Power Limitations

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Purpose

Our Constitution explains not only what Congress may do but also what it may not do. The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to limit or deny certain powers to the federal government.


Example

Congress may not pass laws that restrict freedom of speech or ban freedom of religion.

How It Relates to Your Legislature

There's a limit of power for Congress. It can't pass anything that restricts the people's right.

Vocab Words


Congress can't suspend, ban, or pass any of the following because they could interfere with the legal rights of individuals.


Writ of Habeas Corpus: A court order that requires police to bring a prisoner to court to explain why they are holding the person.


Bills of Attainder: Laws that punish a person w/o a jury trial.


Ex Post Facto Laws: These are laws that make an act a crime after the act has been committed.


Checks & Balances

The Supreme Court can declare laws established by Congress as unconstitutional.

The president can veto bills passed by Congress before they become laws. If both houses of Congress can muster a two-thirds vote, they can override the president’s action.