Civics Studyguide

Topics: United States Constitution, President of the United States, United States Congress Pages: 5 (912 words) Published: May 20, 2013
Federalism: The division of powers between state and federal government  
Checks and Balances: The system of checks and balances gives each branch of government a way to limit the powers of the other two branches  
Seperation of Powers: The separation between The Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches  
The Executive Branch - The Presidency which runs government and requests new laws  The Legislature - split into the House of Representatives which create and design laws, and the Senate who approve laws and create and design laws.  The Judiciary - The Supreme Court which upholds the law, constitution, and bill of rights  

Amendment Process: An amendment must be approved federally and then later ratified by state courts  
Bill of Rights: the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution

 1. Guarantees freedom of religion, of speech and of the press, the right to assemble peacefully; the right to petition the government  2. Protects the right to possess firearms
 3. Declares that the government may not require people to house soldiers during peacetime  4. Protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures (confiscation of their property)  5. Guarantees that no one may be deprived life, liberty, or property without due process of the law  6. Guarantees the right to a trial by jury in criminal cases  7. Guarantees the right to a trial by jury in most civil cases  8. Prohibits excessive bail, fines, and punishments

 9. Declares that rights not mentioned in the Constitution belong to the people  10. Declares that powers not given to the federal government belong to the states or to the people  
Elastic Clause: A clause that allows the original laws to stretch and change for the future  
Reserved Powers: If a power isn't specifically given to the federal government, it is reserved for the states  
Powers of Congress:
 -Promoting General Welfare
 -Regulate Commerce Between States & Foreign Nations
 -Collect Taxes & Borrow Money
 - Spend Money and Decide Where it's spent (congress holds the power of the purse) - Declare War
- Propose amendments to the Constitution

Limits of power: If you get arrested and the court doesn't have enough evidence to convict you, you must be released
Congress cannot pass a bill of attainder, a law that convicts a person of crime without a trial

Writ of Habeas Corpus: If someone gets arrested they must immediately be brought to court

Speaker of the House: The presiding officer of the House of Representatives.

President of the Senate: The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, and the Vice President of the United States.

Floor Leaders: The chief officers of the majority and minority parties in each house who guide the bills that their party supports through Congress.

Veto: To reject

Pocket Veto: If a president keeps a bill for ten days, during which Congress ends it's session, the bill will not become a law.

Filibuster: The use of long speeches to prevent a vote on a bill.

Committees: a system set up by the Senate and the House of Representatives where most important work in lawmaking happens.

Standing Committees: permanent groups where bills are immediately sent, each committee is focused on a specific issue. There tasks are to study the bills, hold hearings, propose changes, and recommend a vote. Headed by the majority party. Joint Committees: Special committees for problems not covered in Standing Committees, made up of both House and Senate members. Conference Committees: If bill is passed in the house but not in the senate or vice versa, a temporary committee is formed to settle differences.

Constituents: The people a member of congress represents


House of Representatives:
Duties: *
Number per state: varying on population, 445 in total
Term limit: 2 years...
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