Checks And Balances In The United States

1978 Words 8 Pages
The United States government has three branches; legislative, executive, and judicial. The founding fathers created these branches in order to separate power. During our founding, our founding fathers feared a tyrannical government so they put into place a set of checks and balances in order to prevent one from forming. Checks and balances are when one branch of government doesn 't let another get too powerful. There are several examples of this but to put it simply, there is a set amount of power and all three branches has to get that power from the same set amount. I will go on later and show examples of the checks each branch has on the others. Naturally, each branch wants more power but in order to get it, they have to take it from another …show more content…
Congress can check the president 's power by stopping funding, the power of the purse is in congress 's hands since they control the budget. The president can veto (or tell congress no) a law if he doesn 't agree but congress can override a veto with a 2/3rd majority. The president can also go by congress with an executive order but congress can override his order with their own law. Now once a law is in place the supreme court can say if that law is unconstitutional but only if a citizen sues the country and brings the case all the way to the supreme court. The president 's only check on them is that if they are missing a justice he is the one to appoint them, but the senate has to approve his nomination. As you can see there are several checks on the branches except on the judicial branch, mostly because before it was given the power of judicial review it was the weakest branch and didn 't need the checks on its …show more content…
The single greatest power the court has is something it gave itself in the Marbury v Madison. During this case, Chief Justice John Marshall said that a law was unconstitutional and the court can 't obey it because of that sole reason. Marbury was a man who was appointed as judge during John Adams term as president, himself and many others were appointed the night before in a last ditch effort to let the Federalist (one of the main political parties of the time) keep some power since a Democrat-Republican (the other main political party of the time) was coming into office of president, but the papers giving him the position were not given in time. So when Thomas Jefferson took office he didn 't give out the papers, in order to prevent more Federalist from taking power. At the time the supreme court had the power to issue an order making elected officials comply with their demands. Marbury wanted the court to issue an order from Jefferson to give him his papers saying he was a judge. John Marshall decides that it was unconstitutional for the court to do that and said it was no longer a law. Unknowingly he created judicial review, by trying to protect the constitution he created something unintentionally to decide what it says. This gives the court so much power because they not only decide what a law says but also what the constitution says. They are now the referees to make sure everyone, including themselves,

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