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Bill of Rights

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Government

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Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments passed in 1791 Protects rights of individuals against the government Protects state power against federal government

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Amendments 1-3

Freedom of religion, speech and press, rights of petition and assembly Keep and bear arms No forced quartering of troops

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Amendments 4-7

No unreasonable searches or seizures Right to due process of law, no double jeopardy or self incrimination Rights of the jury, speedy and public trial, witnesses in defense and attorney Right to trial by jury in a clear case

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Amendments 8-12

No cruel or unusual punishments Other rights not included in constitution State rights and powers Suits against a state (1795) Election of president and vice president (1804)

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Amendments 13-16

Abolition of slavery (1865) Protects rights against state infringements (defines citizenship, requires due process and equal protection, punishes states for denying votes) (1868) Voting rights (1870) Federal income tax (1913)

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Constitution timeline 1791-1920

1791: Bill of Rights 1870: amendments 13-15 ratified, 13th ended slavery, provided equal treatment to all citizens regardless of race (14th) and gave people the right to vote regardless of 'race, color or previous servitude' (15th) 1913: 16th amendment gives congress the right to levy federal income tax 1919: 18th amendment prohibits the manufacture/sale of alcohol

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Constitution timeline 1921-1970

1920: 19th amendment gave white women the right to vote 1933: 21st amendment repeals the 18th 1951: 22nd amendment limits the president to two terms in office 1967: 25th amendment allows the vice president to assume the office temporarily while a president is unable to fulfil their duties

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Affordable Care Act

Obama received a mandate for health care reform in 2008, yet was forced to abandon major aspects of his policy in light of opposition from congress, including democrats The elected house prevented an elected president from achieving his policies In 2014 republicans took control of the house and repealed health care, but it was vetoed by obama

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Elections create democracy

Free and fair elections More elections = US citizens vote more than other countries 2 year house terms

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Elections do not create democracy

The electoral college is outdated and based on a reluctance to give power to the people

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Checks and Balances create democracy

Prevents one person / party / institution from holding all the power Can prevent corruption Ensure everyone's interests are considered

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Checks and balances do not create democracy

Democrats vote for democratic policies, republicans vote for republican policies 2012, voted for a democratic president who wanted comprehensive immigration reform but when in the house, the speaker blocked debates

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Rights Protection creates democracy

The bill of rights and 14th amendment give legal protection to americans Protect certain powers the people have, giving them the ability to have influence over the government

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Rights protection does not create democracy

Shelby ruling has allowed states to created laws that undermine the opportunity for poor/minority voters to participate If voters choose to vote for politicians with dodgy policies (voter ID) then they should be allowed to carry them out

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Enumerated powers

set out clearly

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Implied powers

not expressly set down

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Courts powers - enumerated

Rule on cases arising under the constitution, the laws of the united states or treaties

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Courts powers - Implied

The power of judicial review

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Congress' powers - enumerated

Collection of taxes and duties Borrowing money on behalf of the united states Organising, training and army a militia Exclusive powers to legislate matters of the country Establishing courts that are subordinate to the supreme court Declaration of war Amendment of the constitution (shared with the states) Raise income tax

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Congress' powers - implied

The interstate commerce clause The necessary and proper clause

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Necessary and proper clause

congress has the power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into the execution of the foregoing powers

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Presidential powers - enumerated

Nominates cabinet members, ambassadors and the judiciary Heads the executive branch Vetoes legislation Grants pardons Proposes measures to congress

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Presidential powers - implied

Commander in chief of the armed forces

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Problems due to constitutional vagueness - Constitution could fail to regulate political practise

Vagueness can undermine constitution and supreme court authority as people reject newly established rulings or political practises

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Problems due to constitutional vagueness - The supreme court could become too powerful

Vagueness allows individual justices to apply their own ideologies when ruling on a case Unelected

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Problems due to constitutional vagueness - There could be significant conflict

Lack of clarity leads to strong disputes, with each side claiming to base their view is more legitimate, often based on ideologies, leads to further divides

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Amendment Proposal

Amendment is proposed by ⅔ vote of each house of congress Amendment is proposed by a national convention called by congress at the request of ⅔ of state legislators

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Ratification Process

Amendment is ratified by ¾ vote of the state legislators Amendment is ratified by ¾ of the state conventions

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Amendment examples

11000 amendment proposals have been introduced since its establishment, with only 33 being accepted and 27 making it pass the states Only 15 amendments have passed in the last 200 years Only the 21st amendment (repealing prohibition) was ratified by state conventions

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The equal rights amendment

Equality of rights for all genders Not enough support Failed to reach number of states 1982

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The federal marriage amendment

Define marriage as exclusively men and women Introduced in 2015 without a congressional vote Failed to receive votes in both houses in 2015

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Advantages of the amendment process - It protects the principles of political processes

