Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ch. 2 | federalism & the Texas constitution

federalism: structure of government characterized by the division of powers btwn a national government & associated regional governments
10th amendment: "the powers not delegated by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people"
national supremacy clause: emphasizes that the U.S. constitution & acts of Congress must prevail over state constitutions & laws enacted by state legislatures
delegated powers: (of the national government) listed in the U.S. constitution, article 1, section 8
-regulate interstate & foreign commerce
-borrow & coin money
-establish post offices & post roads
-declare war
-raise & support armies
-provide & maintain a navy
-levy & collect taxes
-establish uniform rules of naturalization
implied powers: power to "make all laws which shall be necessary & proper"
constitutional guarantees: (under the rights & protections of U.S. constitution)
-a state cannot divide itself nor combine w another state w/o consent of Congress
-each state guaranteed a republican form of gov. (representative gov. w elected lawmakers)
-each state guaranteed 2 senators & 1 member of House of Representatives
-all states participate in presidential elections through the electoral college
-all states participate in approving/rejecting proposed amendments
-each state entitled to protection against invasion & domestic violence
-TX is assured that trials by federal courts for crimes committed in TX will be conducted in TX
privileges & immunities: Article IV & 11th amendment guarantees citizens of every state protection by the government, enjoyment of life & liberty, right to acquire & possess property, right to leave & enter any state, & right to use of courts
full faith & credit clause: most legislative enactments, state constitutions, deeds, wills, marriages, divorces, etc. of another state must be officially recognized in other states
reserved powers: (of the states)
-police: protection of citizens' health/morals/safety/convenience
-taxing: raising revenue to pay salaries of state employees, meet other gov. costs
-proprietary: public ownership of property
-eminent domain: taking private property at fair price for public use
federal grants-in-aid: money to help states provide needed facilities & services
devolution: decline in national control over state governments = more power for states
block grants: allows state flexibility in spending for a program

Texas Constitution (1876) is the main source of power for TX government
^ has been amended no fewer than 483 times
TX has been governed by its state constitutions of 1845, 1861, 1866, 1869, & 1876
Texas Grange: farmers' organization committed to limited gov. & spending
constitutional amendment process: (for changing the TX constitution) an amendment is proposed by 2/3rds vote of each chamber of legislature & approved by majority of votes in election
constitutional amendment election: voters asked to approve proposed constitutional amendments
initiative: citizen-drafted measure proposed by a specific number of voters that becomes law if approved by popular vote
constitutional revision: extensive or complete rewriting of a constitution
November 1975 was the last time that voters were presented w a wholesale constitutional revision proposal from the state legislature

Texas Bill of Rights: (article 1 of TX constitution) guarantees protections for:
-people & their property against arbitrary actions by state & local governments
-freedom of speech
-freedom of press
-freedom of religion
-freedom of assembly
-freedom of petition
-rights of criminals & victims
-equal rights for women
Texas Equal Legal Rights Amendment: guarantees equality of sex/race/color/creed/etc.
the TX constitution contains constitutional rights not found in the U.S. constitution
separation of powers: (article II) law-making/enforcing/interpreting= separate branches of gov.
-Legislative department: (article III) bicameral legislature-House of Representatives & Senate
-Executive department: (article IV) governor= Chief executive officer of the State
-Judicial department: (article V) TX has bifurcated court system- 2 courts of final appeal: Supreme Court of TX (civil cases) & Court of Criminal Appeals (criminal cases)
suffrage: the right to vote (article VI)
local government: counties, municipalities, school districts, etc. that provide a range of services
other articles:
-taxation & revenue
-public lands & land office
-general provisions
-mode of amendment

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