Preview (11 of 35 pages)

Preview Extract

Chapter 3 State Constitutions: Charters or Straightjackets? Multiple-Choice Questions 1. Which states charters, still in effect, are actually older than the federal Constitution? A. Virginia and Maryland B. New York and Massachusetts C. Massachusetts and New Hampshire D. Maryland and New York E. New York and New Hampshire Answer: C Rationale: Massachusetts and New Hampshire have state charters that are older than the federal Constitution. The Massachusetts Constitution dates back to 1780, while New Hampshire's dates to 1784. Both predate the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. 2. Which state‘s bill of rights predates the national bill of rights? A. Virginia B. Arkansas C. Wisconsin D. Ohio E. Texas Answer: A Rationale: Virginia's bill of rights predates the national bill of rights. Virginia's Declaration of Rights, adopted in 1776 as part of its state constitution, served as a model for the Bill of Rights added to the U.S. Constitution in 1791. 3. The first state constitutions ________. A. were outgrowths of colonial charters B. were all patterned after the U.S. Constitution C. have all been replaced by new constitutions D. were viewed as inadequate by the framers of the U.S. Constitution E. all required formal approval by the U.S. Congress to go into effect Answer: A Rationale: The first state constitutions were outgrowths of colonial charters. They were created by the former colonies as they transitioned to independent states during the American Revolution and served as foundational documents for state governments. 4. State constitutions are subject only to the ________. A. standard format required of all states by the federal government B. requirements of former legislatures C. mandates of the business community D. broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution E. review by the House Judiciary Committee Answer: D Rationale: State constitutions are subject to the broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution. While state constitutions can provide additional rights and protections beyond those guaranteed by the federal constitution, they cannot violate the fundamental principles and protections established by the U.S. Constitution. 5. Which of the following best describes typical state constitutions? A. They exactly reproduce the U.S. Bill of Rights. B. They do not include preambles. C. They are subject only to the broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution. D. They do not include a specific separation of powers. E. They do not address judicial review. Answer: C Rationale: Typical state constitutions are subject only to the broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution. While they often include provisions similar to the U.S. Bill of Rights, they may also contain additional rights and protections tailored to the needs of the state. 6. Which of the following is NOT a typical component of state constitutions? A. a bill of rights B. a description of the form and powers of local units of government C. an article establishing an official religion for the state D. an article on the process for amending the constitution E. a preamble Answer: C Rationale: An article establishing an official religion for the state is not a typical component of state constitutions. The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from establishing an official religion. 7. The South Dakota Constitution declares that providing hail insurance is a public purpose and authorizes the legislature to levy a tax to do so. The Alabama Constitution authorizes the legislature to indemnify peanut farmers for losses incurred as a result of Aspergillus flavus (a fungus) and freeze damage in peanuts. These examples illustrate the fact that ________. A. state constitutions are flexible and can be tailored to the actual needs of citizens B. the process by which the U.S. Constitution is amended should be relaxed so that it can be more reflective of issues confronting citizens in the present C. many state constitutions deal with issues that would be more properly addressed by legislation D. farmers‘ interests are not addressed in the U.S. Constitution E. state constitutions must protect the interests of different groups of citizens by giving them special privileges Answer: C Rationale: These examples illustrate that many state constitutions deal with issues that would be more properly addressed by legislation. State constitutions often contain detailed provisions on a wide range of specific policy matters, reflecting the diversity of needs and priorities across different states. 8. What effect does the elaborate detail found in most state constitutions tend to have? A. There is little requirement for constitutional amendment and revision. B. Appointed administrative positions in the state are less accountable to the state legislature. C. Political action is constricted within a constitutional straitjacket. D. There is less possibility of federal preemption of state law. E. State constitutions make the federal constitution seem obsolete. Answer: C Rationale: The elaborate detail found in most state constitutions tends to constrict political action within a constitutional straitjacket. Detailed provisions in state constitutions often limit the flexibility of state governments to respond to changing circumstances and may lead to difficulties in amending or revising the constitution. 9. Compared to the federal constitution, state constitutions are generally ________. A. nonbinding B. less likely to have provisions on elections C. amended more often D. less detailed E. much shorter Answer: C Rationale: Compared to the federal constitution, state constitutions are generally amended more often. State constitutions often reflect the specific needs and preferences of individual states, leading to more frequent amendments to address evolving circumstances and priorities. 10. A judicial interpretation is a device for constitutional change, whereby ________. A. a court case is accepted for hearing before a state supreme court B. a court case is accepted for hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court C. judges write and propose a new state constitutional amendment D. judges modify a constitution‘s provision by reinterpreting its meaning E. judges issue official dissention from the bench concerning a proposed state constitutional amendment Answer: D Rationale: A judicial interpretation is a device for constitutional change whereby judges modify a constitution's provision by reinterpreting its meaning. Through their rulings, courts can effectively change the interpretation and application of constitutional provisions, leading to shifts in constitutional understanding and practice. 