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6.2 5 Principles of the Constitution

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6.2 5 Principles of the Constitution. The People Rule. popular sovereignty “We the people” People hold the final authority in govt Constitution=contract between American people & their govt People grant govt powers it needs to achieve goals

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the people rule
The People Rule
  • popular sovereignty
    • “We the people” People hold the final authority in govt
  • Constitution=contract between American people & their govt
    • People grant govt powers it needs to achieve goals
    • Limits power of govt by saying what govt can’t do
  • Representative govt=people elect public officials to make laws & decisions for them by voting
  • Who can vote?
    • All citizens 18 & older (not always like this)
limited govt
Limited Govt
  • Need to balance too much & too little govt as seen with British rule and Art. of Conf.
  • Limited govt= govt has only the powers that the people grant it
  • Most important limits on govt=liberty
    • Set out in Bill of Rights
    • Govt can’t take away freedoms of people
    • 9th Amendment: people have rights not listed in Const.
    • 10th Amendment: gives states or people any powers not granted by Const to nat’l govt
  • Federalism=division of power between the states & national govt
  • Constitution assigns certain powers to the national govt. Others are left to states. Concurrent Powers are shared by federal & state govt

Powers of the states

  • All powers not specifically granted to federal govt are reserved to the state
  • Const. says what powers states don’t have

The “law of the land”

THE CONSTITUTION IS THE “SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND” only federal courts can settle disputes

separation of powers
Separation of Powers
  • Framers of Const. wanted to prevent abuse of power by one person or group soooooo…….
  • Divided the natl govt into 3 branches: legislative, executice, judicial
  • Division of natl govt = separation of powers
Legislative Branch
  • a.k.a Congress
  • Makes laws
  • 2 houses: House of Representatives & Senate

Executive Branch

  • Carries out the laws
  • President heads the executive branch & appoints officials to carry out the duties of office

Judicial Branch

  • Supreme Court heads judicial branch
  • Interprets & explains laws
  • Set up lower courts as needed
checks balances
Checks & Balances

Prevent one branch of government from gaining too much power

executive branch president carries out laws
Checks on Legislative

Can propose laws

Can veto laws

Can call special sessions of Congress

Makes appointments

Negotiates foreign treaties

Checks on Judicial

Appoints federal judges

Can grant pardons to federal offenders

Executive Branch(President carries out laws)
legislative branch congress makes laws
Checks on Executive

Can override President’s veto

Confirms executive appts

Ratifies treaties

Can declare war

Appropriates money

Can impeach & remove President

Checks on Judicial

Creates lower federal courts

Can impeach & remove judges

Can propose amendments to overrule judicial decisions

Approves appointments of federal judges

Legislative Branch(Congress makes laws)
judicial branch supreme court interprets the laws
Checks on Executive

Can declare executive actions unconstitutional

Checks on Legislative

Can declare acts of Congress unconstitutional

Judicial Branch(Supreme Court interprets the laws)