Amend- to alter, modify, rephrase, or add to or subtract from (a motion, bill, constitution, etc.) by formal procedure. Congress has the power to amend the constitution.
Constitution- a body of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is acknowledged to be governed.
Amendment- a minor change in a document.
Bill of Rights- the first ten amendments to the US Constitution, ratified in 1791 and guaranteeing such rights as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship.
Limited Government- A limited government is a political system where the legalized force is restricted through delegated and enumerated powers.
Separation of Powers- an act of vesting the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of government in separate bodies.
Ratify- sign or give formal consent to (a treaty, contract, or agreement), making it officially valid.
Interstate Commerce- the purchase, sale or exchange of commodities, transportation of people, money or goods, and navigation of waters between different states.
Article- a clause, item, point, or particular in a contract, treaty, or other formal agreement; a condition or stipulation in a contract or bargain.
Jurisdiction- the official power to make legal decisions and judgments.
Supremacy Clause- The clause in United States Constitution's Article VI, stating that all laws made furthering the Constitution and all treaties made under the authority of the United States are the “supreme law of the land.”
Popular Sovereignty- the sovereignty of the people's rule, is the principle that the authority of a state and its government is created and sustained by the consent of its people, through their elected representatives (Rule by the People), who are the source of all political power.
Federalism- the federal principle or system of government.
Checks and balances- counterbalancing influences by which an organization or system is regulated, typically those ensuring that political power is not concentrated in the hands of individuals or groups.
Judicial Review- review by the US Supreme Court of the constitutional validity of a legislative act.
Expressed Powers- Expressed powers, also known as the "enumerated powers," include the power to coin money, regulate foreign and interstate commerce, declare war, grant patents and copyrights and more.
Enumerated Power- The powers of the federal government that are specifically described in the Constitution are sometimes called 'delegated' or 'expressed powers,' but most often they are known as 'enumerated powers,' and they describe how a central government with three distinct branches can operate effectively.
Elastic Cause- a statement in the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) granting Congress the power to pass all laws necessary and proper for carrying out the enumerated list of powers.
Petition- a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause.
Executive Agreement- an international agreement, usually regarding routine administrative matters not warranting a formal treaty, made by the executive branch of the US government without ratification by the Senate.
Prior Restraint- judicial suppression of material that would be published or broadcast, on the grounds that it is libelous or harmful. In US law, the First Amendment severely limits the ability of the government to do this.
Probable Cause- reasonable grounds (for making a search, pressing a charge, etc.).
Search Warrant- a legal document authorizing a police officer or other official to enter and search premises.
Arrest Warrant- a warrant issued by a judge or magistrate on behalf of the state, which authorizes the arrest and detention of an individual, or the search and seizure of an individual's property.
Due Process of the Law- fair treatment through the normal judicial system, especially as a citizen's entitlement.