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Tracking Legislation

12 Jul

Tracking Legislation: Go to the Congress.gov website.

Select an issue you would like to research. Type your issue name or related terms into the search text box and select the search button. The site will search all bills to see which ones include your search term. Select one that concerns your issue in the current year. Look at the status of the bill. Note if there are any issue groups interested in this bill.

Questions:

Answer the following questions thoroughly using the workfile provided in Part 1. The answers you provide, as always, should be your original work.

  1. What is the title of the bill?
  2. What is the bill about, in general?
  3. What is the status of the bill? (Is in still in committee? Did it become law?)
  4. What Congress member sponsored the bill?
  5. How do you feel about the bill?

 

Directions: Determine whether or not the Constitution gives Congress the authority to create each of the following laws.  Your answers should explain why Congress does or does not have the authority, and should also cite the Article, Section and Clause from the Constitution that gives or denies the authority. DO NOT USE EXAMPLE AS ANSWER.

  1. Refer to the Constitution of the United States of America in the Appendices of your text or from the National Archives to help answer these questions.
  2. “Whoever transports in interstate or foreign commerce a motor vehicle or aircraft, knowing the same to have been stolen, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both…”
  3. “Every person who has made any contract or engaged in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony…”
  4. “Copyright protection subsists, in accordance with this title, in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression, now known or later developed, from which they can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device…”
  5. “A person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality by voluntarily performing any of the following acts with the intention of relinquishing United States nationality – (1) obtaining naturalization in a foreign state upon his own application or upon an application filed by a duly authorized agent, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or (2) taking an oath or making an affirmation or other formal declaration of allegiance to a foreign state or a political subdivision thereof, after having attained the age of eighteen years; or (3) entering, or serving in, the armed forces of a foreign state if (A) such armed forces are engaged in hostilities against the United States, or (B) such persons serve as a commissioned or non-commissioned officer…”

Example:

 

 

Law:  Decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces may be reviewed by the Supreme Court by writ of certiorari in the following cases: (1) Cases reviewed by the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces under section 867(a)(1) of title 10. (2) Cases certified to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces by the Judge Advocate General under section 867(a)(2) of title 10.

Answer:  The Constitution does give Congress the right to pass this law.  Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution says that Congress can make laws “to provide for the organizing, arming, and disciplining of (the) militia…”  This law refers to court procedures for appeals with members of the Armed Forces, so it relates to the ‘disciplining’ of the militia.

 

 

Directions: For this assignment, you will need to provide two examples of each of the following roles of the president:

  • Commander-in-Chief
  • Party Leader
  • Personnel Recruiter
  • Domestic Crisis Manager
  • Treaty Negotiator

In other words, you will need to provide 10 total examples, two per category. For your examples, you may choose actions taken by the following presidents: Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush, or Obama. To get you started, an example is given for Personnel Recruiter within the assignment workfile. DO NOT USE EXAMPLE AS ANSWER.

Example (Personnel Recruiter):

Ronald Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, when he nominated Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981. She was confirmed by the Senate and served until her retirement during the 2005-06 court term.

 

 

 

  1. Define congressional oversight.
  2. Describe three methods of congressional oversight
  3. Which method do you feel is the most powerful?
  4. Do you feel congressional oversight is effective?
  5. Research INS vs. Chahda at OYEZ.org, including discussion-based arguments, summary and facts of case.  Describe the method of oversight used here and the implications of the Chadha decision on the bureaucratic process.

 

 

 

Research one issue: Find the three parts of that issue’s Iron Triangle. You may want to use the PAC you used in an earlier assignment. If you are having trouble looking for an issue you may want to research from the point of view of the Governmental Department. Looking at the organization of a Department may help you think of an issue. You should research actual names of PACs, committees, and agencies within the bureaucratic departments. Give as many details as you can. DO NOT USE EXAMPLE AS ANSWER.

*Include one paragraph explaining why this group is an Iron Triangle.

Find information about PACs at  Federal Election Commission.

 

Here are the three parts of the triangle.

