United States presidential election
The election of president and vice president of the United States is an indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U. S. states or in Washington, D. C. cast ballots not directly for those offices, but instead for members of the U. S. Electoral College, known as electors; these electors in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, for president, for vice president. The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes is elected to that office. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of the votes for President, the House of Representatives chooses the winner; the Electoral College and its procedure are established in the U. S. Constitution by Article II, Section 1, Clauses 2 and 4. Under Clause 2, each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its Senators and Representatives in Congress, per the Twenty-third Amendment ratified in 1961, Washington, D. C. casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, three.
Under Clause 2, the manner for choosing electors is determined by each state legislature, not directly by the federal government. Many state legislatures selected their electors directly, but over time all of them switched to using the popular vote to help determine electors, which persists today. Once chosen, electors cast their electoral votes for the candidate who won the plurality in their state, but at least 21 states do not have provisions that address this behavior. In modern times and unpledged electors have not affected the ultimate outcome of an election, so the results can be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote. Presidential elections occur quadrennially with registered voters casting their ballots on Election Day, which since 1845 has been the first Tuesday after November 1; this date coincides with the general elections of various other federal and local races. The Electoral College electors formally cast their electoral votes on the first Monday after December 12 at their respective state capitals.
Congress certifies the results in early January, the presidential term begins on Inauguration Day, which since the passage of the Twentieth Amendment has been set at January 20. The nomination process, consisting of the primary elections and caucuses and the nominating conventions, was not specified in the Constitution, but was developed over time by the states and political parties; these primary elections are held between January and June before the general election in November, while the nominating conventions are held in the summer. Though not codified by law, political parties follow an indirect election process, where voters in the 50 U. S. states, Washington, D. C. and U. S. territories, cast ballots for a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who in turn elect their party's presidential nominee. Each party may choose a vice presidential running mate to join the ticket, either determined by choice of the nominee or by a second round of voting; because of changes to national campaign finance laws since the 1970s regarding the disclosure of contributions for federal campaigns, presidential candidates from the major political parties declare their intentions to run as early as the spring of the previous calendar year before the election.
Article Two of the United States Constitution established the method of presidential elections, including the Electoral College. This was a result of a compromise between those constitutional framers who wanted the Congress to choose the president, those who preferred a national popular vote; each state is allocated a number of electors, equal to the size of its delegation in both houses of Congress combined. With the ratification of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution in 1961, the District of Columbia is granted a number of electors, equal to the number of those held by the least populous state. However, U. S. territories are not represented in the Electoral College. Constitutionally, the manner for choosing electors is determined within each state by its legislature. During the first presidential election in 1789, only six of the 13 original states chose electors by any form of popular vote. Throughout the years, the states began conducting popular elections to choose their slate of electors.
In 1800, only five of the 16 states chose electors by a popular vote. This gradual movement toward greater democratization coincided with a gradual decrease in property restrictions for the franchise. By 1840, only one of the 26 states still selected electors by the state legislature. Under the original system established by Article Two, electors could cast two votes to two different candidates for president; the candidate with the highest number of votes became the president, the sec
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, a court of law and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States district court; each federal judicial district has at least one courthouse, many districts have more than one. The formal name of a district court is "the United States District Court for" the name of the district—for example, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. In contrast to the Supreme Court, established by Article III of the Constitution, the district courts were established by Congress. There is no constitutional requirement. Indeed, after the ratification of the Constitution, some opponents of a strong federal judiciary urged that, outside jurisdictions under direct federal control, like Washington, D. C. and the territories, the federal court system be limited to the Supreme Court, which would hear appeals from state courts.
This view did not prevail and the first Congress created the district court system, still in place today. There is at least one judicial district for each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico; the insular areas of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands each have one territorial court. There are 89 districts in the 50 states, with a total of 94 districts including territories. There are other federal trial courts that have nationwide jurisdiction over certain types of cases, but the district court has concurrent jurisdiction over many of those cases, the district court is the only one with jurisdiction over civilian criminal cases; the United States Court of International Trade addresses cases involving international trade and customs issues. The United States Court of Federal Claims has exclusive jurisdiction over most claims for money damages against the United States, including disputes over federal contracts, unlawful takings of private property by the federal government, suits for injury on federal property or by a federal employee.
