This is a democratic form of government whereby the people exert some form of control over the government of their country or state. The framers of the constitution fearing tyrannical rule by the majority in a direct democracy formed the U. S. As a republic. This is based in Articles I, II, and III of the United States Constitution and several amendments to include XII, XIV, and XVII (The American, 2013). Separation of Powers There are three branches of the federal government, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial.
Each branch has its own responsibilities and limitations. The separation of powers is outlined in Articles I, II, and III of the United States Constitution (The United States, 2013). Checks and Balances Each of the three branches of the federal government conducts oversight of the other branches. This creates a shared power structure where none of the branches can assume too much power. The system of checks and balances is outlined in Articles I, II, and III of the United States Constitution (The United States, 2013) . Principles and Articles 3.
The United States is democratic republic where the three branches of government each has its’ own specific responsibilities and limitations. The framers of the constitution wanted to ensure that the federal government was strong enough to sustain the country, but not allow any person or unit to obtain enough control to create a government similar to the monarchies of Europe. In order to ensure that no branch assumed too much power, the framers created a system of checks balances where each branch had an oversight role over the other two branches.
This system of checks and balances has been omnipresent throughout the history of the United States and it has been very effective in maintaining the balance of power. Throughout the history of the United States the power of the three branches of government has been fluid. At different times in history each branch has flexed its powers to ensure that the other branches are not exceeding the scope of their authority. There are many instances in history where the President has used his authority to veto legislation passed by the legislature that he deemed inappropriate.
The power to veto legislation is granted by Article I Section 7 of the constitution (Presidential Vetoes, 2013). There have been a total of 2,563 vetoes by the various Presidents throughout the history of the United States. The Legislative Branch has the ability to override the veto of the President. With a two-thirds majority vote, the legislature can pass the bill and force the President to sign it into law. Of the 2563 vetoes to date only 109 have been overridden by such a vote (Presidential Vetoes, 2013). The executive branch also exerts control over the Judicial Branch through the nomination process for federal judges.
Generally the party in control of the Executive Branch nominates judges based on how they will address the issues presented before the court. In other words, how the judge will interpret constitutional issues. Here again the Legislative Branch can check this authority and Principles and Articles 4 exert their own control over the Judicial Branch as they have the authority to confirm the Executive Branch’s nominees. They Legislative Branch also wants to ensure that the judges adhere to the Constitution’s principles when making decisions.
They have utilized this power on many occasions and had nominees rejected or caused some to justify their qualifications for the position. One of the most recent and famous incidents was the rejection of Robert Bork in 1987. Nominated by Ronald Reagan the Senate Judiciary committee rejected Bork, likely for what they deemed as a too conservative a constitutional perspective. In all there have been 160 nominations with 124 being approved or confirmed (Supreme Court, 2013). The Judicial Branch has also exerted is power to check the other branches and keep the balance of power fairly even.
Through many historic decisions the United States Supreme Court has ensured that the Executive and Legislative Branches have not grabbed too much power. The court has to make a determination if laws passed by the Legislative Branch are constitutional and then also determine if the actions taken by the Executive Branch enforcing and implementing these laws are constitutional. Throughout history the courts have used this ability to stimulate integration and civil rights in cases like Brown v. the Board of Education and the power of the President to claim Executive privilege in the United States v.
Nixon (Legal Information Institute, 2013). No government is perfect and this is true of the United States. However, the checks and balance system designed by the founding fathers and detailed in the Constitution have been extremely effective in keeping the balance of power. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that no branch has usurped enough power to gain control of the federal government. Principles and Articles The Roles of the Three Branches of the Federal Government I. Legislative Branch ( Senate and House of Representatives) – debate and pass laws (both houses) –
investigate pressing national issues (both houses) – regulate interstate and foreign trade (both houses) – coin money (both houses) – maintain the military (both houses) – confirm judicial and cabinet appointees (Senate) – oversee impeachment hearings (Senate) – initiate tax laws (House of Representatives) – determine if impeachment proceedings are warranted (House of Representatives) – Approve treaties (both with President) II. Executive Branch – Serve as Commander in Chief of the military – Ensure that federal laws are faithfully enforced 5 Principles and Articles – Grant pardons –
Appoint lesser positions – Appoint judges and high government positions (Congressional approval) – 6 Approve legislation III. Judicial Branch – interpret and apply laws ensuring their constitutionality – have original jurisdiction in cases involving the states and ambassadors – have appellate jurisdiction in all other cases IV. How the Three Branches Work Together These three branches are expected to work jointly to move the country forward and operate on a daily basis. The Congress is responsible for drafting and enacting legislation that will become the governing laws of the country.
