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Checks and Balances

Separation of Powers
Dividing the Federal Government
The founding fathers thought that the only way to keep the federal government from
gaining too much power was to split it up.
Legislative-Main job it to make Laws
Executive-Enforce the laws
Judicial- Interprets the laws
What are Checks and Balances?
Checks and Balances were built into the constitution to ensure that no one branch of
government ever became too powerful.
It gives each branch of government some power over the others.
Separation of Powers (Interlaced with Checks and Balances)
The goal of separation of powers:
To prevent a majority fro gaining absolute rule
That is why the 3 branches were created
As a result, each branch has checks and balances on the authority of the other two
Federalism:The division of power
Political system in which power is divided between the national and state governments
Government Powers (Division of powers)
Expressed: Spelled out in the Constitution
Article 1 Section 18
18 clauses giving 27 powers
Coin money
Regulate trade
Declare war
Implied: Not written in constitution, but reasonably suggested
Article 1, Section 18, Clause 18
Necessary and proper
The elastic clause
Build dams, highways, roads
Determine crime
Inherent:Not written in the constitution, but belonging to national governments
Regulate immigration
Grant diplomatic recognition to nations
Protect the nation
Denied: Expressly Denied:
Infringe on rights
(speech, press, etc)
Silence in constitution:
Only has delegated powers
Denied in Federal system:
Cant tax states

Powers Granted:
Reserved Powers:
Not granted to federal but not denied to states
Legal marriage age
Drinking age
Professional licence
Confiscate property
The power of the state to protect and promote public health, public morals, public safety and the
general welfare.
Denied States:
Constitution denies certain powers to state because they are not a federal government
make treaties
print money
deny rights to citizens
Both states and national have these powers
may be exercised separately and simultaneously
collect taxes
define crimes
condemn or take private property for public use
Denied Both:
Both states and National have been denied these powers
violate the rights of citizens
The Supremacy Clause
United States
Acts of Congress
State Constitutions
State Statues (laws)
City and Country

When there is a conflicts between a lower one and higher one, the higher one wins
The US constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land