The Featured Topics and Cases page highlights recent U. Supreme Court decisions that demonstrate pivotal interpretations of the Constitution's provisions. Circulating Books - 2nd Floor Documents illustrative of the formation of the union of the American states by Library of Congress. Legislative Reference Service. Call Number: JK11 Cosntitutional history of the United States.
The Federalist, a commentary on the Constitution of the United States; being a collection of essays written in support of the Constitution agreed upon September 17, , by the Federal convention by Hamilton, Alexander Call Number: JK Add to Wishlist. USD Buy Online, Pick up in Store is currently unavailable, but this item may be available for in-store purchase. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Usually ships within 1 week. Overview In one volume, Democracy, Liberty, and Property provides an overview of the state constitutional conventions held in the s.
Please note: This title is available as an ebook for purchase on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and iTunes. Product Details Table of Contents. Elections for representatives are held in every even-numbered year, and on Election Day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
By law, Representatives must be elected from single-member districts by plurality voting. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article I of the U. Each state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. Senators serve staggered six-year terms. Capitol : This is an image of the western front of the United States Capitol. The Neoclassical style building is located in Washington, D. The Capitol was designated a National Historic Landmark in The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification.
The Senate also confirms appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House.
Senators are regarded as more prominent political figures than members of the House of Representatives because there are fewer of them, and because they serve for longer terms, usually represent larger constituencies. The executive power in the government is vested in the President and Vice-President of the United States, the Cabinet and federal agencies.
The executive power in the federal government is vested in the President of the United States, although power is often delegated to the Cabinet members and other officials. The President and the Vice President are elected every four years; they are elected as running mates by the Electoral College. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia, is allocated a number of seats in the Electoral College based on its representation in both houses of Congress.
The President is limited to a maximum of two four-year terms. If the President has already served two years or more of a term to which some other person was elected, he may only serve one more additional four-year term. The President is both the head of state and government, as well as the military commander-in-chief and chief diplomat. The people indirectly elect the President to a four-year term through the Electoral College; the president is one of only two nationally elected federal officers.
The Twenty-second Amendment, adopted in , prohibits anyone from being elected to the presidency for a third full term. In all, 43 individuals have served 55 four-year terms. In the United States, a person must be at least 35 to be President or Vice President, 30 to be a Senator, or 25 to be a Representative, as specified in the U. Most states in the U.
Some states have a minimum age requirement to hold any elected office usually 21 or Most states will not allow ballot access to people who do not meet the age requirement of the office they are running for. Eligibility Criteria. A president must:. The vice president is the second-highest ranked executive official of the government.
As first in the line of presidential succession in the U. Transitions of this type have happened nine times in U. By virtue of this role, he or she is the head of the Senate. In that capacity, the Vice President is allowed to vote in the Senate, but only when necessary to break a tie vote. The current Vice President is Joseph Biden. The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, who are generally the heads of the federal executive departments.
All Cabinet officers are nominated by the President and then presented to the Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority. If they are approved, they are sworn in and then begin their duties. Cabinet of the United States. Aside from the Attorney General, and formerly the Postmaster General, they all receive the title of Secretary.
Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President, which means that the President may dismiss them or reappoint them to other posts at will. Organized under the U. Constitution, the Supreme Court and federal courts make up the judiciary branch of the United States. The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary generally does not make law or enforce law, but rather it interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.
The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. The judiciary branch is often tasked with ensuring equal justice under law. It consists of a court of final appeal in addition to lower courts. The United States federal courts make up the judiciary branch of federal government. These courts are organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government. In the United States court system, the Supreme Court is the final authority on the interpretation of the federal Constitution as well as the constitutionality of the various state laws.
In the US federal court system, federal cases are tried in trial courts, known as the US district courts, followed by appellate courts and then the Supreme Court.
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The judicial system begins with a court of first instance, is appealed to an appellate court, and then ends at the court of last resort. The U. Breyer, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, and Associate Justice Elena Kagan. Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law. It also has original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. The Court consists of a chief justice and eight associate justices who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate.
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Once appointed, justices have life tenure unless they resign, retire, or are removed after impeachment. Under the U. Because the Constitution sets no qualifications for service as a justice, a president may nominate anyone to serve, subject to Senate confirmation. Before , the approval process of justices was usually rapid. From the Truman through Nixon administrations, justices were typically approved within one month.
From the Reagan administration through the present, the process has taken much longer. Some believe this is because Congress views justices as playing a more political role than in the past. The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system. A court of appeals decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit, and in some instances from other designated federal courts and administrative agencies. The United States Courts of Appeals are considered among the most powerful and influential courts in the United States.
Because of their ability to set legal precedent in regions that cover millions of people, the United States Courts of Appeals have strong policy influence on U.
There currently are thirteen United States courts of appeals. Circuit are geographically defined. The thirteenth court of appeals is the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has nationwide jurisdiction over certain appeals based on their subject matter. These judges are nominated by the President of the United States, and if confirmed by the United States Senate, have lifetime tenure.
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The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court.
Each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, and many districts have more than one. There is at least one judicial district for each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. There are eighty-nine districts in the fifty states, with a total of ninety-four districts including territories. Federalism in the United States is the evolving relationship between U. Federalism is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head. Federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and state governments, creating what is often called a federation.
Proponents are often called federalists. Federalism around the World : A map showing countries currently organized along federalist principles in green.
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Since the founding of the country, and particularly with the end of the American Civil War, power shifted away from the states and toward the national government. Federalism in the United States : The United States is composed of fifty self-governing states and several territories. Originally, federalism was the most influential political movement arising out of discontent with the Articles of Confederation, which focused on limiting the authority of the federal government.
In , fifty-five delegates met at a Constitutional convention in Philadelphia and generated ideas for a bicameral legislature, balanced representation of small and large states, and checks and balances. Once the convention concluded and released the Constitution for public consumption, the Federalist movement became focused on getting the Constitution ratified.
The most forceful defense of the new Constitution was The Federalist Papers, a compilation of eighty-five anonymous essays published in New York City to convince the people of the state to vote for ratification.
Related Democracy, Liberty, and Property: The State Constitutional Conventions of the 1820s
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