Branches of Government
Patrick Henry, an amazing orator, was once quoted as saying, “The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government” (Patrick Henry, 2014). It is for this reason that the United States government was formed in a way that would protect its citizen’s rights and freedoms; at the same time, keeping civil peace and harmony amid all populations of this new nation. In order to “form a more perfect union” the forefathers of the United States of America generated a balance in the interior of the government. The division of the government into three branches would therefore establish a ...view middle of the document...
” (Paras. 1-2).
The second branch of government is the legislative government. “…the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.” (The White House, n.d., para. 1).
The third branch of government is the judicial government. “…establishes the Judicial Branch, leaves Congress significant discretion to determine the shape and structure of the federal judiciary. Even the number of Supreme Court Justices is left to Congress — at times there have been as few as six, while the current number (nine, with one Chief Justice and eight Associate Justices) has only been in place since 1869. The Constitution also grants Congress the power to establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and to that end Congress has established the United States district courts, which try most federal cases, and 13 United States courts of appeals, which review appealed district court cases.” (The White House, n.d., para. 2).
Each branch of government plays a role in the American system of checks and balances. Americans have the right to call or recall government officials through voting. Each branch watches the others to ensure that no one branch has power over the others. Each branch must work together for the American people to survive as a nation.
Current Issues and Checks and Balances
The government is always dealing with numerous issues. Each is debated between the three branches of government to ensure legality, morality and that all uphold the Constitution. One issue that has recently been up for discussion among the three branches is healthcare reform. President Obama presented the Affordable Care Act to Congress, which approved the law in March of 2010 (Stolberg and Pear, 2010). Even though the law was passed, there were those who believed it was unconstitutional and needed to be revised (Stolberg and Pear, 2010). After the act was signed into law, many states filed lawsuits against it. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the cases of 25 states, and eventually sided 5-4 with the Affordable Care Act (Barnes, 2012). The main argument involved the fact that citizens would be required to obtain healthcare insurance. Republicans believed this was giving the government too much power, but the Supreme Court upheld the clause that uninsured individuals would receive a penalty due to the penalty being a tax (Barnes, 2012).
This issue is one that shows how the three branches use checks and balances to ensure laws are legal in every way and safeguard the freedom of the United...