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Article One of the Constitution
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Article One of the Constitution

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  • 1. ARTICLE ONE Requirements, Duties, and Characteristics of the Legislative Branch.
  • 2. Bicameral Legislature Article 1, Section 1: …which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.
    • Our Congress is split in two houses:
      • The House of Representatives is determined on a State’s Population ( proportional representation) .
      • Each state sends 2 Senators to the other part of congress, the Senate ( equal representation ).
    • The Senate is 100 people, can’t change without adding/subtracting states.
    • The House is 435 people, but is divided differently every 10 years to reflect the latest census/population figures.
  • 3. What is Fair? How should representing the states balance the big and the small? (Continuation of our “We the People” lessons) NJ Plan: Equal Representation Pro: all have equal say. Con: people’s votes aren’t equal. VA Plan : Proportional Representation Pro: people’s votes are now weighted evenly. Con: small states have little say vs Great Compromise: Create a legislature with 2 houses, balance responsibilities between the two, and create a more perfect union of big and small.
  • 4.
    • A balance is created between the big and the small states.
    • In 200o, Bush won more states than Gore, but Gore won more people.
    • Ideally, this example represents the idea of both plans.
  • 5. A balance in population is a little more clear here. This map shrinks/expands each state based on population.
  • 6. Characteristics of the 2 Houses Article 1, Section 2 (Clauses 1 & 2); Section 3 (Clauses 1,2 &3) All Reps/Senators are elected by direct election – the people vote directly for them. Senate House of Representatives 6 Years Length of Term 2 Years 30 Years Old Age Minimum 25 Years Old Live anywhere in state Residency Requirement Live in district 9 year US citizen Citizenship Requirement 7 year US citizen 100 Total # 435 2 From IL 19 New Jersey (NJ) Plan – favors small states More Like: Virginia (VA) Plan – favors big states
  • 7. Our Congress People Are:
    • Representative Judy Biggert (R) – 13 th District
      • Serving in her 10 th year (5 terms ) * up for reelection in ’08*
      • Senator Dick Durbin (D)
          • Serving in his 12 th year (2 terms) * up for reelection in ’08*
    • Senator Barack Obama (D)
      • Serving in his 4 th year (1 term) *doing something election related…*
  • 8. Leadership of the House Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5: The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers
    • Speaker of the House is voted on by the Representatives.
      • Currently Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
      • Considered to be the “most powerful person in the US,” as s/he controls which bills get voted on and when.
    • Republicans and Democrats also elect leaders to represent their causes, mainly the Minority Leader .
    • Whips : both parties have them – responsible for getting people “on board” with votes.
  • 9. Leadership of the Senate Article 1, Section 3, Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
    • The Vice President “leads” the Senate as the President of the Senate.
      • The Vice President only votes to break ties.
      • The VP does not run day-to-day business
      • Acts as a “presence” to remind the Senate of the President’s wishes and power.
    • The Senators also elect the the president pro tempore . (Robert Byrd of D – WV)
      • Only formally takes charge when the VP cannot.
      • Usually the oldest person in the Senate (Byrd is 81).
    Article 1, Section 3, Clause 5: The Senate shall choose their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of the President of the United States.
  • 10. Impeachment Process Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5; Section 3, Clauses 6 & 7
  • 11. Other Requirements and Things Article 1, Sections 4, 5, & 6
    • Since 1872, Congress requires all states to hold elections for Senators and Reps on the same day.
    • Each house sets quorum :
      • Senate/House cannot vote with a minimum number of Senators/Representatives present (51 in Senate, 218 in House)
    • Rules are set (and are very long and detailed).
    • Congressional Record – all votes, speeches and actions are recorded everyday and available online.
    • $$$ - All make $170 k, with leadership making more.
    • Cannot be arrested or sued ( immunity ) for something they say during debate, unless it is a criminal act.
    • Cannot hold another government job while serving in Congress.
  • 12. Congress’ Primary Job: Make Laws Article 1, Section 7: Law Making Process
    • Vesting clause : all the government’s power to write laws lies in the legislative branch. Nowhere else.
    • We will do an activity later called “How a Bill Becomes a Law” (HABBAL) to further explain this.
  • 13. Enumerated powers of Congress Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 1-18: Congress shall have the power…
    • Collect Taxes for the common defense and general welfare
      • Taxes must be the same in all parts of the country.
      • Also gives Congress power to spend money like Paige at the mall!
    • Borrow money through bonds bought by Americans.
    • Establish laws on Naturalization :
      • The process by which an immigrant becomes an American citizen.
    • Regulate all trade (between states or countries).
  • 14. Enumerated powers of Congress Cont… Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 1-18: Congress shall have the power…
    • Coin Money!
      • Determine the value of each piece.
      • Also regulates weights and measures.
    • Punish counterfeiting.
    • Establish Post Offices, delivery of mail.
    • Develop a system of patents and copyrights.
    • Establish courts.
      • Congress determines the number of courts and judges at each inferior, or lower court (as in lower than the Supreme Court).
  • 15. Enumerated powers of Congress Cont… Article 1, Section 8, Clauses 1-18: Congress shall have the power…
    • Military Powers:
      • Declare War : The President may NOT do this!
      • Create an Army, Navy.
      • Make rules and raise/spend money for it.
      • Call for the militia (or National Guard) to defend nation.
    • Elastic Clause – Congress’ greatest power!
      • “ make all laws necessary and proper.”
      • Congress can make laws it feels are needed.
        • Also called the “general welfare” and “necessary and proper” clause.
  • 16. Congress is May Not : Article 1, Section 9: Powers denied to the Federal government.
    • Suspend Habeas Corpus
      • Remember what the means?
    • Create Ex post facto laws
      • EPF laws are created to punish something LEGAL by making a new law to make that act ILLEGAL. You cannot be arrested for actions in the past.
    • Create a Royalty
    • Tax Exports
    • Spend money without passing a law first
    • Pass bills of attainder
      • A legislative act declaring a person guilty with no trial.

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