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Separation of Powers and Branches of Government

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on 18 October 2013

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Transcript of Separation of Powers and Branches of Government

Separation of Powers and Branches of Government

Separation of Powers
While creating the Constitution with the rest of the Framers, James Madison said that having all government power in a central gonvernment is "the very definition of tyranny." The rest of the framers agreed to divide power between three branches. This is called separation of powers.
Legislative Branch
The Legislative Branch is comprised of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Congress. Its checks include: impeaching and removing the president, overriding vetoes, impeaching and removing federal judges, and establishing lower federal courts.
The Executive Branch
This branch is comprised of the President and the Vice President and enforces the law. The order of Presidential succession is the President, the V.P., the Speaker of the House, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Cabinet departments as listed below. Its checks include: Vetoing acts of Congress, calling special sessions of Congress, appointing federal judges, and granting reprieves and pardons for federal crimes.
The Judicial Branch
The Judicial branch interprets the laws passed by Congress and sets punishments for those who break those laws. Its checks include: declaring executive acts unconstitutional, judges are free from executive control, and declaring acts of Congress unconstitutional (judicial review).
100 Senators- 2 for each state
6 year terms
Must be at least 30 years of age, a U.S. citizen for at least 9 years, and a resident of the state they represent.
House of Reps
435 elected members divided among the 50 state according to their population.
6 non-voting members for D.C., Puerto Rico, and other territories.
Members are elected every 2 years, must be at least 25 y/o, a U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, and a resident of the state they represent.

Controls the money for the national government.
Enacts legislation.
Declares war.
Has the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments
Has substantial investigative powers.
The President
Chief of State, Chief Executive, Chief Diplomat, Commander-in-Chief, Chief Legislator, Chief of Party, Chief Guardian of the Economy.
Must be 35 years old, a natural born citizen, and live in the U.S. for at least 14 years.
The Vice President
The responsibilities of the V.P. include:
being ready to assume the presidency at any time
President of the United States Senate
performing other specified duties.

The Cabinet/ Presidential Succession
Cabinet Departments:
State- foreign policy
Treasury- finances
Defense- military security
Attorney General-
Interior- natural environment/resources
Agriculture- agricultural production
Commerce- international trade
Supreme Court Justices
Current members-
John G. Roberts
Antonin Scalia
Anthony M. Kennedy
Clarence Thomas
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Stephen G. Breyer
Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.
Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan
Based on Jim Harvey's speech structures
The Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is the final judge of all cases involving the Constitution and all laws made by Congress.
The President nominates judges
The Senate has the power to consent to or reject the nominees.
Justices serve until their death, retirement, or conviction by the Senate.
How Cases Reach the Supreme Court
Cases involving a state or diplomatic personnel are heard by the Supreme Court first.
Cases appealed from a lower federal court must have a writ of certiorari to be heard.
Cases appealed from state supreme courts in which a constitutional right has been denied.
Labor- workers' rights
Health and Human Services- social security
Housing and Urban Development- community development
Transportation- transportation policy
Energy- energy technology
Education- education programs
Veterans Affairs- veterans' services
Homeland Security- protection against terrorists
The Legislative Branch
The Executive Branch
The Judicial Branch
Full transcript