Lots of talk in MacRumors about the U.S. Constitution. Here is a quick reference I put together 5 years ago. Part 1 _________________________________________________________________________________ Declaration of Independence- The Charter, Purpose Document, why we were founded. 1400 words. U.S. Constitution- By laws, how we will govern ourselves. 4500 words. 4000 of the words describe the three branches of government and how they will operate. 400 words describe the relationship to the States and the process of making amendments. The preamble consists of the first 52 words that state the six core purposes of why the Constitution was written. They define and limit the rest of the document to these six purposes as described in the preamble. Declaration of Independence and Constitution are designed to work together. Bill of Rights- 10 items that describe citizen rights. Originally 10, more have been added since. Preamble of the Constitution We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Preamble Paraphrased: Connect States, Ensure Justice, Ensure Peace, Provide Defense, Promote General Wellfare, Secure liberty for now and the future. General Welfare- means promote a fair economic playing field for our citizens. Comment: No surprises so far? Part 2 __________________________________________________ __________________________________ 3 branches of Government 1st Branch Congress: 1. Borrow and Coin money. 2. Regulate Commerce. 3. Regulate Immigration 4. Set up post office and roads. 5. Create an environment for good commerce. 6. Maintain Army, Navy, Militias 7. Declare War 8. Conduct Impeachments 9. Oversea District of Colombia. 10. Make laws limited to the six purposes of the Constitution and these areas. 2nd Branch Executive Branch (President) 1. Act as Commander in Chief 2. Appoint Ambassadors, Judges, and Officers. 3. Enforce Laws of U.S. 4. Sign Treaties & recieve ambassadors from other countries. 5. Grant pardons 6. Give State of the Union to Congress. 3rd Branch- Judicial (Supreme Court) 1. Take appeals from citizens, courts, & states. 2. Make Principled judgments. 3. Ensure jury trials. 4. Uphold Constitution. Important Concept: All 3 Branches of the U.S. government are to uphold and interpret the Constitution, not just the Supreme Court. The founding fathers were concerned because Supreme Court justices were appointed for life, there could be Judicial Overreach or Judicial Tyranny. Balance of Power over the Court: Congress establishes jurisdiction of the court, what kind of cases they can rule on and congress can impeach judges if they feel they are operating outside of Constitutional bounds. Checks and Balances: Congress- slightly more powerful than other branches. President- powerful in war and keeping the law, otherwise medium power. Supreme Court- Mostly used for checks and balances, least powerful. Bill of Rights (brief comment in video) 1. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the exercise thereof. Also insures Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press. X. Powers not delegated to the United States are reserved for the states respectively or the people. Reemphasised: Declaration of Independance and Constitution designed to work together. The Preamble of the Constitution limits what government is able to do. Part 3 __________________________________________________ Bill of Rights source: Wikipedia and U.S. Constitution Online. Theses are the Bill of Rights amendments to the Constitution. (Details after short list) *First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition *Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms. *Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops. *Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. *Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain. *Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel *Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury. *Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. *Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. *Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people. * Amendment 11 - Judicial Limits. Ratified 2/7/1795. Note History * Amendment 12 - Choosing the President, Vice-President. Ratified 6/15/1804. Note History The Electoral College * Amendment 13 - Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865. History * Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights. Ratified 7/9/1868. Includes Equal Protection Clause. Note History * Amendment 15 - Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified 2/3/1870. History *Amendment 16 - Status of Income Tax Clarified. Ratified 2/3/1913. Note History * Amendment 17 - Senators Elected by Popular Vote. Ratified 4/8/1913. History *Amendment 18 - Liquor Abolished. Ratified 1/16/1919. Repealed by Amendment 21, 12/5/1933. History * Amendment 19 - Women's Suffrage. Ratified 8/18/1920. History * Amendment 20 - Presidential, Congressional Terms. Ratified 1/23/1933. History *Amendment 21 - Amendment 18 Repealed. Ratified 12/5/1933. History * Amendment 22 - Presidential Term Limits. Ratified 2/27/1951. History * Amendment 23 - Presidential Vote for District of Columbia. Ratified 3/29/1961. History * Amendment 24 - Poll Tax Barred. Ratified 1/23/1964. History * Amendment 25 - Presidential Disability and Succession. Ratified 2/10/1967. Note History * Amendment 26 - Voting Age Set to 18 Years. Ratified 7/1/1971. History * Amendment 27 - Limiting Changes to Congressional Pay. Ratified 5/7/1992. History • First Amendment – Establishment Clause, Free Exercise Clause; freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly; right to petition Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. • Second Amendment – Militia (United States), Sovereign state, Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.  • Third Amendment – Protection from quartering of troops. No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. • Fourth Amendment – Protection from unreasonable search and seizure. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. • Fifth Amendment – due process, double jeopardy, self-incrimination, eminent domain. No person shall be held to answer for any capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. • Sixth Amendment – Trial by jury and rights of the accused; Confrontation Clause, speedy trial, public trial, right to counsel In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. • Seventh Amendment – Civil trial by jury. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law. • Eighth Amendment – Prohibition of excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishment. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. • Ninth Amendment – Protection of rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. • Tenth Amendment – Powers of States and people. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.