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GOV CH 3 4-5

Multiple Choice
Identify the choice that best completes the statement or answers the question.
 
 
The Formal Process of Amending the Constitution

The Constitution has endured for over two hundred years with only twenty-seven added amendments. One reason that the number of amendments is small is that the framers, in Article V, made the formal amendment process extremely difficult. There are two ways to introduce an amendment and two ways to ratify one. The result is that there are only four possible ways for an amendment to become law.
INTRODUCE AN AMENDMENT
RATIFY AN AMENDMENT
2/3 Vote in House + 2/3 Vote in the Senate
3/4 of States Approve
OR
OR
2/3 Vote of States in National Convention
3/4 of States in National Convention Approve
 

 1. 

The writer suggest that one of the reasons the Consitution has lasted so long is that
a.
there have been many changes
c.
it is easy to make changes
b.
there have been very few changes
d.
the Constitution has not changed
 

 2. 

How many ways are there to introduce a change in the Constitution?
a.
two
c.
six
b.
four
d.
eight
 

 3. 

After a change in the Constitution has been introduced, it must be ratified (approved) by three-quarters of the states
a.
true
b.
false
 

 4. 

Congress can introduce a change in the Constitution?
a.
true
b.
false
 
 
Methods of Introducing an Amendment

The two methods of introducing an amendment are as follows:

1. An amendment may be introduced by a two-thirds vote in the Senate and in the House of Representatives. All of the twentyseven existing amendments have been introduced in this way.

2. Two-thirds of the state legislatures may request that Congress call a national amendment convention. Congress may then call one, and the convention may propose amendments to the states for ratification.

The notion of an amendment convention is exciting to many people. On two separate occasions, calls for a national amendment convention almost became reality. Between 1963 and 1969, thirty-three state legislatures (out of the necessary thirty-four) attempted to call a convention to amend the Constitution to eliminate the Supreme Court's "one person, one vote" decisions in regard to congressional elections Between 1975 and 1998, thirty-two states asked for a national convention to introduce an amendment requiring that the national government balance its budget-that it spend no more than it receives in revenues.

Other people are fearful of calling a neational convention. At a national convention the members could re-write the entire constitution and institute an entirely new form of government. The key to our success as a nation is moderation and compromise. There is no telling what could happen at a consitutional convention if radicals took control of the agenda.
 

 5. 

What method has been used to introduce all of the constitutional amendments?
a.
3/4 vote in both the house and senate
c.
2/3 vote in the house and 3/4 in the senate
b.
2/3 vote in both the house and senate
d.
2/3 vote in the senate and 3/4 in the house
 

 6. 

If the states want to amend the constitution and the congress refuses to do so, what would the states have to do to introduce an amendment?
a.
Call a national convention
c.
Get 3/4 of the state legilatures to request a change
b.
There is nothing they could do
d.
Get 2/3 of the state legislatures to request a change
 

 7. 

Why are some people fearful of calling a national convention?
a.
A national convention is against the law
c.
A dictator and his people could take over the convention
b.
The states might boycott the convention
d.
It might be too hard to get anything done
 

 8. 

What is the main idea that the above passage is trying to communicate.
a.
The ways of ratifying the constitution
c.
The methods for organizing a new government
b.
The methods for proposing a new constitution
d.
The ways that a constitutional amendment can be proposed
 
 
Methods of Ratifying an Amendment

There are two methods of ratifying an amendment that has been introduced:

1. An amendment is ratified when three-fourths of the state legislatures vote in favor of ratification. This method is considered the "traditional" one and has been used twenty-six times.

2. The states can call special conventions to ratify the amendment. If three-fourths of the states approve, the amendment is ratified. The second method was used only once, in 1933, to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment. That amendment repealed-made void-the Eighteenth Amendment, which prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors."
 

 9. 

What happens when an amendment is ratified?
a.
It becomes the law
c.
It goes to the President for his signiture or veto
b.
It goes to the states for approval
d.
It dies an is discarded
 

 10. 

What is/are the methods for ratifying an amendment.
a.
2/3 vote of the legislatues
c.
3/4 vote of state legislatures and 3/4 vote of states in convention
b.
3/4 vote of the state governors
d.
3/4 vote of state legislatures or 3/4 vote of states in convention
 

 11. 

The Eighteenth Amendment brought “Prohibition” to the U.S. which outlawed the consumption or sale of alcohol. Which Amendment overturned the Eighteenth Amendment?
a.
Bill of Rights
c.
21 st Amendment
b.
22 nd Amendment
d.
Amendment 1933
 
 
Why So Few Amendments?