11. What triggered the trend toward new judicial federalism in the 1970s? A. the growing conservatism of the U.S. Supreme Court B. the reluctance of state courts to abide by the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court C. federal laws affecting public education, such as busing D. the failure to ratify the federal Equal Rights Amendment E. Jimmy Carter‘s election as president Answer: A Rationale: The growing conservatism of the U.S. Supreme Court triggered the trend toward new judicial federalism in the 1970s. As the Supreme Court became more conservative, some state courts began to assert their own interpretations of constitutional rights, leading to the emergence of new judicial federalism. 12. While practicing new judicial federalism, judges in state courts rely upon ________. A. the U.S. Bill of Rights B. their state‘s bill of rights C. the U.S. Constitution D. the prevailing public opinion in their states E. the U.S. Supreme Court‘s decisions Answer: B Rationale: While practicing new judicial federalism, judges in state courts rely upon their state's bill of rights. State constitutions often provide additional protections beyond those guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, allowing state judges to interpret and apply rights based on state constitutional provisions. 13. The goal of new judicial federalism is ________. A. to provide more protection for some rights than is provided by the U.S. Supreme Court‘s interpretation of the federal Bill of Rights B. to protest against the increasingly liberal decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, especially in the area of civil rights C. to reduce the need for amendments to state constitutions D. to provide for more strict enforcement of drunk driving and drug testing laws E. to bolster the states‘ role in homeland security Answer: A Rationale: The goal of new judicial federalism is to provide more protection for some rights than is provided by the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the federal Bill of Rights. State courts may interpret their state constitutions to afford greater protections for individual rights than the interpretations made by the U.S. Supreme Court. 14. The trend in new judicial federalism took its inspiration from ________. A. the U.S. Constitution B. the resignation of President Richard Nixon C. the U.S. Supreme Court D. public backlash against federal desegregation laws E. the Equal Rights Amendment Answer: C Rationale: The trend in new judicial federalism took its inspiration from the U.S. Supreme Court. As the Supreme Court's composition changed and its decisions shifted in a more conservative direction, some state courts began to assert their independence and interpret state constitutions more broadly to protect individual rights. 15. The practice of some state courts providing more protection for some rights than is provided by the Supreme Court‘s interpretation of the in the U.S. Constitution is called ________. A. due process B. protectionism C. implied powers D. new judicial federalism E. pluralism Answer: D Rationale: The practice of some state courts providing more protection for some rights than is provided by the Supreme Court's interpretation of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution is called new judicial federalism. This approach allows state courts to interpret their state constitutions independently and provide greater protections for individual rights. 16. As a result of new judicial federalism, ________. A. federal courts have restricted states bills of rights B. state courts have used their state bill of rights to provide more protection than found in the U.S.Bill of Rights C. state courts have restricted the use of their state bill of rights D. state courts have looked for ways to circumvent the protections offered under the U.S. Bill of Rights E. the Supreme Court has used the federal Bill of Rights to provide more protection than found in the bill of rights of several states Answer: B Rationale: As a result of new judicial federalism, state courts have used their state bill of rights to provide more protection than found in the U.S. Bill of Rights. State courts have interpreted their state constitutions more expansively to protect individual rights beyond the scope of federal constitutional interpretations. 17. In which of the following states can the legislature propose as well as ratify constitutional amendments, that is, without the vote of the people? A. Minnesota B. Delaware C. Rhode Island D. Oregon E. California Answer: B Rationale: In Delaware, the legislature can propose as well as ratify constitutional amendments without the vote of the people. This legislative power is unique to Delaware among the options provided. 18. In which of the following states must a proposed constitutional amendment be passed in two separate elections? A. Minnesota B. Delaware C. Nevada D. Florida E. New Hampshire Answer: C Rationale: In Nevada, a proposed constitutional amendment must be passed in two separate elections. This requirement ensures a more deliberate consideration of proposed amendments by the voters. 19. In which two states is a supermajority in a referendum necessary for the passage of a constitutional amendment? A. Minnesota and Delaware B. California and Utah C. Nevada and D. Virginia and Louisiana E. New Hampshire and Florida Answer: E Rationale: A supermajority in a referendum is necessary for the passage of a constitutional amendment in New Hampshire and Florida. This requirement reflects the importance placed on constitutional changes in these states. 20. Amending state constitutions is a two-step process involving ________. A. proposal and ratification B. passage and judicial review C. legislative passage and gubernatorial signing D. drafting and introducing E. evaluating and implementing Answer: A Rationale: Amending state constitutions is a two-step process involving proposal and ratification. Proposed amendments must be first proposed, typically by the state legislature or through a citizen initiative, and then ratified by the voters in a referendum. 21. A revision commission is ________. A. a group of voters who join together to suggest revisions to a proposed state constitutional amendment B. a state commission, appointed by the legislature, to make recommendations for a change to the state constitution C. a group of legislators, selected by the governor, responsible for drafting an initial proposal for a constitutional amendment D. a group of state leaders, selected by a legislative committee that makes suggestions for any number of proposed state constitutional amendments E. a combined group of members of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of state government, which makes suggestions for revisions to proposed state constitutional amendments Answer: B Rationale: A revision commission is a state commission, appointed by the legislature, to make recommendations for a change to the state constitution. These commissions are typically tasked with reviewing the state constitution and proposing amendments or revisions for consideration by the legislature and, ultimately, the voters. 