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US Government Essay, Research Paper

William Jefferson Clinton William Jefferson Clinton was born on August 19, 1946,

in Hope, Arkansas. His father, William J. Blythe III was killed in an automobile

collision just two months before William?s birth. At age four, William

Jefferson Blythe IV was legally adopted by his mothers second husband, Roger

Clinton, making him William Jefferson Clinton. At age 22 William received a

Bachelor?s degree from Georgetown University. Just five years later, he

received his law degree from Yale. Soon after graduating from Yale, he became a

law professor at the University of Arkansas. He did not stay in one place for

long though, and in 1978 he became the Attorney General of Arkansas. From this

political position, he moved higher up in the ranks and in 1978 won the election

for the gubernatorial seat of Arkansas. In the 1980 elections, however, William

(Bill) was defeated by Republican Frank White. As the youngest governor of

Arkansas in 40 years, Bill then became the youngest ex-governor in United States

history. During the interim, Clinton was hired by the law firm Wright, Lindsey

and Jennings. In the 1982 elections, Mr. Clinton went after the position of

governor with renewed vigor and defeated incumbent Republican Frank White.

During the campaigning for the election a Time magazine article stated: ?If

Clinton does win, it could seem like less a comeback than a canny mid-course

correction in the path of a young, bright political star.? Clinton went on to

win the next two gubernatorial elections in the state of Arkansas. In 1988 he

had the possibility of a Democratic Party presidential nomination, but he

refused to run. Finally, in 1991, Clinton announced that he was going to run for

President of the United States. In the 1992 election, Bill Clinton ran against

Republican incumbent George Herbert Walker Bush and independent Ross H. Perot.

During the campaign, Bill met with some difficulty when the media discovered

that he had dodged the Vietnam draft, been unfaithful to his spouse, and smoked

marijuana while attending Oxford. Bill placated the liberal-biased media by

saying that he didn?t believe in the war, and he ?didn?t inhale.?

Opposition mounted when reporters discovered that Clinton and his wife, Hillary

Rodham, whom he married in 1975, had made some questionable dealings over a

piece of real estate referred to commonly as Whitewater. Despite the seemingly

insurmountable odds, Clinton won the election, with 46% of voting Americans

supporting him. Antonin Scalia, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was born

March 11, 1936 in an Italian majority section of Trenton, New Jersey. His

father, Eugene Scalia was a literary scholar and a professor of Romance

Languages at Brooklyn College. His mother was an elementary school teacher.

Scalia attended Xavier High School, a Catholic Military academy. He graduated,

first in his class, in 1953. One of his good friends once said: ?He was

brilliant, way above everybody else.? He later majored in History at

Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he again graduated first in his

class. Soon after leaving Georgetown, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where

he was known around the campus as an effective debater. From Harvard he earned

an LL. B. Degree and in 1960 joined the Cleveland based law firm Jones, Day,

Cockly and Reavis. He was one of the most straightforward conservatives on the

staff and there too earned a reputation as a debater. Later, President Richard

Nixon appointed Scalia to the position of Part-time General Counsel in Executive

Office of Telecom Policy. He was confirmed by Congress under the Gerald Ford

administration for the position of Assistant Attorney General in charge of the

Justice Department?s office of legal counsel. At that time his job was mostly

to give advice to the President and the Attorney General. In 1977 he became a

Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Antonin Scalia is now an

associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. He took his oath in 1986

and is the first Italian-American Supreme Court Justice. He was part of

President Ronald Reagan?s effort to make the judiciary system more

conservative. Mr. Scalia is very outspoken against racially based affirmative

action programs and the ?Constitutional Right? to abortion. His views are

closely related to those of the Reagan administration. Scalia is a very

intelligent individual, has an elegant writing style, and has personal charm

that makes him an influential member on the Supreme Court. Legislative

Department The Legislative Department consists mostly of the House and the

Senate, the two parts of Congress. The Senate has 100 members or two per state.

