The 3 Branches of Government The constitution was established by men who had experienced the dictatorships of Europe and had escaped from its grasp. They sought to establish a form of government that would never allow a dictatorship or tyrant ruler to hold power over the people like in the places they had fled. With their creation of the foundation of what our government is today they created a system where 3 branches were all of equal power and each could be overruled by another which prevented any branch becoming superior of another. The separation of powers provides a system of shared power called Checks and Balances. (2) The three branches are legislative, judicial and executive and they each have specific powers to balance those of the other branches. The Legislative branch is made up of the House and Senate.
The Executive branch is made of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments. The Judicial branch is made of the Federal courts and the Supreme Court. Each of these branches has certain powers, and each of these powers is limited, or checked, by the other two branches. By forcing the three branches to be monitored by the others, no one branch can gain enough power to become superior over the others. The American Governments system of being divided into 3 branches that can restrain one another is the most efficient way to govern the U.
S. in a fair manner and without any branch becoming more powerful than another. The Legislative Branch, also known as the Congress, is made up of two houses and their main job is to make the laws of the nation. (1) They are also responsible for checking the actions of the other two branches that make up the Federal government.
The two houses that make up the legislative branch are, the House of Representatives and the Senate. Some of the main powers of this branch consist of: the passing of all federal laws; establishment of all lower federal courts; can override a Presidential veto; and can impeach the President. (1) The lower house is the House of Representatives which is made up of members called Representatives. To qualify for becoming a House member a person must be 25 years old or older, must have been a U. S. citizen for seven years, and must live in the district he or she plans to represents.
(1) Each state has a number of Representatives depending on the population of that state and each state has at least one Representative. The maximum limit to the number of Representatives is 435. These 435 seats are divided among the states every ten years. Representatives serve for two years at a time, and every second November there is a new election where they are chosen by the people in a direct election. (1) The House is required to choose a Speaker for itself who is in charge over the proceedings of the House and is the highest position in the House leadership.
Other leadership positions are the Majority and Minority Leaders, and the Majority and Minority Whips. The Minority Leader would generally be the Speaker if his party were the majority. (1) The whips act as a median between the leadership and the other House members. The Senate is the Upper House and its members are called Senators. The qualifications for Senators are similar to those of house representatives, he or she must be 30 years old or older, must have been a U. S.
citizen for nine years, and must live in the state they plan to represent. There is again no restriction of sex, race, class, social standing, or any other classification, for both a Senator or House representative. Each state has two Senators, no matter what the size of the state happens to be. A Senators term lasts six years and like the other house members every second November there is a new election. The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate but he is a non-voting member unless a vote of the Senate ends in a tie which causes him to cast the deciding vote.
If the Vice President is not available there is a what is called a President pro tempore or basically a temporary president. Like the House, the Senate leadership also has Majority and Minority Leaders and Whips. Since our Congress is bicameral, a system of self-checking is practiced. For example, bills have to be passed by both Houses prior to ratification.
The duty of the Executive Branch is to enforce the laws of the United States. (1) The branch is headed by the President of the United States. The President is the most influential person in the government and represents our nation to the rest of the world. However, the actions and opinions stated by our President represent the Executive branch as a whole.
The president depends upon many people who advise him in how to try to gain the highest level of satisfaction for the American people. The President has several constitutional duties aside from the general 'enforce the laws' duty. These are: o To be Commander in Chief of the military o To conduct foreign affairs o To negotiate treaties with other nations o To nominate members of the cabinet, judiciary, etc. o To review and sign or veto bills o To administer the laws of the nation o To issue pardons as he sees fit o To address the Congress from time to time to assess the state of the nation The powers of the Executive consist of: veto power over all bills; appointment of judges and other officials; making treaties; ensure ing all laws are carried out; the commander in chief of the military; and has pardon power. All the executive powers still have the ability of being checked by the other branches which prevents a president from becoming too powerful. The duty of the interpretation of the law rests in the Judiciary branch.
(1) The highest court in the United States, above all others, with the final say in the what laws are Constitutional and which aren't, is the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has original and appellate jurisdiction, whereas the district courts only have original jurisdiction and the courts of appeals have only appellate jurisdiction. The Supreme Court, District Court, Court of Appeals, Trade Court, Court of Appeals for Armed Forces, Tax Court, Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit, Court of Federal Claims, and Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims all connect to each other to form the National Judiciary. The Judicial branch checks on the Legislative branch by judicial review, and has the power to declare acts of Congress unconstitutional. Judges appointed to the bench courts serve their terms for as long as they wish, while in 'good Behavior.' Judges can at any time be impeached by the Legislative branch. The Supreme Court is the highest appellate court, meaning that cases normally only come to the Court by way of appeal after appeal of the losing party.
The courts inferior to the supreme court are federal and are separate from similar courts setup in each state. There are special courts which help carry out the duties of the Legislative branch, such as bankruptcy courts and military courts of appeal. Judges serving in these courts do not serve for life, but have set terms such as 14 years for bankruptcy court, and 15 for military appeals court. Just like the Legislative and Executive branch powers, the Judiciary branch can at any time be questioned by the other 2 branches. The American governments establishment of having the 3 branches that have the ability to question and overrule actions of one another has been the reason that the U. S.
has been successful and has not become dictatorial or overpowering of the will of the people. If the American government was made of only one or even two branches then it wouldn't work because one branch with all the power would lead to dictatorships and the voice of the people would be lost. The basis that the framers of the constitution established our government on was with the hopes of a government of democracy where the will of the people was the main power behind the government. With only two branches there would be a constant battle for power and the merging of any of the three current branches with one another would cause a very negative effect on the balance of power. This system of separating power between three branches has provided a balanced way for the government to carry out the needs of maintaining a successful nation and has proven to be successful in the prevention of tyrannical or dictatorial type leadership taking place. With each branch having a certain area of responsibility and the ability to be monitored and restrained by the other branches our government has managed to uphold the ideals of the original framers of our nation.
Their quest for a nation with a strong central government that is for the people and that ensures that the freedoms of the American people are never lost has been achieved and the original idea of three branches has proven to be the perfect balance. BIBLIOGRAPHY web govt. html web s epp. html.