22. A legislature may appoint a revision commission to make recommendations for constitutional change that have no force until acted on by the legislature and approved by the voters, except in the state of ________. A. Minnesota B. Massachusetts C. Louisiana D. Florida E. Texas Answer: D Rationale: A legislature may appoint a revision commission to make recommendations for constitutional change that have no force until acted on by the legislature and approved by the voters, except in the state of Florida. In Florida, the recommendations of the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission have the force of law once approved by the commission. 23. The most common method for proposing amendments to a state constitution is ________. A. creating a petition to be signed by a majority of a state‘s residents B. having a formal proposal submitted by the governor C. honoring a request from the U.S. Supreme Court D. taking action by using state legislatures E. requesting constitutional reconsideration by a state‘s secretary of state Answer: D Rationale: The most common method for proposing amendments to a state constitution is taking action by using state legislatures. State legislatures have the authority to propose amendments to the state constitution, which are then typically placed on the ballot for voter approval. 24. A state commission that recommends changes in the state constitution for action by the legislature and vote by the voters is called a(n) ________. A. lobby B. constitutional commission C. revision commission D. popular initiative E. constitutional convention Answer: C Rationale: A state commission that recommends changes in the state constitution for action by the legislature and vote by the voters is called a revision commission. These commissions play a key role in proposing amendments or revisions to state constitutions, which are then considered by the legislature and the electorate. 25. ________ has a permanent Constitutional Revision Commission. A. Minnesota B. Florida C. Utah D. Massachusetts E. Georgia Answer: C Rationale: Utah has a permanent Constitutional Revision Commission. This commission is responsible for reviewing the state constitution and recommending changes or revisions as needed, providing a continuous mechanism for updating the state's constitutional framework. 26. Florida‘s Taxation and Budget Reform Commission differs from other such commissions since ________. A. it is not called called into session regularly B. it is called into session regularly C. it makes reccomendations to the legislature D. it proposes constitutional amendments directly to the voters E. it proposes constitutional amendments directly to the President of the United States Answer: D Rationale: Florida's Taxation and Budget Reform Commission differs from other such commissions since it proposes constitutional amendments directly to the voters. Unlike other revision commissions, its recommendations bypass the state legislature and are placed directly on the ballot for voter approval. 27. A constitutional initiative petition is ________. A. a way in which voters may place a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot by petition B. a way in which political action committees can unite in order to pressurize state legislators to put a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot C. a way in which a governor can bypass the legislature and appeal directly to the people to petition their legislative representatives to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot D. a way in which members of the judiciary can, by a majority signing a petition, place a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot E. a defunct, nineteenth-century political device Answer: A Rationale: A constitutional initiative petition is a way in which voters may place a proposed state constitutional amendment on the ballot by petition. This process allows citizens to directly propose changes to the state constitution through the collection of signatures on a petition. 28. A device that permits voters to place specific amendments to a state constitution on the ballot by petition is called a ________. A. plebiscite B. home rule charter C. constitutional convention D. constitutional initiative petition E. revision commission Answer: D Rationale: A device that permits voters to place specific amendments to a state constitution on the ballot by petition is called a constitutional initiative petition. This process empowers citizens to directly propose and vote on changes to the state constitution. 29. The number of signatures required on constitutional initiative petitions ________. A. is set by federal law B. varies from state to state C. is typically not specified D. is determined by the U.S. Supreme Court E. is independently negotiated by state legislatures and governors for each petition Answer: B Rationale: The number of signatures required on constitutional initiative petitions varies from state to state. Each state establishes its own requirements for the number of signatures needed to qualify a proposed constitutional amendment for the ballot. 30. California‘s Proposition 13, which was adopted in 1978, ________. A. forbade the state government from collecting income tax B. limited the state government‘s right to raise property taxes C. amended the state constitution to abolish the use of constitutional initiative petitions D. was ruled to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981 E. was proposed by the state legislature Answer: B Rationale: California‘s Proposition 13, which was adopted in 1978, limited the state government's right to raise property taxes. This proposition aimed to reduce property taxes and provide greater stability to homeowners by capping property tax rates. 31. Which of the following is NOT true about amendments proposed by constitutional initiative petitions? A. They tend to be used for controversial issues. B. They tend to bring about organized opposition. C. In recent years, they have been approved more often than those proposed by legislatures. D. They are often proposed by narrow-based groups. E. They are sometimes introduced with the real purpose of launching educational campaigns. Answer: C Rationale: The statement that amendments proposed by constitutional initiative petitions have been approved more often than those proposed by legislatures is not true. In recent years, amendments proposed by legislatures have been approved more often than those proposed by constitutional initiative petitions. 32. Which of the following is true about constitutional initiative petitions? A. They tend to be used for controversial issues. B. They are approved at higher rates than are amendments proposed by state legislatures. C. They are currently not permitted in any U.S. state. D. They typically do not bring about any organized opposition. E. They have consistently been ruled as being unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Answer: A Rationale: Constitutional initiative petitions tend to be used for controversial issues. These petitions often involve contentious topics that generate significant public interest and debate. 