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In Ancient Greece, law was the epicenter of the community, state, and lifestyle. It’s influence as well had led to the creation of the separation powers. This separation of powers was looked on upon by Aristotle in his book “The Politics” : “There are three elements in each constitution in respect of which every serious lawgiver must look for what is advantageous to it; of these are well arranged, the constitution is bound to be well arranged, and the differences in constitutions are bound to correspond to the differences between each of these elements. The three are, first, the deliberative, which discusses everything of common importance; second, the official; and third the judicial element”. This then separation of powers as said by Aristotle can cause a greater arrangement of government.
However, this usage of power can lead to an imbalance and cause chaos. This is where it’s counter partner, the checks and balances, comes in. The checks and balances actually first took place in the Ancient Roman Republic. Where the government had a system that keep the 3 branches in check.To be more precise, the Separation of Powers is a division of government responsibilities into distinct branches to limit one branch from gaining too much power. This division of government consists of 3 three different branches having their own specific powers. The 3 branches are the: Legislative branch, Executive, and Judicial Branch. The Legislative branch holds the United States Congress, the Executive Branch is composed of the President, and the Judicial branch bears the Supreme Court.The first article, Article I, of the constitution established the legislative branch.
The legislative branch holds the United States Congress, as it’s made of the House of Representatives(comprised of 435 elected members) and the Senate( comprised of 100 senators, 2 for each state). First, Members of the house are elected every 2 years with meeting requirements of: 25 years of age, U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and a resident of the state they represent. Second, Senators are elected with meeting requirements of: 30 years of age, U.S. citizen for at least 9 years, and a resident of the state they represent. Third, the Vice President of the United States serves as President of the Senate and may cast the decisive vote in the event of a tie in the Senate. Overall powers of the branch include: writing laws, confirming presidential appointments, approving treaties, granting money, and declaring war.The second article, Article II, of the constitution established the executive branch.
The executive branch is comprised of the President, the Vice president, and the cabinet. The President is both the head of state and head government of the United States of America, and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and he has the power to sign legislation or veto bills. The cabinet and independent federal agencies however, are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. Other branch powers vested upon the president are: the ability to propose and administer laws, command armed forces, appoint ambassadors and other officials, conduct foreign policy, and make treaties.The third article, Article III, of the constitution established the judicial branch.
The judicial branch bears the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the land and the only part of the federal judiciary specifically required by the Constitution. However, the Congress stipulates the number of Supreme Court Justices not the Constitution. Furthermore, all Justices are nominated by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and hold their offices under life tenure. Justices are thought to be unconnected to political pressure when deciding classes, due to their circumstance of not needing to run for campaign or re-election. Justices may remain in office until they resign, pass away, or are impeached and convicted by Congress. The Supreme Court interprets the constitution and other laws, and it reviews the lower-court decisions.In order to prevent any of the branches from gaining absolute power or authority a set of Checks and Balances were put in place. Check and balances is a principle of government in which each of the 3 branches have a certain power to reduce another branch from getting too much power.Such examples of checks and balances are: veto, override, and pardon.A veto is a vote that can prevent an action from being passed. This vote is cast by the U.S.president, however this can be overruled by Congress ( having ? of votes) as per the checks and balances.
The ability to override a veto committed by the president is an example of checks and balances being put to action. The process of an override to commence requires two-thirds of the members of Congress to have the ability to pass a bill past the president’s previous objection.A pardon is an absolvement of an individual’s crime or conviction granted by the government or a person of high authority. Typically, pardons are granted by the President, or by individual state governors, but each state’s law dictates with whom the power to grant state pardon lies. To conclude, the separation of powers is a principle which separates the government into 3 parts: The Legislative Branch(holding the congress), The Executive Branch( holding the president), and The Judicial Branch( holding the supreme court).
This 3 branches have different types of powers, which are used in correctly aiding the government and keeping each and every branch in check. This 3 branches as well work under a system known as the checks and balances. A system where each branch has a definitive power to reduce another branch from gaining absolute authority.This then government with separated powers and countermeasures( check and balances) creates a functional and organized government.
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