Jan 12, 2018 in Political

Constitutional Checks and Balances

The Constitution of the United States is the primary source of law in the country. It was passed on September 17, 1787 by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, followed by the ratification after respective conventions by 11 states. The U.S. Constitution, apart from a wide array of social and political issues, regulates the system of government by designating the three separate branches of power: a legislature embodied in the Congress, an executive with the President as the head, and a judiciary managed by the Supreme Court (Burns et al.). The U.S. Constitution has embedded a unique system of checks and balances governing the exercise of political power in the country in all of the three branches.

The constitutional checks and balances normally encompass multiple government branches and set rules for their interaction. For example, the executive part of government is empowered to veto Congress bills. However, if the political will of the Congress dominates, it can override the presidential veto by a repeat vote, thus ensuring that any nationwide decision undergoes broad discussion before being signed into law. Then, in the executive branch, the President is regarded as the commander-in-chief of the Army and the Navy; however, it is the Congress that has the mandate to declare war. The Constitution also establishes mechanisms for the Congress to impeach the President for certain wrongdoings. Although the executive branch enjoys wide responsibilities in preparing the budget, the legislature has the power to control budget implementation. The judiciary, as stipulated by the Constitution, is the third component balancing the power of the Congress and the President. The judiciary can decide on the constitutionality of presidential acts or congressional bills and annul them in certain instances.

In conclusion, the U.S. Constitution establishes a complex system of checks and balances which ensure that no institution of political power in the country can monopolize or usurp government decision making.

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