Constitution Analysis – Due Monday, September 7



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Constitution Analysis – Due Monday, September 7

Part A: The Constitution’s Basic Provisions

  1. Read each article (I-VII) of the Constitution. Summarize the purpose of each article in one to two sentences.

  2. List Articles I-III in order of largest to smallest. What conclusion can be made on which branch the Founding Fathers thought was to have the most and least influence.

  3. In the Constitution of 1787 – the unamended document – how many times do the words slave and slavery appear?

  4. In the Constitution and its amendments, how many times is gender referenced? Where?

  5. Define enumerated powers.

    1. Identify one enumerated power of the president. (Article II, Section 2)

    2. Identify one enumerated power of the vice president. (Article I, Section 3)

    3. Identify one enumerated power of Congress. (Article I, Section 8)

  6. Election of senators

    1. How were U.S. senators chosen before the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913? (Article 1, Section 3)

    2. How have U.S. senators been chosen since? (17th Amendment)

  7. Selection of Supreme Court Justices:

    1. Who appoints a Supreme Court Justice? (Article II, Section 2)

    2. Who confirms a Supreme Court Justice? (be specific!) (Article II, Section 2)

  8. Prohibited powers

    1. Identify one power the Constitution prohibits to Congress. (Article I, Section 9)

    2. Identify one power the Constitution prohibits to the states. (Article I, Section 10)

  9. Checks and balances

    1. Identify a power that the executive branch holds over the legislative branch. (Article I, Section 7)

    2. Identify a power that the executive branch holds over the judicial branch. (Article II, Section 2)

    3. Identify a power that the legislative branch holds over the executive branch. (Article I, Section 3)

    4. Identify a power that the legislative branch holds over the judicial branch. (Article I, Section 8)

  10. Amendment process

    1. What are two ways that amendments to the Constitution can be proposed? (Article V)

    2. What are two ways that amendments to the Constitution can be ratified? (Article V)

    3. Article V of the Constitution of 1787 singles out two matters that are beyond the reach of the amendment process. What are they? (Article V)

  11. Identify and state the purpose of amendments that:

    1. extended voting rights.

    2. prohibited certain practices by the states.

    3. Were written directly after the Civil War (Reconstruction Amendments).

  12. Elastic clause

    1. Which article and section is known as the “elastic clause”?

    2. How does this affect the powers of Congress, and how is this related to the traditional debate between strict constructionism (original intent) and loose constructionism (living constitution)?

Part B: Majority actions by Congress

  1. What margin is required to:

    1. override a presidential veto?

    2. ratify treaties?

    3. impeach a president?

    4. convict and remove a president?

    5. approve a presidential nominee to the Supreme Court?

    6. choose a president if neither candidate wins a simple majority of electoral votes?



Modified from Critical Thinking & American Government, Kent M. Brudney and Mark E. Weber, 2007



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