Essay on “Political Science”
1. The executive checks the power of the American legislature. Through the use of veto power, the president is able to prevent the legislature from misusing its powers. The constitution grants the president this power and the importance of this can clearly be demonstrated.
One feature of the American politics is that there are only two political parties. These competing parties usually conflict in many issues and considering the fact that the individuals who win elections with no affiliation to any party are few, it means that it can be very difficult to pass bills in the parliament. In order to make it possible to pass the bill, parts that are not necessary to the bill may be included to ensure that the bill is passed. When the bill is passed, the president can then assent the bill while exercising the veto power to reject the parts of the bill that are not necessary. Therefore the veto power makes it possible to pass bills that would otherwise not be passed.
The veto power is also important in making sure that the legislature does not pass bills that are meant just to benefit the members of the legislature. Some members of the legislature support bills just because they are likely to benefit if the bills pass. In this regard, the president may exercise the veto power if the bill is not in the interests of the public.
In history, Abraham Lincoln used veto power on 4th July 1864 when he refused to sign a bill and hence the bill did not become a law. Lincoln then later explained why he refused to sign Wade Davis bill. This bill required that the southern states be controlled by provisional governors until when the war would end. Lincoln refused because he did not want commitments considering the fact that the congress was being adjourned.
Generally, there are two administrative levels in the United States. Both of these control the citizens of the United States. The two levels are the national federal government and the state government. The federal government has the power to control the citizens of all the states through its officers and the federal laws.
2. In the case of McCullock v Maryland, justice marshal described the powers of the federal government as inherent, implied or enumerated. The inherent powers of the federal government are the ones that it is supposed to exercise so that it is able to survive. Enumerated powers are the ones that are stated in the constitution. Implied powers are the ones that the federal government must exercise to enable it perform the duties assigned to it. In the case, marshal stated that the federal government has the power to declare and conduct war, collect taxes and control trade. In this case, it was decided that the state government had no power to overburden the federal government by taxing it. The federal government has the power to collect taxes to enable it perform its duties.
In the case of southern Dakota v Dole, it was decided that the states have the constitutional rights to regulate the drinking age of the people in the state. Therefore the state has no direct power to direct the drinking age of the people in the state. However, it was decided that according to the constitution, the federal government can indirectly influence the drinking age. This can be through controlling the allocation of finances to the state.
On the other hand, it was decided that the federal government has the direct authority to control fire arms in a school. This is considering the fact that sale of fire arm involves commerce which is regulated by the federal government. This was demonstrated in the case U.S. v. Lopez (1995). In this case, it can be seen that the constitution allows the federal government to control commerce while the state government has some power of deciding the behavior of their residents.
The 14th amendment stated that all the people born in or naturalized in any American state will become citizens of that state and therefore will enjoy the rights of being a citizen of the United States. Therefore no state can pass a law that is to limit the rights of any such citizen. Such people will become the citizens of the states and also the citizens of the United States. The constitution further states that the clause will be implemented by the congress and not the state government.
The intention of the clause was to ensure that the children of the slaves who had been bought from other parts of the world become citizens of the country. Also the African Americans in the country would become citizens of the United States.
Dred Scott v. Sandford was a case that was affected by the 14th amendment. In the case, the court decided that the slaves who were from Africa and their children were not American citizens and therefore they had no rights as American citizens. In addition, these people were not protected by the American constitution.
After the 14th amendment was passed, the above case ceased to operate as a precedent. This is because the children now would directly become citizens of the respective states and United States by their birth. In addition, the slaves who originated from different parts of the world became citizens of the country by naturalization. These people could now enjoy the constitutional rights of the country from when the 14th amendment was passed. Generally, the precedent above ceased to be applied after the 14th amendment was passed.
In Barron v. Baltimore (1833), the government was to establish whether the federal case laws were to apply in the states. According to this case, it was decided that the freedoms provided for by the federal government are not to apply in the state government. When the 14th amendment was passed, the case law was not to apply. In this regard, the 14th amendment changed the fact that federal case laws could not apply in the federal states.