33. How do a majority of the states call a constitutional convention? A. The legislature is authorized to submit the calling of a convention to the voters. B. The states require the legislature to question whether or not voters want a convention at set intervals. C. The voters must petition the legislature to call the convention. D. The major parties of the state must petition the legislature to call the convention. E. The states vary too much in their processes for a majority of them to follow the same procedures. Answer: A Rationale: In a majority of the states, the legislature is authorized to submit the calling of a constitutional convention to the voters. This process typically involves the legislature passing a resolution or bill to place the question of convening a convention on the ballot for voter approval. 34. If a convention is called, one of the first decisions the delegates need to make is whether they should ask the voters to ________. A. publicize the event or not B. accept/ reject the entire constitution or parts of it C. accept changes suggested by the delegates or reject them D. reject changes suggested by the senate or accept them E. accept the Governor‘s proposal or the President‘s Answer: B Rationale: If a convention is called, one of the first decisions the delegates need to make is whether they should ask the voters to accept/reject the entire constitution or parts of it. This decision determines the scope of the convention's authority and the potential impact on the existing constitution. 35. Rhode Island‘s constitution calls for voters to be asked if they want to convene a constitutional convention ________. A. every year B. every ten years C. every five years D. every two years E. every eight years Answer: B Rationale: Rhode Island's constitution calls for voters to be asked if they want to convene a constitutional convention every ten years. This provision allows for periodic review and potential revision of the state constitution based on changing circumstances and public preferences. 36. The primary issue in Rhode Island‘s effort to revise its constitution in 2003 and 2004 was ________. A. civil rights B. compensation of state legislators C. separation of powers D. voter eligibility E. fishing access Answer: C Rationale: The primary issue in Rhode Island's effort to revise its constitution in 2003 and 2004 was the separation of powers. This reflects the focus on the balance of power between branches of government and potential reforms to enhance accountability and effectiveness. 37. In 1986, how many of the 14 proposed amendments to Rhode Island‘s constitution were approved by voters? A. all 14 B. 12 C. 8 D. 5 E. 2 Answer: C Rationale: In 1986, eight of the 14 proposed amendments to Rhode Island's constitution were approved by voters. This outcome indicates a mix of support and opposition to various proposed changes to the state constitution. 38. Which of the following was NOT approved by Rhode Island voters in the 1986 vote on constitutional amendments? A. a provision to ban abortions or public funding for them B. a provision to strengthen free speech C. a provision strengthening due process D. a provision expanding fishing rights and shore access E. a provision strengthening equal protection rights Answer: A Rationale: A provision to ban abortions or public funding for them was NOT approved by Rhode Island voters in the 1986 vote on constitutional amendments. This indicates that the electorate did not support this particular proposed amendment. 39. Which of the following was approved by Rhode Island voters in the 1986 vote on constitutional amendments? A. a provision to ban abortions or public funding for them B. a provision to impose term limits on state legislators C. a provision for the merit selection of judges D. a provision to increase the compensation of state legislators E. a provision to expand fishing rights and access to the shore Answer: E Rationale: A provision to expand fishing rights and access to the shore was approved by Rhode Island voters in the 1986 vote on constitutional amendments. This indicates that the electorate supported this particular proposed amendment. 40. Which of the following was NOT a result of the 1978 Hawaii constitutional convention and vote? A. a two-term limit for the governor and lieutenant governor B. the legalization of marijuana C. more open primaries D. partial public funding for election campaigns E. spending limits Answer: B Rationale: The legalization of marijuana was NOT a result of the 1978 Hawaii constitutional convention and vote. This outcome did not emerge from the deliberations and decisions of the convention and the subsequent vote on proposed amendments. 41. Since its effort to revise its constitution in 1972, Texas _______. A. has held ten additional constitutional conventions B. has not approved any amendments to its constitution C. has adopted two entirely new constitutions D. has not held any more constitutional conventions E. has dramatically changed the way in which its constitution can be amended Answer: D Rationale: Texas has not held any more constitutional conventions since its effort to revise its constitution in 1972. This indicates that there have been no further formal attempts to comprehensively revise the state constitution through a convention. 42. Which of the following was a contentious issue that legislator-delegates came up with 17 months after the 1972 attempt to revise the Texas Constitution? A. the state‘s right-to-work law B. the question of separation of powers C. the question of whether the legislature would meet every year or every two years D. the state‘s educational funding E. gun-ownership laws Answer: A Rationale: A contentious issue that legislator-delegates came up with 17 months after the 1972 attempt to revise the Texas Constitution was the state's right-to-work law. This indicates that significant debates and disagreements emerged during the constitutional revision process. 43. The most recent effort to thoroughly revise the Texas Constitution occurred in _____. A. 1994 B. 1988 C. 1972 D. 2002 E. 1976 Answer: C Rationale: The most recent effort to thoroughly revise the Texas Constitution occurred in 1972. This indicates that there have been no subsequent comprehensive attempts to revise the state constitution since that time. 44. What was the result of the vote in Texas in 1975 on the new proposed constitutional amendments? A. The new constitution was approved by a 2-to-1 margin. B. The new constitution was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. C. The proposed new constitution was so controversial it never came to a vote. D. The new constitution was approved by a 4-to-1 margin. E. The new constitution was defeated by a 4-to-1 margin. Answer: B Rationale: The result of the vote in Texas in 1975 on the new proposed constitutional amendments was that the new constitution was defeated by a 2-to-1 margin. This outcome indicates that the proposed amendments did not receive sufficient voter support for adoption. 