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legislative branch

the branch of government that makes the laws.

executive branch

the branch of government that enforces the laws

judicial branch

the branch of government that interprets laws


a system in which power is divided between the national and state governments


To change

Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution


introduction to the Constitution

popular sovereignty

the notion that the power lies with the people

rule of law

principle that the law applies to everyone, even those who govern

separation of powers

Principle by which the powers of government are divided among separate branches

checks and balances

A system that allows each branch of government to limit the powers of the other branches in order to prevent abuse of power

expressed powers

powers that congress has that are specifically listed in the constitution and are given to the national government

reserved powers

powers that the Constitution does not give to the national government that are kept by the states

writ of habeas corpus

a court order that requires police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why the person is being held

bill of attainder

a law that punishes a person without a jury trial

ex post facto laws

laws that make an act a crime after the act has been committed

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