Our Nation's Founding Document
The Declaration provides us the philosophical underpinning of our citizens’ relationship with their government. The more practical framework of that limited government instituted to protect our Created-given rights is provided by the Constitution. It is a written constitution with clear words that are available for all to read and understand, and those words trump any President or Supreme Court’s wishes and desires in dealing with the problems of the day. This written Constitution provides the basis for the rule of law – laws apply equally to all and no one is above or beyond its reach.
Two key features of the U.S. Constitution stand out. One is that it establishes a federal government of limited powers. Second, it divides power among three branches of government.
The Constitution enumerates or lists specific powers given to the three branches of the federal government. They are not illustrative examples; they are the complete list of powers given to the federal government. The Tenth Amendment makes clear that those powers not explicitly given to the three branches are reserved to the people and to the individual states.
Those powers which are given to the federal government are divided among three separate and equal branches of government. The Founders knew the problems that would develop if any one of the branches became dominant. In the modern communications era, however, the Executive, speaking with one voice, has the upper hand. And in recent years Congress has been too willing to follow along behind a President of the same party. For government to function as intended, each branch must stand up to its proper constitutional role.
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