GOVERNMENT Six Basic Principles

  1. Popular Sovereignty
    • Political power rests with the people
    • The preamble - "We the people"
  2. Limited Government
    • Government is not all-powerful
    • Rule of law - Government and its officers are always subject to, and never above the law
    • Constitutionalism - Government mst be conducted according to constitutional principles
    • The 1st Amendment - "Congress shall make no law"
  3. Separation of Powers
    • The Constitution distributes the powers of the national government among the three branches
    • Article I Section 1 - legislative powers
    • Article II Section 1 - executive powers
    • Article III Section 1 - judicial powers
  4. Checks and Balances
    • The branches are tied together by a complex system of constitutional restraints that control the power of each branch so that one branch cannot become superior over another
    • Article II Section 2 Clause 2 - Presidential appointment power
  5. Judicial Review
    • The power to declare what government does is in accord with what the Constitution provides
    • The power to declare legislative acts and executive action illegal, null and void and of no force and effect
    • The Federalist #78
  6. Federalism
    • Division of power among a central government and several regional governments
    • The 10th Amendment - "Powers not delegated"
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GOVERNMENT Six Basic Principles
Six Basic Principles embodied in the Constitution