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What are the 3 powers of Congress the MBE is most concerned about?
Does the federal government have police power over the citizens of the several states? (hint: MILD)
- No. Congress does not have a general police power. However, Congress may exercise police power in limited situations, if the exercise of that power is MILD
- M: Military
- I: Indian reservations
- L: Lands (federal lands)
- D: District of Columbia
The federal government is often said to be one of limited powers. What does this mean?
It means that the government can exercise only those powers granted to it by the Constitution. This means that Congress can only act (i.e., legislate) where its authority is express or implied from the Constitution.
What does the Necessary-and-Proper clause means, in terms of Congressional authority?
The necessary and proper clause means that Congress can adopt those laws that are "necessary and proper" to exercise the authority expressly granted to it by the Constitution.
For what purpose may Congress exercise its power to Tax and Spend?
The "general welfare" (especially where it is tied to MILD)
What can Congress regulate under the Commerce Clause?
- Congress regulate commerce with foreign nations, the indian tribes, and commerce among the several states. This means that Congress can regulate the following: |
- • Channels of interstate commerce (such as highways, waterways, the internet, etc.)
- • Instrumentalities of interstate commerce (e.g., trains, airplanes)
- • Persons or things in interstate commerce
- • Economic activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce (e.g., cumulative effect of wheat growers)
What powers do the states (people) have?
Tenth Amendment: All powers not granted to the United States, nor prohibited to the states, are reserved to the states or the people.
Can Congress compel states to adopt regulatory or legislative action? (the "stick" approach)
- No. However, Congress can induce state government action by putting conditions on grants of federal money (the "carrot" approach) IF |
- 1) the conditions are expressly stated, AND
- 2) the conditions are related to the purpose of the spending program
Can Congress prohibit harmful commercial activities approved by a state government?
Can Congress delegate its legislative power?
- YES! There is no limit on the extent to which Congress may delegate its legislative power |
- • However, Congress may not delegate executive powers to itself or its officers. Legislative vetoes are unconstitutional. |
- • Exam Tip: There is no such thing as excessive delegation of legislative power by Congress
What is a Line-Item-Veto?
- • A line-item-veto is a bill that allows the President to sign, by line item, some provisions into law and to veto, by line item, other provisions.|
- • The line-item-veto is unconstitutional because it violates the constitutional requirement of bicameralism and presentment.
- • In other words, the President may sign into law an entire bill, or may veto an entire bill, but cannot sign only some portions of a bill and not others.