Last Updated 28 May 2020

Branches of Government

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The Constitution is like a map that guides and controls the administration of the society. Thomas Jefferson, one of the founding fathers, said that the Constitution and the laws go hand in hand with the advancement of the mind, and as time goes by, it becomes more and more developed in order to cope up with the changing of the times. As much as the forefathers contributed a lot to the makings of the society, they did not expect that the adoption of the Constitution would put an end to the country's problems.

The main goal of the Constitutional enactment was to create a peaceful and diplomatic form of government (Jackson, 1937). The forefathers wanted a democratic government which exists for the people and not to have dominion over them. They were very adamant to use the word “national” because it implies a centralized form of government which will have power over the states and this is the situation that they wanted to avoid. Instead, the founding fathers used the word “federal” form of government because this type of government is composed of a combination of all the states without running the risk of a centralized form of power.

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To further achieve their goal of equal distribution of powers and functions, they created the three branches of the government, each with their own functions so that no one branch would have authority over the other. The founding fathers arrange the distribution of powers so that while each branch has a distinct function connected with one other. They wanted to ensure that all the three branches would watch the others and ensure that all of them will follow the Constitution in order to avoid monarchy and usurpation of power (Perkel, n. d). The three branches of the government are the executive, legislative and the judiciary.

The Executive branch is headed by the president. He is in charge of monitoring the daily operations of the government. Most, if not all, of the government offices and agencies are under the control and supervision of this branch. This is the branch that implements the laws. Example of its function would be the approval of drugs and funding research and creating rules and regulations for the continuous work of the government (Kelly, 2009). The Legislative branch is the Congress. This branch is composed of the House of the Representatives or the lower branch and the Senate which is the higher branch.

This branch makes the laws that the executive branch will implement and the judiciary will honor and uphold (Perkel, n. d. ). The third branch is the judiciary or the court system. This branch functions to interpret all the laws of the land. It has the power to declare the law void and unconstitutional if ever it finds such law arbitrary and oppressive. In essence, the judicial branch of the government symbolizes the existence of justice for all. It exists to make sure that all the laws are valid, properly enforced and in conformity with the Constitution (Perkel, n.

d. ). 2. How are the three branches of the U. S. Government suppose to interact? All the three branches of the government are interconnected with each other. The main purpose of their existence is to distribute the scope and functions of the government in order to prevent usurpation of powers of one branch over another. The forefathers wanted to avoid the situation wherein one individual or group would have too much power, and so they devised a way for the powers to be equally separated and divided between the three branches.

The powers are not only distributed equally, but all these branches have the capability to influence the other branches using the system of checks and balances (Claxton, n. d. ) . Each branch has the capability to check the other two branches in order to ensure and maintain a democratic form of government. The doctrine of checks and balances is a system incorporated in the Constitution which guarantees that no one branch will have more power than the other two.

For instance, the legislative branch of the government makes the laws and the executive branch has the power to veto the law proposed by the legislative, thereby making it harder for them to pass just any type of law, and the judiciary can interpret the law and render it arbitrary and void if there is a grave abuse of discretion on the part of any of the two branches (Kelly, 2009). 3. Is the system successful, why or why not? The system of separation of powers and checks and balances have been successful over the past years. An example of the system's success would be in 1970 when former President Nixon was kicked out of office.

It can be remembered that President Nixon created a constitutional crisis because he tried to cover up his illegal acts by undermining the system of checks and balance and abusing the power of the executive branch bestowed upon him. The system of checks and balance is strictly provided for by the Constitution, and the failure to enforce this system is tantamount to treason to the United States Constitution. This event caused President Nixon to forcibly resign, and it also paved the way for new laws to be enacted in order to avoid the possibility of another President trying to implement monarchy like what President Nixon did (Perkel, n.

d. ). There were some who commented that this system of checks and balances does not encompass all the three branches. Some people say that no branch oversees the judiciary properly. It can be known that the judicial branch regulate and monitor their own system and if ever there might be a complaint against one of their members, that person should file a complaint which will be reviewed by the members of the judiciary themselves (Hadaycolar1, 2008). Even though many criticisms have been received by the judicial branch, there is still no hard and concrete evidence that their branch is not strictly monitored.