The United States Tax Court has jurisdiction over contested pre-assessment determinations of taxes. A judge of a United States district court is titled a "United States District Judge". Other federal judges, including circuit judges and Supreme Court Justices, can sit in a district court upon assignment by the chief judge of the circuit or by the Chief Justice of the United States; the number of judges in each district court is set by Congress in the United States Code. The President appoints the federal judges for terms of good behavior, so the nominees share at least some of his or her convictions. In states represented by a senator of the President's party, the senator has substantial input into the nominating process, through a tradition known as senatorial courtesy can exercise an unofficial veto over a nominee unacceptable to the senator. With the exception of the territorial courts, federal district judges are Article III judges appointed for life, can be removed involuntarily only when they violate the standard of "good behavior".
The sole method of involuntary removal of a judge is through impeachment by the United States House of Representatives followed by a trial in the United States Senate and a conviction by a two-thirds vote. Otherwise, a judge if convicted of a felony criminal offense by a jury, is entitled to hold office until retirement or death. In the history of the United States, only twelve judges have been impeached by the House, only seven have been removed following conviction in the Senate. A judge who has reached the age of 65 may elect to go on senior status and keep working; such senior judges are not counted in the quota of active judges for the district and do only whatever work they are assigned by the chief judge of the district, but they keep their offices and staff, many of them work full-time. A federal judge is addressed in writing as "The Honorable John/Jane Doe" or "Hon. John/Jane Doe" and in speech as "Judge" or "Judge Doe" or, when presiding in court, "Your Honor". District judges concentrate on managing their court's overall caseload, supervising trials, writing opinions in response to important motions like the motion for summary judgment.
Since the 1960s, routine tasks like resolving discovery disputes can, in the district judge's discretion, be referred to magistrate judges. Magistrate judges can be requested to prepare reports and recommendations on contested matters for the district judge's consideration or, with the consent of all parties, to assume complete jurisdiction over a case including conducting the trial. Federal magistrate judges are appointed by each district court pursuant to statute, they may be reappointed for additional eight-year terms. A magistrate judge may be removed "for incompetency, neglect of duty, or physical or mental disability". A magistrate judgeship may be a stepping stone to a district judges
President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
Clarence Thomas is an American judge and government official who serves as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is the most senior associate justice on the Court following the retirement of Anthony Kennedy. Thomas is the second African American to serve on the Court. Among the current members of the Court he is the longest-serving justice, with a tenure of 10,031 days as of April 10, 2019. Thomas grew up in Savannah and was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and at Yale Law School, he was appointed an Assistant Attorney General in Missouri in 1974, subsequently practiced law there in the private sector. In 1979, he became a legislative assistant to Senator John Danforth and in 1981 was appointed Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U. S. Department of Education. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan appointed Thomas Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush nominated Thomas for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
He served in that role for 16 months, on July 1, 1991, was nominated by Bush to fill Marshall's seat on the United States Supreme Court. Thomas's confirmation hearings were bitter and intensely fought, centering on an accusation that he had sexually harassed attorney Anita Hill, a subordinate at the Department of Education and subsequently at the EEOC. Hill claimed that Thomas had made sexual and romantic overtures to her, despite her rebuffing him and telling him to stop; the U. S. Senate confirmed Thomas by a vote of 52–48. Since joining the court, Thomas has taken a textualist approach, seeking to uphold the original meaning of the United States Constitution and statutes, he is along with fellow justice Neil Gorsuch, an advocate of natural law jurisprudence. Thomas is viewed as the most conservative member of the court. Thomas is known for never speaking during oral arguments. Clarence Thomas was born in 1948 in Pin Point, Georgia, a small, predominantly black community near Savannah founded by freedmen after the American Civil War.
He was the second of three children born to M. C. Thomas, a farm worker, Leola Williams, a domestic worker, they were descendants of American slaves, the family spoke Gullah as a first language. Thomas's earliest known ancestors were slaves named Sandy and Peggy, who were born around the end of the 18th century and owned by wealthy planter Josiah Wilson of Liberty County, Georgia. M. C. left his family. Thomas's mother was sometimes paid only pennies per day, she had difficulty putting food on the table, was forced to rely on charity. After a house fire left them homeless and his younger brother Myers were taken to live with his maternal grandparents in Savannah, Georgia. Thomas was seven when the family moved in with his maternal grandfather, Myers Anderson, Anderson's wife, Christine, in Savannah. Living with his grandparents, Thomas enjoyed amenities such as indoor plumbing and regular meals for the first time in his life, his grandfather, Myers Anderson, had little formal education, but had built a thriving fuel oil business that sold ice.
