Separation of powers is defined as the thought that a government will perform at its best when its powers are not given to one authority implying that they are given to more than one branch. The United States was the first nation to formalize separation of powers among the branches in a written constitution (Founding Fathers and Apple Woods Books 2). In the 18th century, philosophers and lawyers divided the government and gave them three branches. This includes the legislative branch that creates law, the executive that is endorsed with the power of law enforcement, and the judiciary which is supposed to take to mean the law.
The Constitution has three main articles that show the power the three branches have. Congress is defined by Article I, the executive by Article II while the judiciary is defined by Article III. The powers of each branch were created, separated, and mixed in such a way that the system has a way that every branch will check and balance the other.
The federal judiciary and the separation of powers are done in the following way. Although the judiciary is the least powerful of the three, it is very independent of both the executive and the legislature. The judiciary has the power to carry out a law review in which it looks into the constitutionality of laws and the deeds of the executive.
The executive and the legislative branches can check and balance the judiciary through the following means: the President has the authority to nominate judges in the federal courts and these courts rely on the executive for decision enforcement. Congress controls the budget of the judiciary, can impeach judges who abuse office. Congress can also amend the constitution if they differ from the way the constitution is interpreted by the judiciary.
In the Congress branch and the separation of powers, the constitution has endorsed several powers to the Congress. Congress has power over the entire budgeting, control of immigration, trade between different countries, mail, copyrights, and patents (Apple Woods Books 12). It also has the power to declare war and aid military forces of the land. It also has the power to create the courts that come under the Supreme Court of the United States.
The legislative power of Congress is divided by the Constitution between the Senate and the House of Representatives both of whom have to agree before any legislated proposal is passed into law. The checks and balances of Congress include: the president has the veto power on any proposed legislation (Saul and Jacob 10). The Supreme Court of the United States has the power to review a law’s constitutionality if it is forced to do so in a case that is presented to it by the Court.
The executive and the separation of powers has been given power by the constitution to oversee that law is implemented by the federal agencies, the President has power as the Chief commander of the armed forces, make treaties, nominate judges and officers of the government.
The senate can nullify the treatise made by the president. At the same time, Congress can impeach him or her if he commits crimes, bribery, and treason (Founding Fathers and Apple Woods Books 21). The Judiciary can also exercise its power and announce the unconstitutionality of the executive’s deeds if they are challenged in court.
Other systems that do the checks and balances are the press only if it is free, the non-governmental organizations, and the citizens.
Founding Fathers and Books. Constitution of the United States (Little Books of Wisdom) New York, Apple Wood Books, 1995.
Apple woods. The Articles of Confederation (Little Books of Wisdom). New York, Applewood Books, 2006.
Saul K. P. and Jacob W. L. The Living U.S. Constitution: 3rd Ed. Plume, 1995.