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    Branches of Government

    Branches of Government


    To ensure a separation of powers, the U.S. Federal Government is made up of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. To ensure the government is effective and citizens’ rights are protected, each branch has its own powers and responsibilities, including working with the other branches.

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    Legislative Executive Judicial

    Source : www.house.gov

    Three Branches of Government

    Our federal government has three parts. They are the Executive, (President and about 5,000,000 workers) Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives) and Judicial (Supreme Court and lower Courts).

    Three Branches of Government

    Our federal government has three parts. They are the Executive, (President and about 5,000,000 workers) Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives) and Judicial (Supreme Court and lower Courts).

    The President of the United States administers the Executive Branch of our government. The President enforces the laws that the Legislative Branch (Congress) makes. The President is elected by United States citizens, 18 years of age and older, who vote in the presidential elections in their states. These votes are tallied by states and form the Electoral College system. States have the number of electoral votes which equal the number of senators and representatives they have. It is possible to have the most popular votes throughout the nation and NOT win the electoral vote of the Electoral College.

    The Legislative part of our government is called Congress. Congress makes our laws. Congress is divided into 2 parts. One part is called the Senate. There are 100 Senators--2 from each of our states. Another part is called the House of Representatives. Representatives meet together to discuss ideas and decide if these ideas (bills) should become laws. There are 435 Representatives. The number of representatives each state gets is determined by its population. Some states have just 2 representatives. Others have as many as 40. Both senators and representatives are elected by the eligible voters in their states.

    The Judicial part of our federal government includes the Supreme Court and 9 Justices. They are special judges who interpret laws according to the Constitution. These justices only hear cases that pertain to issues related to the Constitution. They are the highest court in our country. The federal judicial system also has lower courts located in each state to hear cases involving federal issues.

    All three parts of our federal government have their main headquarters in the city of Washington D.C.

    Source : www.trumanlibrary.gov

    The Three Branches of Government

    A guide to information resources related to American government and politics.

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    JCTC Learning CommonsLearning GuidesSocial SciencesAmerican Government and PoliticsThe Three Branches of Government

    American Government and Politics

    A guide to information resources related to American government and politics.

    The Three Branches of Government

    Understanding the American Government

    The Legislative Branch

    The Executive Branch

    The Judicial Branch Checks and Balances Further Reading Political Parties

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    Understanding the American Government

    The Constitution of the United States sets forth that the federal government should be three branches of government, ensuring that no one person or group is too powerful.

    These branches are the legislative branch, which makes laws and takes the form of the United States Congress; the executive branch, which enforces the laws and consists of the president and people who report to the president; and the judicial branch, which evaluates laws and includes the Supreme Court and other courts.

    The Legislative Branch

    The main role of the legislative branch, which is the United States Congress, is to make the country’s laws. There are two houses of Congress, which are the House of Representatives and the Senate. Members of Congress are elected by the residents of each state to represent that state in Congress. Although each state has two senators, the number of representatives for a state is dependent on the state’s population. There are 100 senators and 435 elected members of the House of Representatives, as well as six delegates who do not vote that represent the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To pass a piece of legislation, both houses vote on a bill. If the bill passes both houses of Congress, it then goes to the president, who can sign it into law or veto it.

    The official website of the United States Congress includes information on the members of Congress, bills introduced by Congress, and Congressional records and reports.

    A White House publication on the legislative branch includes information on the legislative process, the powers of congress, and the legislative branch’s role in government oversight.

    The Legislative Process is a video series from the United States Congress that describes the process of a bill becoming law.

    The Executive Branch

    The role of the executive branch is to enforce the nation’s laws. The executive branch is led by the president, who is the commander in chief of the military and responsible for signing or vetoing laws presented to them by Congress. The executive branch also includes the vice president, who is the president of the Senate and will take over if the president cannot perform his duties, as well as the Cabinet, who are advisors to the president. The enforcement of laws in the executive branch is often performed by various federal agencies and departments.

    The website for the Office of the President of the United States contains a great deal of information on the current executives.

    A White House publication on the executive branch includes information on the responsibilities of the president and vice president, the role of the Cabinet, and descriptions of the executive departments.

    The American Presidency Project, hosted at the University of California, Santa Barbara, includes presidential papers, addresses, speeches, and more.

    The Federal Register provides a database that contains information on presidential documents, including executive orders, proclamations, and other items.

    The Judicial Branch

    The judicial branch deals with evaluating laws and determining if a law does not conform to the rules set by the Constitution. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and consists of nine justices. For a case to be heard by the Supreme Court, it must work its way through the court system until it is appealed to the Supreme Court from a lower court. Members of the judicial branch are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

    The U.S. Courts website provides a list of landmark Supreme Court Cases.

    The Supreme Court website includes information about the current members of the court and documents relating to Supreme Court cases.

    Court Role and Structure from the United States Court describes the various federal courts and their responsibilities.

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