Premium Essay

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

In: Social Issues

Submitted By troy57690
Words 648
Pages 3
There are both similarities and differences, when referring to checks and balances and separation of powers. Both have to do with the Government. But separation of powers is a model of government in which different parts of the government are in charge of different tasks; in the United States, these parts are known as the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Checks and balances is a means of trying to ensure that these three parts of government stay equal, and that one does not try to take over another.
Separation of powers was first introduced as a government model in ancient Greece, and was used largely in the Roman republic. Under this Government model, the state is divided into separate and independent entities. The normal separation of branches is into executive, a legislature, and judiciary. The legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch enforces and carries out the laws to the public, and the judicial branch interprets the laws. Interestingly, not only does each branch have a certain power, each branch has a certain power over the other branch. This is done to keep them balanced and to prevent one from getting too much control. This is known as “Checks and Balances.”
The concept of checks and balances comes from the United States constitution. The different branches of government check each other’s power so that no branch has more power than the other. An example would be if the legislative branch wants to pass a law, they first present it as a bill. They would send it to the executive branch, otherwise known as the president/presidential office. If the president doesn’t like it or determines that it is unconstitutional, then he will veto it. It would take 2/3rd vote in congress for the bill to override the president’s veto.
The big difference between the separation of powers and checks and balances, is separation of powers...

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

...Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances Vena Roberts American Public University The doctrine of separation of powers, as implemented in drafting the Constitution, was based on several principles generally held: the separation of government into three branches, legislative, executive, and judicial; the conception that each branch performs unique and identifiable functions that are appropriate to each; and the limitation of the personnel of each branch to that branch, so that no one person or group should be able to serve in more than one branch simultaneously. The Separation of Powers devised by the framers of the Constitution was designed to do one primary thing: to prevent the majority from ruling with an iron fist. Based on their experience, the framers shied away from giving any branch of the new government too much power. The separation of powers provides a system of shared power known as Checks and Balances. Three branches are created in the Constitution. The Legislative, composed of the House and Senate, is set up in Article 1. The Executive, composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments, is set up in Article 2. The Judicial, composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court, is set up in Article 3. The Constitution nowhere contains an express injunction to preserve the boundaries of the three broad powers it grants, nor does it expressly enjoin maintenance of a system of checks and balances. Yet, it does grant to three separate branches......

Words: 464 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Separation of Power

...SEPARATION OF POWER: A COMPARATIVE STUDY INTRODUCTION The research topic deals with the concept of „the separation of powers. The researcher would like to highlight the concept of separation of powers and then gradually comes to the point separation of powers in England and US. After that the researcher would like to articulate the separation of powers in India. The doctrine of “the separation of powers” as usually understood is derived from Montesquieu whose elaboration of it was based on a study of Locke’s writings and an imperfect understanding of the eighteen century English constitution. Montesquieu, a research scholar, conceived the principle of separation of power. He found that concentration of power in one person or group of persons resulted in tyranny. He therefore, felt that the governmental power should be vested in three organs, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. The principle can be stated as follows: (1) Each organ should be independent of the other; (2) no one organ should perform functions that belong to the other. Lock and Montesquieu derived the contents of this doctrine from the developments in the British constitutional history of the early 18th century. In England after a long war between parliament and the King, they saw the triumph of Parliament in 1688 which gave Parliament legislative supremacy culminating in the passage of the Bill of Rights. This led ultimately to recognition by the King of legislative and tax powers of...

Words: 3396 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Comparison Of Powers And Federal Separation Of Power

...philosopher who first used the term trias politica or separation of powers (Erickson). For the division of government duties, it is separated into three separate but equal branches. The characterizations of each are; the legislative branch in which it is in charge of enacting laws of the state and distributing money to operate the government efficiently, the executive branch that executes and oversees public policy that the legislative branch has authorized or financed, and the judicial branch that is in charge of interpreting the Constitution and laws with then taking the understandings to disagreements brought before it (Erickson). The separation of powers is a pillar of the United States government with all state and federal governments center around the standard of it. Although federal separation of power is not the same as state, as one instance state courts have acknowledged fundamental...

Words: 620 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Goverment

...Branches of the Government Learning Team D HIS 301 Professor Bruce Franklin Branches of the Government “Historically, the concept of Separation of Powers dates back as far as ancient Greece. The concepts were refined by contemporaries of the Framers, and those refinements influenced the establishment of the three branches in the Constitution” (Mount, 2014). The idea of a separation of powers first appeared in the political philosophy of Montesquieu. He advocated for a government where each branch had clear cut rules on what they could and could not do. This idea of a separation of government, or a government that was for the people would be perpetuated by other philosophers throughout the Enlightenment era. The founding fathers sought to create the United States government in the same way. Each branch is empowered with distinct powers. The government is set up this way in order to prevent abuse of power. Each branch is able to exercise a form of control over each other. Within the constitution are articles. Within each article, it outlines the separations of powers for each branch of the government. Article one outlines The Legislative. Which is made up of The Senate and the House of Representatives Article two is composed of The Executive branch. This entails the President, his Vice-President and the state departments. Article three explains the judicial branch. This also covers federal and the Supreme Court. With this kind of system in place, it creates a kind......

