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A review on constitutions of the US and Germany

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  1. The invention of television or a succession of discoveries
    1. The discoveries that introduced the invention of television
    2. The birth of the term "television"
    3. From the mechanical television (1925-1931) to the electric television (1932-1945)
  2. Television in the footsteps of players like the radio
    1. The FCC and Congress: state control
    2. The networks: diffusion
    3. U.S. companies: financing
  3. Television and the American public
    1. Television proved to the Americans
    2. The placing of television sets on the market
    3. Programs
  4. Conclusion

In the early twentieth century, an Austrian jurist called Kelsen developed his theory of the hierarchy of norms. According to him, legal norms are arranged in a hierarchy, the lower standards need to meet the higher standards. The Constitution is placed at the top of this hierarchy. To ensure effective compliance with the constitution, Kelsen introduced the constitutional review in the Austrian Constitution in 1920.

Now there are two opposing models of constitutional review. As per the model of the United States, any court has the power to act as a constitutional review. Whereas the European model states that only specific courts have this power.

In this context it is interesting to compare the constitutional review of Germany and the constitutional review of the United States. Although the methods of control between the two countries differ significantly, the Supreme Court of the U.S. and the German Constitutional Court have in common is the fact that,through the constitutional review, they both occupy an important place in the legal and political lives of their countries.

The German Constitutional Court is composed of 16 members. Half of these are elected by the Bundestag and the other half by the Bundesrat. 6 of them must be federal judges and the other 10 lawyers. They are elected by a two-thirds majority.

The Supreme Court of the U.S. is composed of nine judges who are appointed by the President of the United States with the consent of the Senate. They are not required to have any special qualifications but it is customary that trained lawyers are chosen and that the composition of the Court reflects the balance of political, geographic and religious groups that exist within the nation.

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