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Lecture 10

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Political Science
POLI 2327
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10/3/13 Lecture 10 MIDTERM THURSDAY OCTOBER 24 • Covering up to week 7 and 8 • Today, the president vetoes laws just because he doesn’t like law o In the past, could only veto if unconstitutional • HOW DOES THE UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSTITUTION AND WHAT IT MEANS CHANGE OVER TIME IN REACTION TO THINGS TAKING PLACE /CHANGING ELSEWHERE? o Political party visions about different powers of government  What is the role of political parties in changes of constitutional meaning? o How do things become settled and unsettled over time  Might be some drag out fight between different branches  Could be elections  Could be cultural change (gay marriage)  Might have institutions of government fighting out for preeminence • Interpretive Pluralism – many different voices expressing what they think the constitution means o Living in a time where interpretive pluralism is more active than it has been in a long time  Diversity of interpretations on whether Obamacare/ACA is constitutional • Fact that Supreme Court held up the ACA is irrelevant now • Removal Controversy – Jackson o Jackson didn’t like Bank and thought it was unconstitutional  Was going to kill it by ordering treasury secretary to remove all the money • Treasury secretary refused (wasn’t acting like agent of the president) so Jackson fires him o Appoints Attorney General as acting Treasury Secretary and he withdraws the money  Jackson is met with charges that he is violating the Constitution o One form of interpretive pluralism • State of South Carolina passes law that says if there is any black people coming in on a ship, they immediately go into jail, captain of ship has to pay for them and for their room and board, and when they are leaving they will be escorted back to ship o If captain didn’t pay, would be sold into slavery o Court ruling said that SC couldn’t do this but SC did anyway  Did it by citing sovereignty – doing it to prevent an uprising/revolution of slaves in SC…protecting their own existence • The black population of SC was about 45% at the time  Made it a public safety issue, ignored court’s ruling • Interpretive Pluralism makes it hard to achieve settlement o A lot of fights  Not always conversational • Popular Constitutionalism – not necessarily connected with institutions • Political Constitutionalism – Popular constitutionalism feeds into institutions • In Jacksonian era, interpretive pluralism will lead to Civil War • Today, there is an underlying consensus o There are baseline agreements in that the losers of an argument aren’t outsiders  Consensus societies • Opposite view = Consociational Constitutional systems o See constitution as a collection of interests that have come together and made a contract with each other – THAT’S IT.  If vital interests aren’t upheld, they’re OUT o Start to get southerners, like Calhoun in his Fort Hill Address  Start talking about nullification = ve
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