Introduction To What Every Women Should Know
Due to the recent events in recent Political arena in the United States. I have compiled this instruction in regards to the History of Politics. This writing is set to be a guide and a tutorial, helping women better understand the political process. I am hopeful, that after reading this book, you will better understand the History and Differences of what is “pledged by the candidates” and the reality of what really happens, and why.
You also will learn how laws are created and how they can or cannot be changed. This will include all branches of the government, and how they work within the United States of America.
I am writing this in order to educate all voters, most importantly women. To help create a better understanding and to be able to tell the difference between the rhetoric and the truth.
The History of the United States Government & How it Works
The Unites States government is made of of three parts.
3. Judicial (supreme Court)
The founding fathers of this nation, wanted to ensure that the power was distributed evenly. In other words, no one part of the government would have more power than the other. They wanted to ensure we would not have a government like Britain. This was on the minds of the writers of the Constitution. So, the called this the separation of powers.
Each part of the government had, and still does have different responsibilities. Yet, it was designed so they could work together for all government to run smoothly. This was done to assure that all citizens rights were and are protected. This was done by using a checks and balances system. In other words, one branch of government can check the powers of the others to ensure a balance of power.
Let’s begin by looking at the first branch of government and what it does.
The first branch of government we will examine is the legislative. This branch is The Senate and The House of Representatives. This branch passes our laws. It begins by a Congress person, drafting a bill. A bill is a document outlining a law that they want to get passed. The bill is then put on the “floor” of congress, all Senators have the right to speak for or against this bill. Then a vote is taken. If a majority vote to pass the bill, it then goes on to the House of Representatives. If it is not passed, (in other words) did not receive enough votes to reach a majority, then it is called a “no bill”. At this time the bill is “dead”. They only way that the law could be passed, is to have a Congress person start the process all over again.
If the bill, is passed (had a majority of the vote for it), then it goes to the House of Representatives and the process begins again. The bill is read and introduced, the Representatives, then can ague for or against it. A vote is taken, and the bill is not passed( it did not get the majority of the votes needed to pass). Then the bill is again a “No Bill” and considered dead. The same thing now applies in order to pass the law, they must send it back, and a Congressman must draft a new bill and start all over again.
If the bill is passed by BOTH the House and the Senate, then it is passed on to another branch of government. The Executive. You have to remember that there are alot of people who have to agree. This is why it is very hard to get laws passed. No one person has more authority than the other. Thus, checks and balances. There are 435 members of the house, and 100 members in the senate. So, they must get a majority of 535 different people.
A bill that has passed both the House and Senate, then goes to the Executive Branch of the government, the President. If he so chooses he may sign it and it will become law. If the president disagrees, he can choose to VETO it. By doing so, he is saying “no”, this will not become law.
The senate and house both have special jobs only they can do, such as:
Say yes or no to any treaties the president makes.
Say yes or no to any people the president recommends for jobs, such as cabinet officers, Supreme Court justices, and ambassadors.
Can hold a trial for a government official who does something very wrong.
The House of Representatives also have special jobs, only the can do, such as:
Start laws that make people pay taxes.
Decide if a government official should be put on trial before the Senate if s/he commits a crime against the country.
This is the way the laws have been passed since the beginning our of nation. This system is still in place today.
Then last branch, but not the least is the judicial. This is the supreme court, this courts main function is to “interpret the Constitution“. The number of Judges depends on Congress. The Constitution does not tell us how many are needed. In the beginning of our nation, there were 6. That number has now grown to 9, this was done in 1869. This number still stands today.
All judges are “appointed for life”. Only the president can nominate a judge. The president can nominate anyone he or she chooses, there are no qualifications to be a judge. Once a judge has been nominated, then the Senate must hold a hearing and ask questions of the potential judge. After lengthy hearings and many questions, they will vote. If they vote to “confirm” him, he has a new job as a supreme court justice. If they do not vote to confirm him, he’s out of luck, and unemployed.
In the past few years, there has been alot of opposition to many of the “nominee’s“. Many groups have sent lobbyist to persuade Senators to vote for or against a potential judge.
I will use Roe vs Wade as example. If for instance, President Bush Or John McCain would “nominate” a judge. If the judge was clearly Pro– Choice, then the Pro–choice groups of this country would send the lobbyist to speak to the Senators, they would put pressure on the Senator’s, to “not confirm the judge”. This practice is relatively new to our country, beginning in 1925.
