Separation of Powers under the United States Constitution The term separation of powers originated with the Baron de Montesquieu, a French enlightenment writer and John Locke, an English Philosopher. However, the actual separation of powers amongst different branches of government can be traced to ancient Greece (Kelly, 2014). Separation of powers is a political doctrine of constitutional law which creates the division of governmental responsibilities into different branches in order to limit one group form exercising the powers of another. This approach helps to provide for checks and balances (ncsl.org, 2014). Separation of Powers is part of the Trias Politica principle headed by John Locke and Baron de Montesquieu. John Locke’s theory was of three distinct ruling powers. The first was Legislative power, the second was Executive power and the third was Federative power (plato.stanford.edu, 2010). Baron de Montesquieu’s theory was also of three ruling powers. They were the Executive power, the Legislative power and the judicial power. The United States prefers to use Baron de Montesquieu’s method of separation of powers. The executive branch is headed by the President and includes the bureaucracy. The legislative branch includes both houses of Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the lower federal courts (Kelly, 2014). Checks and Balances
The executive (president) may veto laws. The executive has the power to wage war at the direction of Congress, who make the rules for the military. The executive can makes declarations and promulgates executive orders. The Executive can influence other branches of its agenda with the State of the Union address. The executive has the power to appoint judges and executive department heads and has the power to grant pardons to convicted persons, except in cases of impeachment. Legislative
The legislative (congress, senate and House of...
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