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By December 8, 2018Academic Papers
POL 201 American National Government
( POL 201 Complete Course quizzes Included )
POL 201 Week 1 DQ 1 Separation of Powers Checks and Balances
Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances. For much of 2011 and 2012, public dissatisfaction with Congress rose to all time highs, with 70-80% expressing disapproval with how Congress does its job. Many commentators note that Americans are fed up with Washington “grid-lock” that makes government apparently unable to address important problems. Other observers believe that the national government is acting according to its design, based on separation of powers and checks and balances.
In your initial post of at least 200-250 words, analyze how the U.S. Constitution implements separation of powers and checks and balances. Briefly explain why the constitutional framers based the new government on these ideas. Evaluate how separation of powers and checks and balances are working out in practice, today, justifying your assessment with persuasive reasoning and examples.
POL 201 Week 1 DQ 2 Amending the U.S. Constitution
Amending the U.S. Constitution. The formal process of amending the Constitution is cumbersome and slow. While this fact explains why relatively few amendments have been adopted, it does not discourage advocates of constitutional change from proposing them. Four amendment proposals that have gained considerable attention are the Balanced Budget Amendment, the Birthright Citizenship Amendment, the Equal Rights Amendment, and the Overturn Citizens United Amendment. Select one of these proposals as the topic of your initial post and use the assigned resources to inform yourself about its purpose and the arguments of its supporters and critics.
POL 201 Week 2 DQ 1 Policy-making in the Federal System
Policy-making in the Federal System. The U.S. government’s expansive role in public policy is caught in a swirl of conflicting cross-currents. On the one hand, popular expectations about government’s responsibility to solve problems often exceed the capacity of state and local authorities to respond effectively. On the other hand, policies developed at the national level may not sufficiently reflect the great diversity of interests across the U.S. to be effective at the local level. Moreover, the search for effective policy is further complicated by theoretical debates about the constitutional framework of federalism, e.g., what limits on national power can be derived from the Tenth Amendment?
A policy area in the middle of these cross-currents is elementary and secondary education – a subject traditionally under local control, with some oversight by the states. However, during the last four decades – especially since 2001 – the national government’s role in education has grown significantly as a result of initiatives by Republican and Democratic administrations. Use the assigned resources to inform yourself about this role and the arguments of its supporters and critics.
POL 201 Week 2 DQ 2 Meet Your Rep
Meet Your Rep. The Constitution states, “The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States…” (Art. I, Sec. 2). Contrast this with the original constitutional language for the other house of Congress, “The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years…” (Art. I, Sec. 3). The phrase “chosen by the Legislature” was changed to “elected by the people” by the 17th Amendment, but not until 1912. In other words, from the beginning the House of Representatives was intended to be exactly what its name suggests –representative of the people. (Note that in 2010 the Tea Party, and some Republican politicians, called for repeal of the 17th Amendment, eliminating the popular vote for Senators. While most Republican politicians have backed away from that view, many Tea Party chapters continue to demand its repeal.
POL 201 Week 2 Short Essay  Policy-making in the Federal System
Short Essay – Policy-making in the Federal System. The U.S. government’s expansive role in public policy is caught in a swirl of conflicting cross-currents. On the one hand, popular expectations about government’s responsibility to solve problems often exceed the capacity of state and local authorities to respond effectively. On the other hand, policies developed at the national level may not sufficiently reflect the great diversity of interests across the U.S. to be effective at the local level. Moreover, the search for effective policy is further complicated by theoretical debates about the constitutional framework of federalism, e.g., what limits on national power can be derived from the 10th Amendment?
POL 201 Week 3 DQ 1 Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College
Presidential Leadership and the Electoral College. Americans expect their presidents to get things done, to solve problems, to govern effectively, and to be strong leaders. The framers of the Constitution did not envision such presidential leadership. A scholar of the presidency points out that Article II of the Constitution gives the president scant formal power to influence congressional policy-making (Simon, n.d.). He also notes that the framers intentionally designed a process for selecting presidents that would minimize their political power – the Electoral College. They hoped this institution would insulate the chief executive from the public because they feared the power of presidents who might be elected by the people. Therefore, the Constitution provides that “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress…” Having state legislatures “appoint” the Electors who select the chief executive would minimize the president’s capacity to lead on the basis of his popular support. In a very real sense, the president would not be accountable to the people but rather to the state legislatures who appoint Electors. This procedure was also seen as a way to encourage the selection of statesmen with “characters preeminent for ability and virtue” rather than mere politicians with “talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity” (Hamilton, 1788).