The Executive Branch is primarily responsible for the day to day operation of the country. The President and the many administrative offices conduct business while enforcing the laws of the legislature. The Judicial Branch is responsible for ensuring that the laws of the country are enforced in a manner that maintains constitutional integrity. They also ensure that the laws passed and actions taken by the legislative and executive branches is constitutional (Legal Information Institute, 2013). Principles and Articles 7 V. How a Bill Becomes a Law.
There is a very specific procedure for how a law is enacted. The first step is for a member the legislative branch to propose a new law. At this point the act is called a bill. The bill is then debated in committee to gain support and structure. Once the committee approves it then goes before the entire House of Representatives or Senate, depending upon where the bill originated. If approved it is sent to the other house for approval. If declined it can be sent back to be reworked so that it can gain approval. Once both house approve the bill it is sent to the President for approval.
If the President approves and signs the bill it becomes a law. If the President vetoes the bill it is returned to the legislature. The legislature can override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote. If this is done the bill also becomes a law (How a Bill, 2013). Principles and Articles 8 The framers of the Constitution created a government based the separation of powers shared by three branches of government, the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. In order to provide an effective government for the United States these three entities must work together.
Each branch has separate and distinct responsibilities. The work of one branch must be continued or supported by the other and on occasion opposed to ensure that the United States can operate. Throughout history the Separation of Powers form of government has proven effective in guiding the United States. The legislature developed the laws that they deemed in the best interest of the country with the President and the executive enforce these laws and handle day to day operations. The judicial branch then ensures that the laws and actions taken are consistent with the constitutional guidelines.
Unfortunately, this progress and efficiency has become more and more partisan resulting in gridlock that often leaves the people suffering. Today too many government officials are guided less and less concerned with the will of the people and more with ensuring that their views rule the day. Those that are causing this gridlock or stalemate still claim that they are only acting in the best interest of the people. This rigid adherence to their views has limited any cooperation that can result in a compromise that benefits the most people.
This rigidness to a principle has currently brought the government to a shutdown. Both parties have held to their positions on issues such as the Affordable Care Act, increasing the deficit and other issues based on party line. Both sides have expressed that they are unwilling to negotiate or compromise. As a result legislation funding the government to keep operating could not be worked out. Now many government agencies and programs are not operating and many people are suffering. Principles and Articles 9
The views of the electorate plays a small role in the attitudes and actions of the elected officials. During election time these views play a greater role as the candidate will often say and do things to appease the voters in an attempt to garner more support. Candidates may often soften their views on controversial subjects. One such subject that invariably faces Republican candidates is their position on abortion. In order to gain the support of women and women’s rights groups the Republican candidate may qualify their own stance to make it more palatable.
In the most recent presidential election the Republican Vice-president candidate Paul Ryan was a practicing Catholic. The Catholic Church is unequivocally anti-abortion. Candidate Ryan had a history of anti-abortion views, yet during the election he did not expound on those views. In fact he even went as far as to say that “Mitt Romney will be president and he will set the policy of the Romney administration” (Paul Ryan, 2012). The framers of the constitution would likely be as frustrated with the lack of action by the federal government as most Americans today.
They created a framework that required each branch of government to work together to guide the country through any issue. Unfortunately the increasing partisan ship has created a system where each side is less willing to compromise or find middle ground that can benefit all. As a result the effectiveness of the federal government is virtually non-existent. Principles and Articles 10 References “How a Bill Becomes a Law. ” 2013. U. S. Constitution. Retrieved Oct. 6, 2013 from http://www. usconstitution. net/consttop_law. html. Legal Information Institute. 2013. Cornell University Law School.
Retrieved Oct. 6, 2013 from http://www. law. cornell. edu/supct/cases/topic. htm . “Paul Ryan Responds To Todd Akin, Clarifies Abortion Position: ‘Rape Is Rape’. ” 2012. Retrieved Oct. 6, 2013 from http://www. huffingtonpost. com/2012/08/22/paul-ryan-todd-akinabortion_n_1821284. html. “Presidential Vetoes: 1789 to Present. ” History, Art and Archives:United States House of Representatives Retrieved Oct. 6, 2013 from http://history. house. gov/Institution/PresidentialVetoes/Presidential-Vetoes/. “Supreme Court Nomination: 1789-Present. ” United States Senate. Retrieved.