basic principles of the constitution

Topics: United States Constitution, Commerce Clause, United States Congress Pages: 8 (1557 words) Published: December 1, 2013
BASIC PRINCIPLES OF THE CONSTITUTION
Representative government:
Selection of representatives in "free" and scheduled elections Governing with the consent of the governed
Federalism:
power-sharing between national, state and local government
Historical pattern of increasing the powers of the national government at the expense of local autonomy Supreme Court's role in ongoing debate over federalism:
Early cases—McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) Selective Incorportation (14th Amendment)
Substantive due process
Three kinds of powers at the national level:
Expressed powers—enumerated (listed) in the Constitution
Implied powers—suggested powers from those enumerated
Inherent powers—foreign policy, protection of sovereignty Reasons for the growth of the national government's power:
National scope of many problems
Dependency of the states on federal funds
Unequal distribution of wealth within the states
Inability of states to deal politically with some problems
Statements of "power" to the national government in the Constitution: General welfare clause
Commerce power
Defense of the nation
Necessary and proper clause ("elastic clause")
Congressional power to admit new states—Northwest Ordinance (1787) Denial of powers to the national government in the Tenth Amendment (1791): "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." No power to destroy the federal system (McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)) Duties of the national government to the states:

Guarantee of territorial integrity of the states (related to interstate commerce—river dams, environmental law—downstream pollution, acid rain and so on) Guarantee of a republican form of government

Protection of each state against invasion (attack on one an attack on all) Protection against domestic violence within a state (most often in response to a request by a governor or legislature) Assistance with natural disasters (Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security (Coast Guard), National Guard) Examples of federal intervention into states over objections of governors: (Pullman Strike (1894), Little Rock Crisis (1957), University of Mississippi (1962), University of Alabama(1963)) Denial of powers to the states

In the Constitution:
No coining or printing of money
No levying of tariffs
No keeping of troops in peacetime
No signing of agreements with other nations or states without consent of Congress In Constitutional Amendments:
Thirteenth Amendment (1865)—no slavery
Fourteenth Amendment (1868)—no depriving of life, liberty, or property without due process of law/equal protection of the laws Fifteenth Amendment (1870)—no denial of the right to vote based on race Nineteenth Amendment (1920)—no denial of right to vote based on gender Twenty-sixth Amendment (1971)—no denial of the right to vote for citizens eighteen years of age and older Powers of the states—no enumerated powers in the Constitution, but basis in the Tenth Amendment Major responsibilities of the states:

Education laws
Marriage laws
Voting and election laws
Property laws
Public safety laws
Welfare of citizens
Regulation of intrastate trade and business
Establishment of local units of government
Collection of state taxes
Relations among the states—required by Article 4:
Full faith and credit
Privileges and immunities
Extradition
Drafting of interstate compacts:
Increase in recent years with regional problems and urban sprawl Acid rain
Nuclear waste sites (Yucca Mountain)
Concurrent (shared) POWERS of the national and state governments: Collection of taxes
Law & law enforcement (making and enforcing of laws
Borrowing and spending money
Regulation of commerce—control of intrastate by state governments, interstate and foreign by the national government...
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