Thomas calls his grandfather "the greatest man I have known." When Thomas was 10, Anderson started taking the family to help at a farm every day from sunrise to sunset. His grandfather believed in hard self-reliance. Thomas' grandfather impressed upon his grandsons the importance of getting a good education. Raised Catholic, he attended the majority-black St. Pius X high school for two years before transferring to St. John Vianney's Minor Seminary on the Isle of Hope, where he was an honor student and among few black students, he briefly attended Conception Seminary College, a Roman Catholic seminary in Missouri. No-one in Thomas's family had attended college. In a number of interviews, Thomas stated that he left the seminary in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, he had overheard another student say after the shooting, "Good, I hope the son of a bitch died." He did not think. At a nun's suggestion, Thomas attended the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts. While there, Thomas helped.
Once, he walked out after an incident in which black students were punished while white students went undisciplined for committing the same violation. Having spoken the Gullah language as a child, Thomas realized in college that he still sounded unpolished despite having been drilled in grammar at school, he chose to major in English literature "to conquer the language." At Holy Cross, he was a member of Alpha Sigma Nu and the Purple Key Society. Thomas graduated from Holy Cross in 1971 with an A. B. cum laude in English literature. Thomas had a series of deferments from the military draft while in college at Holy Cross. Upon graduation, he was classified as 1-A and received a low lottery number, indicating he might be drafted to serve in Vietnam. Thomas failed his medical exam, due to curvature of the spine, was not drafted. Thomas entered Yale Law School, from which he received a Juris Doctor degree in 1974, graduating towards the middle of his class. Thomas has recollected that his Yale Juris Doctor degr
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U. S. federal government, after the President of the United States, ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The Vice President is an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the Vice President presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote; the Vice President presides over joint sessions of Congress. The Vice President is indirectly elected together with the President to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. Section 2 of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, ratified in 1967, created a mechanism for intra-term vice presidential succession, establishing that vice presidential vacancies will be filled by the president and confirmed by both houses of Congress. Whenever a vice president had succeeded to the presidency or had died or resigned from office, the vice presidency remained vacant until the next presidential and vice presidential terms began.
The Vice President is a statutory member of the National Security Council, the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution. The Office of the Vice President organises the vice president's official functions; the role of the vice presidency has changed since the office was created during the 1787 constitutional Convention. Over the past 100 years, the vice presidency has evolved into a position of domestic and foreign policy political power, is now seen as an integral part of a president's administration; as the Vice President's role within the executive branch has expanded, his role within the legislative branch has contracted. The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch; the modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress.
Mike Pence of Indiana is the current Vice President of the United States. He assumed office on January 20, 2017. No mention of an office of vice president was made at the 1787 Constitutional Convention until near the end, when an 11-member committee on "Leftover Business" proposed a method of electing the chief executive. Delegates had considered the selection of the Senate's presiding officer, deciding that, "The Senate shall choose its own President," and had agreed that this official would be designated the executive's immediate successor, they had considered the mode of election of the executive but had not reached consensus. This all changed on September 4, when the committee recommended that the nation's chief executive be elected by an Electoral College, with each state having a number of presidential electors equal to the sum of that state's allocation of representatives and senators; the proposed presidential election process called for each state to choose members of the electoral college, who would use their discretion to select the candidates they individually viewed as best qualified.
Recognizing that loyalty to one's individual state outweighed loyalty to the new federation, the Constitution's framers assumed that individual electors would be inclined to choose a candidate from their own state over one from another. So they created the office of vice president and required that electors vote for two candidates, requiring that at least one of their votes must be for a candidate from outside the elector's state, believing that this second vote could be cast for a candidate of national character. Additionally, to guard against the possibility that some electors might strategically throw away their second vote in order to bolster their favorite son's chance of winning, it was specified that the first runner-up presidential candidate would become vice president. Creating this new office imposed a political cost on strategically discarded electoral votes, incentivizing electors to make their choices for president without resort to electoral gamesmanship and to cast their second ballot accordingly.
The resultant method of electing the president and vice president, spelled out in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3, allocated to each state a number of electors equal to the combined total of its Senate and House of Representatives membership. Each elector was allowed to vote for two people for president, but could not differentiate between their first and second choice for the presidency; the person receiving the greatest number of votes would be president, while the individual who received the next largest number of votes became vice president. If there were a tie for first or for second place, or if no one won a majority of votes, the president and vice president would be selected by means of contingent elections protocols stated in the clause; the emergence of political parties and nationally coordinated election campaigns during the 1790s soon frustrated this original plan. In the election of 1796, Federalist John Adams won the presidency, but his bitter rival, Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson came second and became vice president.
Thus, the president and vice president were from opposing parties.