More than eleven thousand amendments to the Constitution have been considered by Congress. Yet only twenty-seven have been ratified. The process, therefore, must be difficult.

The competing social and economic interests in this nation guarantee one thing. The two-thirds approval required from both the House and the Senate to introduce an amendment is difficult to achieve. It takes only thirty-four of the one hundred senators to block the introduction of an amendment, for example. That means the senators from seventeen sparsely populated states, voting together, could keep any amendment from being introduced.  The ratification process is even more difficult. Three-fourths (thirty-eight) of the states must approve the amendment in one of the two manners described previously. As you can imagine, to be ratified, any amendment must have wide popular support in both parties and in all regions of the country. There is also a time-limit problem. The Constitution does not specify a time limit for ratification. In 1917, however, Congress set a seven-year deadline on the ratification of what was to become the Eighteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court later ruled in favor of Congress on the constitutionality of this time limit in the case of Dillon v. Gloss. Since then, most amendments have included a seven-year time limit on ratification. Some amendments, after being successfully introduced, have failed because they did not meet this deadline. 

In contrast, the newest amendment was ratified 203 years after its introduction. On May 7, 1992, Michigan became the thirtieth state to ratify the Twenty-seventh Amendment, which deals with congressional salaries. This amendment was one of the twelve that were originally sent to the states in 1789. Given the seven-year time limit specified by Congress for most recent amendments, some people questioned whether the amendment would become effective even if the necessary number of states ratified it. Is 203 years too long a lapse of time between the introduction and the final ratification of an amendment? It apparently is not, because the amendment was certified as legitimate on May 18, 1992
 

 12. 

Amending the Constitution is
a.
easy
c.
frequent
b.
hard
d.
impossible
 

 13. 

What is the accepted time limit for ratifying a change to the Constitution?
a.
4 years
c.
7 years
b.
6 years
d.
203 years
 
 
Check all of the readings for answers
 

 14. 

A simple majority of Congress can ratify an amendment
a.
true
b.
false
 

 15. 

The process of amending the Constitution calls for proposing and ratifying
a.
true
b.
false
 

 16. 

No amendment has ever been repealed
a.
true
b.
false
 

 17. 

Most amendments proposed in Congress are sent to the state legislatures for ratification
a.
true
b.
false
 

 18. 

Only 27 Amendments have been adopted
a.
true
b.
false
 

 19. 

The twenty seventh Amendment was ratified after being considered for more than 200 years
a.
true
b.
false
 

Multiple Response
Identify one or more choices that best complete the statement or answer the question.
 
 
Informal Methods for Amending the Constitution

For the most part, the Constitution provides the skeleton for our system of government. The details of that system have been established over the years as the various branches of government have fulfilled their duties.
Formal amendments have played an important role in making the Constitution a living document. The Constitution, however, has kept pace with the times and grown as an instrument of government through informal changes as well. It has proved itself to be a remarkably flexible document, adapting itself time and again to new events and concerns

The methods by which the Constitution has been informally amended are numerous. They include:

• Congressional legislation.
• Presidential actions.
• Judicial review and interpretation.
• Political parties.
• Custom and usage.
 

 20. 

Which statements are true about “informal” methods of changing the constitution? (pick 2)
 a.
the rules in Article V of the Constitution must be followed when changing the Constitution.
 d.
The states do not have to approve an informal change to the Constitution
 b.
It takes two thirds of both houses of Congress to propose an informal change to the constitution
 e.
Informal methods of change have helped to keep the Constitution up to date with current times
 c.
It takes three quarters of the states to approve an informal change to the constitution
 

 21. 

Which statement is true?
 a.
The Constitution is a fixed document with its ideas fixed and unchangeable
 c.
The Constitution is a flexible document that changes over time to meet changing conditions
 b.
The Constitution is like the ten commandments; its ideas are absolute
 d.
The Constitution does not carry the force of law. Because it changes so much, people do not have to obey it.
 
 
Congressional Legislation

We might say that the Constitution gave Congress the ball and Congress carried it. For example, the
Constitution gives Congress the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce (business dealings that cross national and state boundaries) in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3, called the commerce clause. But there is no clear definition of what either foreign commerce or interstate commerce includes. Under the commerce clause, Congress has passed thousands of laws, which by their nature have defined the meaning of foreign and interstate commerce. In so doing, Congress has informally added to the Constitution.

Consider another example. In Article III, Section 1, the Constitution says that our national judiciary shall consist of one supreme court and "such inferior courts, as Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." Through a series of acts, Congress has indeed established a federal court system, one that you will in later lessons.
 

 22. 

