#1. (Chapter 2) Define Federalism and Separation of Powers, Identify the Major Sources of State and Federal authorities explicit to the Constitution, and explain why the division of powers architecture was important to the Framers.
Federalism is the division of Governmental powers and authorities between the State and Federal Governments. Separation of Powers is not actually labeled or defined within the constitution. However, the Framers of the constitution found “to avoid tyranny, a separation or division of authority must exist” (Feldmeier & Hall, 2012). They believed if the powers and authorities weren’t separated there would be sheer chaos in the Nation. The U.S. Constitution explains the authorities the State and Federal Governments hold. The U.S. Constitution divides State and Federal powers in Articles I, II, and III. “Article I establishes Congress and sets forth its authorities. Congress is comprised of two chambers: the House of Representatives, and Senate” (Feldmeier & Hall, 2012). Articles II and III continue to establish the president, his powers, and the rules and authorities of the U.S. Supreme Court. It was vital the Framers to apply a separation of powers to the very architecture of the Constitution. The Framers “had experience with a centralized authority, the English Crown, and found it arbitrary and unjust” (Feldmeier & Hall, 2012). To prevent the U.S. from a centralized authority, it was very important to design the U.S. Constitution with a Separation of Powers.
#2. (Chapter 3) Define and explain stare decises and its application by the Supreme Court and Lower Courts.
“Stare decices is the doctrine that judicial decisions stand as precedents for cases arising in the future” (Feldmeier & Hall, 2012). Once a Court makes a decision on a certain case, the same court and lower courts need to follow the decision in future cases which hold similar facts. This allow for the judicial system to be efficient, and the people of the United States can have an understanding of consequences for particular actions. In most all cases, stare decises is important to follow, because it is almost always the right decision. Respectfully most of the time stare decises is followed by the deciding courts, and lower courts. However, if there is a case when deciding with precedent would be unjust, or significantly unreasonable a judge may decide against precedent. Usually, a judge deciding against precedent would be considered to be an activist. “More broadly, judicial activism describes two phenomena: a pattern by a judge of disrupting precedent in favor of his own conceptions and beliefs, and a pattern of using judicial decisions to engage in social engineering or policymaking” (Feldmeier & Hall, 2012). Other factors are also considered when deciding against precedent, but more often than not, stare decises is applied to a judge’s decision making.
#3. (Chapter 4) List and explain the authority of Congress that are...