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Describe major principles that underlie the us constitution

    Assignment Instructions

    Answer the following questions:

    1. Write a dialogue among two or three people who don’t share the same ideologies. Select a topic for your characters to discuss that helps illuminate the similarities and differences among them.

    2. Who really rules America? Some might argue that the people do (the classical democratic ideal). Others might say that people organize themselves into groups and they are the ones that exert power, such as business, labor, and citizen groups. Some might argue that an elite is in charge, the very wealthy, business executive, Hollywood stars, etc. Perhaps all three dynamics are at play… What do you believe and what evidence do you have to support your claim? Use a current issue to discuss your opinion.

    3. Please identify and briefly describe the major principles that underlie the US Constitution (see PowerPoint). Illustrate one of these principles with an example from a current issue in the news. For example, the principle of federalism is illustrated by each state established its own rules regarding social distancing in March of 2020 (two paragraphs, thirty points).

    4. California’s most significant constitutional development is represented by the Constitution of 1849, the Constitution of 1879, and the reforms of the Progressive era beginning in 1911. Select one of these changes and discuss its causes and its consequences on Californians.

    5. Another important debate about politics is about whether direct or representative democracy is better. Review the discussion in the California chapter about direct democracy. First, briefly define the different types of direct democracy: the initiative, the referendum, and the recall. Second, go to the Secretary of State of CA election website Links to an external site.and review current propositions that may be on the next election’s ballot or find a proposition from a previous election. Summarize the one you selected. Third, do you believe that the people ought to be deciding the issue that you selected, or is it better left to state leaders in Sacramento to decide?

    6. Most governments are not federal, instead, they are unitary. Why do we have a federal system? Consider our history. Why did we reject the confederal solution (the Articles of Confederation) and adopt the US Constitution.

    7. Using a copy of the Constitution, identify two clauses that give the national government power over the states. Why do you think the Tenth Amendment was added to the Constitution.

    8. Oftentimes, political scientists praise the virtues of federalism. Yet, there are often contentious relationships between the state and federal levels of government. Select a current issue that involves arguments about who should be in control. For example, there has been quite a bit of tension between states and the federal government during the pandemic. States have often resisted federal oversight, wanting to set their own rules and regulations. In the PowerPoint, I raise the issues of reducing drunk driving fatalities and capital punishment. In considering the issue, what responsibilities should the national government have? What responsibilities should the states have? To what extent should they be shared? Feel free to do additional research

    9. After the hurricanes of 2017, many comparisons were made to how national, state and local governments responded to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. There are many good films about what happened. The Frontline PBS show depicts the tragedy of New Orleans in particular. Go to their website Links to an external site.. The first twenty-minutes is particularly pertinent to watch. Watch this portion. What went wrong? What lessons can be drawn from this event?

    10. Who should decide abortion policy? When the US Supreme Court decided in Roe v. Wade that abortion is a woman’ s choice in the first two trimesters of pregnancy, the issue was effectively nationalized. All American women, regardless of where they lived, had an individual right to choose this option. In the summer of 2022 in the case of Dobbs. v. Jackson, the Court overturned Roe and turned the question of abortion policy over to the states. Some states have banned abortions under most cases, while others, such as California, have reinforced a pro-choice stance. To what extent do you believe that abortion should be decided on nationally or a the state level? Why?

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