INFORMALLY AMDENDING THE CONSTITUTION
Basic Legislation: Megans Law:
* Federal government enacted Megans Law on May 8, 1996.
* Increased public notification by law enforcement about sex offenders.
* Requires that convicted sex offenders and convicted pedophiles register with local police departments when moving
into a new area. Also, if they are moving back into residence after serving a
jail term, they must notify the local police department.
* Their right to privacy under the 4th Amendment is restricted.
Executive Action: Bush in Afghanistan & Iraq:
* Under Article II of the Constitution, the President has the power of Commander-in Chief of the Military. Bush interpreted this power as his right to lead the United States
in a war against terrorism. He does not need formal approval; it is his right
to do so. (Although he did seek Congressional approval and received it.)
Court Decisions: Roe v. Wade: (1973):
* Controversial court case that enables a woman the right to choose whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. There is nothing in the Constitution about medical choices, abortion, or pregnancy. The case interprets a womens right of privacy (4th & 9th Amendments) in allowing
her right to choose.
Party Practices: Aggressive Tax Cutting:
* Upon making good on a campaign promise prior to the 2000 Presidential election, George Bush Jr. promised to shrink
excess spending by cutting personal income taxes and returning excess budget money back to the American people. Republicans have cut federal spending when in office. (They
do however; give more responsibility to the individual states). Democrats tend
to spend more Federal money and less state money. There is a difficult correlation
between who spends and taxes more and who is in power at the time.
Custom: Creation of New Cabinet Position Sec. of Homeland Security:
* After the events of 9/11/01, President Bush created a new office,
to become a cabinet position called Homeland Security. He appointed former Penn.
Governor Tom Ridge as director. The purpose of the new Cabinet is to review individual security areas and make recommendations
to the president on how to correct weaknesses. This position was approved by
Congress and probably will remain in tact in the coming years.