US Constitutional Law at Universität Bochum | Flashcards & Summaries

US Constitutional Law at Universität Bochum

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Separation of Power Doctrine

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What is a Constitution?

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The Constitution of the United States

overview

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History


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Preamble 


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Article I 


  • Section 1


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Article I


  • Section 2


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Article 1, Section 2 

clause 2 and 3

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Article I, Section 3: Senate

clause 1 to 3


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Article I, Section 3: Senate

clause 4 to 7

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Article I, Section 4: Congress

clause 1 to 2 

Amendment XX

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Article I, Section 5: framework of both houses

clause 1 to 4


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Exemplary flashcards for US Constitutional Law at the Universität Bochum on StudySmarter:

US Constitutional Law

Separation of Power Doctrine

  1. Legislature: Senat (oper) + House of Representatives (lower) = congress
  2. Executive: President/Governor, Secretaries (Cabinet, Administration) 
  3. Judiciary: Supreme Court, Appellate/Circuit Court, Trial/District Court
    • All 50 states have their own court-system
  4. à none of these branches become too powerful, balances, equal, control each other, intertwined 
  5. Horizontal division/Separation of Powers
  6. Vertical Separation of Powers (federal à state)

US Constitutional Law

What is a Constitution?

  1. Law/Legal Document: basic, highest, most important, supreme law, with major elements 
  2. Major elements of a constitution 
    • State and Governance (Core text of the U.S constitution)
      • Organs, Institutions
      • Rights/Obligations for these 
    • Fundamental Rights (Amendments, including Bill of Rights)
      • Against the power of States

US Constitutional Law

The Constitution of the United States

overview

  • The Constitution of the United States
    1. Preamble
    2. Article 1: Legislature
    3. Article 2: Executive
      • President: Head of government and state // individual/ chare
    4. Article 3: Judiciary 
    5. Article 4: The Union
    6. Article 5: Amendments
    7. Article 6: Supremacy
    8. Article 7 Ratification 
  • Franklin Roosevelt: “was a layman’s document, not a lawyer’s contract”
    1. On Constitution Day, September 17, 1937 (sign-day) 

US Constitutional Law

History


  1. Qoute by Oscar an Mary Handlin
    • Difference between British Monarchy: written frame of government setting fixed limits on the use of power, not only organization of power, rejected British m because it was British (Colonies)
  2. 1774: Colonial Congress (Cooperation between Colonies)
  3. July 4, 1776 Declaration of Independence: Thomas Jefferson 
    • Independent (colonieà)states from the British crown 
    • Constitutional document, but no basic framework for a federal state
  4. November 15, 1777 Articles of Confederation
    • How can we cooperate? Joining forces
    • First constitution
    • Ratification in 1781 ??
    • Not set up a executive, only legislation and Judiciary (similar to EU today) 
  5. February 1787 – confederate Congress approved a meeting in Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation” 
    • 12 delegated Members, purpose was to create amendments, not a new constitution 
  6. May 14 (25), 1787: Start of the Convention (quorum of 7 states?)
  7. September 17, 1787_ Signing by the delegates of the states
  8. 8 days after having received the Constitution, the Congress passed a recommendation that the states call conventions for ratification 
    • Missing mandate to create a new document 

US Constitutional Law

Preamble 


  1. Song: keeping people free, “brand new country”, liberty
  2. “We the people (Who adapt the constitution)” 
    • People hold the power, have the sovereignty 
    • not the states or otherwise 
  3. “more perfect Union” (Why is a constitution adapted)
    • Confederal à federal nation
    • As perfect as possible
    • Idea of nationhood 
  4. “justice”
    • Procedural due process
      • Obligation to the state to follow regulations, when they deprive in their inhabitant’s rights 
    • Substantive due process
      • State need adequate reasons
    • Procedural law: Way to enforce rights
    • Substantive law: Obligations and rights 
  5. “Domestic tranquillity”
    • Peace within and between the state
  6. “Provide for the common defence
    • Outside the borders (protection of the federal state)
  7. “blessings of liberty”
    • Protection of personal freedom
    • There is no list of personal freedoms in the first seven articles 
      • Because a list limits the number of certain rights
      • But also, it guarantees such rights
    • Implicit equality (now 14. Amendment)
  8. “Constitution”
    • Written document that provide a framework and includes limits on the use of powers 
  9. Preamble is the enacting clause (who, what)
  10. Does not confer powers or rights, no source of substantive power
  11. Puprpose-constistent interpretation 
    • Framework, interpreting, includes justice 
  12. Who can interpret the constitution?
    • Courts: every court, no constitutional court (like in Germany)
    • Other branches of the national government (legislature, executive)
    • State governments
    • No institution of government is superior to the Constitution itself 
      • And the power of people 