Basic democratic ideas - such as elections every 4 years and separation of powers - could be seen as essential principles. Some ideas are completely immune from change, such as the requirement for a republic to be a guaranteed form of government, going further than the entrenchment outlined in article V. However, these principles can be changed when there is broad support, without the need to pass amendments

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Advantages of the amendment process - It protects states and upholds federalism

The US has a tradition of respect for states rights, this is ensured through the 10th amendment and the amendment process, as well as the small states receiving equal representation in the senate and electoral college

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Advantages of the amendment process - It prevents ill thought through amendments

The amendment process involves several institutions and requires cross party agreement, which prevents short term/irrational thinking entering the constitution

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Advantages of the amendment process - It prevents abuse of power

An entrenched constitution stops an individual from one party changing constitutional rules for their own benefit

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Disadvantages of the amendment process - It is difficult to incorporate new ideas

Views have changed dramatically since 1787, but it is difficult to make additions that would improve the constitution as it's entrenched. Despite changes in the value of women's rights, the equal rights amendment failed as recently as 1982

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Disadvantages of the amendment process - It is difficult to remove outdated aspects

The original document is over 200 years old and US society has changed dramatically. An obvious examples of the is the election of the president, which makes use of the electoral college. The mechanism was established when there was a fear that the people would not make rational choices, and it has left the US with a number of undemocratic problems. The state based system makes it possible for one candidate to get the most popular votes, but for another candidate to win (Trump 2016). In addition, the system over represents smaller states, so people in some states have greater voting power than others

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Disadvantages of the amendment process - It gives the Supreme Court excessive power

Entrenchment allows nine unelected judges to have the final say on key issues of institutional power and human rights. Rulings by Supreme Court justices are extraordinarily difficult to overturn, rendering their word final

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5 principles to ensure power sharing

Federalism Separation of powers Checks and balances Bipartisanship Limited government

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Federalism

A system of government in which power is shared between a central government and individual states, each having their own specific rights Citizens are ruled by two governments Some policies are made at a federal level, by president and congress, and other decisions are made by the state governments

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Federalism in states

Each state is like a smaller version of the US, with its own constitution, head of the executive branch (governor), legislature (state congress) and supreme court Each state is subject to the constitutional rules of the US, but has a huge degree of control over its own affairs The constitution is particularly unclear on federalism

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Progressive federalism

Currently, since 2009, USA has been using progressive federalism, which provides states with greater control over issues previously reserved for the federal government like environmental and consumer protection

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Bush federalism

used 2001-2009 which increased federal interference in state issues due to greater national security

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The main characteristics of federalism

The power of regional government or states is protected by the constitution Regional powers are equal The constitution is vague on where the line between state and federal power lies In some areas the distinction between regional and federal powers is very clear Usually, state deals with domestic issues (education, economic policy) abd federal deals with foreign policy and security

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State power

Overtime, the power of states has been eroded, since the economic crash of 1929 and Roosevelt's New Deal policies meant huge growth and role of the federal government Some individual policy areas are controlled and carried out by both the federal and regional government, creating an interdependence where they have to work together Federal government usually provides resources for policies they would like to see, though these grants come with a criteria, allowing the federal government to restrict states Otherwise, federal mandates are passed, forcing states to comply Sometimes, states independently create laws, making conflict with the federal government challenging these laws

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Exclusive powers

those reserved for the federal government or the states

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Concurrent powers

those shared by the federal government and the states

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Exclusive federal powers

Coining money Regulating interstate and foreign commerce Regulating the mail Declaring war Establishing inferior courts Conducting foreign affairs Raising armies

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Concurrent powers

taxation Lawmaking and enforcement Chartering banks and corporations Taking land for public use Establishing courts Borrowing money

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Exclusive state powers

Conducting elections Providing for public safety, health and welfare Maintaining militia Ratifying constitutional amendments Establishing local governments Regulating intrastate commerce

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Marijuana in America

Recreational use is legal in 9 states and washington DC if 21+ Medical marijuana is legal in 30 states Oklahoma legalised in june 2018 64% of americans favour legalisation 2017 legal sales of $9.7b At a federal level, it remains classified as a schedule 1 substance under the controlled substances act

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Debates about the extent to which federalism still exists in the US today

States still have the majority of power in certain areas of policy such as health, law and tax ( the amount of sales tax varies in each state) Some argue that states powers have been eroded away as the federal government has been able to take control of most policy areas and the constitution has been powerless to protect them There is a specific list of powers for federal government, but very few specific powers given to the state Instead it says all other powers should go to the states and the people It doesn't define which powers go to the states

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Legal Power Variations

There is a huge variety in state laws - some allow assisted suicide, age people can marry, drive a car, drugs

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Political Power Variations

All elections are state based and carried out by state law so there's a variety in how a candidate is chosen, how the polling stations are set up (arizona experimented with online voting)

