Principles of American Democracy
What Does the Constitution Do

What does the Constitution do?

The Constitution of a country serves multiple key functions:

Sets up the Government: It sets up the structure of the government, defining the different branches (such as legislative, executive, and judicial) and their powers.

Defines the Government its Powers and Limits : It establishes what the government can and cannot do. This includes defining the powers of different government branches and establishing checks and balances to prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful.

Protects Basic Rights of Americans: Many constitutions, like the U.S. Constitution, include a bill of rights or similar amendments that safeguard certain fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals, such as freedom of speech and religion, right to a fair trial, etc.

Acts as the Supreme Law: The Constitution is the 'supreme law of the land'. All other laws and government actions must be in compliance with the Constitution. Any law that conflicts with the Constitution can be declared unconstitutional and is therefore invalid.

Provides a Framework for Lawmaking: It outlines the process by which new laws are made and enforced, including the roles of different government bodies in this process.

Guides Interpretation of Laws: The judiciary often refers to the Constitution when interpreting laws, ensuring they're applied in a way that aligns with the Constitution's provisions.

Sets the Procedure for Amendments: The Constitution usually outlines the procedures for its own amendment, ensuring that future changes reflect the will of the people while preventing hasty or ill-considered changes.

In summary, the Constitution acts as a blueprint for the governance of a country, balancing power among different branches of government, protecting citizens' rights, and providing a legal framework for operation and amendments.