Posted: February 19th, 2022
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Answer one of the twoessay questions in each section. cite all references.
I. THE CONSTITUTION:Answer ONE of the following questions
1) Federalismis one of the most important principles underlying the Constitution. Explain what federalism is and how theConstitutions 10th Amendment and full faith and credit andprivileges and immunities clauses establish this principle. How do dual and cooperative federalism differin their visions of the relationship between the federal government and thestates and how/why has the practice of American government increasingly shiftedtoward cooperative federalism? Inparticular, discuss how Supreme Court decisions, particularly those interpretingthe commerce clause and congressional power to disburse grants in aid, havevalidated the expansion of federal authority. Do you believe that this has been a positive or a negative development?
2) Theguarantees of freedom of speech and religion found in the 1stAmendment are arguably our most important rights guarantees. Discuss the major Supreme Court decisionsthat have given shape to these guarantees. In particular, discuss how the Courts interpretation of the freeexercise clause has evolved in cases involving claims to religiously-basedlegal exemptions. Also, discuss how theCourts interpretation of the establishment clause has given shape to theseparation of church and state. Finally,discuss how the Courts interpretation of the speech clause has fenced certaintypes of speech outside of the protection of the 1st Amendment. Do you believe that the Courts approach tothese rights has struck the correct balance?
II. GOVERNMENT INSTITUTIONS:Answer ONE of the following questions
1) Congressis distinctive as a legislative body in a number of respects. One of its most distinctive features is acomplex legislative process with numerous potential veto points. Explain how legislation works its way throughthis process and what the most significant veto points are. Also, explain the more general ways in whichCongress differs from national legislatures in other democracies and the mostimportant ways in which the two houses of Congress, the House ofRepresentatives and the Senate, differ from each other. Finally, discuss some of the most importantways in which Congress has evolved as an institution over the course of thelast century. Do you believe that recentevents demonstrate that the framers design is in need of revision?
2) Thepresidency has also undergone significant evolution as an institution. Explain how the use of the presidentsexpressed powers and the norms surrounding these powers have changed overtime. Also, explain the increasingimportance of delegated powers and how Supreme Court decisions have limited theability of Congress and the courts to control how delegated power is used bythe executive branch. Finally, discussexecutive orders, their constitutional basis, and how they represent a new methodof unilateral presidential policymaking. How have relatively recent changes in the selection of presidentialcandidates further strengthened the presidency? Do you believe that this progressive expansion of presidential power hasbeen a positive development?
III. CAMPAIGNS &ELECTIONS: Answer ONE of the following questions
1) Oneof the most distinctive attributes of campaigns in the United States is therelative lack of governmental regulation. Nonetheless, there are a number of regulations of campaign finance inplace to prevent corruption of the electoral process. What are the major pieces of federal campaignfinance legislation and how do these laws regulate federal campaigns andelections as well as private organizations that attempt to influence thepolitical process? Also, what limitshave Supreme Court decisions placed upon these regulations? Finally, how is lobbying regulated at thefederal level? Do you believe thatcampaign finance and lobbying should be subject to stricter regulation?
2) Whatrole do political parties play in American democracy? In particular, explain the major practicalfunctions that parties serve and how these functions have evolved. Also, explain why a two-party system (ratherthan a multi-party system) is a direct result of American electoral rules. How have the identities and ideologicalprofiles of the two major parties evolved over the course of the six distinctparty systems that have existed in American history? What recent changes have party coalitionsundergone and what does this indicate about the future of the parties? Do you believe that the United States wouldbe better served by a multi-party system?
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