All about the 3 branches of government of the United States

Three Branches of Government in Action

Our founding fathers were very smart and had some great ideas to stop a bad king or tyrant from taking full control of the United States and keep the power in the hands of the people instead of a ruler who only is out for himself. To do that, those who founded our nation came up with a system of checks and balances that stops any one branch of government or any one person or small group of people from taking control of the entire nation and dictating new laws and policies. That system of checks and balances largely relies on keeping the power separated among three different branches of government and allowing one of more branches to bring the other in line when one goes too far and violates the principles upon which the nation is founded.

Executive Branch Administers, Appoints and Negotiates

The job of the executive branch is to handle the daily business of running the country. The president of the United States is the head of the executive branch, making him the nation’s “chief executive.” The executive branch appoints federal judges and other officials, negotiates with other nations and provides general guidance. The executive branch does not create laws, although the president can issue executive orders so long as they are done properly and legally. The executive branch is in charge of the U.S. military, collects federal taxes, appoints foreign ambassadors and develops foreign policy, negotiates treaties and generally acts on behalf of the United States. The executive branch also has the ability to veto laws enacted by Congress, which provides a check on Congressional activities while the power to appoint federal judges, including Supreme Court justices, check the power of the judicial branch. Pres. Obama many times vetoed budgets enacted by the House of Representatives when there was not enough money to pay for some federal programs.

Judicial Branch Ensures Government and Laws Are Legal

The job of the judicial branch is to ensure new laws are okay with the Constitution and to keep the other two branches from breaking the nation’s laws. As President Barack Obama recently learned, the separation of powers means he must answer to the other two branches of government if he does something wrong. The U.S. Supreme Court, as the judicial branch, ruled President Obama illegally appointed federal officials who should have been confirmed by Congress. Instead, Obama waited for Congress go on break and took it upon himself to do the job intended for Congress. Because the Supreme Court ruled Obama’s actions were illegal, future presidents will not be able to repeat the illegal actions and the people will have more control over the government. The judicial branch also ensures enacted laws are Constitutional and do not erode the rights of U.S. citizens.

Legislative Branch Enacts Laws, Monitors President

The job of the legislative branch is to enact the nation’s laws, create the nation’s budget and provide the legislative guidance every country needs by making laws as needed. The legislative branch also keeps the president in check by having the power to try and remove the president for nearly any reason. Only two presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson in the 1860s and Bill Clinton in the 1990s, but neither were removed from office. Pres. Richard Nixon resigned when it became likely he would face impeachment for the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. The legislative branch checks the power of the president through impeachment and by overriding presidential vetoes with a two-thirds vote of Congress. Checks on the executive and judicial branch also are done through Congressional confirmation of presidential appointments, such as when the president appoints a new cabinet member or Supreme Court justice. The president also cannot declare war on another nation without the approval of Congress, which gave President George W. Bush the okay before sending U.S. troops into Afghanistan and Iraq during his presidency. Likewise, Congress cannot negotiate treaties or exercise control over the military, which are reserved for the executive branch. The judicial branch interprets the laws and strikes them down if they are found to violate other laws or the U.S. Constitution or strikes down only the parts of laws that do not abide with other laws or the Constitution.

Our nation’s founding fathers were very wise and used the lessons of the past to create the government we have now. But for their actions, the United States would not be the free and great nation it is now and will remain.


Navigating the Maze of Government: The Website Navigating the maze of the United States government is difficult. Although the basic outline of our government is easy to grasp (i.e. the separation of powers into the legislative, judicial, and executive branches), there are so many other agencies and services within the government that one needsContinue Reading

The 2nd Amendment

One of the most discussed issues today involves the right of Americans to own firearms. This right is set forth in the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The Second Amendment is one section of the Bill of Rights ratified in 1791. The Second Amendment reads as follows: “A well regulated Militia,Continue Reading

Preamble to the Constitution

The Preamble to the Constitution is a short paragraph that is the key to recognizing the intention of the founding fathers of the country when the document was established. Supreme Court judges often refer to the document when there is a case that involves constitutional rights. This paragraph describes who it was written for andContinue Reading

The Preamble to the Constitution Explained

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States is a one-sentence introduction that explains the purpose of the document. It is written in general terms and neither assigns nor limits the powers of the government. Following is the text of the Preamble and an analysis of it phrase-by-phrase: “We the People of the UnitedContinue Reading

United States Constitution Explained

The United States Constitution is the highest law of the land. The Constitution defines the role of the federal government and grants the people of the United States various liberties. It is the country’s most fundamental document. Individual states are free to draft, ratify and amend their own constitutions and develop a code of stateContinue Reading

The 27 Amendments to The Constitution

The Constitution of the United States has been amended 27 times since 1789. The first 10 amendments are known collectively as “The Bill of Rights.” The amendments to the Constitution are considered part of the Constitution itself. The 27 amendments to the Constitution are: Amendment 1—Preserves the basic freedoms of religion, speech and assembly. AlsoContinue Reading

Significant Supreme Court Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States decides several court cases each session. Most of these cases are not major cases. However, the Supreme Court has ruled on several cases that have radically changed the course of American history. 1803 Marbury v. Madison This case originated as a dispute between James Madison and William Marbury concerning theContinue Reading

The Three Branches of Government Summarized

Most modern systems of government present in our world today consist of three primary parts: the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government. These branches differ from country to country in terms of composition, size, function, and importance, but are usually designed to operate best independently of each other on specific aspects of governance. InContinue Reading

Preamble to The Constitution Text

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Source: Cornell UniversityContinue Reading