45. The most recent Alabama constitution was adopted in ________. A. 2004 B. 1778 C. 1865 D. 1993 E. 1902 Answer: E Rationale: The most recent Alabama constitution was adopted in 1902. This indicates the year when the current version of the state constitution was ratified and became effective. 46. How many constitutions has Alabama had till date? A. 10 B. 4 C. 1 D. 6 E. 15 Answer: D Rationale: Alabama has had six constitutions to date. This reflects the historical evolution of constitutional governance in the state, with multiple revisions and replacements over time. 47. Alabama‘s most recent constitution was written in ________. A. 1865 B. 1901 C. 1917 D. 1945 E. 1972 Answer: B Rationale: Alabama's most recent constitution was written in 1901. This indicates the year when the current version of the state constitution was drafted and adopted. 48. Which state has the longest constitution and has been amended the most number of times? A. Texas B. Rhode Island C. Massachusetts D. Florida E. Alabama Answer: E Rationale: Alabama has the longest constitution and has been amended the most number of times among the options provided. This reflects the extensive nature of the state's constitutional framework and the frequency of amendments over its history. 49. In which of the following areas did the Alabama Citizens‘ Constitutional Commission, established in 2003, propose constitutional reforms? A. term limits on state legislators B. right-to-work laws C. the governor‘s line-item veto power D. union membership E. financing of election campaigns Answer: C Rationale: The Alabama Citizens' Constitutional Commission, established in 2003, proposed constitutional reforms in the area of the governor's line-item veto power. This indicates a specific focus on executive authority and budgetary processes. 50. In 2003, one of reforms proposed by the Alabama Citizens‘ Constitutional Commission was ________. A. partial public funding for election campaigns B. expanding fishing rights C. banning same-sex marriages D. giving more home rule back to counties E. limiting the power of state courts to restrict police searches Answer: D Rationale: In 2003, one of the reforms proposed by the Alabama Citizens' Constitutional Commission was giving more home rule back to counties. This suggests a desire to decentralize governance and empower local jurisdictions within the state. 51. In 2004, an amendment to eliminate language in Alabama‘s constitution that requires segregated schools and a poll tax was _______. A. narrowly defeated B. overwhelmingly defeated C. narrowly approved D. overwhelmingly approved E. never put on the ballot; it did not make it through the legislature Answer: A Rationale: The amendment to eliminate language in Alabama's constitution that requires segregated schools and a poll tax was narrowly defeated in 2004. This indicates that the proposal did not receive sufficient voter support for adoption. 52. In 2004, which of the following arguments was put forward against eliminating language in the Alabama Constitution that required segregated schools and poll taxes? A. It would lead to over-crowding of public schools and higher student-to-teacher ratios. B. It would result in a right to a public education, thus opening the door to higher taxes in order to increase school spending. C. It proposed fundamental changes to the constitution but lacked a thorough voter education campaign. D. There was no genuine driving force behind the proposal as most voters were apathetic about the issue. E. The proposal was put forward by narrow-based groups who lacked broad support for their views. Answer: B Rationale: The argument put forward against eliminating language in the Alabama Constitution that required segregated schools and poll taxes was that it would result in a right to a public education, thus opening the door to higher taxes in order to increase school spending. This suggests a concern about potential financial implications associated with the proposed amendment. 53. Unlike the federal constitution, most state constitutions ________. A. require only a single step to be amended. B. are not amendable. C. do not allow amendments to be proposed by the legislature. D. are amended on a regular basis. E. are less than 25 years old. Answer: D Rationale: Unlike the federal constitution, most state constitutions are amended on a regular basis. This reflects the dynamic and adaptable nature of state governance frameworks, which often require adjustments and updates to address evolving societal needs and legal challenges. True-False Questions 1. The first state constitutions were outgrowths of the U.S. Constitution. Answer: False Rationale: The statement is false because the first state constitutions were actually created independently and preceded the U.S. Constitution. They were crafted by the states during the Revolutionary War era, while the U.S. Constitution was not written until 1787. 2. Subject only to the broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution, the people of each state are free to create whatever kind of republican government they wish. Answer: True Rationale: This statement is true because the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reserves to the states or to the people powers not delegated to the federal government. Therefore, within the bounds of the federal Constitution, states have significant autonomy in structuring their own governments. 3. The states bills of rights are incapable of providing citizens with more protection than those provided by the U.S. Constitution. Answer: False Rationale: State bills of rights can indeed provide citizens with more protection than the U.S. Constitution alone. Many state constitutions include provisions that extend beyond the protections guaranteed by the federal Bill of Rights, offering additional rights and safeguards to their citizens. 4. Since state constitutions deal with more specific issues than the U.S. Constitution, they tend to require more frequent amendments and revisions. Answer: True Rationale: State constitutions often address more specific and diverse issues relevant to the state's governance and society, leading to a need for more frequent amendments and revisions compared to the U.S. Constitution, which is more general and broad in scope. 5. The U.S. Constitution is much more detailed than most state constitutions. Answer: False Rationale: The U.S. Constitution is actually less detailed than many state constitutions. State constitutions tend to be longer and more detailed because they address a wider range of issues specific to each state's governance, whereas the U.S. Constitution provides a framework for the federal government. 6. Amendments are the only way to bring about constitutional changes. Answer: False Rationale: While amendments are a common method of bringing about constitutional changes, they are not the only way. Some state constitutions allow for constitutional revision commissions or constitutional conventions, which can propose comprehensive changes to the constitution without relying solely on amendments. 