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October 22 Lecture POL327.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science

October 22 Lecture POL327 US constitution: system of checks and balances that divides authority- executive/legislative.. Legislative (congress) makes the law, generally considered the most dangerous component of government. This creates the possibility of dominating minorities. Congress is divided against itself to make it more difficult to pass anything that would hurt minorities. Minorities usually meant religious, like Quakers. Quakers were viewed as enemies because they didn’t support the revolution, made it worry some to be thrown into a democracy where they represented a tiny minority. “Faction” group of people motivated by a passion, they are not problematic if they represent a minority they become a problem when they become a majority. Most common cause of faction is unequal distribution of wealth this means key minority to become is wealthy. Charles Beard picked up on this who argues the constitution is best understood if you look at it from the view of protecting the ruling minority. Congress was the most dangerous because it passes the laws, the laws are the biggest threats to minorities because they are most likely to threaten the rights. Executive branch: domestic politics was to see if the laws were executed, unimportant takes direction from Congress and enforces it. foreign policy- checks and balances that was designed for domestically now refers also to foreign. Checks and balances congress was given the right to declare war, appointment of cabinets, treaties. The president was given the power of commander and chief in the arm forces, beyond that he sends and receives ambassadors, what that indicates is a set of institutions sharing power. Every power in the congress there Is an equivalent in executive, only works effectively when it works together. It also provided for the possibility, power could shift to the executive. Globalization caused power to shift towards the executive branch, although the president is the commander and chief of armed forces. Didn’t have a large functioning army, it had a “minute man approach” – largely safe, long supply lines. If tensions rose, they would have enough time to mobilize an army due to the geographical location. The role of commander and chief was only effective when their was a declaration of war. 250 occasions of using soliders on foreign territory, not big but the role of commander and chief only relevant during periods of war became a central role in the executive branch. Calculated ambiguity: intentional in allowing people with different people opinions to vote for the same document for different reasons, where does the constitution power from. If the states give up power, they have the right to take it back. Foreign policy- allowed US flexibility in evolving over time, evolution has generally domestic/foreign policy tended to favor the executive branch. Expansion of federal government let them regulate commerce between the states, federal government can’t do things within the state- outlaw slavery, child labor, wages. Though 19 century this distinction was changed that it could regulate interstate commerce, it required goods to pass from one state to another where the quality of goods is important the president could argue he should know how these protocols went about Foreign policy- end of ww2 permanent defense establishment empowered the president to the extent which was previously unknown. Powers of negotiating treaties Three branches judiciary: important role in foreign policy. Core institution includes all the federal boards, appeals, core institution is supreme court- consists of 9 judges, all of which who are appointed by the president, with consent of the senate, for life only impeachment. Judicial duties (ambiguity). Basic idea, but not spelt out in constitution, role to keep eye on other branches, to make sure they won’t over step. Certain circumstances they should over rule if they conflict with constitution. Why would judges who are appointed be able to overrule elected officials? It is a power that the courts have. Marbury vs. Madison: early days of the republic, where first instance that a party was replaced by opposition. Federalist was replaced by the anti-federalists. Anti-Federalists viewed as extreme radical, outgoing Adams sought to replace their policies through the judiciary, where they stacked the courts with reliable federalists who would stand in the way of the new president to pass anything. “Marbury” Jefferson could refuse to hand over the judge paper, and if the court passes they can ignore it they don’t have their own police. On the other hand if the court decides not to initiate it, they would give Jefferson a huge victory where the federalists were not inclined to do that. 1789 judiciary unconstitutional, supreme court had the right to overrule presidents and congress pleased Jefferson didn’t have to hand over, defeat for federalist.. but favored the court. 1980s aftermath of Vietnam, would burn USA flags, Reagan tried to outlaw this, passed the law and someone burned an American flag and was arrested. Only when a case comes to the supreme court can it be replaced. Power they have used number of occasions. “Dreadsock” was slave taken from the south to the north, Michigan whichever rights my owner had no things over it. Courts overruled Missouri compromise, declared any state north of the Dickson line were free. Though they thought this made no sense so they took it to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court overruled it because he was a considered a slave and slaves were “property”. Courts have tried to stay out of foreign policy, courts are legal institution not political, foreign is not legal questions, proper place of checks and balances tends to be in the executive branch and legislative branch. Political questions doctrine: if president does something that someone doesn’t like, they can’t take it to the courts, they take it to congress against an unpopular policy. Stay out nd of political foreign policy issues. 2 ) argue that when the president does something, the soldiers sent into conflict, those can’t sue president; the court thinks the congress has given them complied consent. All 3) courts have generally acknowledged executive privilege: accounting office requested information on formulation of energy policy. Dick Chaney made an energy panel, never said who was on it guessed it was those in the oil industry, Chaney said he would not give access, was to get opinions and if they don’t make public who these people are. Supreme Court agreed with bush administration, early 1970s similar case, in New York Times vs. US- Pentagon Papers document that put together intelligence reports history of foreign policy in south East Asia, secret document leaked to press by Daniel Elsberg. Showed Nixon administration had secret war in Cambodia, bombing. Nixon called editors to stop them from reporting it, sued them where they decided in favour of New York times, not in favor of executive privilege, vital to make public make informed decisions. Water gate scandal, Nixon campaign 1972 broke into democratic campaign and stole their plans, some got caught, Nixon administration was involved, tapes revealed installed white house tapes to record what were said in each office, prosecutors wanted to gain access to these tapes, to kn
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