Which statement is true about the commerce clause in the Constitution? (pick 2)
 a.
The meaning of the commerce clause was well defined by the people who wrote the constitution
 d.
Interstate commerce is the same as intrastate commerce.
 b.
The has had to define for itself the meaning of interstate commerce
 e.
Because the meaning of commerce was not clearly defined by the Founding Fathers, the congress has not been able to deal with laws regarding commerce
 c.
By defining the meaning of commerce, the Congress has added meaning to the constitution
 

 23. 

What is responsible for creating the federal courts system?
 a.
The Congress
 c.
The President
 b.
The Supreme Court
 d.
The Constitution which named and established each of the courts in the federal court system
 
 
Presidential Actions

Nowhere does the Constitution indicate that the president should propose bills or even budgets to Congress. Yet, since the time of Woodrow Wilson (who served as president from 1913 to 1921), each year the president has proposed hundreds of bills to Congress.

nar008-1.jpgAbraham Lincoln
nar008-2.jpgHarry Truman
nar008-3.jpgJohn F. Kennedy
nar008-4.jpgLyndon Johnson
nar008-5.jpgRonald Reagan
nar008-6.jpgGeorge Bush 41
The Constitution states that, although Congress  may declare war, the president is commander in chief of the armed forces. At times, our president has sent American forces into conflict without a declaration of war by Congress. President Lincoln did this in the Civil War (1861-1865). President Truman did this during the Korean conflict (1950-1953). Presidents Kennedy and Johnson sent military personnel to Vietnam during the 1960s. President Reagan sent armed forces to the tiny Caribbean island of Grenada in 1983. President Bush sent troops to Panama in 1989 and to the Middle East in 1990.
nar008-7.jpg
President Clinton made the decision to send troops to Haiti in 1994 and to Bosnia in 1995 to support Bosnian Muslim terrorists against the Serbs who were defending their traditional homeland. .

Presidents have also conducted foreign affairs by the use of executive agreements-agreements made between the president and foreign chiefs of state. Although these agreements are made without the approval of Congress, they are legally binding.
 

 24. 

Which president started the tradition of proposing new laws to congress?
 a.
Ronald Reagan
 c.
Franklin Roosevelt
 b.
Jimmy Carter
 d.
Woodrow Wilson
 

 25. 

The constitution gives which branch of government the power to declare war?
 a.
Executive
 c.
Judicial
 b.
Legislative
 d.
All of these
 

 26. 

How can the president send American troops to battle without a formal declaration of war?
 a.
The president is commander in chief of the armed forces
 c.
He has the power to control the Congress
 b.
The president never sends American troops into battle without a formal declaration of war
 d.
He has the power to control the Supreme Court
 

 27. 

What is it called when the president makes a legally binding agreement with the head of a foreign government?
 a.
A formal treaty
 c.
An executive treaty
 b.
An executive agreement
 d.
An executive declaration
 

 28. 

Is it legal for the president to make agreements with foreign governments
 a.
yes
 b.
no
 
 
Judicial Review and Interpretation

Another way of informally changing the Constitution is through the power of judicial review.
Through judicial review, the Supreme Court adapts the Constitution to current situations. For example, in recent years, the Court has had to make decisions in cases involving government use of wiretapping and other electronic eavesdropping methods. Although electronic technology did not exist when the Constitution was ratified, the Supreme Court has used the Fourth Amendment to place limits on these practices. Thus the Fourth Amendment protects citizens from such "unreasonable searches and seizures."

nar009-1.jpg2000 U.S. Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has changed its interpretation of the Constitution in accordance with changing times. A good example has to do with a ruling in 1896, Plessy v Ferguson. At that time, the Court said that providing separate-but-equal public facilities for African Americans did not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. By 1954, times had changed, and the Supreme Court reversed that decision. It ruled that facilities for blacks and whites could never be truly equal if they were separate.
 

 29. 

In which of the following situations would the Supreme Court be likely to exercise judicial review to keep the constitution current. (pick all that apply)
 a.
declaring that the use of the Internet is a form of free speech
 c.
outlawing the right of American citizens to criticize the government
 b.
giving the government the power to ban the private use of surface to air missiles
 d.
outlawing the practice of recording private cell phone calls
 

 30. 

Which statement is true
 a.
The Supreme Court can overturn a decision made by a previous Supreme Court
 c.
To overturn a Supreme Court decision Congress must write a new law.
 b.
The Supreme Court can never overturn a decision made by a previous Supreme Court
 d.
To only way to overturn a  Supreme Court decision is to formally add a new constitutional amendment
 

 31. 