7. New judicial federalism allows state judges to impose greater restraints on state governments than the U.S. Constitution does. Answer: True Rationale: New judicial federalism refers to a trend where state courts interpret their own state constitutions to provide greater protections for individual rights and impose greater restraints on state governments than the U.S. Constitution requires. This allows state judges to set higher standards for individual rights protection than those set by the U.S. Supreme Court. 8. The U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution set the ceiling, not the floor, for the protection of rights. Answer: False Rationale: The U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Constitution set the floor, not the ceiling, for the protection of rights. This means that states are free to provide greater protection for individual rights than the minimum standards established by the U.S. Constitution and the Supreme Court's interpretations thereof. 9. State courts may go against U.S. Supreme Court rulings and rule that random drug testing of public employees is unconstitutional. Answer: True Rationale: State courts have the authority to interpret their own state constitutions and laws, and they may rule that certain practices, such as random drug testing of public employees, violate provisions of their state constitutions even if the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld similar practices under the federal Constitution. 10. If state judges follow the trend of new judicial federalism, the only requirement they must meet in order to avoid review by the Supreme Court is to clearly state which U.S. Supreme Court ruling they are overriding. Answer: False Rationale: While state judges following the trend of new judicial federalism may interpret their state constitutions differently from U.S. Supreme Court rulings, they are not immune from review by the Supreme Court. Cases involving state constitutional interpretation can still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which may choose to review and potentially overturn state court decisions. 11. When state judges rely on their own state constitutions to protect rights beyond those required by the U.S. Constitution, they do so at no risk of political backlash. Answer: False Rationale: State judges who interpret their state constitutions to provide greater protections for rights may face political backlash from various groups or individuals who disagree with their decisions. Such interpretations can be contentious and may lead to criticism or attempts to remove judges from office. 12. A citizen-initiated ballot petition is the most common way for proposing an amendment to a state constitution. Answer: False Rationale: While citizen-initiated ballot petitions are one method for proposing amendments to state constitutions, they are not necessarily the most common. In many states, constitutional amendments are proposed by legislatures, either through direct action by the legislature itself or by referral to the voters for approval. 13. All states permit their legislatures to propose constitutional amendments. Answer: True Rationale: In the United States, all states allow their legislatures to propose constitutional amendments. This is a common method for initiating changes to state constitutions, with amendments often requiring approval by both the legislature and the voters in many states. 14. A state commission that recommends changes in the state constitution for action by the legislature and vote by the voters is called a constitutional change commission. Answer: False Rationale: The correct term for such a commission is a "constitutional revision commission." These commissions are established to study the state constitution and recommend changes, which may then be presented to the legislature and, if approved, to the voters for ratification. 15. Florida and Utah both have atypical constitutional revision commissions. Answer: True Rationale: Both Florida and Utah have unique features in their constitutional revision processes that differ from those found in other states. For example, Florida's Constitution Revision Commission is convened every 20 years, while Utah's Constitutional Revision Commission operates on an ongoing basis. 16. No state allows a constitutional initiative petition to actually revise the state constitution. Answer: False Rationale: Several states allow constitutional initiative petitions, which permit voters to propose specific amendments to the state constitution. If these petitions receive sufficient support and are approved through the required process, they can indeed revise the state constitution. 17. The constitutional initiative petition was one of the many reforms that resulted from the Progressive Movement. Answer: True Rationale: The Progressive Movement in the United States, particularly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, advocated for various political reforms aimed at increasing popular participation in government. One of these reforms was the introduction of the constitutional initiative petition, which allowed citizens to directly propose amendments to state constitutions. 18. A constitutional initiative petition is a device that permits voters to place specific amendments to a state constitution on the ballot. Answer: True Rationale: A constitutional initiative petition allows voters to propose specific amendments to their state constitution. If a petition receives sufficient signatures and meets other requirements, the proposed amendment is placed on the ballot for voter consideration and potential ratification. 19. California‘s Proposition 13 significantly expanded the state government‘s flexibility and capability with regard to generating state revenues. Answer: False Rationale: Proposition 13, passed in 1978, significantly restricted California's ability to generate state revenues by imposing limitations on property taxes. It reduced property tax rates and limited the ability of local governments to raise property taxes, thus constraining state revenue sources. 20. The goal of an initiative petition is always passage of the proposed amendment. Answer: False Rationale: While the ultimate goal of an initiative petition is typically the passage of the proposed amendment, there can be other objectives as well. Initiatives may be used to draw attention to an issue, influence public opinion, or pressure elected officials to take action, even if the initiative itself is not ultimately successful. 21. When political parties play major roles in electing convention delegates, the result is likely to be one of major reform. Answer: False Rationale: Political parties may influence the selection of convention delegates, but their involvement does not necessarily guarantee major reform. The outcome of a constitutional convention depends on various factors, including the composition of the delegates, public opinion, and the political climate at the time. 22. In all states, voters must approve the calling of a convention. Answer: False Rationale: In many states, voters must approve the calling of a convention through a referendum or ballot measure. However, the specific procedures for calling a convention can vary from state to state, and not all states require direct voter approval for convening a constitutional convention. 