What is unique about the U.S. Constitution? How does the U.S. Constitution “”map”” the unique structure of the Federal government?
What do we mean when we refer to the “”Division of Powers”” or the “”Separation of Powers””?
The U.S. Constitution both defines and “”maps”” the structure, function and powers granted and reserved by the Federal government.
The U.S. Constitution is supreme over all laws and federal law takes precedence over a conflicting state or local law.
The separate branches of government [executive, legislative and judicial] are separate and co-equal.
The Federal government is granted the power to regulate foreign commerce and interstate commerce.
While the original seven constitutional articles define and describe the structure and powers of the U.S. government, the later amendments addressed concerns regarding the limits of those powers.
Some highlights:
1st Amendment: religion and speech protections
2nd Amendment: the right to possess guns
4th Amendment: the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure
5th Amendment: takings and eminent domain, right against self incrimination
6th Amendment: the right to jury trial, counsel
13th Amendment: anti-slavery
14th Amendment: due process of law and equal protection

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