PSC 100 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Abortion Law, Blanket Primary, Pass Laws

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9 May 2016
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Lesson 1
What are the differences between the Nevada and U.S. constitutions?
Nevada Constitution
Lengthier than U.S. Constitution
7,500 words = US
34,000 words = Nevada
State Constitutions are more detailed
The state has many functions, especially regarding our daily lives
Original Constitution (1864) still operational
9 Articles & 150+ Amendments
US Constitution has only 27
Purpose
1) Organize and Divide Power
oSeparation of powers
Legislature - lawmaking
Executive - implementing laws
Governor can veto bills
oVeto can be overridden by 2/3
majority of legislature
Judiciary - interprets laws
* In Nevada Constitution, the separation is much
more explicit
2) Limit Government
oChecks and balances
oDeclaration of Rights (similar to US Bill of Rights)
Free speech, right to attorney, etc.
Features
Amendments (150+) – 2 Methods
oLegislative
Majority of legislature can vote in favor of
amendment
It is submitted for a vote at the next legislative
session
A majority must again vote in favor
Majority = 11 members
Submitted to voters at next general election
The public’s approval is required for an
Amendment, unlike national Amendment
process
oInitiative
Citizens can propose new laws or constitutional
amendments
Revision
o1 Method - Throw out original Constitution and rewrite it
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2/3 of legislature must vote in favor of scrapping it
Submitted to voters in next general election
If the majority votes in favor, then a constitutional
convention is called
oNever Used
Term Limits
oAlmost all state officials limited in total number years they
may serve in any one office
oGovernor = 10 years
2 terms + 2 years of their predecessor’s term
oAttorney general, secretary of state, treasure, controller= 8
years
2 terms
oLieutenant governor = 12 years
3 terms
oLegislators = 12 years
o*Judges can served as long as they can be elected
Impeachment
oArticle 7
oState officials can be impeached for misdemeanors or
malfeasance (neglect of duties)
oProcess
Assembly majority must vote in favor of articles of
impeachment
State Senate acts as jury
Presided over by lieutenant governor
2/3 of State Senate must vote in favor of
impeachment
Official is removed from office and banned from
future public office
Lesson 2 - Direct Democracy, Progressive Era Reforms
Progressive Era - push for more direct participation/power for the public
1) Initiative
oAdded 1912
oCitizens can propose new laws (easier) or constitutional amendments (harder)
Constitutional Amendment Process
10% of voters from previous general election sign petition to
propose Amendment
This proposal goes directly to the voters in two general elections
Example 1:
o2006 - Eminent Domain proposal got majority vote
o2008- Majority voted for it again => it passed
Example 2:
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