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Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law$
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Thomas Lundmark

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195368727

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195368727.001.0001

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The Federal Government

The Federal Government

(p.7) Subpart A The Federal Government
Power & Rights in US Constitutional Law

Thomas Lundmark

Oxford University Press

The structure of the federal government of the United States is characterized by a pronounced application of the principle of separation of powers. A discussion of that principle provides a background against which the three branches of the federal government are presented. These are introduced in the order that they were created by the Constitution: the legislative, the executive, and the judiciary. The second section begins with an exposition of the terms “legislative” and “legislative immunity” before presenting the enumerated congressional powers found in Article I of the US Constitution. The third section presents executive power in the context of treaties, executive agreements, and foreign military interventions, regulated by Congress in the War Powers Resolution. The final section shows how the US Constitution limits the jurisdiction of the federal courts to “Cases or Controversies.” The doctrines and distinctions of advisory opinions, ripeness, mootness, and standing are discussed before turning to the related “political question” doctrine.

Keywords:   separation of powers, legislative power, legislative immunity, executive power, foreign affairs, judicial power, advisory opinions, ripeness, mootness, political question doctrine

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