Electing a congress
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Electing a congress






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  • A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial. detainees can seek relief from unlawful imprisonment.
  • Show CNN story called GerryRigged http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/18/politics/gerrymandering/index.html

Electing a congress Electing a congress Presentation Transcript

  • Electing a Congress:Process and History
  • How did this institutioncome to be? - InfluencesO British Parliament O too powerfulO Article of Confederation O our first Constitution – too weakO Shays Rebellion
  • How did this institutioncome to be? - ProposalsO Virginia PlanO New Jersey PlanO Compromise, Compromise, Compromise O Connecticut Plan O 3/5 Compromise
  • The Congress is CreatedO The House of Representatives – “The People’s House”O The Senate
  • History of the House and SenateO Brooks/Sumner
  • Basic Facts on Congress toO 2 Houses (bicameral) start . . .O House of Representatives O Qualifications O 25 years old, citizenship for seven years, residency in state O Size O 435 members (2 year terms) O Number of representatives from a state based on population O Determined by Congress (435 since 1911) O Elections O Directly elected O Smaller districts (than Senate) O Revenue bills (taxes) originate in the House O Terms O Entire body elected every two years O Term limits passed by some states but declared unconstitutional by Supreme Court (1995)
  • Basic Facts on Congress (cont.)O 2 Houses (bicameral)O Senate O Qualifications O 30 years old, citizenship for nine years, residency in state O Size O 100, since smaller less need for strict rules like in House O Elections O Originally indirectly elected O Larger area to represent O Terms O 6 years O Only 1/3 of Senate reelected every two years O No term limits
  • Powers of CongressO Enumerated/Expressed/Delegated Powers O See Article 1, Section 8 O Commerce clause – tested frequently in courts due to broad interpretation by CongressO Implied Powers O Based on elastic clause/necessary and proper clause O Examples of implied powers: paper money, air force, CIA
  • O Institutional Powers O Senate ratifies treaties (2/3 vote) O Senate approves presidential appointments (maj. Vote) O House votes for impeachment (majority vote), Senate tries impeachment (2/3 vote to convict) O House elects President if no electoral majority, Senate elects v.p. O Proposal of constitutional amendments (2/3 vote in both houses) O Can seat, unseat and punish own members (unusual)
  • How does Congress do its work? . . . The Power of CommitteesO Overview O Real work of Congress in committees and subcommittees O Committee Functions O Handle legislation O conduct investigations of executive (as needed) O conduct oversight of executive (on-going) O Committee Leadership O The party in power chairs all committees and subcommittees
  • Obviously this is an important job. . . So how do you get this job?
  • Incumbency Advantage –“The Permanent Congress” O Incumbent O Office holders O Advantages of incumbency O Franking privilege O Staffers O Name recognition O Casework O Money (esp. from PACs) O Pork barrel O Gerrymandering (House)
  • O Gerrymandering O Reapportionment O Census every 10 years determines population and number of seats in a state can change O If number of seats change then district boundaries change = redistricting and is carried out by party in power in state legislature O Gerrymandering = form of redistricting where boundaries are redrawn to favor the party in power O Packing – drawing district lines to concentrate opposing party in a few districts O Cracking – drawing lines to disperse opposing party throughout the state O Effects O Party in power stays in power O Safe seats created for incumbents, makes more difficult for challengers O Strangely shaped districts
  • Illinois 4th Congressional District
  • O Redistricting requirements O Districts must be near equal in population O Baker v. Carr (1962) – established “one man, one vote” to state legislative districts to correct overrepresentation (malapportionment) of rural areas O Wesberry v. Sanders (1964) – applied same principle to U.S. House districts O District lines must be contiguous O Racial gerrymandering is prohibited (Shaw v. Reno, 1993), Race cannot by the primary factor in drawing district lines (Miller v. Johnson, 1995)
  • Washington State Congressional Map (pre-2010 census)
  • Washington State Congressional Map (beginning in 2012)
  • Congressional Races to Watch this YearO Sherrod Brown (Ohio)O Bob Casey (Penn)O Bill Nelson (Florida)O Claire McCaskill (Missouri)O John Kyl (Arizona)O Joe Lieberman (CT)O Olympia Snowe (Maine)O Scott Brown (MA)