APS Unit II: Executive and Judicial Branches

Helpful Links

Unit II Reviews
PPT or Text

e-mail Dr. Swanson

Current Event Sheet

Possible Essays

Unit Schedule

Date Due


Key Concepts to Master
  • The specific duties of the President
  • The qualifications (official and otherwise) needed to become President
  • The role of the Vice President
Three Current Event Articles Due (Executive Branch)
Bring Book to Class
  • The key constitutional powers of the President
  • The informal sources of power that Presidents utilize to expand their role
  • The ways that the power of the President is limited by Congress and the Courts


  • Detail the major roles of the President: Head of State, Chief Executive, Chief Legislator, etc.
Bring Book to Class
  • The responsibilities of the various Cabinet departments
  • The role that executive agencies play within the executive branch
  • The duties of regulatory commissions and their positive and negative effects on our nation


  • The specific powers granted to the Federal Courts
  • The important basic facts surrounding the landmark court cases discussed in the section

Bring Book to class
  • The role the Supreme Court plays in shaping public policy on the United States
  • Examples of the Court using its power to control the power of other branches
  • The weaknesses inherent in being the "law interpreting" power
Presidential Election Project is Due
Here is the What Should the President Do? Page
Current Event Articles #3 (President) are Due
Bring Book to Class
  • The foundations of our nation's belief in individual rights for its citizens
  • The important mechanisms in our constitution that guarantee those rights
For the rest of these pages it is important that you acquaint yourself with some of the most important cases that have clarified our rights to Freedom of Religion, Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of Assembly.  We will be doing an in class activity that reinforces these concepts.
Unit II Test

Possible Essays:

Group A:

  • Describe the  process we use to elect the president? How has this process changed over our nation's history (check the amendments)? Why is this process sometimes controversial?
  • Discuss the organization of the Executive branch.  How does this organization help the President carry out his many important roles?

Group B:

  • The U.S. has a rich tradition of protecting the rights of its citizens. Discuss some key examples of how these rights (Speech, Assembly, Religion, Press) have been defined over the years.  How did this tradition develop in the early years of our nation's history? 
  • Describe the role and makeup of the Supreme Court. Discuss how the court can impact public policy and American life.  Be sure to provide examples using specific Supreme Court decisions (Plessy, Brown, Miranda, Roe, etc.).