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a written law


a court's authority to hear and decide cases

judicial review

Supreme Court has the right to to decide whether acts of Congress are constitutional or not


a division of powers between federal and state

limited government

gov. has only the powers that the constitution gives it

Separation of Powers

the principal or system of vesting in separate branches (Leg., Exe., and Jud.,)

Magna Carta

a document accepted by King John of England which contains laws est. the right of English Barons

Bill of Rights

a written list of freedoms that the gov. promises to protect (1st ten amendments of const.)

Electoral College

a group of people named by each state legislature to select the president and vice president

Basic Principles of Government

Popular Sovereignty, Limited Government, Checks and Balances, Federalism, Separation of Powers, Republicanism, and Individual Rights

Articles of Confederation

the first attempt by America at a constitution

House of Representatives

Where a bill is introduced

How can constitution be amended?

2/3 votes of House of Rep. and the Senate or 3/4 of the State Legislature

Why are there 3 branches of government?

to make sure 1 doesn't get too powerful

How does the checks and balances work?

each branch of gov. can limit the actions of the other two and prevents one from getting more powerful than the others

1st amendment

freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition

2nd amendment

Right to bear arms

3rd amendment

No quartering of Soldiers

4th amendment

No unreasonable searches or seizures

5th amendment

rights of people accused of crimes: "Due Process"

6th amendment

right to trial by jury in criminal cases

7th amendment

right to trial by jury in civil cases

8th amendment

forbids excessive bail and cruel or unusual punishment

9th amendment

people's rights are not limited to those listed in the constitution

10th amendment

states or people have all powers not denied or given to federal gov. by the constitution


opening statement of the const. that outlines the goals

articles of the constitution

7 sections that make up the main body of the const.

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