The national government is divided into three branches all containing the same power. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government abide by a system called checks and balances that prevents one branch from becoming to powerful over either of the other two. Checks and balances are used for many different situations in the government. According to Document 1 the legislative branch is responsible for the impeachment process.
This is an example of the Legislative branch checking the Executive branch by having the power to impeach. The House of Representatives will have the power to suspect a crime and the Senate will convict the impeachment. In the past years of government former presidents Johnson, and Clinton were impeached and also President Nixon resigned before actually being impeached. As stated in Document 2, the President has the power with the approval of the Senate to make treaties, appoint ambassadors, public ministers, and judges of the Supreme Court. For the treaties to be passed two thirds of the Senate must approve of the treaty. The Treaty of Versailles was not passed at first because two-thirds of the Senate didn't approve the treaty.
The Senate must also approve the nominations of people in the government. If the decision was left up to the president he would make the decision to keep his party in higher power. In doing this process of checks and balances the Legislative is checking the power of the Executive branch. In this system it also allows for the Executive branch to check the power of the Legislative branch.
On the chart in Document 3, it lists the presidential vetoes that have occurred. After Congress proposes a bill the president can veto that bill and force two-thirds of the congress to vote for it and then the president's veto will be overridden. Also the president can call for a special session of a bill that will become a law which forces Congress to look at the bills that the president wants to pass. According to Chief Justice John Marshall in Document 4 he states that the Supreme Court must decide the case according to the law, or according to the Constitution. This is an example of judicial review which gave the power to the Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional. The judicial branch had the power to check the Executive branch by declaring actions of the Executive branch unconstitutional.
The case of Marbury vs. Madison in 1803 was an example of the Supreme Court giving itself power to declare laws unconstitutional (Judicial Review). The system of Checks and Balances is used throughout government to maintain equal power between each branch. The Executive branch can check the Legislative branch by vetoing a bill.
The Executive branch can also check the Judicial branch by nominating a judge, or refusing to enforce court decisions. Legislative checks executive by refusing to pass legislation or overriding a president's veto. Legislative Checks Judicial by initiating an amendment. And finally the Judicial branch can check the executive and legislative by declaring laws unconstitutional. The judicial branch can also check themselves by reversing there decisions in such cases like Plassey vs. Ferguson in 1893 and Brown vs.
Board of Education in 1954. Throughout events of history in the United States, there have been different actions for the government to take control over. This shows how the system of checks and balances works and also the many times it was used throughout time.