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The legislative branch of the American federal government consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, which are jointly known as Congress. Sessions of both houses are held in the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. The Capitol is situated on Capitol Hill, and in common parlance, "Capitol Hill" is often used a shorthand for Congress itself.

The powers of Congress are set out in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution. The relative powers of the three branches are not defined in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Marshall asserted its power to interpret the Constitution and declare legislation unconstitutional if necessary. This power is called judicial review.

Congress exercises certain powers over the other branches through its control of the impeachment process. Federal officials, including members of both the judicial and executive branches, can be impeached, i.e. charged, by the House of Representatives. A trial resulting from impeachment is conducted in the Senate.

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Capitol Men: The Epic Story of Reconstruction Through the Lives of the First Black Congressmen by Philip Dray.
Reconstruction was a time of idealism and sweeping change, as the victorious Union created citizenship rights for the freed slaves and granted the vot...
The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution by David O. Stewart.
The successful creation of the Constitution is a suspense story. The Summer of 1787 takes us into the sweltering room in which delegates struggled for...
Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement by John Robert Lewis.
John Lewis is an authentic American hero, a modest man from the most humble of beginnings who left a rural Alabama cotton farm 40 years ago and strode...
The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics by Don E. Fehrenbacher.
The Dred Scott Case is a masterful examination of the most famous example of judicial failure--the case referred to as "the most frequently overturned...