Who/What Branch/Level Constitutional Issue(s)



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Historical Examples of Government Action

Who/What

Branch/Level

Constitutional Issue(s)

Description

Articles of Confederation

Legislative

Federalism & States’ Rights

Weak central government left most power in the hands of the states. This made it ineffective. The central gov. couldn’t even tax. This is why it had to be replaced by the Constitution.

George Washington

 


Executive

Unwritten Constitution

 

Foreign Policy



Washington set several precedents including the 2 term limit, the use of the military to put down an internal rebellion, isolationism/neutrality, etc.

John Marshall

Judicial

Judicial Review

 

Elastic Clause



Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review, which gave the Supreme Court the power to rule laws or executive actions unconstitutional.

McCulloch v. Maryland allowed the use of the elastic clause “necessary & proper” to create a national bank.



Alexander Hamilton

(Sec. of Treasury)



National vs. States

Loose Constructionism vs. Strict Constructionism

Loose Constructionists like Hamilton believed the federal government should have broad powers such as the power to create a national bank. These powers came from the elastic clause. Strict constructionists like Jefferson want to see most power reserved for the states.

Congress

 


Legislative

Slavery

States’ Rights



MO Compromise of 1820

Kansas-Nebraska Act

Compromise of 1850


Andrew Jackson vs. Supreme Court

Executive vs. Judicial

Federalism

Checks & Balances



Worcestor v. Georgia & Cherokee Nation v. Georgia... The Supreme Court made a ruling & President Jackson refused to enforce it.

Dred Scott v. Sanford

Judicial

Slavery, property

Slaves considered property, not people. Blacks not citizens, could not sue in the courts. Basically said the MO Compromise was unconstitutional.

Abraham Lincoln

National Government vs. States

Slavery, Federalism, states’ rights

 


Lincoln did not believe states had the right to secede from the Union. He used force to put down the rebellion of the southern states.

Radical Republicans vs. Andrew Johnson

Legislative Branch vs. Executive Branch

Checks & Balances

Federalism



Johnson’s vetoes:

Reconstruction Acts:

Impeachment:


Tilden v. Hayes

Legislative and Executive Branches

Selection of President in Ties

Compromise of 1877

 


Woodrow Wilson vs. Congress

Executive vs. States

Foreign Policy: isolationism

Ratification of Treaty of Versailles

 

 



FDR

Executive

 

National vs. States



Federalism

 

Checks on Judicial Branch



Schecter Poultry Corp. v. U.S.

 

Court Packing:



Wilson, FDR, Nixon,

 

 



Executive/Legislative &. Judicial

 


Civil Liberties vs. National Security

Schenk v. U.S.

Korematsu v. U.S.

NY Times v. U.S.


Warren Court

 

 



Judicial

Rights of the Accused

Gideon v. Wainwright

Miranda v. Arizona

Mapp v. Ohio


Eisenhower, Kennedy & LBJ

National vs. States

14th Amendment vs. states’ rights

 


Enforcement of Brown v. BOED:

 

Civil Rights Act of 1964:



Voting Rights Act of 1965

Nixon

Legislative vs. Executive

Powers of President

Nixon v. U.S.

 

War Powers Act



Ronald Reagan

National & States

Federalism

New Federalism... the federal gov. should be smaller and more power should be returned to the states.

Bill Clinton

Legislative vs. Executive

Powers of President

Impeachment

 

 



George W. Bush

vs. Al Gore



Executive & Judicial

Selection of President

Federalism



Bush v. Gore

 

 



 


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