Constitution Handbook Terms and Names

The Preamble and Article 1: The Legislature

Preamble Introduction to the U.S. Constitution

Congress National legislature of the United States

House of Representatives Lower house of Congress

Senate Upper house of Congress

checks and balances Provisions of the Constitution that keep one branch of the government from controlling the other two branches

enumerated powers Powers specifically granted in the Constitution

elastic clause Clause in the Constitution that allows Congress to pass laws necessary to carry out its enumerated powers

implied powers Powers not specifically stated in the Constitution

Articles 2 and 3: The Executive and the Judiciary

electoral college Electors chosen by the states to elect the president and vice-president

succession Order in which the office of president is filled if it becomes vacant before an election

State of the Union Address Message delivered by the president each year

Supreme Court Highest federal court in the United States

Articles 4–7: The States, Amendments, Federal Supremacy, and Ratification

extradition Procedure for returning a person charged with a crime to the state where the crime was committed

ratify To officially approve the Constitution or an Amendment to it

The Bill of Rights and Amendments 11–27

Bill of Rights First ten amendments

double jeopardy Being tried more than once for the same crime

due process of law All the procedures for fair treatment that must be carried out whenever a citizen is accused of a crime

reserved powers Powers not specifically granted to the federal government or denied to the states belong to the states and the people

suffrage Right to vote

Additional Terms

bill Draft of a proposed law presented to the legislature for approval

civilians People who are not in the armed forces

impeachment Official accusation of wrongdoings by the House of Representatives against a government official

incriminate To cause to appear guilty of a crime

naturalized Granted full citizenship to one of foreign birth

override To declare null and void; to set aside

veto Power of a chief executive to reject a bill passed by the legislature and prevent it from becoming a law