Constitutional Law And The Legal System

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With the media giving cost play to the term "Constitutional", in reference to ongoing discussions between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch, some confusion concerning the power of Constitutional Law and its foundation for our legal system is understandable. Constitutional law is not confined to the founding document as the sole source of our legal system. It includes the past rulings of the Supreme Court, as well as guidance given in the various writings of the original founding fathers and the precedence of Common Law. Thus Constitutional Law encompasses the entire sphere of American Jurisprudence and its continued evolution will have a resounding effect on both the rights and liberties of the individual for generations to come. Division and Enumeration of Powers The first three articles of the U.S. Constitution describe the division of power among the three branches of the Federal Government. Article I, Sections 1- 10 enumerate the powers and duties of the Legislative branch. Article II, Sections 1-4 concern the powers and duties of the Executive Branch and Article III, Sections 1-3 enumerates the duties and powers of the Legislative Branch. Significantly, the enumerated powers are not an exhaustive list. Not all powers are delimited in relation to the other branches nor to that of the States. Thus, the powers of each branch has been further determined by Supreme Court rulings, under the guise of specific powers outlined in these three Articles. Therefore,

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