|The United States Constitution:
A. Summarize the purpose of each of the articles in one or two sentences each.
Article I; Article II; Article III; Article IV; Article V; Article VI; Article VII
Article I: Powers and Limitations of the Legislative Branch, requirements, elections and meetings, proceedings, compensation
Article II: Powers and Limitations of the Executive Branch; term, election, qualifications, compensation, oath of office, powers/duties, and impeachment
Article III: Powers and limitations of the Judicial Branch: courts, terms of office, jurisdiction, and treason
Article IV: Relations among states, Full Faith and Credit (States must respect and recognize laws and judgments passed in other states), privileges and immunities of citizens, new states and territories, and protection afforded to states by the nation
Article V: Provisions for amendments
Article VI: Validity of debts, Supremacy Clause, and Oaths of office
Article VII: Ratification of the Constitution
B. Answer the following questions as they relate to the Constitution.
1. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for members of the House of Representatives?
(25 years of age, legal citizen 7 years, and reside in the state they represent)
2. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for members of the Senate?
(30 years of age, legal citizen 9 years, and reside in the state they represent)
3. What eligibility requirements does the Constitution establish for the President?
(35 years of age, natural born citizen, and reside in the US 14 years)
4. The powers of the Constitution that are specifically granted to the branches of government or to office holders are call expressed powers.
a. Identify two expressed powers of the President.
Commander in Chief, Executive Powers, Judicial Powers, legislative powers,
b. What are the expressed powers of the Vice President?
President of the Senate, call for electoral vote and assume presidency in case of
death, resignation, or impeachment
c. Identify two expressed powers of the HoR.
Begin impeachment proceedings, initiate revenue bills, choose president if no
Majority met in electoral college
d. Identify two expressed powers of the Senate
Hold impeachment trials, approve treaties and high officials, select vice president
if no majority met in electoral college
5. According to the principal of checks and balances, each branch of government must have some method of control over the other branches. Look at the first three articles of the Constitution and identify one of each type of checks and balances. Indicate where each power is found in the Constitution.
a. A power that the executive branch has over the legislative branch: Can propose laws,
veto/approve laws, call special sessions of Congress
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution?
b. A power that the executive branch has over the judicial branch: nominate supreme
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution?
c. A power that the legislative branch has over the executive branch: Override vetoes
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution? Article I, Section 7, Clause 3
d. A power that the legislative branch has over the judicial branch: Approve/Impeach
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution? Article I, Sec. 3 Cl 6
e. A power that the judicial branch has over the executive branch: appointed for life
terms, no longer under president control
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution? Article III, Sec. 1
f. A power that the judicial branch has over the legislative branch: Judge Legislative Acts
This power is found in what article/section of the Constitution? None, Marbury v
6. According to Article I of the Constitution, who has the power to declare war?
7. What power does the Constitution give the President in the area of the military?
Head of the military as Commander in Chief
8. What conflict arises due to the separation of powers that you have listed in answers #6 & #7?
The Commander in Chief must ask Congress in order to go to war….checks and
9. The Constitution requires a simple majority for some actions in Congress and a super majority for others. A simple majority means more than half, while a super majority requirements can involve a 2/3 majority or a 3/4 majority. Most elections in the United States require a plurality, or the most votes, but not necessarily a majority.
a. What bodies have the power to override a Presidential veto? Congress
b. What margin is required to override a presidential veto? 2/3 of both houses (369) in the
House and (67) in the Senate
c. Where in the Constitution is the veto power described? Article I, Section 7, Clause 3
10. a. What body has the power to ratify treaties? Senate
b. What margin is required to ratify treaties? 2/3 vote
c. Where in the Constitution is the ratification power described? Article II, Section 2,
11. To impeach means “to bring charges against” or “to indict”.
a. What body has the power to impeach the President? House of Representatives
b. What is the margin required to impeach the President? Simple majority
c. Where in the Constitution is the power to impeach the President described? Article I,
Section 2, Clause 5
12. a. What body has the power to convict the president of charges brought against him in an impeachment process and thereby remove him from office? Senate
b. What margin is required to convict and remove the President? 2/3
c. Where in the Constitution can the removal of a President be found? Article I, Section
3, Clause 6&7
13. a. What body has the power to accept or reject a president’s nominations to the Supreme
b. What margin is required to elevate a President’s nominee to a seat on the Supreme
Court? Simple majority
c. Where in the Constitution are judicial nominations described? Article II, Section 2,
14. a. If no candidate for the Presidency wins a simple majority of the total number of electoral votes, what body has the power to choose the President? House of Representatives
b. What margin is required to choose the President? Simple majority
c. Where in the Constitution is the Electoral College described? Article II, Section1,
Clause 3 and Amendment XII -- (Hint there are two parts)
15. The Constitution specifies a 3/4 majority for just one process, what? Ratification of
16. See Article VI. Explain the Supremacy Clause in your own words. Federal laws take
precedence over state laws unless it is a reserved power of the states.
17. What are the two ways that amendments to the Constitution can be proposed? 2/3 of
Congress, or State legislatures propose a convention to amend Constitution
18. What are the two ways that amendments to the Constitution can be ratified? ¾ of states
legislatures or conventions approve. (only 21st amendment was ratified through convention)
19. Which Amendment(s) of the Constitution protect(s) the rights of women? 19th
20. Which Amendment(s) of the Constitution protect(s) the rights of African Americans? 13th -15th and 24th
21. How were United States Senators chosen before the 17th Amendment? By state legislators
22. The 25th Amendment describes the sequence of events that would install the Vice President as acting President against the will of the President. Outline that sequence of events.
Step 1: If Vice-President and majority of Cabinet believe the President is unable to fulfill duties then they can submit in writing to Speaker of House and Senate Pro Temp the reason and VP assumes presidential duties.
Step 2: President then can submit in writing to Speaker of the House and Senate Pro-Temp his believe that he can perform duties and resumes duties of office.
Step 3: If VP and Cabinet belief he is still unable to fulfill duties then they have four days to submit reasons to Speaker and Pres. Pro Temp for final decision.
Step 4: Congress must meet with 48 hours if not in session and decide presidency. They have 21 days from first meeting to determine whether the president can resume duties by 2/3 plurality vote of both houses. If plurality not met then president resumes office. If plurality met then VP remains as president.
23. How many times is the word PRIVACY mentioned in the Constitution (Articles and Amendments)? None
24. Which Amendment(s) take away any rights of the people?
13th amendment: takes away right to own slaves
16th amendment: takes away people’s right to apportionment of income
18th amendment-prohibits sale, distribution, consumption of alcoholic beverages, but was
repealed by the 21st amendment.
22nd amendment: takes away right to run for more than two terms of office