Here are the three branches of government and how they all function to keep ‘em in check.

The Government, bar none, is the most influential organization of any nation. This is the system of authority of which the state is governed — and you’re pretty much aware of this since every country in the world has one. However, this system is somehow structured in a way that makes the people responsible of governance less susceptible to have total control of the system. Here are the three arms of government and how they function.

 

Related media: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances: Crash Course Government and Politics #3

 

The Branches Of Government

The government has three main branches: the Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary.

Legislature: This is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or nation. It is responsible for making laws in the state — typically, by a congress or parliament. They are often contrasted with the executive and judicial branches of government.

Executive: This branch of government exercises authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law. It is comprised of the President, Vice President, the Cabinet ministers of state, the Executive Council, and also includes government departments and civil servants.

Judiciary: This is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. It can also be thought of as the mechanism for the resolution of disputes. It is comprised of the Chief Justice, Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges and magistrates, and all judicial service personnel.

 

Thou Shall Separate Thy Powers

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Image: Soapbox Cincinnati | Illustration of the separation of powers and the checks and balances of the government.

You’ve heard a lot about the separations of powers, and if your intuition about it is — “uh, shouldn’t all three branches work together,” — well, their sort of complicated, nonetheless. This is a representation for the governance of a state, in such a way that each branch is with separate, independent powers and responsibilities so that powers of one branch are not in conflict with those of the other branches.

In other words, each branch acts unique in governance to the other, but should coalesce to function as a unitary system. With such a structure in place, the three branches of government are then independently assigned their respective tasks as described above. Here’s the catch: if all branches are to govern independently and coalesce together, then whence can they be really called a government? Enter checks and balances.

 

Whence Cometh Checks And Balances?

Checks and balances refers to the power that each branch exerts over the others and keeps them from exerting too much power. This is a system that allows each branch to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any branch from being able to control too much power.

Here are some examples of how the different branches work together:

Legislative checks and balances

  • The legislative branch makes laws, but the President in the executive branch can veto those laws with a Presidential Veto.
  • The legislative branch makes laws, but the judicial branch can declare those laws unconstitutional.
  • The legislative branch has the power to approve Presidential nominations, control the budget, and can impeach the President and remove him or her from office.

Executive checks and balances

  • The executive branch, through the department and agencies, has responsibility for day-to-day enforcement and administration of laws.
  • The President in the executive branch can veto a law, but the legislative branch can override that veto with enough votes.
  • The executive branch can declare Executive Orders, which are like proclamations that carry the force of law, but the judicial branch can declare those acts unconstitutional.

Judicial checks and balances

  • The judicial branch interprets laws, but the President nominates Supreme Court justices, court of appeals judges, and district court judges who make the evaluations.
  • The judicial branch interprets laws, but the legislative branch confirms the President’s nominations for judicial positions, and the legislature can impeach any of those judges and remove them from office.

 

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Tue, Aug 11, 2020.

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