Civics Lecture

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Published on December 31, 2007

Author: Techy_Guy

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U.S. Political Culture, U.S. Political Institutions September 14, 2007 :  U.S. Political Culture, U.S. Political Institutions September 14, 2007 The Pledge:  The Pledge Who is this?:  Who is this? Tyranny and Democracy were thought to be undesirable extremes:  Tyranny and Democracy were thought to be undesirable extremes King George III:  King George III George Washington:  George Washington Colonial Life:  Colonial Life Under British control for 100+ years Property, free religion & other rights Had about 4 million non-natives We were “born Lockean” Truth:  Truth Government Aristocracies Religious Institutions The People Slide9:  Truth Government Aristocracies Religious Institutions “We” The People Rugged Individualism: “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.” :  Rugged Individualism: “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.” Pew Global Attitudes Survey, 44 nations, 2002. Nigeria: 33% “completely agree” Nigeria: 32% “mostly or completely disagree.” Nigeria: ratio is 32/33 or 0.96 “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.”:  “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.” South Africa 24% disagree with the statement The ratio is 24/38, or 0.63 So the general sense in South Africa is – failure is someone else’s fault. “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.”:  “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.” India, 14% disagree, ratio 0.39 Japan, 52% disagree, ratio 3.47 Egypt, 42% disagree, ratio 2.00 Jordan, 39% disagree, ratio 2.60 Turkey, 17% disagree, ratio 0.37 Uzbekistan, 36% disagree, ratio 1.80 China, 25% disagree, ratio 1.74 “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.”:  “Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside of your control.” Great Britain, 48% disagree, ratio 3.43 France, 44% disagree, ratio 2.32 Germany, 31% disagree, ratio 1.35 Poland, 29% disagree, ratio 1.45 Ukraine, 35% disagree, ratio 1.30 Russia, 36% disagree, ratio 2.25 United States, 65% disagree, ratio 7.22 What’s the proper role of the state?:  What’s the proper role of the state? “It is the responsibility of the (state or government) to take care of very poor people who can’t take care of themselves.” % Completely Agree…. Turkey, 73% Uzbekistan, 70% India 74% “It is the responsibility of the (state or government) to take care of very poor people who can’t take care of themselves.”:  “It is the responsibility of the (state or government) to take care of very poor people who can’t take care of themselves.” % completely agree Great Britain, 59% Germany, 45% Poland, 59% Ukraine, 57% Russia, 70% United States, 29% It’s a Small Welfare State After All:  It’s a Small Welfare State After All Low spending… Low taxes… Colonial Life:  Colonial Life Was there an ethos of the “frontier” Governments most closely related to English Shires The Articles of Confederation:  The Articles of Confederation Shared beliefs: Government in the hands of people Strong legislature Articles of Confederation: State representation No executive Weak national gov (1781-1787) Constitution:  Constitution Constitutional Design:  Constitutional Design Article I: Legislative Article II: Executive Article III: Judicial 6 other articles Only 8,000 words! Checks & Balances (Separation of Powers):  Checks & Balances (Separation of Powers) Federalism in the US:  · 1 Federal Government · 50 States & the District of Colombia · Puerto Rico & 4 Insular Areas · 561 Federally-Recognized Indian Tribes · 3034 County Governments · 13,506 School Districts · 16,504 Townships and Towns · 19,429 Municipal Governments · 35,052 “Special Districts” Federalism in the US Slide23:  Anyone care to guess how many people hold elected office in the United States? Ohio Congressional Districts:  Ohio Congressional Districts Changing Locations of “Government”:  Changing Locations of “Government” 1807 1907 2007 Why Two Parties?:  Why Two Parties? U.S. Voter Turnout is Low:  U.S. Voter Turnout is Low Minor Parties in U.S. History:  Minor Parties in U.S. History Denmark -- Proportional Representation:  Denmark -- Proportional Representation Ok, time for a break:  Ok, time for a break When we come back…. Quickly…. Congress The Executive Branch The Courts Slide37:  Two Brains The Basics:  The Basics House 435 Members 2 Year Terms Committee Dominant Majority Party Dominant 110th Congress Lots of Staff Senate 100 Members 6 Year Terms Committees Important Majority Party Important 110th Congress Even More Staff Representation:  Representation Representatives far more independent of party influence in the U.S. Delegate v. Trustee States usually more heterogeneous than districts Representation Slide41:  