(ConservativeInsider.org) – History has demonstrated that unlimited power in one individual or group can lead to abuse of that power. For that reason, the Constitution established three distinct branches of government to decentralize power within the federal government.
This system divides the functions of government into three categories: executive, judicial, and legislative. Each branch has its own duties and serves as a check on the other two.
For example, the legislature controls the budget all three branches depend on for funding. The executive branch appoints members of the judiciary, and the president can veto Congressional bills. Likewise, the judicial branch scrutinizes the legal authority of executive and legislative actions.
The Executive Branch
The president administers the executive branch and serves as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and state head. As the executive branch head, the president implements and enforces the laws passed by Congress.
Additionally, the president appoints the heads of federal agencies like the Department of Justice and the Food and Drug Administration. The president also appoints the cabinet and nominates ambassadors, federal judges, and other officers of the United States.
The Judicial Branch
The judicial branch includes the nine Supreme Court justices, all federal judges serving in the lower courts, and their respective staff members throughout the judiciary.
The judiciary has the sole ability to interpret laws, determine their constitutionality, and apply their interpretation to individual cases. However, some Supreme Court cases set precedence, meaning they apply to all matters within the country.
The Legislative Branch
Collectively called Congress, two separate bodies comprise the legislative branch: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Members of Congress have the sole ability to pass laws and declare war.
The House of Representatives has the exclusive authority to impeach federal officers, initiate budget bills, and elect the president in the event there is a tie in the Electoral College.
Likewise, the Senate has the sole ability to confirm presidential appointments requiring consent and to ratify most treaties. The House of Representatives must approve treaties involving foreign trade.
Balance Preserves Freedom
The three branches of government work together to advance the nation’s safety and security and provide a proper balance of power. Defending the establishment of three branches, James Madison wrote the accumulation of the capabilities of all three components in one person or group “may justly” become “the very definition of tyranny.”
The nation’s 200+ years of history amply demonstrates the wisdom exercised by Madison and the other Founding Fathers in establishing three branches of government.
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