2 Separation of Powers- Why? The framers of the constitution included the separation of powers for one primary reason: to prevent the majority from achieving absolute ruleTo this end , three branches of government were created:LegislativeExecutiveJudicial
3 The BranchesThe Legislative Branch is made up of Congress: the Senate and House of RepresentativesThe Executive Branch includes the President, Vice President, and Executive DepartmentsAs part of this separation of powers, each of the three branches have “checks and balances” on the authority of the other two; the power of each branch is limited or”checked” by the other two so none gain too much power
4 The Branches The Judicial Branch is composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court
5 What are the Checks and balances ? The President appoints judges and department heads (secretaries), but these must be approved by the SenateThe Congress passes laws, but the president can veto it, which in turn can be overridden by the congress.
6 What are the Checks and Balances ? The Supreme court can rule a law unconstitutional, and therefore invalid, however, the congress can amend (change) the constitution
7 Specific powers of each Branch The executiveveto power, appointment of judges,make treaties, pardon powerensure all laws are carried outPresident is Commander and Chief of MilitaryChecks: Legislative can override vetoes, refuse to confirm appointments, reject treaties, declare war, impeach the president, The Judicial can declare executive acts unconstitutional
8 Powers of each branch Powers of the Legislative: pass all federal laws, establish all lower federal courts, override presidential veto, impeach the presidentChecks:Executivecan veto any bill, call Congress into session,Judicialdeclare laws unconstitutional
9 Powers of each branch Checks Executive: appoints judges Legislative: can impeach judges, and approves presidential appointments, can amend constitution to overturn judicial decisionsJudicial Powers: try federal cases, interpret laws, declare executive actions and laws unconstitutional
10 Questions for discussion Which branch is the most powerful ?Is one branch more powerful than the others ? Explain. Give examplesWhy did the framers believe a separation of powers was so important ?