POL 201 Week 3 DQ 2 Defense Spending and the Military-Industrial Complex
Defense Spending and the Military-Industrial Complex. Levin-Waldman (2012, pp. 186-89) analyzes how “iron triangles” link Congress, the bureaucracy, and interest groups in self-serving relationships that influence policy in ways that are contrary to the public interest. In 1961, at the end of President Eisenhower’s second term, he gave a farewell address to the nation in which he warned of the dangers of a “military-industrial complex.” Many commentators today see the military-industrial complex as an example of an iron triangle that bloats the defense budget and distorts national priorities. Not everyone would accept this analysis, however, especially defense “hawks” in Congress, the military bureaucracies, and defense industries.
In your initial post of at least 200-250 words, briefly explain the iron triangle model of policy-making involving Congress, the bureaucracy, and interest groups. Analyze information about relationships among Congress, the military bureaucracies, and defense industries. Draw your own conclusion, and support it with facts and with persuasive reasoning, about the impact of these relationships on defense spending. Evaluate the accuracy of the iron triangle model as a basis for understanding the process of making defense spending policy.
POL 201 Week 4 DQ 1 The Supreme Court and Judicial Review
The Supreme Court and Judicial Review. In a recent lecture at Yale University, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer cautioned that while most citizens assume that judicial review is an enduring part of American government, judges should not take it for granted. He advises that if judges wish to preserve this undemocratic power they should follow a judicial philosophy that will “build confidence in the courts” (Breyer, 2011). Justice Breyer goes on to describe the kind of judicial philosophy he has in mind. However, some of his colleagues on the Supreme Court would reject his ideas about what philosophy should guide judges.
The role of judicial philosophy (or ideology) in Supreme Court decision-making, especially in its exercise of judicial review to invalidate laws enacted by a democratically elected Congress or state legislature, has become a highly contentious issue both within the Court’s deliberations and in the larger political environment. As the nation becomes more divided over programs and policies that inevitably seem to come before the Supreme Court, politicians and ordinary citizens are caught up in rhetoric about judicial activism or judicial restraint, often with little understanding of what these terms really mean.
Moreover, as public perceptions of the Supreme Court become more politicized, the legitimacy of its power becomes clouded.
POL 201 Week 4 DQ 2 Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror
Habeas Corpus and the War on Terror. Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush administration developed a plan for holding and interrogating prisoners captured during the conflict. They were sent to a prison inside a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay on land leased from the government of Cuba. Since 2002, over 700 men have been detained at “GITMO.” Most have been released without charges or turned over to other governments. In 2011, Congress specifically prohibited the expenditure of funds to transfer GITMO prisoners to detention facilities in the continental United States, making it virtually impossible to try them in civilian courts. As of April 2012, 169 remained in detention at GITMO (Sutton, 2012).
An assumption made by the Bush administration in selecting this location was that it was beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The administration wanted to avoid any judicial oversight of how it handled detainees, characterized as “enemy combatants.” A possible legal challenge to indefinite detention with no formal charges or judicial proceedings might arise from the habeas corpus provision of the Constitution.
POL 201 Week 5 DQ 1 Party Platforms and Winning Elections
Party Platforms and Winning Elections. Political parties mobilize voters to win elections and implement policy goals. Parties use their stated policy goals (i.e., their platforms) as a way to mobilize voter support. Generally, in order to be successful in a two-party system, parties must have policy goals across a broad range of issue areas to appeal to a broad range of voters.
For this discussion, you will identify one issue area that you want investigate. Use the resources required for this discussion to gather information about the goals and proposals, in that issue area, of three political parties – the Democratic and Republican parties and a third party.
POL 201 Week 5 DQ 2 Voting and Turnout
Voting and Turnout. The U.S. has one of the lowest voter turnout rates among modern democratic political systems. One study ranks the U.S. 120th on a list of 169 nations compared on voter turnout (Pintor, Gratschew, & Sullivan, 2002). While during the last decade many initiatives have been undertaken to increase voter participation, concerns about the possibility of election fraud have also increased. Additionally, some political interests feel threatened by the increase in turnout among some traditionally low-turnout ethnic minorities.
Several states have recently passed legislation imposing new registration and identification requirements. This has sparked debate about whether these are tactics intended to suppress turnout or to prevent fraud.
Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush administration developed a plan for holding and interrogating captured prisoners. They were sent to a prison inside a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on land leased from the government of Cuba. Since 2002, over 700 men have been detained at “GITMO.” Most have been released without charges or turned over to other governments. In 2011, Congress specifically prohibited the expenditure of funds to transfer GITMO prisoners to detention facilities in the continental United States, making it virtually impossible to try them in civilian courts. As of April 2012, 169 remained in detention at GITMO (Sutton, 2012).
