Checks and Balances at Work
Our checks and balances system is an endless circle of power. Delegates at the constitutional convention did not want any one man or group of men to have all the power over the United States of America. They were afraid that if they gave too much power to one person or a group of people the United States would end up in a dictatorship. In order to avoid such problem they divided the government into three branches: executive branch, legislative branch and judicial branch. The executive branch was headed by the President and carries out all federal laws, nominates federal judges, may pardon those convicted in courts, directs government, acts as chief law enforcement officer and has the ability to veto laws. The judicial branch or Supreme Court checks the other branches of government; “its major check on the presidency is its power to declare an action unlawful” (Patterson, 2008, pg. 51) and it has the power to declare laws passed by Congress void when they are not following the Constitution (Patterson, 2008, pg. 50). The legislative branch or Congress “has the power to remove impeach and the president from office and establish the size of the federal court system” (Patterson, 2008, pg. 50-51).
The founding fathers developed, built and implemented a system of checks and balances that made three the branches of government equal in power. They did not want any one branch of government to be more or less powerful than the other. Each branch of government is limited or restrained by the next. For example, the president of the United States of America can veto any law passed by Congress, then congress can override the president with a vote of two-thirds of both houses, and then the Supreme Court can regulate Congress by declaring a law unconstitutional. The power is balanced. A good example of our system of checks and balances at work is President Bush’s first veto on maintaining limits on stem cell use.
In May of 2005, The House...
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