Kevin McCarthy (California politician)
Kevin Owen McCarthy is an American politician serving in the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the current House Minority Leader, having served as House Majority Leader from August 2014 to January 2019, he has been the U. S. Representative for California's 23rd congressional district since 2007; the 23rd district, numbered as the 22nd district from 2007 to 2013, is based in Bakersfield and includes large sections of Kern County and Tulare County as well as part of the Quartz Hill neighborhood in northwest Los Angeles County. He was chairman of the California Young Republicans and the Young Republican National Federation. McCarthy worked as district director for U. S. Representative Bill Thomas, in 2000 was elected as a trustee to the Kern Community College District, he served in the California State Assembly from 2002 to 2006, the last two years as Minority Leader. When Thomas retired from the U. S. House in 2006, McCarthy won the election. McCarthy was elected to House leadership as the Republican Chief Deputy Whip, from 2009 to 2011, House Majority Whip, from 2011 until August 2014, when he was elected House Majority Leader to replace the outgoing Eric Cantor, defeated in his primary election.
After announcing his candidacy for Speaker on September 28, 2015, he dropped out of the race on October 8 in favor of Paul Ryan. When the Republicans lost their majority in the 2018 midterm elections, McCarthy was subsequently elected as House Minority Leader, making him the first California Republican to hold the post. McCarthy was the unsuccessful Republican nominee for Speaker in 2019. McCarthy was born in Bakersfield, the son of Roberta Darlene, a homemaker, Owen McCarthy, an assistant city fire chief. McCarthy is a fourth-generation resident of Kern County, he is the first Republican in his immediate family, as his parents were members of the Democratic Party. He attended California State University, where he obtained a B. S. in marketing in 1989 and an M. B. A. in 1994. In 1995, he was chairman of the California Young Republicans. From 1999 to 2001, he was chairman of the Young Republican National Federation. From the late 1990s until 2000, he was district director for U. S. Representative Bill Thomas, who, at the time, chaired the House Ways and Means Committee.
McCarthy won his first election as a Kern Community College District trustee. McCarthy was elected to the California State Assembly in 2002, becoming Republican floor leader during his freshman term in 2003, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2006. McCarthy entered the Republican primary for California's 22nd District after his former boss, Bill Thomas, announced his retirement, he won the three-way Republican primary—the real contest in this Republican district—with 85 percent of the vote. He won the general election with 70.7% of the vote. McCarthy was unopposed for a second term. No party put up a candidate, McCarthy won a third term with 98.8% of the vote, with opposition coming only from a write-in candidate. Redistricting before the 2012 election resulted in McCarthy's district being renumbered as the 23rd District, it became somewhat more compact, losing its share of the Central Coast while picking up large parts of Tulare County. This district was as Republican as its predecessor, McCarthy won a fourth term with 73.2% of the vote vs. 26.8% for independent, No Party Preference opponent, Terry Phillips.
In his bid for a fifth term, McCarthy faced a Democratic challenger for the first time since his initial run for the seat, Raul Garcia. However, McCarthy was reelected with 74.8% of the vote. McCarthy won re-election to a sixth term in 2016 with 69.2% of the vote in the general election. McCarthy was reelected to a seventh term with 64.3 percent of the vote, with Democratic challenger Tatiana Matta receiving 35.7 percent of the vote. After the Republicans lost their majority in the 2018 elections, McCarthy was elected as House Minority Leader, fending off a challenge to his right from Jim Jordan of Ohio, 159-43. While as House Majority Leader he was second-in-command to the Speaker, as Minority Leader he is the leader of the House Republicans. Committee assignments Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer CreditCaucus memberships Congressional Western Caucus House Republican steering committee House Republican chief deputy whip, 2009–2011 House majority whip, 2011–2014 House majority leader, 2014–2018As a freshman congressman, McCarthy was appointed to the Republican steering committee.
Republican leader John Boehner appointed him chairman of the Republican platform committee during the committee's meetings in Minneapolis in August 2008, which produced the Republican Party Platform for 2008. He was one of the three founding members of the GOP Young Guns Program. After the 2008 elections, he was chosen as chief deputy minority whip, the highest-ranking appointed position in the House Republican Conference, his predecessor, Eric Cantor, was named minority whip. On November 17, 2010, he was selected by the House Republican Conference to be the House majority whip in the 112th Congress. In this post, he was the third-ranking House Republican, behind House speaker John Boehner and majority leader Eric Cantor. In August 2011, McCarthy and Cantor led a group of 30 Republican members of Congress to Israel, where some members took part in a late-night swim in the Sea of Galilee, including one member—Representative