AP Constitution Review Guide

ANYTHING from p. 32-45 in your review book is fair game...

But here are some things to focus on:

1.  Preamble* (Memorize this for extra credit!! - EXTRA extra credit if you perform the Schoolhouse Rock version at the end of class...;-))

What is it? Introduction to/ states purpose of the Constitution

What is its purpose?      1) Create a union where states work together; 2) Makelaws/courts that are fair; 3) Keep peace within the country; 4) Keep the country safe from attack; 5) Contribute to security & health of citizens; 6) Make sure citizens remain free 

2.  Article 1: Legislative Branch; (Make  the laws)          

* Made up of: Senate  and House of Representatives         

* Candidates:

+Senate: 30 yrs. old, citizen for 9 yrs., resident  of the state s/he is running in

+Representative:  25 yrs. old, citizen for  7  yrs., resident of the state s/he is running in          

*Powers Denied:

1.  Direct taxes, or head tax (a tax for every single person)

2.  No export  taxes on goods exported from any state          

*Powers Granted:

1.  Power to charge and collect taxes for revenue (money used to pay for gov’t expenses)

2.  Organizes the naturalization process: the process an immigrant goes through to become a citizen                   

3.  Borrowing money on the credit of the U.S.                  

4.  Create lower federal courts                  

5.  Provide patents  and copyrights                  

6.  Declare war                  

7.  Coin money, or print money 

*Term of Office:         

Senators: 6 yrs.                                 Representatives: 2 yrs. 

*Number in office:         

Senators:  2 /state; 100  total            Representatives: based on population; 435 total         

* Both are elected directly by the voters

3.  Article 2: Executive Branch; (Enforces the laws)          

* Made up mainly of President, Vice   President and Cabinet

* Presidential candidates: 35+ yrs. old, natural citizen, U.S. resident for at least 14 yrs.          

*Term of Office:  4  yrs.         

*Limit:  2  terms 

*The president is elected by the electoral college, a group of electors that represent each state.  The number of electors a state has is equal to the number of senators and representatives the state has.  In each state, EXCEPT Maine & Nebraska, the candidate that wins the popular vote wins all of the electoral votes.       

*Amendment 25 :  If a president is unable to continue serving in office for any reason (death, illness, removal, etc.), the following succeed him in order :

1.  VP

2.  Speaker of the House

3.  President Pro- Tempore of the Senate

4.  Secretary of State

5.  Secretary of the Treasury          

* Powers of the President                  

1. Commander-in-Chief of the military                  

2. Makes treaties with consent from the Senate                  

3. Appoints  judges to the Supreme Court          

*Impeachment: removal of federal official from office for conviction of: treason; bribery; high crimes; misdemeanors                  

+House brings charges against the accused

+Senate acts as a judge and jury

+Chief Justice  of the Supreme Court presides over the hearings (if president is being impeached; otherwise VP presides)                            

* VP is also president of the Senate, but only votes if there is a tie    

4.  Article 3: Judicial Branch: (Interprets the laws) 

* Candidates are appointed, not elected

*There is no age requirement, no term limit, no residency requirement and no citizenship requirement                  

* Justices can hold their position for life 

*The Supreme Court can hear both original (new cases) and appellate jurisdiction (appeals from lower courts)*Most are appeals  from lower federal courts & the highest state courts 

5.  Bill of Rights

* 1st ten amendments

* Written by: James Madison

Added to the Constitution in 1791

Purpose:  to clearly specify rights that citizens were  guaranteed 

*1st – Freedom of Speech, Religion, the Press, Assembly, to Petition         

*2nd – Right to Bear Arms: buy, own and use weapons         

*3rd – Quarter Troops: military cannot be housed in a private home

*4th – Search & Search: police must have a warrant to search personal property

*5th – Rights of Accused Persons: cannot be tried twice for the same  crime  (Double  jeopardy)         

*6th – Right to a Speedy, public trial:                  

             1. near where the crime was committed                   

             2. witness to support the accused                  

             3. a defense  attorney         

* 7th – Trial by Jury if being sued for over a certain amount         

*8th – Protects against unfair/excessive punishment          

*9th – Rights  of People: rights not stated cannot be denied         

*10th – Powers of the States & People: powers not given to the US are given to the states or the people 

6.  More Amendments          

Regarding Suffrage:                  

15: Right to Vote – not based on race or previous slavery (servitude)                   

17: Direct election of Senators – how many per state, length of term, vacancies                  

19: Women’s Suffrage – right for women to vote (1920)                  

26: 18-year-old vote: voting age changed from  21  to 18           

Regarding Civil  Rights/Slavery:                  

13: Slavery Abolished                  

14: Civil Rights: Anyone born or naturalized in the U.S. is a citizen & has citizens’ rights that cannot be denied                  

24: Abolition of Poll Taxes: ended a required tax that prevented many African Americans from voting          

Regarding Prohibition                  

18: Prohibition – made the producing, selling, drinking or distributing alcohol illegal                  

21: Repealed prohibition          

*To pass an amendment there are  4  paths:    

***1.  A proposal must be passed by a 2/3 vote from both houses of Congress, then ratified by 3/4  approval by the state legislature

2.  A proposal must be passed by a 2/3 vote from both house of Congress, then ratified by a 3/4  approval at a state convention

3. A proposal must be passed by a 2/3 state legislature at a national convention then ratified by a 3/4  approval of the state legislature

4. A proposal must be passed by a 2/3 state legislature at a national convention, then ratified by a 3/4  approval at a state convention 

***Most used                  

7. Elections:          

Held every 1st Tuesday after the first Monday  in November on even yrs. 

8.  Principles of the Constitution          

* Popular  Sovereignty: Government in which the people rule          

*Federalism: System of gov’t in which state & national govt’s share power           

*Separation of  Power: Branches of the gov’t have different roles (or jobs) No one branch gets all the  power   (Example: Congress makes laws, Executive enforces, Judicial interprets)          

*Checks and Balances: Each branch can check the power of another to make sure that each is being fair and following the Constitution 

9.  Miscellaneous: 

Elastic Clause – allows future generations to expand the meaning of the Constitution and deal with current issues  

Democracy – majority rule; concerned with group wants or needs (the public good).                              

Republic – a gov’t in which the people elect representatives to govern for them; recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals 

Filibuster - a tactic that blocks the passage of a bill by giving speeches    

Census - an official count of members of a population; usually done atregular intervals 

Revenue - income the gov’t collects to cover expenses  

Veto - a vote that blocks a decision; to refuse to sign

* How a Bill becomes a Law http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEJL2Uuv-oQ and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf2q66G3lmM&feature=related