Amending the Constitution (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Amending the Constitution     How to Amend the U.S. Constitution     One of the ways in which federalism is most clearly expressed in the Constitution is in the process for its amendment. Nine of the thirteen original states were required to ratify the … Read more

Bipartisan (

From the Congressional Glossary – Including Legislative and Budget Terms Bipartisan When members from two different political parties (in the contemporary Congress, Democrats and Republicans) work together to find a common solution, or when members from both parties work together in a group or jointly sponsor or co-sponsor legislation. In the House, the Speaker consults … Read more

Senate Confirmation Hearings

Some of the most highly publicized Senate hearings are those held for the purpose of considering presidential nominations. These nominations may include cabinet positions and nominations for other executive branch political offices, federal judges and U.S. diplomatic posts. photo credit: Harvard Law Record Witnesses at nomination and confirmation hearings typically include the individual nominated as … Read more

The President’s Nominations to Federal Courts

Because appointments to Federal District and Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court, are lifetime appointments, the Senate plays a constitutional (Article. II. Section. 2.) and active role in such appointments. The stakes in judicial appointments are often seen as being quite high by most senators. photo credit: maveric2003 The president typically consults senators … Read more

Criminal intent, mens rea, and the burgeoning prison population

Why are so many people in prison in America? “Overcriminalization” describes the trend in America – and particularly in Congress – to use the criminal law to “solve” every problem, punish every mistake (instead of making proper use of civil penalties), and coerce Americans into conforming their behavior to satisfy social engineering objectives. Criminal law … Read more