Three Branches: The Impact On Law Enforcement

1250 words - 5 pages

September 17, 1787, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; during the heat of summer, in a stuffy assembly room of Independence Hall, a group of delegates gathered. After four months of closed-door quorums, a four page, hand written document was signed by thirty-nine attendees of the Constitutional Convention. This document, has come to be considered, by many, the framework to the greatest form of government every known; the Constitution of the United States. One of the first of its kind, the Constitution laid out the frame work for the government we know today. A government of the people, by the people, and for the people; constructed of three branches; each branch charged with their own responsibilities. Article one established the Congress or Legislative branch, which would be charged with legislative powers. Article two created the Executive branch, providing chief executive powers to a president, who would act in the capacity of Commander in Chief of the Country’s military forces. The President of the United States also acts as head of state to foreign nations and may establish treaties and foreign policies. Additionally, the President and the departments within the Executive branch were established as the arm of government that is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress. Thirdly, under Article three of the Constitution, the Judicial branch was established, and consequently afforded the duty of interpreting the laws, determining the constitutionality of the laws, and apply it to individual cases. The separation of powers is paramount to the system of checks and balances among the three branches; however, although separate they must support the functions of the others. Because of this, the Legislative and Executive Branches both critically influence law enforcement.

Similar to the discussion question presented this week, the question, “What branch of government has the most impact on law enforcement?” originally presented itself with a deceivingly obvious answer. As stated in this paper’s thesis, and later individually addressed, there are two branches that influence law enforcement; the Legislative and Executive Branches of government. However, upon further research, it became apparent that the influence of one branch is ultimately narrow in its scope and the other unexpectedly more influential.

Firstly, the Legislative Branch has the most obvious effect on law enforcement due to the authority to create new laws, change existing laws, and amend the Constitution. Although, this Branch’s powers are in the federal realm, they must be enforced at State and local levels. In addition, a State’s laws must not contradict or conflict with the legislative intent of any federal law. Subsequently, in enforcing State and local laws, federal laws are also enforced. The influence of this branch was apparent immediately. However, the scope in which the Legislative Branch’s functions influence law enforcement quickly began to...

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