American National Govenment

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Separation of powers is defined in our textbook as, “Constitutional division of powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches, with the legislative branch making law, the executive branch applying and enforcing the law, and the judiciary interpreting the law. More simply explained, separation of powers is a concept the framers of the constitution developed to divide specific governmental powers among the three branches of the government: legislative, executive, and judicial. The framers believed it was important to separate the powers between the three branches to keep the majority from having complete rule over everything. Checks and balances is defined in our textbook as, “Constitutional grant of powers that enables each of the three branches of government to check some acts of the others and therefore ensure that no branch can dominate”. In other words the framers did not want any one branch of the government to have too much power so through separation of powers they enforced a system of shared powers, called checks and balances, which requires each branch of the government to answer to one another. The Legislative Branch and its powers are laid out in Article I of The Constitution. This branch consists of Congress, and Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Legislative Branch’s powers are as follows: Write laws, pass laws, approve taxes, give permission to borrow money, set the budget, have the exclusive power to declare war, can open an investigation (especially against the Executive Branch), usually assigns someone to be the head of the Executive Branch, occasionally appoints judges, and approve treaties. The Senate has the power to put government official on trial f... ... middle of paper ... ... a witness to testify, force evidence to be produced, cancel out laws that are at odds with more important laws or the Constitution, and has exclusive power to translate the law and apply it to individual disputes. Also, the Judicial Branch enforces equal policies by means of the appeals process but gives carefulness in low-level judges’ cases; and sets the policies for its own members. The Judicial Branch is protected against illogical firing by other branches. The courts check the Executive and Legislative branches by means of judicial review. The Supreme Court is not the only court that can determine whether a law is constitutional; the lower-level courts can too. However the Supreme Court is the only court whose decisions affect the whole nation. For example, if a Court of Appeals was to make a decision, only the jurisdiction of that court would be affected.

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