Once the committee reports out the nomination, the whole Senate considers it; a simple majority vote is required to confirm or to reject a nominee. Rejections are relatively uncommon; the Senate has explicitly rejected only twelve Supreme Court nominees in its history. The most recent rejection of a nominee by vote of the full Senate came in 1987, when the Senate refused to confirm Robert Bork.
However, this does leave the final decision with Congress, not the president. This is where the large amount of Congress people and lobbyist make a difference, remember they have to have a majority of the vote to win. Many presidents have tried to appoint justices that agree with there views, however this has not always worked out as they planed. Below is a example…
President Eisenhower expected him to be a conservative judge, but his decisions are arguably among the most liberal in the Court’s history. Eisenhower later called the appointment “the biggest damn fool mistake I ever made.” Because the Constitution does not set forth any qualifications for service as a Justice, the President may nominate anyone to serve. However, that person must receive the confirmation of the Senate, meaning that a majority of that body must find that person to be a suitable candidate for a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court.
Remember that the justices are under no obligation to rule in favor or any party. They are only ruling on Constitutional Law.
There are only 2 ways a Justice can be “not confirmed“, that is by vote of Congress, or what is called a “fillabuster“. This has never been successfully used for a Justice, however it is a possibility, so I will explain.
A filibuster indefinitely prolongs the debate thereby preventing a final vote on the nominee. While senators may attempt to filibuster a Supreme Court nominee in an attempt to thwart confirmation, no nomination for Associate Justice has ever been filibustered.
So, the chances of that happening on very small. The most frequent way is for Congress to vote “not to confirm”, thus the president must look for someone more suitable for the job.
As far as what kind of cases the court hears, remember it has to deal with Consititutional issues. It is a appellate court. Which means any persons who want the court to hear A case, must submit a “petition”. Then the Court decides if they will even listen to augments. All cases must go through all the lower courts first, only then will the court consider a case.
Let me explain further, here are some examples. In Roe vs Wade, the pregnant women, (Roe) wished to challenge a Texas law outlawing abortion. Once Roe, had been through the lower Texas courts, the appeal finally went to the Supreme Court. This process can take years, it is not speedy. The Supreme court ruled that the Texas law violated the 14th amendment of the Constitution, thus the right to privacy as it pertains to due process. By doing so, the court overturned all the states laws against abortion.
When we all hear the term “overturn”, it simply means to reverse. The only way Roe vs Wade could be overturned, is if Roe or someone else challenged the lower courts, and made it all the way back to the supreme court. This has already been attempted by Roe.
The woman known as “Roe” in the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down all state laws restricting abortion is filing a motion in federal court today to overturn the 1973 decision.
The Roe v. Wade ruling should be set aside because of changes in law and new research that make the prior decision “no longer just,” argues Allan E. Parker, Jr., lead attorney for the San Antonio, Texas-based Justice Foundation.
Parker is representing the former “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey, who has the right to petition for reopening the case because she was party to the original litigation.
This attempt has not worked so far, because many of the Pro – Choice groups came in and as opposition. Also, members of Congress could (although not very likely) introduce a bill to have Roe overturned. Remember this would have to pass by a majority of the vote. Then be signed by the president.
But just to make all this clear, if Roe vs Wade were ever to be reversed, then it will reverse the court decision. This would NOT out law abortion like alot of people think. All it would do is leave the decision up to each and every state in our union. Thus leaving the final decision up to each state. This would free up states to pass their own laws either for or against abortion.
This is the important part, NO PRESIDENT OR ONE PERSON CAN OVERTURN THIS LAW.
The president does not introduce laws, or overturn decisions. It takes alot of time and many people to overturn any decision. The only infulence that the president has is nominating theses judges. There is no gaurentee that the judge will be confirmed, and no gaurentee that he will rule in anyones favor. All justices must intereat the Consititution, no more, no less. Many Canidates have used this ploy with the voters, for examlpe. Ronald Reegan was elected, and it was hoped by the far right, that he could appiont judges to overturn Roe vs Wade. This is did not pan out. Conservatives have used this lie to sway votes, knowingly and diberatly misleading the uniformed public. thus, convicing women voters that thier Pro- Life belief will be overturned. The truth is more rhetoric than truth, we will examine this much more in Chapter 2.
So, knowing this, do not fear John McCain or any other candidate. They do not have as much authority as you think.