The House of Representatives has one representative per 30,000 people in the

state, currently 435, not including the one from Washington, D.C., who is not

allowed to vote. This is called the ?great compromise? because when the laws

were first being written the larger states wanted to have a system like the

House of Representatives, and the smaller states wanted an equal voice and liked

the Senate system better. Finally, in a compromise they decided to have both.

Facts on the House of Representatives: ? House of Representative members are

elected to a 2 year term. ? The minimum age to become a member is 25 years. ?

In order to become a member, you must have been a citizen of the United States

for 7 years. ? Members must be a resident of the state they are elected by. ?

The House of Representatives has the ?power of impeachment.? This means that

the House can vote to put the president of the United States on trial before the

Senate. The only president to have ever been impeached was Andrew Johnson in

1867. When the Senate finally voted, however, he missed being removed from

office by one vote. Facts on the Senate: ? Senators are elected to six year

terms. ? The minimum age for a senator is 30 years. ? You must have been a

citizen of the United States for 9 years. ? The Senate tries cases of

impeachment. Powers Granted to Congress The congress shall have the power: 1. To

lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and

provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all

duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States; 2.

To borrow money on the credit of the United States; 3. To regulate commerce with

foreign nations and among several states; 4. To establish a uniform rule of

naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the

United States; 5. To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign

coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures; 6. To provide for the

punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United

States; 7. To establish post offices and post roads; 8. To promote the progress

of science and useful arts by securing for limited times to authors and

inventors the exclusive rights to their respective writings and discoveries; 9.

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court; 10. To define and punish

piracies and felonies committed on the high seas and offenses against the law of

nations; 11. To declare war and make rules concerning captures on land and

water. 12. To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money for that

use shall be for a longer term than two years; 13. To provide and maintain a

navy; 14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval

forces; 15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the

Union, suppress the insurrections, and repel invasions; 16. To provide for

organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of

them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the

states, respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of

training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. Ronald

Wilson Reagan Ronald W. Reagan was born February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois.

He attended Eureka College and graduated in 1932 with a Bachelor of Arts degree

in economics. He was also popular on his high school football team and played in

college. Soon after graduating from college, Reagan began working as a radio

sports announcer. His big break, however, was in 1937 when he became a contract

actor for Warner Brothers starring in such movies as Knute Rockne-All American,

King?s Row, and probably his most famous, Bedtime for Bonzo. During WWII

Reagan patriotically served his country (unlike some other presidents) as a

captain in the army. It was soon after this that he became active in Democratic

politics, supporting Harry S. Truman for president in 1948 and Douglas over

Nixon in the California senatorial race in 1950. In 1952, Ronald Reagan married

actress Nancy Davis, a contract actress for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. They had two

children. Between the years of 1954 and 1962 Reagan was the host of a television

program called General Electric Theater. In the early 1950?s, Reagan wised up

and became more conservative, this time supporting Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952

and Richard Nixon in 1960. In 1962, Mr. Reagan switched his voter registration

to Republican, and was elected governor of California in 1966 and 1970. He was

not able to do everything that he had hoped as governor, because for six of the

eight years there was a democratic majority in the state legislature. However,

he did find time to cut welfare and start the Medi-Cal program to pay medical

bills for the poor. Reagan increased income taxes to avoid a projected deficit

but later gave rebates when the state government had a surplus. Reagan also

lowered the high property taxes of California. In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged

