Structure of the Constitution
by Will Frye
Larry Eats Juicy Sausage And Spanish Rice
Throughout this presentation, I will explain this mnemonic so that you can understand the Articles of the Constitution.
Article I - L
L stands for the Legislative Branch. Article I of the Constitution goes over the Legislative Branch. The Legislative Branch is the law-making branch, also known as Congress. Congress is made up of two things, the House of Representatives, and the Senate. The House of Representatives is based on population per state, and the Senate has two representatives from each state.
Article II - E
E stands for the Executive Branch. Article II describes the job of the Executive Branch. This is the branch that executes, or carries out, the laws. This branch includes the President, the Vice-President, and many of the departments in charge of carrying out the government's day-to-day business. The main points of Article II are who qualifies to be president, what powers the office has and doesn't have, and what happens if someone in the executive branch misbehaves. This article also explains the Electoral College, which is a process about how the president is selected.
Article III - J
J stands for Judicial. Article III is about the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch is in charge of interpreting laws, deciding what they mean, and whether they have been followed in specific cases. This Article creates the Supreme Court, which is in charge of dealing with US laws, not state laws. Under Article III, federal judges are appointed, not elected. These judges can stay on the bench for however long they like, until they die, retire, or misbehave. This article also explains trial by jury for criminal cases, and explains treason.
Article IV - S
S stands for States. Article IV is about the states. It tells us how the states should get along with each other, and it is all about state relationships. It also talks about the relationship between all of the states and the federal government. This article also talks about admitting a new state into the union. One of the very important points in this article is that all state governments have to be representative democracies. All of the different states cannot decide what type of government they want, it has to be a representative democracy.
Article V - A
A stands for Amendment. The fifth article in the Constitution is about the Constitution. It is about how the Constitution can be changed, or amended. The only way to change the Constitution is by adding an amendment. While most articles are broken down into several sections and clauses, Article V is simply one paragraph. What this article states is that if Congress wants to make a change to the Constitution, two thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate have to propose an Amendment to the Constitution.
Article VI - S
S stands for Supremacy. Article VI of the Constitution talks about supremacy, and how it works. It talks about which laws are supreme. This article states that the US Constitution is the highest law of the country and all state and federal officers must uphold the Constitution and all of its rules. The sixth article is broken up into 3 clauses. Clause 2 is known as the "Supremacy Clause", stating that any federal laws that are made according to the Constitution are the supreme laws. This means that if state laws go up against the federal laws, the state laws are not valid.
Article VII - R
R stands for Ratification. Article VII explains how many state ratifications are needed in order for the proposed Constitution to take place in the United States, and also it talks about how a state could go about ratifying the Constitution. According to the Article, at least 9 out of the 13 states needed to ratify the Constitution in order for it to be the law of the land.