The system of checks and balances in the United States government is exceptionally important in maintaining a balance within the three most powerful branches of government. The concept of checks and balances is that no one branch of government is able to get out of control without a neighboring branch of government having the power to intervene. Although the Constitution does not specifically reference a system called checks and balances, the instructions of how power is to be distributed is clearly defined. The three primary branches of government that are directly influenced by checks and balances are the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, and Judicial Branch. Each of these branches has specific limitations and strategic override power making it essential that there is some form of cooperation and compromise. The interworking of this system is most apparent in the creation of laws.
The Legislative Branch is headed by Congress, which includes the House and ...view middle of the document...
The Legislative Branch is also responsible for funding all executive actions. They have the ability to remove a president via impeachment. Senate is responsible for approving all treaties as well as presidential appointments. The Legislative Branch also has checks over the Judicial Branch. Senate approves all appointments of Judges, may remove judges through impeachment, and can create lower courts. All of these power help to balance the actions of both the Judicial Branch as well as the Executive Branch.
The Executive Branch is headed by the President of the United States. Some of the president’s responsibilities are to carry out federal laws as well as recommend new ones, direct national defense and foreign policy, and commanding the Armed Forces. Once the Legislative Branch has passed a bill they are turned over to the President for approval and signing into law. The Executive Branch has the power to veto a bill and block it from becoming law even if the measure has been approved in Congress. If the Legislative Branch is unable to produce a two-thirds vote then the bill will remain vetoed. Additional power the Executive Branch has over the Legislative Branch is the ability to call in special sessions of congress, recommend legislation, gather public support regarding specific legislation, and can use discretionary powers in making decisions for Congress member’s districts. The Executive Branch also maintains the very important task of appointing Supreme Court and Federal Judges.
The Judicial Branch is headed by the Supreme Court and has the primary responsibility of interpreting the Constitution, reviewing laws, and deciding cases. Once a law has been passed by the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch it can still be challenged in out court systems. If the Supreme Court determines that a law violates the Constitution they have the power to dissolve it. Part of the checks and balances stipulates that neither the Legislative Branch nor the Executive Branch can override the Supreme Court. Although, the president appoints the Supreme Court judges and they are approved by the Senate; it is important to note they are appointed for life thereby releasing them from any political influence. The Judicial Branch also has the ability to deem Legislative acts or Executive acts unconstitutional.