Gerald R. Ford for the Republican nomination but lost by a small margin. He was

not a quitter, however, and in 1980 he chased after the nomination again and

easily beat George Bush whom he later chose for his vice president. During the

Reagan Administration, Reagan brought conservatives to power both in the

Republican Party and in the nation. Reagan?s economic program, sometimes

called Reaganomics, was a tax and spending cuts budget which stimulated economic

growth between 1982 and 1987. The Constitution of the United States of America

The constitution of the United States is the framework of the government. On it

all laws are based, and if there is a conflict, the law will be determined

unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. An amendment to the constitution is when

a change is made to the constitution. In this section of my Government Booklet,

some of the most important amendments will be discussed. Amendment 1: Congress

shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the

free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or

the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government

for a redress of grievances. The first amendment is probably the most famous

amendment, because it gives citizens of the United States their basic rights and

privileges. However, these rights do have limits, and once you go past the

limit, you are breaking the law. Amendment 2: A well-regulated militia, being

necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and

bear arms shall not be infringed. Ask any member of the NRA what the second

amendment is, and 9 times out of ten, he will be able to quote it for you. With

the laws going more and more to the left, it is my guess that this right will be

infringed within the next ten years. Amendment 4: The right of the people to be

secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable

searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall issue but

upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly

describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This amendment is basically saying that the government, police, etc., cannot

come into your house without a warrant and ?just cause? for wanting to

search the area. Amendment 8 Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive

fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. This amendment is

one of the ones for people accused of a crime. In essence, they are not to have

bail unreasonably high, fines unreasonably high, or tortured. Many people say

that the death penalty is cruel and unusual punishment, but they are wrong.