  1. PAC
  2. Member(s) of Congress
  3. Bureaucratic agency that oversees the policy implementation of that issue

Example issue: Defense

  • Defense contractor PACs
  • The Senate Armed Forces Committee—Name members if you can
  • The Department of Defense

 

 

Let’s examine the nomination process for three different judges: Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, and a third judge of your choice.

Take each judge one at a time and discuss the following:

  1. Describe the nomination process for this judge. This should go into some detail about his previous rulings and ease of the nomination process and any other significant events that occurred during the hearing of the nominee.
  2. Why do you think the president nominated this particular judge? Are there any patterns in presidential nominations? If so, does this nominee follow the pattern?
  3. What was the outcome of the nomination/confirmation process?
  4. What effect has this nomination had on the Court?

 

 

 

  1. How is the Watergate scandal relative to today?
  2. Was Nixon’s involvement solely an ethical issue or was there a constitutional basis for the possible impeachment process?
  3. Does the president have an obligation to live a more moral and ethical lifestyle as president or should they be allowed the same privacy of all citizens?
  4. Do you think that impeachment is strong enough to prevent American presidents from misusing their power? Why or why not?

 

 

 

 

Now respond by either agreeing or disagreeing to the following statements made by students. Explain.

 

“1. The Watergate Scandal was an infamous situation in which the president of that time, Richard Nixon, abused his executive power and tried to have people break into the Democratic National Committee Headquarters. The reason why the Watergate Scandal may still be seen as relevant today is due to the actions of Donald Trump. Many people believe that his actions are unwarranted, and the decisions that he has solely made will lead to even more chaos and disorganization. The connection between the two is very alike, and we could possibly be seeing a second recurrence of the past.

 

  1. Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate Scandal was solely a constitutional basis for impeachment. Article II Section IV formed the guidelines for the impeachment of any civil worker, and it states that they can be forced from office for any sort of “high crime.” Richard Nixon was charged with several high crimes, including treason and several abuses of his executive power.

 

  1. As the leader of a nation, I believe that the president must keep their obligation to live a more moral and ethical lifestyle. As the forefront of America, keeping the highest obligation as a simple duty to him and his people is the greatest priority and sacrifice that a president must be able to make. The president is not just a normal citizen, and his actions and lifestyle should reflect that.

 

  1. Impeachment is the highest punishment for any president committing a high crime.  There may have been several cases of presidents not acting at the highest standard of professionality, but almost all presidents have managed  to successfully lead the nation and make the right decisions. I believe that is why impeachment is strong enough to stop American presidents from misuse of power.”

 

 

 

Now respond by either agreeing or disagreeing to the following statements made by students. Explain.

 

“1. How is the Watergate scandal relative to today?

The Watergate scandal drastically hurt the public’s opinion of politicians. The public’s view of politicians became very aggressive, heavily criticizing errors made by these politicians and not often emphasizing the positive consequences these politicians bring with their legislations and actions. The public now has more access to government information because this is the main source of truth between the public and the federal government.

 

  1. Was Nixon’s involvement solely an ethical issue or was there a constitutional basis for the possible impeachment process?

Nixon’s involvement was that of bribing officials, bugging political opponents, and deflecting the investigation by ordering unnecessary investigations of activist groups and prominent figures. Therefore, there was a constitutional basis for the impeachment process.

 

  1. Does the president have an obligation to live a more moral and ethical lifestyle as president or should they be allowed the same privacy of all citizens?

The president definitely has an obligation to live a more moral and ethical lifestyle as president, as the president represents the country’s political views and persona. However, they should not be allowed the same privacy of all citizens because the public needs to be able to trust a president who is not secretive and hiding illegal or unethical activities.

 

  1. Do you think that impeachment is strong enough to prevent American presidents from misusing their power? Why or why not?

I don’t think impeachment is strong enough to prevent American presidents from misusing their power because impeachment is merely a method of punishing a president for misusing their power. Impeachment is not seen as having enough of a significant impact on a president’s future, and future presidents may still have unethical views or corrupt policies that can not be mended by the threat of impeachment.”

 

 

 

 

 
 

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