US Constitutional Law

Article I 


  • Section 1


  • Establish the legislature 
  • Institute Senate (oper) House of the Representatives (lower)
    1. Control, checks each other, inherent control
    2. Challenges: inefficient, but not better results, cost more for people
  • Bicameral system (Zweikammer)
  • Shared legislative power between the two houses 

US Constitutional Law

Article I


  • Section 2


  • Section 2
    1. The House of Representatives
      • Chosen every second year by the people of the several states
      • “electors Qualification is defined by the electors Qualification of the bigger house in each state”
      • Representative must be
        • More than 25 years old
        • 7 Years a citizen
        • Not a inhabitant of the state in which he shall be chosen
    2. Representatives and direct taxes 
      • Indians not taxed, three,
      • “fifths of all other person”, now ineffective, 14 Amendment, all people are equal
      • Framework to determine the number of Representatives 
      • Now: Maximum Number: 435 today
        • Proportional to the population of each state, but not one for every thirty thousand

           

US Constitutional Law

Article 1, Section 2 

clause 2 and 3

  • Clause 2
    1. How to fill the vacancies (dies...) is state law
  • Clause 3
    1. Election of speaker: Head of the house, very important: “The speaker of the house
    2. Power to initiate an impeachment: more legitimation than senate (checks and balanced) 

US Constitutional Law

Article I, Section 3: Senate

clause 1 to 3


  • Clause 1 
    1. Two senators of each state: 100 senators 
      • Was a compromise: that representation of smaller states is giving, only house of representative is proportional to people 
    2. Original: chosen by the legislature thereof, indirect election, are delegated from the legislature, because they have more power then the representatives 
    3. Amendment XVII. 1930: elected by the people (similar hoR) 
    4. Divided in three classes à every two years election (6Years whole senate is changed) 

 

  • Clause 2, Amendment XVII
    1. Vacancies: filled by the executive authority of such state, when the legislature empower them.
  • Claus 3
    1. Requirements: 30 years, nine yeas a citizen of US, inhabitant of that state, he shall be chosen (180 days before election)
      • Possible to be 29 years old, if the senator is 25 by the time he/she taken office

US Constitutional Law

Article I, Section 3: Senate

clause 4 to 7

  • Clause 4: 
    1. Vice president of the united states is the president of the senate, external, not elected for the legislature à only vote, when there is a tie 
  • Clause 5:
    1. Senate choose officers and a president pro tempore (oldest member, when no one is chosen at the beginning of a legislature period) 
      • Absence of the Vice president: Obligations… physical 
      • Exercise the office of President of US
  • Clause 6: 
    1. Power to try impeachments 
      • President of US: the chief Justice shall preside (third power: judiciary, checks and balance) 
      • Super majority: two thirds of the members present 
  • Clause 7: 
    1. Not a court of law, and not a criminal conviction 
      • Conflict, when the president is convicted, but “unschuldig”
    2. Three not successful impeachments: Johnson, Lincoln, Trump

US Constitutional Law

Article I, Section 4: Congress

clause 1 to 2 

Amendment XX

  • Clause 1
    1. Election is a issue of state-law
    2. Places of choosing senators? – a relict bay the time the senators were chosen by the legislature 
  • Clause 2, Amendment XX
    1. Guaranty congress do their business 
    2. First Monday in December – date of election: first Tuesday following the first Monday in November every second year (so the first November cant be the election day) 
      • Short windows for the chosen senators to come to the congress: winter, horses, Kutschen, darkness… 
    3. Amendment XX: 
      • 3d day of January: window expanded, because of complications of the elections, Difficulties  (now: people vote, not the legislature) 
      • Inauguration of (vice) president: old: 4th march, now: 20th January 

US Constitutional Law

Article I, Section 5: framework of both houses

clause 1 to 4


  1. Clause 1
    • Each house shall be judge additional qualifications of its members
    • Quorum to do business: simple majority 
    • Penalties, sanctions, mostly fines (Geldstrafen) à need to do their jobs
  2. Clause 2 
    • Determine proceeding-rules 
    • Example a member, 2/3 majority, harsh measure 
  3. Clause 3
    • Journal (record), that is published form time to time transparency 
    • Require secrecy: Need a Vote (50+1)
    • Last sentence a do not understand. 
  4. Clause 4
    • A house need the consent of the other house to adjourn the session for more than three days 
      • Both are integrate in the legislative process, so no House can stop the other house working, incapacitate 
    • No other place
      • Historically: declaration of independence, 

The law makers need their records and so on

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