Amendment 13 Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment

for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within

the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall

have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. This

amendment totally abolishes any slavery within the legal jurisdiction of the

United States. Amendment 19 The right of the citizens of the United States to

vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on

account of sex. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by

appropriate legislation. This amendment, made in 1920, gives women the right to

vote. Previously, women had almost no rights, and voting was a privilege that

they were not allowed to have. Amendment 21 The Eighteenth Article of amendment

to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed. The transportation

or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for

delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws

thereof, is hereby prohibited. This amendment repealed, or took back the

eighteenth amendment which made alcohol illegal. Amendment 22 No person shall be

elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has

held the office of President, or acted as President, for more than two years of

a term to which some other person was elected President shall be elected to the

office of President more than once. This amendment makes it so that a president

can only serve for two terms in his lifetime. This keeps the United States from

ever having a dictatorship. Amendment 26 The right of citizens of the United

States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or

abridged by the United States or any state on account of age. The Congress shall

have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. This

amendment, made in 1971, lowers the voting age from 21 to 18. The Presidents of

the United States President Election Years in Political Party Home State Year

Office George Washington 1788 1789-1793 None Virginia George Washington 1792

1793-1797 None Virginia John Adams 1796 1797-1801 Federalist Massachusetts

Thomas Jefferson 1800 1801-1805 Republican Virginia Thomas Jefferson 1804

1805-1809 Republican Virginia James Madison 1808 1809-1813 Republican Virginia

James Madison 1812 1813-1817 Republican Virginia James Monroe 1816 1817-1821

Republican Virginia James Monroe 1820 1821-1825 Republican Virginia John Quincy

Adams 1824 1825-1829 Republican Massachusetts Andrew Jackson 1828 1829-1833

Democrat Tennessee Andrew Jackson 1832 1833-1837 Democrat Tennessee Martin Van

Buren 1836 1837-1841 Democrat New York William H. Harrison 1840 1841 Whig Ohio

John Tyler 1841-1845 Whig Virginia James K. Polk 1844 1845-1849 Democrat

Tennessee Zachary Taylor 1848 1849-1850 Whig Louisiana Millard Fillmore

1850-1853 Whig New York Franklin Pierce 1852 1853-1857 Democrat New Hampshire

James Buchanan 1856 1857-1861 Democrat Pennsylvania Abraham Lincoln 1860

1861-1865 Republican Illinois Abraham Lincoln 1864 1865 Republican Illinois

Andrew Johnson 1865-1869 Republican Tennessee Ulysses S. Grant 1868 1869-1873

Republican Illinois Ulysses S. Grant 1872 1873-1877 Republican Illinois

Rutherford B. Hayes 1876 1877-1881 Republican Ohio James A. Garfield 1880 1881

Republican Ohio Chester A. Arthur 1881-1885 Republican New York Grover Cleveland

1884 1885-1889 Democrat New York Benjamin Harrison 1888 1889-1893 Republican

Indiana Grover Cleveland 1892 1893-1897 Democrat New York William McKinley 1896

1897-1901 Republican Ohio William McKinley 1900 1901 Republican Ohio Theodore

Roosevelt 1901-1905 Republican New York Theodore Roosevelt 1904 1905-1909

Republican New York William H. Taft 1908 1909-1913 Republican Ohio Woodrow

Wilson 1912 1913-1917 Democrat New Jersey Woodrow Wilson 1916 1917-1921 Democrat

New Jersey Warren G. Harding 1920 1921-1923 Republican Ohio Calvin Coolidge

1923-1924 Republican Massachusetts Calvin Coolidge 1924 1925-1929 Republican

Massachusetts Herbert Hoover 1928 1929-1933 Republican California Franklin D.

Roosevelt 1932 1933-1937 Democrat New York Franklin D. Roosevelt 1936 1937-1941

Democrat New York Franklin D. Roosevelt 1940 1941-1945 Democrat New York

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1944 1945 Democrat New York Harry S. Truman 1945-1949

Democrat Missouri Harry S. Truman 1948 1949-1953 Democrat Missouri Dwight D.

Eisenhower 1952 1953-1957 Republican Pennsylvania Dwight D. Eisenhower 1956

1957-1961 Republican Pennsylvania John F. Kennedy 1960 1961-1963 Democrat

Massachusetts Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1965 Democrat Texas Lyndon B. Johnson 1964

1965-1969 Democrat Texas Richard M. Nixon 1968 1969-1973 Republican California

Richard M. Nixon 1972 1973-1974 Republican California Gerald R. Ford 1974-1977

Republican Michigan Jimmy Carter 1976 1977-1981 Democrat Georgia Ronald Reagan

1980 1981-1985 Republican California Ronald Reagan 1984 1985-1989 Republican

California George Bush 1988 1989-1993 Republican Texas Bill Clinton 1992 1993-

Democrat Arkansas The Executive Branch The executive branch of the government is

led by the president, currently Bill Clinton. His main duties are to: A) Enforce

laws. It is the in the oath of office of the president to ?uphold the laws and

constitution of the United States.? B) Act as Commander in chief of the armed

forces. The president has this title because he is the ?head honcho? in the

military. The buck stops there. The president can ask congress for the right to

go to war as did Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on

December 7, 1941. Congress voted yes and the United States entered WWII. C)

Appoint key officials in the government. Among the many that the president

appoints are Supreme Court Justices, the surgeon general, and the attorney

general. D) Recommend laws to congress. The president can introduce a bill to

congress. The Senate and the House will vote on the bill. If both approve it, it

goes back to the president for him to sign. Once he has signed it, it is a law.

Either part of Congress may introduce a bill as well. If it passes through both

the House and the Senate, it goes to the president for him to sign. If he

disagrees with the bill, he may choose to veto it. Veto is a combination of the

words vote no. When the president vetoes a bill, it goes back to Congress for

them to review it. In order to check the president?s power and pass the bill

into law, there must be a two-thirds majority when the ballots are cast. The

president also has the power to grant a reprieve or pardon to any convicted

criminal or even someone who has not been charged yet. This is illustrated by

Gerald Ford?s pardon of Richard Nixon before he was to be charged for any

involvement of his in the Watergate scandal. The pardon was granted to keep the

United States from being embarrassed at having one of their presidents on trial.

On the upside, Nixon was respected globally for his efforts to open and

establish relations with China. The president of the United states has a four

year term. He may serve up to two terms in his lifetime. The salary for the

president is $200,000 per year. The president must also be a natural born

citizen and must have lived in the United States for 14 years before running.

