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checks and balances system
Transcript of checks and balances system
Checks and balances system
Principle of government under which separate branches are empowered to prevent actions by other branches and are induced to share power. Checks and balances are applied primarily in constitutional governments. They are of fundamental importance in tripartite governments, such as that of the U.S., that separate powers among legislative, executive, and judicial departments. Checks and balances, which modify the separation of powers, may operate under parliamentary systems through exercise of a parliament's prerogative to adopt a no-confidence vote against a government; the government, or cabinet, in turn, ordinarily may dissolve the parliament. In one-party political systems, informal checks and balances may operate when organs of an authoritarian or totalitarian regime compete for power.
• Passes bills; has broad taxing and spending power; regulates inter-state commerce; controls the federal budget; has power to borrow money on the credit of the United States (may be vetoed by President, but vetoes may be overridden with a two-thirds vote of both houses)
• Has sole power to declare war, as well as to raise, support, and regulate the military.
• Oversees, investigates, and makes the rules for the government and its officers.
• Defines by law the jurisdiction of the federal judiciary in cases not specified by the Constitution
• Ratification of treaties signed by the President and givesadvice and consent to presidential appointments to thefederal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts (Senate only)
• Has sole power of impeachment (House of Representatives) and trial of impeachments (Senate); can remove federal executive and judicial officers from office for high crimes and misdemeanors
pros and cons
• Is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces
• Executes the instructions of Congress.
• May veto bills passed by Congress (but the veto may be overridden by a two-thirds majority of both houses)
• Executes the spending authorized by Congress.
• Declares states of emergency and publishes regulations andexecutive orders.
• Makes executive agreements (does not require ratification) and signs treaties (ratification requiring approval by two-thirds of the Senate)
• Makes appointments to the federal judiciary, federal executive departments, and other posts with the advice and consent of the Senate. Has power to make temporary appointment during the recess of the Senate
• Has the power to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment."
• Determines which laws Congress intended to apply to any given case
• Exercises judicial review, reviewing the constitutionality of laws
• Determines how Congress meant the law to apply to disputes
• Determines how a law acts to determine the disposition of prisoners
• Determines how a law acts to compel testimony and the production of evidence
• Determines how laws should be interpreted to assure uniform policies in a top-down fashion via the appealsprocess, but gives discretion in individual cases to low-level judges. The amount of discretion depends upon the standard of review, determined by the type of case in question.
Prevents Tyranny of Minority
The central concept behind checks and balances, even in antiquity, was preventing a small group or a single individual from seizing and monopolizing power. By separating power into distinct branches, for example, legislative, executive and judicial, each with a distinct interest in maintaining its stake in the political process, tyranny of a minority group is stymied -- within a liberal democracy, that is.
Prevents Tyranny of Majority
Checks and balances resolves the problem of a majority imposing tyrannical laws or imposing unreasonable laws that negatively impact the minority. James Madison, principal author of the U.S. Constitution, asserted that the U.S. did not need a tyranny of the majority: "If a majority be united by a common interest, the rights of the minority will be insecure." Other Founding Fathers held similar beliefs.
Inherent in the Constitution is the notion that competing factions will essentially self-annihilate in terms of abuse of power. Each party in the minority position will seek to shift the balance of power by bringing the corrupt practices of the ruling party to light. In this way, competition between self-interested actors essentially self-regulates the power structure.
Slows Governing Process
The biggest drawback of checks and balances is that it slows the governing process. Division of power usually entails cooperation and compromise between competing factions and this can, depending on the level of political polarization, significantly slow the legislative process. Whereas, in a fusion of powers system, a ruling party can draft legislation and wield executive power simultaneously, a single opposing branch in a checks and balances system can hold up the entire governing process.
by Ibragimov Rauan
Advantages and disadvantages of checks and balances system.
What is the mechanism of governance by a system checks and balances?
Separation of powers as a basic element of democracy.
To find pros and cons to checks and balances system.
To learn the responsibilities of each of the three branches of power;
To learn how branches of power constrain each other providing legal exercise of its authority;