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System Of Checks And Separation Of Powers
In the United States there are three branches of government: the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch. Each of the branches was formed by the constitution when the United States was created. The Legislative Branch is a bicameral system and is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate includes 100 members with 2 representing each state. On the other hand the House of Representatives is made up of 435 members in which the amount of members depends on their state’s population. The Legislative Branch is able to make laws, has the ability to impeach, and controls the money. The Executive Branch is made up of the President and the Cabinet. Each member of the Cabinet has control over whatever their department is. The responsibilities the President has include enforcing laws, commanding the military, and vetoing bills. The last branch, The Judicial Branch, is made up of the Supreme Court which has 9 members. The Supreme Court can interpret laws and determine if a law is constitutional or not. Mainly the Legislative Branch makes laws and the Executive enforces the laws and the Judicial decides what is constitutional. Each of them show how each of the branches contribute to the United States Government. Having checks and balances allows each branch of the government to have equal power and makes sure that one branch does not overpower the other. Each of the branches are connected to each other in some way and has checks on the other two.
The Legislative Branch has checks on both the Executive and Judicial Branches. For the Executive Branch they have their checks to keep the two branches from overpowering the other branches. One of the checks the Legislative Branch has is impeachment. If a member of the House of Representatives believes that someone in the government has committed a crime in office, that person can face impeachment. This applies to both of the other branches whether it’s the President or a member of the Supreme Court. If an official is impeached than they will have a trial in the Senate and can be removed from office if they are found guilty. Another check the Legislative Branch has is the ability to override the President’s vetoes. Two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives must vote to override the President’s veto thus enacting the bill into law. Another check is that the Legislative Branch has to approve presidential nominations and can select the next President in the election if there is no majority in the electoral votes. If there is no majority then everyone in the House of Representatives votes and decides the next President. The Congress can approve or reject presidential appointments and treaties if they need to. They also have the power to declare war with other countries but have no control over the military. Another check they have is that they can investigate presidential action if they believe something is suspicious. They need to see if the President is actually doing his job right and if anything can prevent him from doing so. One of the most important ones is that the Legislative Branch can control the money. With the money they can determine how much officials like the President are paid and how money is distributed around the government.
The Legislative Branch has checks on the Judicial Branch as well. They approve the federal judges and determine the size of the court system. Another check is that they can confirm judicial nominees. They determine who can be in the Supreme Court. Similar to their check on the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch has the power to impeach a member of the federal judges when necessary. They can initiate constitutional amendments which are based on the court cases and so that they know what to do when a similar court case happens again. The amendments affect how all of the rules of the courts that are inferior to the Supreme Court how they can handle their cases.
The Executive Branch has its own checks on the Legislative Branch. One of those checks is the power to veto the acts of the Legislative Branch. If the President doesn’t agree with the legislation he can veto it so it does not become law. However the Congress can override his veto with two-thirds majority votes and put the law into effect despite the veto of the President. The President is also commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces and can command them even though the Legislative Branch has the power to declare war. The Congress can also be called into an emergency session by the President. This is a power that is solely exclusive to the President that no other branch can do.
The other branch that the Executive Branch has checks on is the Judicial Branch. The Executive Branch has the power to appoint federal judges. They get to pick who is a federal judge without having to have an election. The branch can also pardon from the power of a judge for those that are convicted in court. The Executive Branch is the one that carries out the court decisions. The Judicial Branch cannot carry out court decisions even though they are the ones making the decisions themselves.
The Judicial Branch has its checks and balances on both the Legislative and Executive Branches. One of the powers they have over the Legislative Branch is that they can decide whether the acts of the Congress violate the constitution which is also called judicial review. Judicial review makes it clear to see if any of the other branches are out of bounds and need to take action. They also interpret all the Congress’s laws and how they can apply them. They can interpret the laws in their own way and they can order to have them applied unlike the other branches. They also have to see that no one in the Congress is stepping out of the line and is doing what they are supposed to.
There are also a few checks that the Judicial Branch has over the other branch of government. The Judicial Branch can also see if the Executive Branch is doing something that is considered violating the constitution and has judicial review over them too like the Legislative Branch. Judicial review is an important check and power that the Judicial Branch has over the other two branches. They also play a part in the impeachment of the President in which the Chief Justice can sit as the President of the Senate. That check shows that both the Legislative and Judicial Branches can have a hand in the impeachment of the President in the Executive Branch. Those two are the main checks the Judicial Branch has over the Executive Branch.
The main purpose of the checks and balances is to prevent tyranny in the government. Tyranny is when one branch of the government has too much power as opposed to having all the branches of government having their powers balanced and equal. The checks and balances have each of the branches government have some control over the other branches so that one could not overpower the other. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches keep each other in check and somewhat restricts each other. If one branch is more powerful than the other two then the other two will be weaker and that side of the government could collapse. It is also like they are working against each other so that the three branches can remain separate and efficiently work in their department. No two branches of government can work together or else they can be more powerful than the third. If there weren’t any checks and balances then each of the branches would try to gain as much power as they can and the government could fall apart when one of them will become a tyrant.
The Unites States government has checks and balances that keep it in order and prevent tyranny. It is the reason why we have a separation of power. The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial Branches each have checks on each other to keep the government in balance. The branches could be best described as a point on a triangle with all equal sides. Not one branch of government can be too powerful and abuse their power. The Legislative Branch for example has a check on the Executive Branch like they can impeach and remove the President from office. They can also control the size of the federal court system in the Judicial Branch. The Executive Branch can veto bills that the Congress may have and they can nominate federal judges for the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch can claim any act by the Legislative and Executive Branch as unconstitutional. This system was decided when the United States was created. None of the men who wrote the constitution never wanted tyranny to happen in the American government. The laws they made back then are still being used today. Checks and Balances help prevent tyranny and keeps the government in balance.
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