CONSTITUTION and LIMITED GOVERNMENT
- The U.S.
Constitution is based on four major constitutional
- CHECKS AND
How does the
Constitution treat freedom, order and
freedom and order
of the Constitution, 7 Articles
- Article I
-- legislative power.
- Article II
-- qualifications for president, election, duties,
III -- Supreme Court
of remaining 4 articles
Full faith and credit
National government to protect states
- V. The
- VI. The
supremacy clause and oaths of office
Which model of
democracy best fits the Constitution?
framers succeeded in creating a republic, a government
resting on majority consent; they did not intend to
create a majoritarian democracy.
Allen Smith, The Spirit of American Government
(1907): "The framers of the American
Constitution, however, succeeded in erecting
barriers which democracy has found it more
difficult to overcome. For more than a century the
constitutional bulwarks which they raised against
the rule of the numerical majority have obstructed
and retarded the progress of the democratic movement."
and limits on government
doesn't tolerate limits
government," embraces BOTH the national and state
- The basis
for allocation of powers between nation and state was
established in the Constitution.
a stronger national government
to preserve the role of the
National government lacks "police powers" over
- Section 8
of Article I
the power of Congress, in 17 clauses, e.g.,
and collect taxes
18th allows Congress "To make all laws which are
necessary and proper for carrying into execution the
the "necessary and proper"
the "elastic" clause
X: powers reserved to the states
police powers: The role of the Courts
- Heart of
Atlanta Motel v. US (1964)
Civil Rights Act barred discrimination in places of
- In 1883
the Court had struck down a similar law on the ground
that private acts of discrimination could not be
forbidden by the national
1964, the Court found ample power in the Congress'
power to regulate interstate commerce.
Voting Rights Act
I Section 2 gives states the power to specify voting
15th Amendment (1870) provides that no person shall be
denied the right to vote on account of race, color, or
previous condition of servitude.
Voting Rights Act sent registrars to southern counties
with low black registration.
balance of power in the federal system -- Data from
Gallup Survey: "Which do you favor, concentration of
power in the federal governments or in the state
Roper Survey: "Whiich do you think is the most honest
and efficient in performing its own special
- 17 -
- 12 -
Gallup Survey: "Do you think there is too much power
in the hands of the national government?"
Federal government has too much power
- 35 -
Has right amount
- 31 -
Should use its power more
Time/CNN Survey "Do you favor or oppose having the
states take over more responsibilities now performed
by the federal government?"