The National and California Constitutions: Comparative Analysis

Subject: Law
Pages: 2
Words: 658
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3 min
Study level: School

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The Constitution of California divides government into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, following the example of the US Constitution. The national government is divided into the President, the Congress, and the Supreme Court, while the State of California government consists of the Governor, the California State Legislature, and the California Supreme Court. In both constitutions, the principle of separation of powers is paramount. In addition, it is worth noting that the Constitution of California follows the example of the US Constitution by arranging the legislative, administrative, and judicial branches in precisely the same order. The California Constitution is similar to the National Constitution in that it defines the role, authority, and structure of government agencies.

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The Bill of Rights, the name of the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, is contained in Article 1 of the Declaration of Rights, the Constitution of California. The specific rights set out in the Declaration strongly reflect the rights of the Bill of Rights. It is also worth noting that this statement uses a language similar to the Bill of Rights. Both documents describe state or national citizens (and, in some cases, legal residents). In the US Constitution, the rights of these individuals are listed in the “Bill of Rights” section. In the California Constitution, these rights are outlined in the first article of the Constitution. Finally, both documents establish bicameral legislation.

This means that there are two separate houses or rooms in the bill. In California, these two homes are the Legislature and the Senate, each made up of representatives from each district of California. Under the US Constitution, these two homes are the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, each with representatives from all US states and territories. Also, both the California and national constitutions allow for referendums.

Differences

The Constitution of California was ratified in 1879, and the Constitution of the United States, ratified in 1787, was used to establish and define the authority of government. The US Constitution defines the structure and functions of the national government, while the California Constitution deals only with the California government. Accordingly, the California Constitution is limited to the authority of state governments, including state taxes, education, and traffic laws.

The Constitution of the United States is much broader in that it serves as a document for the Supreme Court to determine the legality of laws passed by Congress. In addition, the California Constitution has been amended and supplemented hundreds of times as it is subject to change at the initiative of voters. To change the US Constitution, two-thirds of Congress and the Senate must approve the difference, or three-quarters of the states must vote in favor.

Federalism

Federalism is a system with a constitution that divides national power between national and subordinate governments. Federalism is usually introduced in large countries and in countries where the population varies widely from region to region. The US Constitution introduced a federal system because the countries were large, and the states had different views on issues such as slavery.

The characteristics of federalism span several vital areas or factors of governance. They include power distribution, independent Judiciary, the Constitution, the legislature, decentralization, and revenue. In the United States, federalism helps meet different needs and conditions across the country. Federalism contributes to population proximity because the governments of individual countries are closer to the population than the federal (national) governments. It also promotes political innovation and participation and takes into account diversity of opinion. Many new deal breakthroughs, such as the Child Labor Act, have been inspired by state laws.

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These impacts can be felt both in the cities and the country. Through federalism, people from diverse backgrounds, races, and colors are now able to freely interact and work together within the country. In the city, urban-centric federalism empowers local governments to set priorities and drive enforcement. Federal funding formulas must reflect city priorities or at least allow for regional flexibility.