How A bill Becomes a Law…. http://youtube.com/watch?v=mEJL2Uuv-oQ http://youtube.com/watch?v=3xPXOr40XhI How a Bill Becomes a Law:  Introduction & Referral Committee Hearings Committee Markups Committee Reports Schedule Floor Action (Rules, UCRs) Floor Votes Conference Committee Conference Report & Floor Vote Presidential Signature (or Veto) How a Bill Becomes a Law Committees:  Committees Chairs based on committee seniority. Membership is party proportional. Staff dominated by majority party Committee Hierarchy Exclusive Non-Exclusive Appropriations vs. Authorizing The 2.6 Trillion Dollar Budget:  The 2.6 Trillion Dollar Budget The Basics:  The Basics Presidents elected to 4 year terms. May serve no more than 2 terms. (22nd Amendment) Must be a U.S. born citizen, at least 35 years old, who has lived in the U.S. for a minimum of 14 years. Formal Presidential Powers:  Formal Presidential Powers Administrative head of government Commander-in-Chief of military Veto (or sign) legislation Nominate judges, cabinet secretaries Treaties, pardons, convene Congress Formal Presidential Powers Limits on Presidential Power:  May not introduce legislation (cf. prime minister) May not declare war Legislative oversight Judicial review Impeachment possible Must use “bully pulpit” and persuasion “Go public” Limits on Presidential Power Slide51:  1. Chief of State (ceremonial) 2. Chief Legislator (State of the Union) 3. Chief Executive 4. Opinion Leader (set national priorities) 5. Chief Diplomat 6. Commander in Chief 7. Party Leader Presidential Roles Review of Various Powers:  Congress (Article 1, Section 8, “elastic clause.” States (10th Amendment -- reserves powers to the states) President (Inherent Powers -- largely through Congressional delegation of powers.) Review of Various Powers Presidency is Many People:  Presidency is Many People EOP: OMB, NSC, CEA, “czars,” VP, and WHO WHO: close advisors, no Senate approval Civilian Employees in Cabinet Departments:  Civilian Employees in Cabinet Departments Agriculture 99,045 Commerce 40,166 Defense 666,923 Education 4,343 Energy 14,850 Health and Human Services 63,627 Homeland Security 165,435 Housing and Urban Development 9,606 Interior 69,383 Justice 104,958 Labor 15,275 State 9,847 Transportation 53,420 Treasury 119,474 Veterans Affairs 235,735 The Basics:  The Basics Article 3 creates the Supreme Court, but specifics of design were left to Congress 9 Justices on the Supreme Court, and they may serve for life State & Federal Courts are Separate Civil and Criminal treated differently 300,000 federal cases filed annually, 80% are civil. Current Justices:  Current Justices Breyer, Thomas, Ginsburg, Alito Kennedy, Stevens, Roberts, Scalia, Souter Qualifications:  Qualifications Federal judges serve for life (“good behavior”) Chosen by president with “advice and consent” of the Senate No age limits or other requirements Size of Court? age? citizenship? education? Powers:  Powers Original jurisdiction: ambassadors, U.S. is a party, where states are the parties Appellate jurisdiction: all other cases (99%) (court of last resort, final interpreter) Judicial review? Lower courts to be created by Congress Judicial Review:  Greatest Supreme Court power not in Constitution! Established by Marbury v. Madison (1803) Judicial Review has come to encompass: Power to declare national, state and local Laws invalid if they violate the Constitution Supremacy of federal laws or treaties Role of Supreme Court as final authority on the meaning of the Constitution Judicial Review Structure of Federal Judiciary:  Structure of Federal Judiciary Supreme Court 9 Justices Mostly appellate Hears about 100 out of 5,500 requests U.S. Courts of Appeals 13 districts with 170 judges 3-judge panels hear appeals 33,000 cases per year U.S. District Courts 94 district courts with 650 judges Trial courts with original jurisdiction 225, 000 cases per year State courts State Courts:  State Courts Each state has its own court system States handle 100 million cases per year 98% of criminal cases handled by states Types of Cases Criminal = charged by gov for breaking law Civil = dispute between parties How the “Constitution” Changes:  How the “Constitution” Changes Amendments (27 of them) Amendment is proposed by a vote of at least 2/3rds of both houses of Congress Amendment is ratified by the legislatures of at least 3/4ths of the states (process for 26 of 27 amendments) Judicial reinterpretations Stare Decisis Judge-Made Law:  Judge-Made Law We are under a Constitution, but the Constitution is what the judges say it is, and the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and our property under the Constitution. Chief Justice Hughes, 1907 Slide67:  U.S. Political Culture, U.S. Political Institutions September 14, 2007

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