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Chapter Two: Constitutional Checks and Balances


Published December 23, 2020

The separation of powers built into the Constitution help to ensure that no branch of the government is more powerful than another. Judicial review is a key check on the power of the legislative and executive branches. Since its earliest days, the Court’s judicial review power has made it an essential arbiter for defining and protecting individual rights.

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Discussion Questions

  1. How does the Supreme Court compare in its power to the other two branches of government?
  2. If you were president and had the opportunity to make an appointment to the Supreme Court, how would you choose your nominee?

Additional Resources

  • To learn more, read “Socialism vs. the American Constitutional Structure: The Advantages of Decentralization and Federalism,” by John Yoo. Available here.
  • Watch “The Supreme Court’s Role in Restoring Federalism,” with John Yoo. Available here.
  • Watch “Executive Power in the Constitution,” with John Yoo via C-SPAN. Available here.