23. Special-interest groups are more likely to oppose reform than voters in general. Answer: True Rationale: Special-interest groups may oppose reform efforts if they perceive that their interests could be adversely affected by proposed changes to the constitution. These groups often have vested interests in maintaining the status quo or protecting specific provisions that benefit them, leading them to resist reform initiatives. 24. Rhode Island‘s constitution calls for voters to be asked every 10 years if they want to convene a constitutional convention. Answer: True Rationale: Rhode Island's constitution includes a provision that requires voters to be asked every 10 years whether they want to convene a constitutional convention. This provision allows for periodic reevaluation of the state constitution and the possibility of making revisions or updates as needed. 25. Texas conservatives saw no reason to change the 1876 constitution, when the vote on the new constitution was conducted in November, 1975. Answer: True Rationale: Many Texas conservatives were satisfied with the existing 1876 constitution and did not see a need for significant changes. Consequently, when a vote was held in November 1975 on whether to adopt a new constitution, Texas conservatives largely opposed the proposed changes, contributing to its defeat. Short Answer Questions 1. Outline some of the typical components that appear in most state constitutions. Answer: An ideal response would be: All state constitutions are similar in general outline. A state constitution typically consists of a preamble, a bill of rights, articles providing for the separation of powers, a two-house legislature (Nebraska only has one), an executive branch, and an independent judiciary with the power of judicial review. It will also have a description of the form and powers of local units of government, an article on how to amend the constitution, and miscellaneous provisions dealing with election procedures, corporations, railroads, finances, education, and other specific topics. 2. Define and briefly explain judicial interpretation. Answer: An ideal response would be: Judicial interpretation is a method by which judges modify the force of a constitutional provision by reinterpreting its meaning. One reason for the growing length of some constitutions is that amendments are often required to reverse judicial interpretations. 3. Briefly explain the concept of new judicial federalism. Answer: An ideal response would be: New judicial federalism refers to the practice of some state courts using the bill of rights in their state constitutions to provide more protection for some rights than is provided by the Supreme Court‘s interpretation of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution 4. Outline the processes used to amend state constitutions. Answer: An ideal response would be: Amendments to state constitutions may be proposed by state legislatures, citizen-initiated ballot petitions, or constitutional conventions. After an amendment has been proposed, it must be ratified. In all states except Delaware, where the legislature can ratify as well as propose amendments, ratification is by the voters. In most states, an amendment becomes part of the constitution when approved by a majority of those who actually vote on it. In some other states—such as Minnesota— approval by a majority of all those voting in the election is required. 5. What is a revision commission? Answer: An ideal response would be: A revision commission is a state commission that recommends changes in the state constitution for action by the legislature and vote by the voters. A legislature may appoint a revision commission to make recommendations for constitutional change that, except in Florida, have no force until acted on by the legislature and approved by the voters. The legislature creates a commission of a relatively small number of people—some selected by the governor and some by the legislature—and charges it with presenting proposals for constitutional revision 6. What is a constitutional initiative petition? Answer: An ideal response would be: A constitutional initiative petition is a device that permits voters to place specific amendments to a state constitution on the ballot by petition. Eighteen states allow amendments to their constitutions to be proposed by initiative petitions 7. What is the difference between revising a constitution and amending it? Answer: An ideal response would be: The distinction between revision and amendment is that revision refers to a comprehensive change in the basic governmental plan, a substantial alteration in the basic governmental framework, or a substantial alteration of the entire constitution, rather than to a less extensive change in one or more of its provisions. Some states exclude certain subjects from amendment by initiative. 8. What reasons account for the lower adoption rate of amendments proposed by initiative petitions? Answer: An ideal response would be: A variety of factors may account for the lower adoption rate of initiative measures. Initiatives often are used for controversial issues that have already been rejected by the legislature and have an organized opposition. In addition, initiatives are often proposed by narrow-based groups or by reform-minded elites who lack broad support for their views. Sometimes initiatives are proposed in order to launch educational campaigns rather than to actually win adoption. 9. If a constitutional convention is called, what is the first decision the delegates need to make? Answer: An ideal response would be: If a convention is called, one of the first decisions the delegates need to make is whether they should ask the voters to accept or reject the new constitution as a whole? Or should they vote on each section separately? The advantage of the first method is that each provision of a constitution ties in with another, and to secure all the advantages of revision, voters should adopt the entire document. The disadvantage is that those who oppose only a particular provision may vote against the entire constitution. 