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15 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the introductory statement to the Constitution;

it explains the reasons and intentions behind the Constitution; lists the major goals for which the American Govt. should strive;
says our govt. should provide law, order, and stability
Supremacy Clause
The Clause that means that all U.S. citizens, as well as state and local govts., grant ultimate authority to federal laws, treaties, and the Constitution
formal changes to the basic documents.

27 Amendments in the Constitution
Limited Government
the national government, created by the Constitution, can do only what the people allow it to do
Rule of Law
used in a limited govt., means that all citizens must obey those who run the govt. and follow the laws outlined in the Constitution
Separation of Powers
in which governmental powers are distributed among three branches: 1) Executive 2) Legislative 3) Judicial; no one branch can dominate the others b/c they don't have enough power
Checks and Balances
The process by which each Branch of the Federal Government can exercise certain powers over the actions of the other Branches; created by the framers b/c of the fear of a single branch dominating the other 2
Judicial Review
the power of the Supreme Court to decide whether a law or other governmental action violates the Constitution
the form of government (or principles) on which the Constitution is based; some powers belong to the national/federal govt. while others belong to the states
writ of mandamus
an order issued by a court to force a government official to act
Marbury v. Madison
the case in which the power of Judicial Review was established as a power of the Supreme Court
Bill of Rights
the first 10 Amendments that provides constitutional guarantees, such as freedom of expression and belief
2 Methods of Introducing an Amendment
1. 2/3's vote in the Senate and the House of Reps.

2. 2/3's of state legislatures may request that Congress call a national amendment convention
2 Methods of Ratifying an Amendment
1. 3/4's of the state legislatures vote in favor of ratification

2. states call special conventions to ratify the amendments and 3/4's must approve for it to be ratified
made void