It is a given fact that officers of the government enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their functions, and as officers of the court, the justices and judges must not only be impartial but must also appear impartial at all costs. As an added safeguard to guarantee their impartiality, they are mandated to recuse themselves whenever a situation arise involving conflict of interest. Their appointment as members of the court are based on merit and recommendation of an independent body (Hadaycolar1, 2008). 4. Are the branches balanced in power?

Why or why not? These three branches of the government share a balanced power because they each have separate and distinct functions to perform, and these functions can be checked by the other two branches in order to ensure the operation of an orderly, peaceful and balanced government. The legislative branch has the power to make laws, and as such, it can check the executive branch by overriding the presidential veto by a vote of two-thirds of all its members. It also has the power to remove the president from his position through the impeachment process.

This system is incorporated to ensure that the president cannot abuse his powers and should he do so, he may face the consequence of being removed from office. The legislative also has a check on the judiciary because they have the power to create courts in the lower level and they may also remove judges through impeachment (Kelly, 2009). The Executive branch has a check on the legislative by vetoing a law passed upon by Congress. It has a check on the judiciary because the president has the power to appoint Federal and Supreme Court Judges.

The Judicial Branch checks the legislative and the executive by interpreting the law and ruling out on the constitutionality of laws and actions of both branches (Claxton, n. d. ). 5. How was the conflict between supporters of a strong federal government and champions of states rights characterized then, as opposed to now? When United States won the Revolutionary war, the Americans were faced with the challenge of creating their own Constitution and form of government. The forefathers wanted a nation which possesses power and authority coming from the people.

Thus, they enacted a democratic form of government which was very different from the monarchy of England. The Constitution was designed specifically to avoid and discourage monarchy and the federal form of government was the solution that they deemed fit. There was a conflict then as to whether or not a federal government was appropriate, and because the forefathers feared monarchy so much, they decided that it would be better to spread the powers of the government to all the states than establish a national form of government.

On the other hand, the anti-federalists wanted to reserve the individual states rights because they feel that they have a more intimate connection to the people and that they understand them better than any federal government would. Today, the conflict revolves on who should have authority over different government programs and issues such as same sex marriages. 6. How could things have been designed more efficiently, if at all? The present form of democratic government has been working well for the country.

No one type of government is perfect; each has its own flaws. The forefathers have the best interest of the nation at heart when they chose a democratic and federal form of government, and even though the country experienced its ups and downs, this system has been effective so far because it has been able to withstand some of the heavy tragedies that occurred. Some laws need to be updated and other areas of the government lack additional legislation for smooth implementation.

The three branches of the government can work harder to further enhance the cooperation of each other towards achieving unity and success of the nation because there is always room for improvement especially when it comes to the benefit of the general welfare. References Checks and balances. (n. d. ). Virtual Education. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://www. virted. org/GOVERNMENT/ChecksBalances. html. Claxton, J. (n. d. ). Constitution Notes IX: The Interaction of the Three Branches of Government. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://jeff. claxton. googlepages. com/constitutionnotesIX. pdf. Hadaycolar1.

(2008, March 18). The Impartial Judiciary. Socyberty. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://www. socyberty. com/Law/The-Importance-of-an-Impartial-Judiciary. 94490 Jackson, R. (1937). Founders Day Address. Robert Jackson Center. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://www. roberthjackson. org/documents/101237/. Kelly, M. 2009. Checks and Balances. About. com. Retrieved July 7, 2009, from http://americanhistory. about. com/od/usconstitution/a/checks_balances. htm Perkel, M. (2009). The United States Supreme Court. Marc Perkel's Web Site. Retrieved July 7, 2009 from http://www. perkel. com/pbl/regulate. htm

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