Words: 1339 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

The Separation of Powers Hinders Effective Government in the United States. Discuss

...‘The separation of powers hinders effective government in the United States’. Discuss The ‘separation of powers’ is a theory – adopted from Montesquieu in 1748 – where political power is distributed over the 3 branches of government. This was put in place to create a limited government which would essentially help to avoid tyranny and protect the liberty of citizens. Neustradt stated that it was the institutions that are separate and not the powers. If the branches were totally separate, power would be difficult to exercise especially with the use of checks and balances. Instead there is a separation of personnel, where not one member of one branch can work within another branch. So all in all, the US government created a doctrine of ‘shared powers’, where checks and balances are needed. Madison agreed with this, and said: ‘you must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place oblige it to control itself’. Some of the checks and balances include: the president checking congress by presidential veto; the presidential veto is checked by congressional override; the supreme court uses judicial review to decide whether legislation or actions are unconstitutional; presidential appointments are confirmed, and treaties ratified by the Senate; and finally the president is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but only congress can declare war. Checks and balances are needed alongside the separation of powers. Checks and balances are......

Words: 1064 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Separation of Powers

...Separation of Powers/Checks and Balances * Analyze how the U.S. Constitution implements separation of powers and checks and balances. Briefly explain why the constitutional framers based the new government on these ideas. Evaluate how separation of powers and checks and balances are working out in practice, today, justifying your assessments with persuasive reasoning and examples. “The ancient political philosophers, particularly Aristotle, believed that a successful republic could best be achieved through a mixed constitution (also called a mixed government), whereby power would be divided among a sovereign, a legislature, and the aristocracy. Politically, this entailed the separation of powers into distinct branches of government so that one branch could prevent another from tyrannizing the majority. The tendency toward despotism and corruption, in other words, would be limited because of the checks placed on power. But it was not enough to have checks and balances between different branches of government; there also had to be checks and balances within the legislative branch. Republicanism specifically called for a bicameral legislature, which was the division of the legislative body into two chambers.” (Levin-Waldman, O.M. (2012) I have found it very important to finish this discussion properly by adding these writings: “The Declaration of Independence puts forth many core American values. However, these values have to be institutionalized, or made concrete......

Words: 498 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Government Brancesqq[

...Founding Fathers put the Constitution into writing, our government also established a separation of powers as well as a system of checks and balances for those powers so that no one branch of government becomes more powerful than another. The three branches of our government are: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. To ensure the government is effective in its role and the United States citizens’ rights are protected, each branch has its own powers, each branch is also responsible for working with the other branches cohesively. The first of three branches that make up our government is the legislative branch. This is made up of the House of Representatives and Senate, known collectively as Congress. The legislative branch makes all laws, declares war, regulates interstate and foreign commerce and controls taxing and spending policies (house.gov, 2014). This branch has various organizations such as Architect of the Capitol and Library of Congress (house.gov, 2014). The legislative branch is responsible for the following checks over the executive branch: overriding presidential vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote, funding executive actions, removing the president through impeachment, Senate approves treaties and presidential appointments (Kelly, 2014). The legislative branch is also responsible for certain checks over the judicial branch such as creating lower courts, has the power to impeach judges, and Senate’s approval of appointment of judges (Kelly, 2014). ......

Words: 1161 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

The Separation of Powers Hinders Effective Government in the Usa. Discuss.

...The separation of powers hinders effective government in the USA. Discuss. (30 marks) The ‘separation of powers’ is a theory where political power is distributed over the 3 branches of government. This was put in place to create a limited government which would essentially help to avoid tyranny and protect the liberty of citizens. Some of the checks and balances include: the president checking congress by presidential veto; the presidential veto is checked by congressional override; the supreme court uses judicial review to decide whether legislation or actions are unconstitutional; presidential appointments are confirmed, and treaties ratified by the Senate; and finally the president is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces, but only congress can declare war. Checks and balances are needed alongside the separation of powers. Checks and balances are essential for the scrutiny of the three branches of government, however they come with some disadvantages. One reason as to why the separation of powers hinders effective government in the USA is because there is often a divided house within government which subsequently results in gridlock when passing legislation or when each branch exercises their powers. It is not uncommon that the majority party in congress is the opposite of the party that the President belongs to. This usually means that the legislative and executive have contrasting views. Most recent presidents have accused the Senate of either rejecting or......

Words: 920 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Constitution Guard Against Tyranny Dbq Analysis

...government or rule. An example of this would be king George. He was not giving the colonists their unalienable rights. The Constitution guarded against tyranny in many ways. These include federalism, separation of powers, checks and balances, and The Great Compromise. The Constitution guarded against tyranny through federalism. Federalism is the federal principle or system of government. James Madison wrote about federalism. He wrote about it because he wanted to get people to ratify the constitution. Doc A is an excerpt from Madison’s Federalist Paper 51. Federalism guarded against tyranny because as Madison put it “Liberty requires that the three great departments should be separate and distinct” (Madison, Federalist Paper #47). The evidence says it all. We MUST have the three departments...

