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The Living Constitution

Natural Law God's or nature's law that defines right from wrong and is higher than human law.
Separation of Powers Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law
Checks and Balances Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate
Divided Government Governance divided between the parties, especially when one holds the presidency and the other controls one or both houses of Congress.
Direct Primary Election in which voters choose party nominees.
Initiative Procedure whereby a certain number of voters may, by petition, propose a law or constitutional amendment and have it submitted to the voters.
Referendum Procedure for submitting to popular vote measures passed by the legistlature or proposed amendments to a state constitution.
Recall Procedure for submitting to popular vote the removal of officials from office before the end of their term.
Marbury v. Madison A landmark case in US law and the basis for the exercise of judicial review in the United States, under Article Three of the US Constitution.
Judicial Review The power of a court to refuse to enforce a law or a government regulation that in the opinion of the judges conflicts with the US Constitution or, in a state court, the state constitution.
Writ of Mandamus Court order directing an official to perform an official duty.
Impeachment Formal accusation by the lower house of legislature against a public official, the first step in removal from office.
Executive Order Directive issued by a president or governor that has the force of law.
Executive Privilege The power to keep executive communications confidential, especially if they relate to national security.
Impoundment Presidential refusal to allow an agency to spend funds that Congress authorized and appropriated.
Created by: jkim