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The System Of Governance And Americans' Rights And Liberties

3369 words - 14 pages

Overall, the United States system of government is effective in protecting the rights and liberties of its citizens. The systems of checks and balances as well as concurrent powers exist to protect Americans’ liberties and represent their interests. The use of public opinion and the media also play a large role in the functioning of the system of governance and at the same time act to safeguard the liberties and rights of the American people.
The United States government consists of three branches, in which each branch monitors the actions and decisions of the other two branches (Schmidt, 2013). The three branches of government consist of the executive branch, the legislative branch, and ...view middle of the document...

Congress also has the power to override a veto made by the president with a two-thirds vote in both houses of Congress, to impeach or remove a president from office, to give funds to the president for their specific programs, and vote on material proposed by the president. The president, who belongs to the executive branch of government, has the power to propose laws to Congress, to choose to not enforce legislation made by Congress, and mandate that Congress meet at a separate time if needed. An example of the president’s power over the legislative branch was shown when President Bush vetoed a bill proposed by Congress in 2007 that would to increase funding for stem cell research in human embryos ( The president can also refuse to enforce any decisions made by the courts in the judicial branch and has the power to nominate judges for the federal court system (Schmidt, 2013).
The system of checks and balances is also used at the state level. At the executive level, leaders of the branch may consist of a governor, an attorney general, and the secretary of state. The legislative branch consists of representatives that are elected to approve the state’s budget as well as the state’s tax initiatives. The legislative branch works with the governor to create and implement legislation at the state level. The judicial branches of the state are overseen by the state Supreme Court, which monitors lower courts in the state and can correct their mistakes by ruling on a decision made in a lower court (
The United States government also shares powers between the federal and state governments in order to safeguard individual liberty. These are referred to as concurrent powers, and are not specifically spelled out in the Constitution but are implied. One example of a concurrent power is the power of taxation. Both the federal and state governments have the power to raise taxes, but specific states may not impose a tax on imported goods (Schmidt, 2013). Another concurrent power includes providing benefit programs. For example, Medicaid is a benefit program that is used at both the federal and state level, which can help those who have a limited income, be able to pay for and receive necessarily medical care and treatment ( Other concurrent powers include borrowing funds, establishing courts, and a small amount of police power (Schmidt, 2013). Police power is defined as “the authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the people” (Schmidt, 2013, pg. 48).
Concurrent powers contribute to representation because they allow for states to provide individual power to their citizens in conjunction with the powers of the federal government. For example, states can borrow funds in order to establish benefit programs that are specifically tailored towards their individual citizens. For example, CalFresh is a state benefit program that provides food stamps for residents of...

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