Intelligence Law School - Course 1: Lesson 3.2.2 Three-Part Structure Generally [HTML-Only]


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LESSON 3: CONSTITUTIONAL LAW


3.2 Basic Structure of the U.S. Constitution


3.2.2 Three-Part Structure Generally


Lecture Audio



Annotated Lecture Transcript

3.2.2 Three-Part Structure Generally

So, how is the Constitution structured?

The Constitution is made up of just 3 parts.

You heard me—three.

1)      There’s the Preamble;

a.      That’s the part that starts out “We the People…;”

2)     Then there are 7 Articles; and

3)     27 Amendments.

 

That’s it.

That’s all there is to the U.S. Constitution.

1)      A Preamble;

2)     7 Articles; and

3)     27 Amendments.

 

And the Preamble is just throat-clearing platitudes;[1] so really, the Constitution is made up of just two important parts:

1)      The 7 Articles, and

2)     The 27 Amendments.

 

Ø  The Articles lay out the powers of the three branches of the federal government and the division of power with the states; and

Ø  The Amendments contain the rights of individuals, as well as any changes to the original Articles ratified over time.

 

This is just a basic breakdown.

It’s a bit more nuanced that this, but for the most part that’s a good basic understanding of the way things are broken down:

Ø  The Articles lay out the powers of the federal government; and

Ø  The Amendments contain the rights of individuals.

 

Footnotes

[1] U.S. Const., Preamble ("We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.").

 


© 2012 David Alan Jordan. All rights reserved.