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Regionalism Power Variations

Each region has its own culture, values and identity, with racial, religious and ideological differences, like liberal new york and redneck south

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Economic Power Variations

Variety of tax systems - both federal and state taxes - property tax varies between states, sales tax varies between cities

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Policy Power Variations

Some states are able to trial new policy ideas, like health care or immigration, from state proposals / initiatives (health care in massachusetts)

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Parties Power Variations

Parties are decentralized and state based, texan democrats are more conservative than california

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Positives of democracy

Frequent elections, short terms for the house and the separation of powers creates a highly representative government

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Negatives of democracy

The power of the supreme court means that the government may be prevented from carrying out policy, leading to ineffective government The electoral college can produce a government which does not reflect the votes of the people

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Postives of civil rights

A powerful supreme court alongside constitutional rights ensures a high level of protection for civil rights

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Postives of federalism

The states are well protected, allowing the government to meet the needs of each state

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Negatives of federalism

There is insufficient protection of state powers, meaning the federal government dominates policy making

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Positives of making laws

The vagueness of the constitution has allowed the government to function effectively by allowing changing political practise to suit the needs of a modern society

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Negatives of making laws

Policy making is very difficult - leading to ineffective government in the form of gridlock, partisanship in congress has made this worse The amendment process prevents necessary change, meaning the government isn't responsive to changes in modern society

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Positives of the power of political institutions

Checks and balances ensures that branches work together, preventing tyranny and means that policy is based on compromise The amendment process prevents politicians from changing the rules and awarding themselves more power

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Negatives of the power of political institutions

Vagueness has meant loop holes have been exploited, such as executive orders, which has allowed one branch to dominate the other

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Federalism under Trump

Christie v. NCAA 2017 examined whether a federal law that prohibits the modification or repeal of state gambling laws violates the 10th amendment A state judge blocked Trump's travel ban (judge robart, oct 2017) Trump withdrew from the paris climate agreement so the states spoke against him and continued with the commitment Want to enforce federal marijuana laws using the 'elastic' commerce clause (allows congress to make laws it needs to carry out duties)

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Separation of Powers

Where the three key bodies of government - legislature, executive and judiciary - each have their own powers, personnel and buildings The principle behind the separation of powers ensures that a system of checks and balances prevents too much power residing with any one body

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Checks and Balances

The division of power between the three branches of government, where each branch has a direct ability to prevent action from another branch Working alongside the separation of powers, it forces the three branches to share power The president can propose legislation, but cannot amend legislation, lacking an item line veto

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Bipartisanship

Attempts within the structure of the US congress to try to ensure that the two main parties must work together in order to fulfill congressional functions The constitution requires cross party support through the need for super majorities for amendments and for the senate to ratify treaties

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Limited Government

The role of government is limited by checks and balances, and a separation of powers as a bulwark against corruption The power of the federal government is subject to limitations as laid out in the constitution, so that it cannot simply impose its policy on the state and its citizens The bill of rights also prevents the federal government from restricting states rights Amendments such as the 1st and 4th can be seen as limiting government by protecting individual freedoms Modern conceptions of limited government cover the extent to which federal government plays a role in social and economic policy

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Regional power similarities UK/US

Power is divided between regions and central government There have been attempts to increase regional power recently In practise, both provide similar protection - UK devolution is protected by a higher expectation of power US federalism has been eroded by the Supreme Court

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Regional power differences UK/US

Regional power is constitutionally protected in the US Regional power varies in the UK but not in the US Higher levels of regional power in the US, with states having more power to determine policy than regions in the UK

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How well are the powers of the regions protected under federalism and devolution?

Devolution means that the power of regions is less protected than in federal US To reduce the power of a region in the UK, commons only requires a 50% +1 vote Federalism doesn't necessarily give regions greater power than devolution, but simply protects the regional power from the central government In the US, the federal government and the supreme court have gradually allowed significant erosion of power

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After the constitution was agreed in 1787, the states agreed

No longer to print their own money or impose taxes on imports and exports, they could no longer have their own armies No matter how small a state or how small its population every state had the right to equal representation in the senate Certain laws particular to each state were recognised however in return each state had to recognise each others state laws and enforce them

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Constitution protecting state powers

Powers denied to congress 10th amendment Amendment process Limits on state powers - those expressly given to congress

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Constitution not protecting state powers

Powers awarded to federal government 14th amendment 16th amendment

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Powers denied to congress

Interstate commerce clause implies that states are free to regulate their own internal business policy Constitutional amendments such as 2nd amendment can prevent the federal government from imposing gun regulations on states In US v. Lopez 1995, the federally imposed Gun Free School Zones Act 1990 was successfully halted by states that objected it's imposition (first time since Roosevelt that the supreme court found in favour of states rights under the commerce clause

