Merriam-Webster defines power as the, “ability to act or produce an effect.” The legislative, judicial, and executive branches of the United States government maintain a delicate balance of power as they make, interpret, and enforce laws. In the first three articles of the Constitution, the framers did their best to ensure that power would be separated to the extent where no single branch of government could claim superiority over another and they further enforced this through the structure of checks and balances. Despite the separation of powers and checks and balances, there is an imbalance of power. The legislative branch has more power than both the judicial and executive branches.
The primary function of the legislative branch is to make laws. Although the bicameral Congress has several enumerated and implied powers, such as declaring war, regulating both foreign and interstate commerce, and establishing post offices, none of these powers is more significant than their main task of lawmaking. When created within a nation, laws are a set of rules which that nation’s society must abide by. Laws impact nearly every facet of how that society functions, from economics to politics. Each time the Senators and Representatives propose a new bill which becomes a law, they wield a massive amount of power that affects the lives of over 311 million Americans. When it comes to which branch has the most power, this power alone, to produce an effect over the American society, is what sets the legislative branch above the judicial and executive branches.
The judicial branch’s central duty is to interpret laws. Although their ability to interpret laws and to determine whether or not a given law, or legislative action, is constitutional through judicial review can affect policy, without the legislative branch, the judicial branch would not have new laws or actions to interpret. The framers of the Constitution were aware of the weakness of the judicial branch in comparison to the other branches. “(Alexander) Hamilton maintained that despite the power of judicial review, the judiciary would be the weakest of the three branches of government because it lacked ‘the strength of the sword of the purse.’” Despite this weakness, the framers were confident that judicial review would prevent legislators from getting carried away with the amount of power they possess.
In addition to this weakness, the legislative branch is able to exercise additional power through their checks and balances over the judicial branch. The legislature can create...