Which Amendment did the Supreme Court re-interpret to outlaw separate but equal schools?
 a.
14th Amendment
 c.
Plessy v Ferguson
 b.
13th Amendment
 d.
15th Amendment
 
 
Political Parties

The activities of political parties have had a profound effect on the American political system. Political parties today are responsible for nominating candidates, for organizing campaigns, and for placing employees in our government. Political parties provide the government with
policy positions and political direction. Members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the president, often base their decisions on the positions of the political parties to which they belong.

Political Party Convention
nar010-1.jpg

We might say the government of the United States is a
government organized by political parties. The Constitution does not, however, refer to those parties. The Constitution specifies the requirements a candidate must have to hold office. It says when elections are to be held but does not explain how candidates should be chosen. The national conventions for the Republican and Democratic parties that occur every four years are not mentioned in the Constitution but they are used to pick the candidates to run for President and Vice President.
 

 32. 

Which statements are true (pick all that apply)
 a.
the political parties help to organize the government
 c.
the Constitution does not say how candidates for office will be chosen to run for office
 b.
the constitution does not mention political parties
 d.
the National Conventions where presidential candidates are chosen are not mentioned in the Constitution
 

 33. 

Where do they pick the candidates who will represent their party and run for President and Vice President?
 a.
In the Senate Campaign Committees
 c.
In the Congress
 b.
At the party conventions held every 4 years
 d.
In the executive office of the President
 

 34. 

Even though political parties are not mentioned in the written constitution, they are important to the way the government functions.
 a.
true
 b.
false
 
 
Custom and Usage

Over time, a certain number of unwritten customs have taken on the strength of written laws. Today, for example, we accept the existence of a presidential cabinet, made up of the heads of the departments in the executive branch, as an official organization within the presidency. The Constitution, however, does not mention a cabinet.

Tradition sometimes evolves to become written law. For example, for many years, no president ran for a third term. This tradition was started by George Washington. Franklin D. Roosevelt defied the tradition by running for office and winning a third presidential term in 1940 and then winning a fourth term in 1944. Many politicians and other citizens believed that Roosevelt was creating a permanent presidency, almost as if he were setting himself up as a king. As a result, the Twenty Second Amendment was added to the Constitution. This amendment limits the president's tenure (the period of holding office) to two four-year terms.

nar011-1.jpg
Vice President Johnson sworn in after death of President Kennedy
Until the Twenty-fifth Amendment was passed in 1967, the Constitution did not say that the vice president would take office after the president's death. Yet on eight occasions, that is exactly what happened. The Constitution, though, gave only the powers and duties of the president to the vice president in such instances. It did not give the vice president the office itself (Article II, Section l, Clause 6).

In other words, the Vice President would remain the VP but carry out the duties of the President. The 25th Amendment made it official that the VP would become President.
 

 35. 

The presidents cabinet and department heads came about because
 a.
the Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution
 c.
of custom and tradition.
 b.
the Founding Fathers made it a part of Article II of the Constitution
 d.
the Senate established the offices
 

 36. 

Which statements are true (pick 2)
 a.
George Washington started the tradition that a president would only run twice for president
 c.
The tradition established by Washington was made a formal part of the constitution when the 22nd Amendment was adopted.
 b.
Franklin Roosevelt only ran for president twice
 d.
The 22nd Amendment is not part of the Constitution
 

 37. 

Which statements are true (pick 2)
 a.
The original Constitution established that the Vice President would become president is the president died.
 c.
No Vice President ever became President on the death of the President until the 25th Amendment
 b.
Until the 25th Amendment it was a tradition that Vice Presidents became president when the President died.
 d.
The 25th Amendment took an informal tradition and made it an official part of the Constitution
 

Matching
 
 
THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION
(WHEN CONSTITUTION WAS RATIFIED)
NOW
Slavery was permitted.
Slavery was abolished (by the Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 and subsequent laws).
There was no mention of judicial review.The doctrine of judicial review is well established (first stated by the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison in 1803).
No limit on presidential terms had been officially established. Presidential terms are limited to two elected terms (by the Twenty-second Amendment in 1951)
Voting rights were severely restricted (to property-owning white males).There are only minimal restrictions, such as  Age and residency requirements, on voting rights.
Which action changed the original constitution
a.
22nd Amendment
d.
Almost no restrictions today
b.
13TH Amendment
e.
Marbury v Madison
c.
14th Amendment
f.
Miranda Rights
 

 38. 

Voting rights were severely restricted (to property-owning white males).
 

 39. 

No limit on presidential terms had been officially established.
 

 40. 

Slavery was permitted
 

 41. 

There was no mention of judicial review
 



 
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