10. Compare the extent of amendment the federal and state constitutions are subjected to. Answer: An ideal response would be: Unlike the federal Constitution, amended only 27 times in more than 220 years, most state constitutions are amended on a regular basis. Although no entirely new state constitution has been adopted since the 1980s, the process of constitutional amendment allows state governments and voters to modify and modernize constitutions to fit changing conditions. Nearly 1,300 amendments were proposed between 1998 and 2012, affecting nearly every state constitution. Many were limited in scope, concerning only local issues or specific state agencies. However, others affected states‘ bills of rights, broad finance and taxation issues, and electoral processes. Essay Questions 1. Briefly explain the history of state constitutions. Answer: An ideal response would be: The first state constitutions were outgrowths of colonial charters. Massachusetts and New Hampshire can boast of charters still in effect that are older than the federal Constitution. Virginia added a bill of rights to its constitution in 1776—13 years before the national one was proposed by Congress. In 1787, the Framers of the U.S. Constitution drew heavily on their experience with these state charters. Subject only to the broad limitations of the U.S. Constitution, the people of each state are free to create whatever kind of republican government they wish. All state constitutions are similar in general outline. A state constitution typically consists of a preamble, a bill of rights, articles providing for the separation of powers, a two-house legislature (Nebraska only has one), an executive branch, and an independent judiciary with the power of judicial review. It will also have a description of the form and powers of local units of government, an article on how to amend the constitution, and miscellaneous provisions dealing with election procedures, corporations, railroads, finances, education, and other specific topics. 2. Define and explain the new judicial federalism. Answer: An ideal response would be: Amendments are one way to alter constitutions. But another device for constitutional change is judicial interpretation, whereby judges modify a constitutional provision by giving it a new interpretation. One reason for the growing length of some constitutions is that amendments are often required to reverse judicial interpretations. In addition, some sections of state constitutions have been invalidated by federal action, especially in the areas of civil rights and suffrage. In what is called new judicial federalism, state constitutions have taken on greater importance than in the past. For decades, state judges tended to look only to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights and how the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted these documents. But since the 1970s, as the Supreme Court has become more conservative, some state supreme courts have been relying on their own state constitutions and state bills of rights in overruling state laws and the actions of state and local officials. Recall that although states must provide citizens the minimum protection guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, they can and sometimes do provide even more in areas such as equal protection and privacy. Based on the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed governments to adopt sobriety checkpoints for drivers, random drug testing of public employees, and restrictions on minors who seek abortions. However, these rulings do not force states to adopt such policies. In fact, several state supreme courts have ruled that such policies are unconstitutional violations of privacy provisions included in their own state‘s constitution. 3. Briefly explain the roles of legislative proposals and revision commissions in amending state constitutions. Answer: An ideal response would be: All states permit their legislatures to propose constitutional amendments; in fact, this is the most common method. Although provisions vary, the general practice is to require the approval by a supermajority, usually two-thirds or three-fifths, of each chamber of the legislature. Some states, however, permit proposal of an amendment by a simple majority in two successive legislatures. A legislature may appoint a revision commission to make recommendations for constitutional change that, except in Florida, have no force until acted on by the legislature and approved by the voters. The legislature creates a commission of a relatively small number of people—some selected by the governor and some by the legislature—and charges it with presenting proposals for constitutional revision. A commission is less expensive than a full-blown constitutional convention, does not require initial voter approval, and gives the legislature final control of what is presented to the electorate. 4. Explain how constitutional initiative petitions are used to amend state constitutions. Answer: An ideal response would be: At the end of the nineteenth century, revelations of corruption diminished the prestige of state governments, especially state legislatures. From this disillusionment and the Progressive Movement came a variety of reforms. Among them was the constitutional initiative petition, a device that permits voters to place specific constitutional amendments on the ballot by petition. Eighteen states allow amendments to their constitutions to be proposed by initiative petitions. Constitutional initiative petition isa device that permits voters to place specific amendments to a state constitution on the ballot by petition. The number of signatures required on petitions varies from 4 to 15 percent of either the total electorate or the number who voted in the last election. Although it takes more signatures to propose a constitutional amendment than to place other kinds of initiatives on the ballot, “the higher threshold is no longer a significant impediment to well-financed special-interest groups.” Once the appropriate state official (attorney general or secretary of state) approves the precise wording of a petition, the amendment goes on the ballot at the next general election. (California allows initiatives to appear even on primary election ballots.) 5. Why did efforts to revise the Texas Constitution between 1972 and 1975 fail? Answer: An ideal response would be: Constitutional reform in Texas most likely failed because of several factors. First, the proposed constitution made fundamental changes to the old one, something that would have required a much more thorough voter education campaign to increase the likelihood of passage. Second, Governor Dolph Briscoe—although an advocate of constitutional reform— opposed the provision to change from biennial sessions of the state legislature to annual sessions, arguing that it would increase the cost of government and most likely require tax increases. Third, while there were good reasons to streamline the old constitution, there was no crisis to do so. Test Bank for State and Local Government by the People David B. Magleby Paul C. Light, Christine L. Nemacheck 9780205966530, 9780205828401

Document Details

Related Documents

person
Lucas Hernandez View profile
Close

Send listing report

highlight_off

You already reported this listing

The report is private and won't be shared with the owner

rotate_right

Select menu by going to Admin > Appearance > Menus

Close
rotate_right
Close

Send Message

image
Close

My favorites

image
Close

Application Form

image
Notifications visibility rotate_right Clear all Close close
image
image
arrow_left
arrow_right