Jack Metcalf Jack Metcalf, a Washington State senator, attended the University

of Washington between 1944 and 1948. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from

Pacific Lutheran University in 1951 and then later in 1965-66 went back to the

University of Washington. He also patriotically served his country in the armed

forces between 1946 and 1947. Metcalf, a teacher and bed & breakfast owner,

has a wife, Norma, and four children. Metcalf has a colorful background as a

good Republican public servant. His political career began in 1958 when he

received the Republican nomination for one of the Washington House of

Representatives positions. Between the years of 1961 and 1965, Jack Metcalf

served his state in the Washington House of Representatives. In 1964, however,

he was defeated for re-election. Never a quitter, though, Metcalf ran for a

Washington State senator position, and won. He served as a senator between 1967

and 1975. In 1968 and 74, Metcalf, now a seasoned politician, received the

Republican nomination for the Senate. He served in the Washington Senate from

1981 to 1993. He was the Republican nominee for the United States House of

Representatives in 1992. At the age of 67, he took his House of Representatives

oath, and was the oldest member of the ?Class of ?94.? In his 1992

campaign for the Congressional seat against Democratic challenger Al Swift, he

promised to limit his terms to six years in Congress. He has described himself

as a ?guy willing to take some kamikaze runs.? Metcalf has stated a call for

the restoration of the gold standard, and criticizes the Federal Reserve System.

In 1994, it did not look like Metcalf was indeed going to again win the

Republican nomination. He had to survive direct attacks from Republican rival

Senator Tom Erwin in the primaries. He won the nomination, however, but it

looked bleak for Metcalf against State Senator Harriet Spanel. However, most of

her financial backing came from unions, environmentalists, and women?s groups.

1994 was the wrong year to be a liberal. Although Spanel had the better funding,

she was hurt by her support of the assault weapons ban and the Brady Bill.

Metcalf opposed both. Another thing that helped Metcalf was his total opposition

to abortion, which made him popular among conservatives. Spanel won support from

San Juan County, but Metcalf won the rest of the counties in the district.

Review There are three branches of the United States Government. The

legislative, judicial, and the executive. Ideally, no one is more powerful than

the other two. They are all equal. They all have certain powers as well as

certain checks on powers. Congress is the main body of the legislative branch,

and is composed of two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The

judicial branch consists of all of the courts in the United States, but is

headed by the Supreme Court. The president is the leader of the Executive

branch. In order to become a president, one must be at least 35 years of age and

a natural born citizen living in the United States for 14 years. The term of

office for a president is 4 years. The term of office for the Unites States

House of Representative members is 2 years, while Senators enjoy 6 years in a

term. In order to be in the House, you must be at least 25 years of age, for

Senators the minimum age is 30. There are 100 members of the Senate, two for

every state. The House of Representatives, however, has 435 members, plus one

from Washington D.C., but he/she is not allowed to vote. In order for a bill to

become law, it must pass the Senate, House of Representatives, and the President

must sign it. If the president vetoes a bill, it is kicked back into Congress,

where it may undergo revision, or simply be voted upon again. If Congress votes

and both halves get a 2/3 majority, the bill is passed into law without the

president being able to do anything about it. Some of the president?s jobs are

to be the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, to enforces laws, and to grant

pardons to criminals. Congress sets and collects taxes, has the power to borrow

money, declares war, provides for an army and a navy, creates lesser courts, and

coins money.


Blough, Glen O. The Young People?s Book of Science. United States of

America, McGraw-Hill, ?1968, pp. 1-436. Claiborne, Robert. Word Mysteries &

Histories. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company, ?1986. pp. 2-308. ?Congress.?

The New American Desk Encyclopedia. Volume 1, page 302. United States of

America, Penguin Books Incorporated, 1989. Markoff, John. Cyberpunk. New York,

Simon & Schuster, ? 1991, pp. 1-366 ?Webster?s New World Dictionary

Second College Edition,? United States of America

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