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 for impeachment. The Congress can decide the amount executive officials get paid, but Congress can not increase or decrease the President’s pay and con not decrease a judges pay while he/she is still in office.
The Executive Branch and its powers are laid out in Article II of the Constitution. This branch consists of the President and Vice-President. The Executive Branch’s powers are as follows: can veto (reject) laws, can refuse to spend money assigned for specific purposes, instigates war, has outfitted control...