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What is a constitutional provision?

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Quick Answer

The Legal Information Institute of Cornell University explains that a constitutional provision is a law that is stated directly in the country's constitution. This is different than laws or rules that are mandated through other forms of legislation.

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Net Industry's Law Library explains how a country's constitution is the basic framework that guides the country's future laws and policies. A constitution outlines how a country is run and denotes the relationship that the government has with the governed. In the United States, the Constitution delegates power to the three branches of government, the legislative, judicial and executive branches. It also outlines the separation of these powers to divide the responsibilities of the three branches and limits the power of the three branches. The U.S. Constitution makes a distinction between the power allowed by the federal and state governments, as well.

According to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University, constitutional amendments, including the Bill of Rights, are an apt demonstration of how constitutional provisions work. The Bill of Rights were the first 10 amendments ratified to the Constitution. These amendments, or provisions, set basic rules for the federal government to follow. These include the protection of the rights of the individual from the federal government, which is exercised in many ways, including freedom of speech, the abolition of slavery, the right of women to vote and the right to bear arms. One important feature of constitutional provisions is that they can only be changed by a further amendment to the constitution, which further emphasises their purpose as solid, fundamental aspects of that country's laws.

Many provisions in the U.S. Constitution are known by more colloquial names. The Gallagher Law Library of the University of Washington lists the Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause, the Freedom of Speech Clause and the Due Process Clause as examples of provisions found in the U.S. Constitution.

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