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Chapter 9 A More Perfect Union

9.1 Introduction
The Constitution is divided into parts called articles. Each article is divided into sections. Why is the Constitution known as a living document? Because it is stable, yet it changes with the times.

9.2 Whats The Preamble?


The Preamble is the first paragraph of the document; it states the goals of the Constitution. What do the words We the people imply? Popular sovereignty; that the authority of the government comes from the people. Goals: 1. Justice (law), 2. domestic tranquility, (peace) 3. common defense, (army) 4. general welfare (economy), 5. liberty (freedom)

9.3 The Legislative Branch Makes the Laws


How is Congress Structured? Congress is bicameral, meaning it is made up of two houses: the House of Reps. and the Senate. Senators must be at least 30 years old and serve 6 year terms. Members of the house must be at least 25 and serve 2 year terms

How Does Congress Pass Laws?


A proposed law is called a bill, in which any member of either house can submit. Majority in one house must vote in favor of it, then it is sent to the other house and voted on. What happens next? If both houses approve, it is then sent to the president to sign. When president signs, the bill becomes law. Only the House of Reps can propose new taxes. What can the president do if he doesnt like the bill? Pres. can veto (reject) a bill, but Congress can override the veto with 2/3 vote.

What Are the Powers of Congress?


1. Spend money raised through taxes. 2. Raise an army and a navy. 3. Declare war. 4. Pay government debts (Borrow $). 5. Grant citizenship. Elastic Clause: gives Congress the power to make laws that are necessary for it to do its jobgives Congress flexibility.

The Powers of Congress

9.4 Executive Branch Carries Out the Laws



How is the President Elected? President is elected by a group of electors. How many electors for each state? Each state has as many electors as it has reps. and senators. New president must take the Oath of Office (a solemn promise to defend the Constitution). President must be 35 years old and a natural-born citizen.

What are the Powers of the President?


President is commander in chief of military. (With consent of Senate) make treaties. Nominate ambassadors (official reps.) and Supreme Court justices. Grant pardons; excuse people convicted of violating federal laws. Heads of the executive departments are members of the presidents cabinet.

Executive Departments

How is the President Removed?


President can be impeached (formally accused) if he is suspected of crimes related to his duties. The House of Reps. votes to impeach. The Senate puts the president on trial, who also serve as the jury. If found guilty, he will be removed from office.

9.5 The Judicial Branch Interprets The Laws


The judicial branch is the system of federal courts and judges that are supposed to protect the Constitution. They resolve disputes involving national laws, the federal government, or the states. What Is the Federal Court System? Two main sets of lower courts: district and appellate. Most fed. cases originally heard in district courts. What if you dont think a decision was fair? Appeals are heard in appellate courts who determine if the original trial was fair.

What are the Powers of the Supreme Court?


Supreme Court has final decision. Currently made up of 9 members called justices that serve a lifetime term. How do Justices make a decision? Justices debate amongst themselves and vote on a decision. Judicial Review: Supreme Court decides if legislative and executive decisions conflict with the Constitution.