Article III of the Constitution established a Supreme Court and empowered Congress to create a system of lower courts.
The Judicial branch of the US government consists of 94 Federal Courts, 13 Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court with a Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices.
In an age of transparency and social media, it’s difficult to image the challenges faced by 18th-century politicians to keep Americans informed about the workings of the Federal government. The Constitution, for instance, was signed by 39 delegates on September 17, 1787 in Pennsylvania, but the American public wasn’t able to view the document until two days later.
The “Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser” distributed 500 copies of the Constitution so the American public could finally be informed about the structure of the new federal government and the “law of the land” that has governed us for over 200 years.
Though the original signed copy of the Constitution, written on parchment and carefully preserved, is on display at the National Archives in Washington D.C., a rare copy of the printed version can be found at The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
How parchment was made in the 18th century ... ironically a bbc vid
A Real Vision for America
President Jimmy Carter is known to be a deeply religious man and a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Celebrating his 93rd birthday this year, he continues to focus on the social issues that have preoccupied his time since leaving public office in the early 1980’s.
In 1982, he and his wife, Rosalyn, established the Carter Foundation with the motto: “Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope.” The foundation receives funding from governments, corporations, and private citizens to support human rights and healthcare initiatives around the world.
During the 1940’s and 50’s, President Carter completed his education, served in the Navy, and started a family. His political career began after the death of his father, when he returned home to Georgia to manage the family’s farm. Carter was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1962, he became Governor in 1971, and he defeated Gerald Ford in 1976 to become the 39th president.
While in office, President Carter set near-impossible goals for his administration, such as his determination to influence a peace process in the Middle East, and his attempts to negotiate the release of 52 Americans taken hostage when the US embassy in Tehran was attacked.
He supported emerging technologies in energy conservation, adding the Department of Energy and the Department of Education to the executive cabinet. In 1977, he signed over the rights to the Panama Canal to the Panamanians after almost a century of US involvement. And he authorized the use of federal funds in the restoration of the Love Canal site near Niagara Falls, NY.
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library is in Atlanta, Georgia, just minutes from the offices of the Carter Foundation. President Carter remains active within the Baptist church, and he and his wife Rosalynn celebrate their 71st wedding anniversary this year.
House and Senate Committees
Although the House and Senate have their own procedures for passing legislation, the committees in each chamber have similar oversight on various parts of the federal government and play a central role in the creation of new laws.
A new law is first introduced into the relevant House or Senate committee where it is researched, written, and eventually placed up for a vote.
A list of the committees each representative or senator is assigned to, as well as the specific legislation being worked on within each district, can be found online at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.