An assumption made by the Bush administration in selecting this location was that it was beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The administration wanted to avoid any judicial oversight of how it handled detainees, characterized as “enemy combatants.” A possible legal challenge to indefinite detention with no formal charges or judicial proceedings might arise from the habeas corpus provision of the Constitution.
POL 201 Week 5 Final Paper Civil Liberties, Habeas Corpus, and the War on Terror
The final assignment for this course is a Final Paper. The purpose of the Final Paper is to give you an opportunity to apply much of what you have learned about American national government to an examination of civil liberties in the context of the war on terror. The Final Paper represents 20% of the overall course grade.
Soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Bush administration developed a plan for holding and interrogating captured prisoners. They were sent to a prison inside a U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, on land leased from the government of Cuba. Since 2002, over 700 men have been detained at “GITMO.” Most have been released without charges or turned over to other governments. In 2011, Congress specifically prohibited the expenditure of funds to transfer GITMO prisoners to detention facilities in the continental United States, making it virtually impossible to try them in civilian courts. As of April 2012, 169 remained in detention at GITMO (Sutton, 2012).
An assumption made by the Bush administration in selecting this location was that it was beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. The administration wanted to avoid any judicial oversight of how it handled detainees, characterized as “enemy combatants.” A possible legal challenge to indefinite detention with no formal charges or judicial proceedings might arise from the habeas corpus provision of the Constitution.
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states, “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Under this provision, persons detained by the government are entitled to a judicial hearing to determine if there is any legal basis for their detention. Some legal commentators refer to the right of habeas corpus as the “great writ of liberty” because it is a prisoner’s ultimate recourse to an impartial judge who can review the possibility that he is being held illegally by the executive (e.g., the police or the military). In nations that do not honor habeas corpus, people simply disappear into prisons without ever having their day in court.
Several controversial Supreme Court cases have come out of GITMO. One fundamental question that has been debated, but not clearly resolved, is to what extent the war on terror justifies the President’s indefinite detention of “enemy combatants” without the possibility of the minimal judicial review protected by habeas corpus? Another issue in the debate is to what extent Congress must clearly authorize the President to conduct extra-judicial detentions in order for them to be legal? In 2008, the Supreme Court’s decision in Boumediene v. Bush offered some answers to these questions. However, the deeply divided 5-4 Court and the likelihood of the protracted nature of the war on terror suggest that debate around these important questions will continue. Writing the Final Paper in this course will prepare you to participate intelligently as a citizen in this ongoing debate. Write an essay about the right of habeas corpus in the context of the war on terror. Your essay should address the following subtopics:
1. The general meaning of the right of habeas corpus in the U.S. Constitution and its relationship to the protection of other civil liberties.
2. The historical evolution of habeas corpus, including its English and American traditions.
3. Examples from U.S. history of the “suspension” of habeas corpus and their applicability to the present.
4. The relevance of habeas corpus to the contemporary U.S. situation during the war on terror, especially with respect to persons characterized by the President as “enemy combatants” or “illegal combatants.”
5. The U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the right of habeas corpus with respect to “enemy combatants” or “illegal combatants” (i.e., the views of the five justices making up the majority in Boumediene v. Bush as well as the views of the four dissenting justices).
6. Your evaluation of various perspectives on this topic expressed by justices of the Supreme Court, leaders in other branches of government, and commentators in both the academic and popular media. Your assessment should consider several perspectives on this topic, including :
a. The role of the President as commander-in-chief.
b. The role of Congress in determining when habeas corpus can be “suspended.”
c. The role of the Supreme Court in protecting civil liberties, including the judicial philosophy which should guide the Court in this role, and
d. Your personal philosophy, values or ideology about the balance between civil liberties and national security in the context of an unending war on terror.
Follow these requirements when writing the Final Paper:
1. The body of the paper (excluding the title page and reference page) must be at least 1,500 words long.
2. The paper must start with a short introductory paragraph which includes a clear thesis statement. The thesis statement must tell readers what the essay will demonstrate.
3. The paper must end with a short paragraph that states a conclusion. The conclusion and thesis must be consistent.
4. The paper must logically develop the thesis in a way that leads to the conclusion, and that development must be supported by facts, fully explained concepts and assertions, and persuasive reasoning.
5. The paper must address all subtopics outlined above. At least 20% of the essay must focus on subtopic 6, above (your evaluation of arguments about the topic).

Originally posted 2017-09-25 19:45:12.

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