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10th amendment

States that any powers not reserved for the federal government should be considered a state power Printz v. US 1997 the supreme court overturned the Brady Act requirement that state officials must perform background checks on those wishing to buy a gun

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Limits to state power

Enumerated powers of the federal government represent areas where states have little/no control, including the power to collect tax and coin money The 14th amendment applies the standards of the bill of rights to the states, previously it only restricted the federal government The 16th amendment allowed the expansion of federal power through it right to impose federal income tax

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Federal mandates

Are federal laws, in the forms of acts of congress, which impose national standards on the states These limit state powers because all states are required to comply The Affordable Care Act 2010, obama's policy requiring everyone to have health insurance, limits states choices in health care All states are required to set up health exchanges where they can purchase health insurance

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Difference between UK and US constitutions - Uncodified/codified

US is, UK isn't

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Difference between UK and US constitutions - Number of sources

UK - a wide range of sources covering statute law, common law, conventions, authoritative works and treaties US - single source, which would give it greater clarity and enable people to appreciate the rules more easily

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Difference between UK and US constitutions - Amount of power as an idea

UK - does not have the same power as an idea over individuals and politicians, and it is less apparent what the rules are US - a better guide to political practise, however, it is still ambiguous, restricting its ability to be effective

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Ability of politicians to evade rules

Politicians may be able to evade rules by simply saying they do not apply The US have had massive transformations without any changes to the constitution, suggesting that it has a weak set of regulations

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Separation of powers

UK - Three separate branches of government (executive, legislature and judiciary) but they overlap because the government is formed through a majority Elections vote for legislation US - Separation of powers between executive legislature and judiciary - no one can be part of two branches at once Separate elections for legislature and executive UK has greater executive dominance Prime minister must have a majority while presidents often lack a congressional majority

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Checks and Balances - UK

Checks and balances between three branches Parliament have vote of no confidence on government Unelected HoL cannot reject commons decision Prime minister has majority

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Checks and balances - US

President can propose legislation, veto legislation, nominate to the executive and judiciary and is commander in chief Congress can propose, amend, pass legislation, declare war House and senate check executive and each other UK's fusion of power limits the effectiveness of checks and balances due to executive dominance of legislature, unlike the US

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Regional Power

UK - Regional power in the form of devolution Different regions have different levels of power US - Regional power created through federalism Power of states cannot be reduced without a 75% vote and consent of regional power UK power of regions less protected UK regions have less power than US

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Location of Sovereignty

UK - Parliamentary sovereignty Constitution is amended with 50%+1 vote US - Constitutional sovereignty, upheld by supreme court Constitution is entrenched so requires house, senate and state supermajority UK supreme court is weaker than US because constitution isn't codified so laws can't be declared unconstitutional

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Rights Protection

UK - protection through Human Rights Act 1998 and membership of ECHR, joined in 1951 US - Protection through constitutionally entrenched rights, particularly bill of rights and 14th amendments Despite a lower level of structural protection, the UK has a relatively high level of rights protection, unlike low concern for minority rights in US

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Amendment Process

UK - Easily changed with a 50%+1 vote in commons US - Constitution is entrenched and difficult to change UK, any judicial interpretation can be overturned by an act of parliament, US needs 3 supermajorities

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The President - Formal powers

Veto Executive orders Nominations Recommendations Commander in chief Head of state Head of government

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Informal resources

Staff in the executive branch Party ties Mass media International contacts The 'bully pulpit' (president's office - great place to advocate for policy)

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Head of state

The constitution confers specific powers on the president; He is commander in chief of the armed service (but cannot declare war) He proposes and signs treaties with other countries (although they need to be ratified by the senate) He is in charge of public relations with other countries He has the power to issue a pardon to anyone convicted of a crime These duties are carried out in most countries by the Head of State, so the president carries this title, although this is not specified in the constitution

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Propose legislation

Gives the president the power to propose legislation at any time Can propose through state of the union (once a year), calling a press conference, or an announcement at a public event Obama used his state of the union address to promote help for small business', infrastructure building projects, financial reform, etc

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Submit the annual budget

The office of management and budget (OMB) draws up the annual federal budget for the president The OMB is part of the executive office of the president (EXOP) The president submits the budgets to congress Congress debates the budget

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Sign legislation

Once they have been passed through congress, bills land on the president's desk, and he has a number of options He will sign a bill to take credit through elaborate bill signing ceremonies, attended by supportive congress members At the white house for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in march 2010, obama invited democrat leaders and the widow of Edward Kennedy, a senator who had made health care reform his goal

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Veto legislation

The regular veto is used as a threat and a bargaining tool From washington to w bush, presidents have used just under 1500 regular vetoes Congress may override them but are often unsuccessful W bush's 63% success rate is the 3rd lowest ever Pocket vetoes are used at the end of congressional sessions and cannot be overridden h w bush used 15 and w bush and clinton used one each

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