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Knowledge Base

The Supreme Court and the Constitution

Constitutional Law

Constitutional law refers to the rights stated in federal and state constitutions. The majority of this body of law has developed from state and federal supreme court rulings, which interpret their respective constitutions and ensure that the laws passed by the legislature do not violate constitutional limits.  

Most constitutional legal issues involve the Bill of Rights, which contains the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. These amendments contain such rights as the freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial, and the right to due process.

Separation of Powers

Separation of powers is a doctrine of constitutional law under which the three branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate. This is also known as the system of checks and balances, because each branch is given certain powers to check and balance the other branches. Each branch has separate powers, and generally each branch is not allowed to exercise the powers of the other branches. 

Constitution of the United States of America

The Constitution is the supreme law of the United States. Empowered with the sovereign authority of the people by the framers and the consent of the legislatures of the states, it is the source of all government powers, and also provides important limitations on the government that protect the fundamental rights of US citizens.

Judicial Review

Through judicial review, Supreme Court is able to oversee the actions of other branches and ensure that they are abiding by the Constitution. Through this power, the Court is allowed to review the laws and actions of the President and the Congress to determine whether they are constitutional.

Judicial review is also part of the checks and balances that limitsw the power of each branch and creates a balance of power.

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