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Introduction Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Signing the Constitution Ratifying the Constitution Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

 


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Ratifying the Constitution Signing the Constitution Delegates to the Constitutional Convention The Work Begins Writing the Constitution The Great Compromise Bill of Rights Powers of the Federal Government The Three Branches of Government Checks and Balances Amendments Women - The Right to Vote

Checks and Balances

By creating three branches of government, the delegates built a "check and balance" system into the Constitution. This system was built so that no one branch of our government could become too powerful.

Each branch is restrained by the other two in several ways. For example, the president may veto a law passed by Congress. Congress can override that veto with a vote of two-thirds of both houses. Another example is that the Supreme Court may check Congress by declaring a law unconstitutional. The power is balanced by the fact that members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president. Those appointments have to be approved by Congress.

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The system of checks and balances is used to keep the government from getting too powerful in one branch. For example, the Executive Branch can veto bills from the Legislative Branch, but the Legislative Branch can override the veto.

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