Words: 756 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Court Visit

...1. Separation of power is a fundamental principle that underlies the three branches of government establish by the Philippine constitution. a) Be able to explain the meaning and purpose of the principle of separation of powers. Separation of power describes the distribution of the executive, judicial, and legislative responsibilities of a government among separate and distinct branches. b) Be able to explain the status and the nature of the relationship of the three branches. The three branches of the government operates independently of the others. This is known as “the separation power” c) What is the principle of blending of power? Blending of power is actually sharing of power of the different department of the government whereby one department helps and coordinates with the other in the exercise of a particular power, function, or responsibility. 2. Be able to: a) Explain the principle of check and balance. "Checks and balances" is a concept set up in the whereby the various powers of any government are divided into 3 separate branches with no one branch having all of such powers. b) What are the purposes of the principle of the check and balance? The purpose of the principle of the check and balance is it guarantees that no part of the government becomes too powerful. For example, the legislative branch is in charge of making laws. The executive branch can veto the law, thus making it harder for the legislative branch to pass the law....

Words: 451 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Why Did The Constitution Guard Against Tyranny

...the Constitutional Convention. Most importantly, the Constitution protects the United States against tyranny; which is the accumulation of all powers in the same hands. The Constitution protects against tyranny by separation of powers, checks and balances, and equal representation between states. The Constitution protects against tyranny by separation of powers between each branch of government, which prevents branches from becoming tyrants. “The different government will control each other, at the same time that each will be controlled by itself.” (Doc A) This sentence means that state and national government will limit each other. This was done by delegated powers which were given to the central government, and by reserved powers which were given to the states. These powers were only for those types of governments and prevented one government from having...

Words: 754 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Checks and Balences

...branches of government will abuse their powers, thus making a necessity for the separation of powers, and for checks and balances. Checks and balances is a system where the different parts of government have powers that can affect and control the other parts of government in order for the other branches cannot become too powerful. This is to prevent any branch of government from exerting too much power. Each branch of government has different powers and functions that they carry out, they are separate although they are constitutionally equal they are also independent from each other. This is the separation of powers. The Legislative Branch of government, which is the first Article of the Constitution, which is also known as Congress, is made up of the Senate, and the House of Representatives. The U.S. Senate consists of 100 members, and these senators are allowed to serve six years. The House of Representatives has 435 members which make up the HOR, these representatives serve two year terms. In total Congress is made up of 535 Congressmen. The Legislative Branch has many powers which are to pass all federal laws, pass the federal budget, establish lower federal courts and the number of judges, and they also have to power to declare war. Yes, congress declares war. Congress checks the executive branch by having the power to impeach the president, reject legislation or funding the presidents wants, and the also have the power to override the president’s veto by a...

Words: 848 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Concept of Separation of Powers

...of Separation of Powers in the American Democracy There are three branches of the government that represent the will of the people. These are the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government. These three branches are the main organs of the government. The legislative branch makes the laws, executive enforces the laws and judicial applies them to the specific cases that arise out of the breach of law. While each branch works individually in performing their tasks it tends to interfere in the sphere of working of another functionary because a strict demarcation of functions is not possible in their dealings with the general public. Even when acting in ambit of their own power, overlapping functions tend to appear among the branches. It is important that the political system to be stable and that the power need to be balanced off against each other. The separation of power deals with the mutual relations among the three branches of government: Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary. The Constitution was written to bring forth a functioning sense of the three branches and hence a strict demarcation of power is the aim sought to be achieved by this principle. The constitution signifies the fact that one person or one body should not excess all the three powers of the government. A French scholar by the name of Montesquieu found that concentration of power in one person or a group results in tyranny. Montesquieu felt the need for decentralization of power to......

Words: 720 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Essay On How Did The Constitution Guard Against Tyranny

...When the framers of The Constitution separated the three branches, they needed to secure that no one branch of government became too powerful, like a tyrant. So in order for this to happen, these framers came up with the systems of checks and balances (Doc C). James Madison stated that ¨...the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner as that they may check on the other…(The Three Branches) should not be so far separated as to have no Constitutional control over each other (Federalist paper 51, Doc C).¨What James Madison means by this is that for the people to still be protected from and abusive government, the three branches needed to be separated, but they still need to have control over each other to make sure no one branch becomes a tyrant. Comprehensively speaking, the checks and balances that the framers of the Constitution created prevents any one branch of government from becoming too powerful or in other words, a...

Words: 972 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

How Does The Constitution Guard Against Tyranny

...against tyranny, absolute power in the hands of an individual, because just four years earlier the states ended the revolutionary war to get rid of the king of England, who they considered a tyrant. The US Constitution guards against tyranny because it has a separation of powers, uses checks and balances, and it uses the division of power between central and state governments known as Federalism. One way the constitution guards against tyranny is by having a separation of powers. James Madison once said, “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may be justly pronounced the very definition of tyranny…(L)iberty...

Words: 696 - Pages: 3