The Separation of Powers devised by the framers of the Constitution was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist. Based on their experience, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power.. This is why they implemented the separation of powers and also the checks and balances system.
Three branches are created in the Constitution. The Legislative, composed of the House and Senate, is set up in Article 1. The Executive, composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments, is set up in Article 2. The Judicial, composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court, is set up in Article 3. Each of these branches has certain powers, and each of these powers is limited, or checked, by another branch. The Executive Branch has veto power over all bills; appointment of judges and other officials; makes treaties; ensures all laws are carried out; commander in chief of the military; pardon power. The Legislative Branch passes all federal laws; establishes all lower federal courts; can override a Presidential veto; can impeach the President. The Judiciary Branch has the power to try federal cases and interpret the laws of the nation in those cases; the power to declare any law or executive act unconstitutional. All of these checks and balances, however, are inefficient. But that's by design rather than by accident. By forcing the various branches to be accountable to the others, no one branch can usurp enough power to become dominant.Even with the checks and balances in place, there have still been heated issues in United States history between government branches that have sometimes led to disagreements between them. Two important events that demonstrate this idea is the impeachment of Andrew Johnson and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. These events have clearly shown how the separation of power and checks and balances of our government function. During the impeachment of Andrew...
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