30 October 2015

Checks and Balances

One of the six big ideas we discussed in American Constitutional Law is the principle of checks and balances that can be found throughout the U.S. Constitution. One example is how vacancies in the federal judiciary are filled. The process involves the President nominating an individual and then the U.S. Senate votes whether to confirm the nomination. This check on presidential power is taken seriously and has become increasingly politicized by both parties. Politico recently ran an article with the headline "Angry GOP Senate freezes out Obama nominees" illustrating nicely how nominations for the federal bench have been caught up in the political polarization that is a hallmark of today's Washington D.C..

28 October 2015

The Origins of the U.S. Constitution

To add to the short history lesson I gave students in my American Constitutional Law course, I am providing this link to a wonderful and short summary of Battle of Yorktown, which marked the end of the American Revolution and the birth of a new nation.