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Branches of Government

The constitution plays a significant role as the framework for the federal government of the United States.  It was written in 1787 and was adopted in 1788. It is the shortest written constitution in the world and consists of a preamble, 27 amendments and seven articles. It is from this constitution that the federal government was created. The constitution divides the federal government into three branches: the legislative, executive and the judicial (Edwards, et al, 2009). The legislative branch of the government is tasked with making of the state laws while the executive enforces the created laws.  The judicial branch of the government decides judicial cases based on the existing laws of the country. Also, the three branches of the government are given outside duties that are not covered within the constitution. This paper will discuss the power relationships between the three branches of the US government and trends. Also, it aims at identifying the adjustments necessary to improving institutions’ performance in policymaking.


The sub-division of the government into three branches is also termed as a separation of powers. This process is very important in preventing similar person or a branch of the government from having a complete authority in the making, enforcement and interpretation of the nation’s laws. Through the constitutional set sup, the separation of powers between the three branches, it is not considered absolute (Edwards, et al, 2009). This is because each of the three branches has powers that may affect the affairs of the other two branches. Therefore, the checks and balances provided by the Constitution are critical in ensuring that the three branches of the government are not completely separated. In fact, some observers have considered the federal government to be constituted of shared powers rather than by separate powers.

The three branches of the government created by the written Constitution of the United States have its own powers as well as areas of influence. Also, checks and balances are created to make sure that no branch of the government reigns supreme. The legislative branch of the government consists of the Congress, and it is tasked with the making of laws. This branch comprises of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Second branch of the government is the Executive (Woll, 2003). Its power is bestowed by the President of the United States who has the responsibility to Executive, enforce and to administer laws of the government. This balance in the Judicial power of America is vested in the Federal and Supreme courts. They have the task of interpreting and applying the cases presented to them based on the laws. Also, other powers of the Supreme Court lie in the process of the judicial review. This process empowers the Judicial branch to rule some laws as unconstitutional.

The three branches of the government are divided in such a way that they work together creating a balance of power. Each branch has specific responsibility of ensuring balance of power is maintained, thus, each branch has bestowed with abilities to supervise and regulate the other two. This is termed as check of balance system.   On the other hand, the Judicial branch of the government has left the other two and went on its own. It has opted out of the system to purse self-regulation. Theoretically, attaining true equality is not possible, but America has put a lot of effort to make sure that it creates a government, where its people are kept as equal as possible under given circumstances. This means that American government is dedicated to attaining the goal of equality.

The branch of legislature makes the laws of the country and constitutes of the Senate and the House of Representatives, which gets representatives from each of the states (Shelley, 2003). Each of representatives is tasked with representing people from his district of election. People are the ones responsible in electing of their representative, and thus have the right to inform about what they think or feel about issues of interest in the district. The House of Representatives constitutes of 435 representatives and has more representatives derived from the larger districts. Each district must have at least one resistive (Edwards, et al, 2009). The second sub-branch of the legislature is the Senate, which is constituted of hundred senators. The people are responsible for electing two senators to represent each state, thus are held responsible in equal representation of the people’s interests.

Unlike the majority of other national judicial systems, the Judicial branch of the United States yields a greater political power that must be included in American political system.  It was established in article III of the Constitution and consists of nine judges including the Chief Justice, who is appointed for life terms by the President. Unless an individual or a group goes to court first, the courts do not take any such initiative at all (Edwards, et al, 2009).  The Judicial branch of the government manages court cases at all levels including the local, state and federal. Usually, the federal cases carry high penalties under Constitution, thus the strictness and justice of judges are undertaking federal court cases. If an individual is found guilty by a federal court, he must be sentenced to a variety of punishments, including prison sentencing and the death penalty. The judiciary system is described as a safeguard of the people liberty through governance of the court system that keeps the society in line (Zinn, 2003). This branch of the government holds people accountable for crimes they commit, thus helping to keep justice in the land.

The main powers of the Executive branch of the government of the United States lie on the President. The Constitution grants him powers to serve as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, to negotiate treaties, appoint federal judges, cabinets of officials, ambassadors as well as to act as the head of the state (Volkomer, 1998). All the appointments made by the President are approved by the Senate. Others members of the Executive branch include the Vice President and government departments like the labor department, treasury department, department of defense among others (Roelofs, 1998). Each of the state department is headed by a leader appointed by the President. Together with the President, Vice President, alongside other leaders and some few individual make up the Cabinet, whose job is to enforce court laws. The Vice President acts as President for the Senate and becomes President if the presiding no longer holds his position. Departmental heads advices the President on various issues while helping in carrying out of polices. The independent agencies also carry out policy and assists in providing special services.

It is a fact that the United States is one of the worlds’ best democratic governments, but it does not mean it is free from political and constitutional hurdles. The framework that was set by founding fathers needs adjustments to fulfill needs of modern day era. These adjustments are aimed at enabling the government to serve its people better. First is to change the issue, where the popular vote has been made to decide the country’s President. This causes people’s vote to be useless, because candidates only aim at getting votes (Edwards, et al, 2009). This makes one with majority votes to be the President. This minimizes levels of democracy in the country. Also, D.C should elect the Senate’s President instead of giving power to the Executive. Allowing Vice President to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, influence passage of bills. It is recommended that a representative from the remaining part of the population should be allowed to make such decision. Moreover, the congressional terms need to be limited, because some people have held their seats for decades making them lose touch with the people.


The US government is made up of three branches each having been assigned different responsibilities according to the Constitution. These branches have a balanced power to enable counter checking and regulation others powers. This has ensured that the government allocates greater equality to its people through the availability of highly democratic services. These branches have some deficits that need to be adjusted to improve its abilities to make policies.

Democracy Governance Government
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