplining, governing it, but reservesp ower to the states to appoint officers and conduct training by standards prescribed by Congress
District of Columbia
Maryland and Virginia deeded land for the seat of federal Govt. Not a state. Congress has power to govern over all lands bought from states-- jurisdiction.
Necessary and proper clause
known as the "elastic clause" enlarges all other congress powers. If constitution doesn't prohibit something and it's in the spirit of the constitution, then it's legal
habeas corpus
latin for "you have the body" the greates protector of civil liberty and shall not be suspended by
Congress unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require
Bills of attainder and ex post facto laws
prohibited. Bills of attainder-- British parlaiment would pass a law accusing, conviction, and sentencing.
Control of Money and fiscal year
Money controlled by congress-- Judicial branch may not spend any money unless appropriated by Congress. Oct 1-Sep 30 is fiscal year.
states may not...
enter into alliances, treaties or confederations
Print state money
pass state bills of attainder or ex post facto laws
grant titles of nobility
tax imports without permission of Congress
Keep troops or ships of war in time of peace
engage in war
enter in agreements with other states or foreign govts without permission of Congress

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