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The Constitution
Summary of the
Constitution


Article I. Legislative Branch
Article II. Executive Branch
Article III. Judicial Branch
Article IV. Relationship between state and federal government.
Article V. Amending the Constitution
Article VI. Federal government has the ultimate authority over all.
Article VII. Ratification of the Constitution.



1st Article - Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch contains the Congress. Its purpose is to make laws. In the Congress, there is the Upper House, or Senate, and the Lower House, or the House of Representatives. There are 100 members in the Senate, two for each state. The House of Representatives has 435 members. The number of members depending on the population of the state.Represenatives also cant be arrested except in case of treason, felony or breach of peace. Congress can't make a bill of attainder or an ex post facto law.
Some of the limits on the legislative branch are they can’t suspend the writ of habeas corpus unless in cases of rebellion or invasion. Congress also can’t grant any title of nobility and nobody holding any office can, without the consent of congress accept any title or office of any kind from any king or foreign state.
The first article also mentions limitations on the states that prevent them from entering in any alliance with a foreign state; grant letters of marquee and reprisal, keeping troops and entering into a war unless being invaded or being in liniment danger.



2nd Article - Executive Branch

The power of the Executive branch is centered on the president. The president has the power to appoint judges and veto laws. The president also serves as the commander in chief of the armed forces. The executive branch is made up of many different agencies and departments. A list can be found here . The second article talks about how a president is elected, this process can be found here



3rd Article - Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch is the branch of government whose job is to interpret laws. There are three main federal court systems. One of which is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court does not operate on one judge, but nine justices appointed by the president. Nine justices are used so that no ties can occur when all people are present. A Chief Justice is appointed by the president as one of the head organizer of the Supreme Court. A justice has a life term, which means that the justice will remain in office till he resigns, dies, or is impeached and found guilty. The Supreme Court accepts only major constitutional cases where two rights collide. The cases ranges from 80-150 per year. Each justice chooses five that he or she would like to see be tried. Then all the other cases are decided yes or no by a majority vote. The Supreme Court plans these cases from July through September, and then tries the cases for one hour maximum from October through March. From March through June, the justices research cases and write opinions, then finally announce their decisions. Then in August, they have a recess and begin planning for the next year.

Other federal courts include the Circuit Courts, found across the country that tries cases where federal laws have been broken; the Court of Appeals, which looks at cases that have been tried previously; and Claims Courts, which deal with money and property disputes.


4th Article - Relations Among the States

The fourth article is an article that says that all states must honor other states rights and laws, however, states do not have to follow each other's criminal code in a court of law. If a criminal flees from the state where he committed a crime, and is found in another state, he must be deported back to the state of the crime for jurisdiction.

New states can be formed by Congress, but no group of states can conjoin to become one. Two examples prove to be interesting in this ruling. West Virginia was admitted into the union in 1863 after Virginia seceded because forty counties remained faithful to the union in that region. Also, Texas was formed by a joint resolution rather than by Congress, and, Texas can subdivide itself into five states if it so chooses.

The United States government promises that each state can have a republic government as well as protection by the national government from invasion and domestic violence.



5th Article - Amending the Constitution

Amending the Constitution is a way to fix flaws that are visible or undescribed in the government. Whenever an amendment should be able to be voted on by the states, it must first pass through two thirds of both houses of congress. If it does pass, in order to be approved, three fourths (38) or the states must be in approval of the amendment. There is no time limit set for a state to approve a proposed amendment. In fact, the 27th Amendment was proposed by James Madison in 1789 along with the other 10 amendments that became the Bill of Rights. It took over 200 years before it was rediscovered by a Texas college student in 1989, and then ratified by the 38th state of Alabama in 1992.



6th Article - General Provisions

The sixth article assures that the new government would assume all financial problems in the country, that all federal laws will take priority over state law, also called the Supremacy Clause, and that all government officials will be sworn in by oath to uphold the Constitution, and that there will be no religious qualifications for holding a government job.



7th Article - Ratification

In order for the Constitution to go into effect, nine of the original thirteen states would have to ratify it. Delaware was the first, and New Hampshire was the ninth, but it wasn't until Virgina and New York ratified the Constitution that it was sure of being in effect.


Electoral College -- Amendment XII

The Electoral College as a special body that would elect the government’s leaders. It is made up of electors who throw in votes to elect the president. They also elect the vice president. Every state has several electors in the Electoral College. Back then, before 1820,state legislatures chose electors in a lot of the states. Now, in our time, the people in the state choose their state’s electors when they vote in the elections. On a date chosen by congress, the electors would throw in their ballots for president and vice president. Usually, electors would vote for two candidates and it did not say whichever one they wanted. The candidate that would get the most votes became president. Whoever got the second amount of votes would become vice president. The Constitutional Convention had many different ways for selecting a president. The first idea they had was to let the Congress choose the president. It did not work because a portion of the people felt that it would leave hard feelings in the Congress. A different portion of the people felt that make political bargaining, corruption, and some interference. The second Idea that they had was to let the State Legislature select the president. This also did not work because they thought that if a president was so just to the State Legislature, they might do something with the Idea of federation. The third idea that they had was to let the popular vote elect the president. This also did not work because no president with a popular majority would govern the whole country. But it could also be that the choice of president would be decided by the largest states with the largest populations. After all their hard work, a “Committee of Eleven” gave an indirect election of president through College of Electors.