The Three Branches of Our Government

The executive Branch of the United States of America is the highest executive of our country. The executive Branch consists of the Executive Office of the President. There are four main areas of the Executive Office of the President and they include; (1) Office of Management and Budget; (2) Office of the Director of National Intelligence; (3) Office of the United States Trade Representative; (4) The White House. ( www.loc.gov/rr/news/fedgov.html).

There are several agencies that are in the Executive Branch and each one has several smaller agencies to handle the various types of departments in the bigger agency, they include; (a) Department of Agriculture; (b) Department of Commerce; (c) Department of Defense; (d) Department of Education; (e) Department of Energy; (f) Department of Health and human Services; (g) Department of Homeland Security; (h) Department of Housing and Urban Development; (i) Department of the Interior; (j) Department of the Justice; (k) Department of Labor; (l) Department of State; (m) Department of Transportation; (n) Department of the Treasury; (o) Department of Veterans Affairs. Besides these agencies there are a lot off smaller agencies that are independent but are under the Executive Branch.

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The heads of each one of the larger agencies are the ones who make up the President??™s Cabinet. None of the Cabinet members can hold a seat in Congress, whether it is in the Senate or the House or even sitting in the chair of the governor of any state. They must resign that elected position before they can actively be in the Cabinet.
The President chooses who he wants to sit in his Cabinet and nominates him or her to the United States Senate who must approve the choice of the President. All the Cabinet members, with the exception of the Attorney General, are called ???Secretary.??? (http://uspolitics.about.com/od/presidenc1/a/the_cabinet.htm). The Secretary of State is in the fourth position under the President and is the highest ranking member of the Cabinet.

If something should happen to the President there is in place a procedure and a list of stand-in replacements. We know from our past that the first immediate choice is the Vice President. If for some reason the Vice President cannot step up to the presidency then the ball gets passed down through the Cabinet heads. The heads of the Cabinet in order after the Vice President is as follows; (1) Speaker of the House; (2) President Pro Tempore of the Senate; (3) Secretary of State; (4) Secretary of the Treasury; (5) Secretary of Defense; (6) Attorney General; (7) Secretary of the Interior; (8) Secretary of Agriculture; (9) Secretary of Commerce; (10) Secretary of Labor; (11) Secretary of Health and Human Services; (12) Department of Housing and Urban Development; (13) Secretary of Transportation; (14) Secretary of Energy; (15) Secretary of Education; (16) Secretary of Veterans Affairs; (17) Secretary of Homeland Security.

The history of the Cabinet goes back to the very first American President, George Washington, his Cabinet only had four members and they were; (1) Thomas Jefferson as the Secretary of State; (2) Alexander Hamilton as the Secretary of the Treasury; (3) Henry Knox as the Secretary of War; (4) Edmund Randolph as the Attorney General.
The Constitution of the United States does not actually mention that the power of the government be split up. Our forerunners had gotten the basis of splitting the powers of the government from the French political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu. In 1748, it was Montesquieu who was the main speaker for dividing the government powers into three branches; the judicial, the legislative and the executive. He had made the statement; ???When the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there is no liberty.???

While the powers of the government in both the federal and state are divided into three b ranches they are still intricately joined together. The makings of the governmental policies in the United States rely on the workings of all three branches together. The checks and balances are an integral part of the United States Constitution. When the checks and balances system works each of the different branches can maintain the powers of the others. Each of the branches keeps an eye on the level of power that the others have and it steps in if the power starts to escalate.

To witness how laws are created and put into action is a very good illustration of the concept of checks and balances at work. After the bill goes through the discussion on the congressional floor it then goes to the President. The President approves or disapproves it, if he approves it automatically becomes a law. The Executive Branch through the Constitution of the United States of America has the power to put the laws into action. The Executive Branch uses the following actions to check out how the Legislative branch is doing; veto power; the ability to call special sessions of Congress; it can recommend legislation; it can appeal to the citizens concerning legislation and more. The Executive Branch through the President checks out the Judicial Branch by appointing the Justices to the Supreme Court and other judges in the federal courts.

The Judicial Branches through the U. S. Constitution has the power to translate the laws. The Judicial Branch uses the following ways to check over the Executive Branch; the judges are free from the hands of the Executive Branch when they are appointed for life; through the power of the judicial review the courts can judge the actions of the executive branch that they deem unconstitutional. The Judicial Branch can also judge any actions of the legislative branch they believe are unconstitutional.

Through powers given from the Constitution of the United States the Legislative Branch has the ability to make the laws. The Legislative
Branch uses the following ways to keep watch over the Executive Branch; it may override a presidential veto of a bill by a two-thirds vote of the Congress; it has it??™s hands on the purse strings to actually finance any executive act; it has the ability to remove the president through the impeachment process; treaties are endorsed by the Senate; presidential considerations are confirmed by the Senate. The Legislative Branch uses the following to watch over the Judicial Branch; it has the ability to create lower courts; judges can be removed the same way as the president through the impeachment process; the nominations of the judges are granted and approved by the Senate.

The President of the United States wears many hats, the different hats that he wears are; (A) the hat of the head of state; (B) the hat of the head of the government; (C) the hat of the commander in chief of the military of the land, the air and the sea; (D) the hat of the leader of the president??™s political party. While wearing his many hats he is definitely the most integrated force in a political arena in which the power is spread out within the government and between the people and the government.

References:

D. Hutchison. The Foundations of the Constitution. Secaucus, New Jersey: University Books. 1975. Pp. 20-21.
George W. Carey. ???Government???. Encyclopedia Americana. 1989. Page. 130.
Richard A. Brody. Assessing the President: The Media, Elite Origins, and Public Support. 1992
Colin Campbell. The U. S. Presidency in Crisis: A Comparative Perspective. 1998
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