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The Three Branches of Government

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Sarah Summers

on 7 June 2013

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Transcript of The Three Branches of Government

The Three Branches
of Government
in the
United States of America Legislative Judicial Executive Checks Balances and The three branches of our
government were created to have a
balance of power, called separation of powers.

This means that each branch should
have equal power compared to the others.
So, what are the three branches? Checks and Balances What does each do?

How do they balance the others?

Who's included in each branch?

Let's find out! The Legislative Branch Who's included in this branch? The Legislative Branch consists of Congress.

Congress includes: House of Representatives Senate There are 435 members in the House of Representatives! 53 are from California. That's a lot! Each state gets 2 senators. But what does the Legislative Branch do? According to Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch...
Creates laws for the whole nation
Raises an army
Declares war
Coins and prints money
Collects taxes This is the Capitol building where Congress works Checks and Balances: Who's Looking at Congress? Executive Branch: The executive branch can veto a law that Congress has passed.
Judicial Branch: When someone challenges a law as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court can look at it and make a ruling. If the law is ruled as unconstitutional, it is thrown out. Who’s included in this branch? The power of the Judicial Branch extends over ALL the courts in the nation. This means that local, state, and federal courts and the Supreme Court are in the same system.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation.
They make decisions over laws that include two or more states, or the whole nation, that involve Constitutional issues.

Let's talk about the Supreme Court for a minute... The Supreme Court The Supreme Court is in Washington, D.c.

There are 9 justices. When there is an open seat, the President selects a justice to fill it.
The Senate has to approve this choice

The justices can serve a life term.

The Supreme Court must decide if government actions or laws are constitutional or not. Current justices The Supreme Court building Okay, let's go back to the whole Judicial Branch. What Does the Judicial Branch Do? Article III of the Constitution describes the power of the judicial branch as making sure laws are working fairly that with the Constitution.

There are many different courts below the federal level. Let's look at a couple:

Traffic Court - This court settles cases dealing with minor traffic violations.
Family Court - This court deals with marriage, child custody, child support, and so on.

As you can see, these two courts deal with different issues. Discuss with your table some other types of courts, and what they may deal with. Checks and Balances: Who's Looking at The Judicial Branch? Executive Branch: The executive branch chooses the Supreme Court justices.

Legislative Branch: The legislative branch must approve the justices that the President chooses. The Executive Branch Who's included in this branch?

The executive branch includes the President and his/her cabinet.

The cabinet is a group of people that work for the President and help him/her make important decisions. President Barack Obama's cabinet What does this branch do? Article II of the Constitution states that the power to enforce laws created by Congress is held by the executive branch.

What does that mean?

Basically, the executive branch makes sure that everyone is following the law. Do you want to be the president? What does it take to become the president? A lot, actually.

First, you must meet a few requirements.
You must be at least 35 years old.
You must have been born in the United States.
You must have lived in the United States for 14 years.

Easy enough, right?

After all these requirements are met, the future president must be elected. This happens through the electoral college.

Citizens, 18 years or older, vote for an elector in a certain area. This elector then votes for the President, usually based on popular vote. Checks and Balances: Who's Looking at the Executive Branch? Legislative Branch: The legislative branch can override any vetoes that the president has put into place. They do this with a two-thirds majority vote. Also, they can impeach the president. This means they can accuse him/her of not following the law faithfully. If s/he is found guilty, s/he can be removed from office.

Judicial Branch: The judicial branch overlooks what the executive branch is doing to make sure they aren't overstepping their boundaries, or doing what they shouldn't be doing. The Oval Office The White House But wait! What if something needs to be changed in the Constitution?

The delegates, or those who wrote the Constitution, knew that as time went by, changes to the Constitution would have to be made. To do this, they agreed that a two-thirds vote was needed by either both houses of Congress or by all state-legislatures.

After that part has passed, then three-fourths of the states had to approve of the amendment. This long process gives representatives the time they need to study an amendment.

An amendment is a change to the Constitution.
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