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American government - Essay Example

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(YOUR NAME) (YOUR PROFESSOR) (YOUR COURSE) (THE DATE) The Federal Government: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances The American federal government is one of the most perfect examples of a tripartite sovereign leadership which exhibits the notion of separation of powers…
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(YOUR (THE The Federal Government: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances The American federal government is one of the most perfect examples of a tripartite sovereign leadership which exhibits the notion of separation of powers. With the separated powers of several ruling individuals, the very idea of American democracy is concretized. The American Constitution states that, “Generally, the legislative branch makes America's laws, the executive branch enforces the laws, and the judicial branch decides cases under the laws.” (The American Constitution cited in Cengage). However, the powers vested upon each of these branches are accordingly limited by checks and balances imposed by each of the three. In this light and upon the analysis of the limitations of power, it can be said that the most powerful amongst the three branches is the legislature and the weakest is the judiciary. This argument can be proven by explaining the tasks of the three branches and by elaborating the checks and balances which limit the powers of each. The executive branch is tasked with the proper and due execution of laws. The highest degree of power rests upon the president, his secretaries and other directors of other offices such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Peace Corps, and the U.S. Postal Service (Cengage). Checks and balances limit the amount of influence the administration Congressional intervention. The legislature has the power to override the presidential veto with two-thirds vote. Executive decisions are also dependent on the approval of the Congress when it comes to treaties and appointments. To add to this, petitions for impeachment filed against officials from the executive branch are forwarded to the legislation for execution and trial (Cengage). The judicial branch, on the other hand, has the power to try particular individuals accused for offenses against federal and civil laws. Such branch also has the power to convict citizens when proven guilty. However, respective Supreme Court justices are selected through the discretion of the president. Suggested appointees are subject to Congressional approval. In this very sense, judicial power is primarily controlled. More importantly, the strongest check on judicial power comes from senators and congressmen who amend inconsistent or unconstitutional federal laws (Cengage). To simply put it, the judiciary is dependent upon the laws passed by the Congress in order for the justices to exercise due trials. Lastly, the legislative branch, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives, create Congressional bills that are subject to executive review and Congressional votes – those of which pass as state laws afterwards. The legislature also has the power to approve executive decisions through two-thirds vote of the chamber. Petitions for impeachment are deliberated by the House of Representatives which are then elevated for trials in the Senate. Constitutional amendments are also in the hands of the legislation. The power of the legislative branch is subject to checks and balances through presidential discretion, particularly when approving Congressional bills. Also, judicial review enforces the legislation to amend the Constitution when particular laws are interpreted as unconstitutional (Cengage). By analysing the amount of power and the checks and balances each government branch has, it can be justified that the legislative branch is the strongest and the judiciary branch is the weakest. It is clearly defined earlier that the legislation has the power to create and amend executive laws, deny or approve executive vetoes and decisions and remove officials and justices through impeachment. The only restricting forces that limit the legislature are executive orders and judicial reviews for Constitutional amendments. On the other hand, the judicial branch can be deduced as the weakest because the only power it has is to try and convict individuals and to interpret the law. The amount of checks and balances outweighs judicial power because justices are dependent on executive appointments and on the kind of federal and civil laws that the legislature creates. In this sense, the legislative branch has more power to exercise its abilities as law-makers while the judicial branch remains dependent on executive and legislative influence. Works Cited Cengage, Gale. "American Government: An Overview." Checks and Balances: Three Branches of American Government - Resources. 2005. Print. Read More
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