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Essay Samples > Political > American Government
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American Government

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The United States of America Constitution has been in act for many years now,bein enacted after the Articles of Confederation that came into power after gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1776. The Constitution came about in order to include the three branches of government that is legislature, executive and the judiciary into the system. Federalism was adopted according to which  the state and each federal government  shared the power (Prucha, 1986). The Constitution was made to separation and balance the powers and to ensure that no branch overshadowed the other.

The Congress is United States of America’s bicameral legislature that consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which powers and composition are established in Article 1 of the American Constitution. The major agenda behind the House is to pass federal laws that affect the United States of America. These laws have to be agreed and passed by the Senate and further accepted by the President in order to become a law in the country. The Congress acts as people of America’s representative and makes laws that govern the American people. It keeps checking on the Executive to ensure that the President follows the Constitution throughout the term, approves judicial appointments and is tasked with impeachment of these judges in the event of gross misconduct.

Judicial system enforces implementation of the Constitution. It ensures that the civil liberties and rights of the American people are adhered. This is achieved by the ability of the Suprem Court to declare law made by the Congress that infringe on the rights of the American people unconstitutional. The judicial system also is tasked with the determination of law suits thereby defending the rights of the accused.

The executive branch of the American government ensures that the administration of the country is headed by the President who is elected into the office by the American people. The President is the Commander in Chief. Bills that have been passed by the Senate can be vetoed by the President. The President also has the powers to pardon convicted people by commuting their sentences. The President also acts on behalf of the American people in appointing federal judges as well as proposing amendments to the American Constitution.

A Representative is the member of the House whereas a member of Senate is the Senator. The House of Representatives is pegged based on each state’s population and has membership fixed at 435 members. On the other hand, the Senate has equal representation of two members from each state and has a total of 100 members. A Representative must be at least  25-year-old with at least 7 years citizenship and must reside in the state from which elected. A senator must be over 30-year-old and more than 9 years of citizenship and also must reside in the state from which elected (Lader, 2010).  In addition to these, a Representative serves a two-year terms while a senator serves a six-year terms. Representatives have the power also to start bills that aid in increasing revenue while Senators agree on treaties, cabinet level appointments. More so, Representatives may choose a president in the event the electoral vote results in a tie while the senators may also choose a vice president in case of a similar tie.

Filibuster is a method whereby congress members use methods and tactics that are supposed to deliberately delay a legislative action. These methods may be longer than normal speeches or unnecessary debates in order to tie down the floor of the house. There is a tendency of Congress members obstructing legislation passing in order to further their political ambitions. These members tend to prioritize how they are going to survive politically and get re-elected for another term rather than passage of critical bills. They tend to block bills in order to get media attention at the expense of passing much needed legislation, thereby leading to a backlog of pending bills.

When it comes to media, the current news has embraced celebrity, lifestyle and human interest stories thus the more charismatic the president the more the show he or she steals. From this perspective, whoever assumes the office is deemed to have a lot of powers. The President is the one who becomes the Commander in Chief and is at the liberty of calling for war. He or she has the power to launch attacks on nations that are deemed to be threat to the national security without consultations. The President has the power to recommend and appoint judicial officers. In addition, the President also has the final say to pieces of legislation passed by the Congress. This shows that the President has more power in comparison to the Congress. The office of the President bearer is confronted by many paradoxes. Some of these paradoxes are that America is static to change (Remy, 2002). This is to say that since the Bill of Rights was amended, there are hardly other laws that have been amended, but the fact of the matter is that several laws have been amended. Another paradox is that the most favorite and popular candidate has the best policies, but, in fact, the President is gauged on how he or she delivers it.

Electoral College is a mechanism used in the election of a president in the United States which was brought about by the framers of the Constitution of United States. The Electoral College system was a compromise for presidential election process and is described in Article II section 1 of the Constitution.  It was viewed that electing a president through a popular majority was not safe for the country and so was leaving the election of the president entirely to the Congress. This system was set whereby the voters would vote for electors,  who would then go ahead and elect a president. To satisfy the conditions for Electoral College, each state has to give an electors number equal to the total of Senators and House Representatives in that state. There is a total of 538 electors in the  United States of America as per the moment (Wilson, 2002).

Once voted in, the electors converge at the capitals of their states on a Monday which should be after the second Wednesday of December in the election year to elect the President and the Vice President. The cast vote is sealed and taken to the Senate president who opens and reads the votes in presence of Congress on the 6th day of January following the election year. The winner is then sworn as the next President of United States of America.

From this process , it is entirely seen that president is determined by the electoral college vote and not the popular majority, therefore, the candidate popular among the majority may lose in the Electoral College vote, as was the case of Al Gore who was beaten by George Bush in 2000 elections.

The Supreme Court's judicial review power has affected the American system of government by ensuring that the laws that have been passed by the Congress are constitutional. It is also mandated to control all the other state and federal courts. It is almost free from government manipulation since once officers are appointed they can be only removed through impeachment.

Many people opt for the judiciary to solve their disputes since the issue will be dealt with in a constitutional way and all the civil liberties and rights will be factored and considered. Moreover, there is a sense of satisfaction to the complainants that a better judgment or result would be reached upon by involving the neutral judge from the judiciary system. In addition, the two parties in dispute may be unwilling to face each other, thus, there arises the need to have the court intervene and settle the dispute. The following are examples of contentious cases that have gone through the American Court System:

  1. The O. J. Simpson murder trial in 1994. He was accused of murder of Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman. Evidence seemed to point in his direction but he denied the charge and his defense team accused the lead detective police of racism. Later O.J. was acquitted of the charges.
  2. J.F. Kennedy Assassination in 1963, where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for assassinating the President and Jack Ruby was charged for killing Oswald later. Jack was found guilty and sentenced to death, but Supreme Court overruled the verdict on the basis that Jack’s right to fair hearing had been infringed. Jack died before a second trial could be initiated.

States can make their own laws that favor and apply to the boundaries of these states. Furthermore, the state sends representatives, that is, House Representatives and Senators to the Congress to represent them and check on certain laws that do not seem beneficial to the given state. However, each decision carried within the state must be to the good of the state and country as a whole.

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