The United States Government Essay

This essay has a total of 4109 words and 23 pages.

The United States Government


U.S. Government (History) The United States Government

A collection of short reports all dealing with the United States Government.

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
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