3 The Legislative Branch House of RepresentativesDuties:the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and elect the President in the case of an electoral college tieStructure:435 elected members, divided among the 50 states in proportion to their total population6 non-voting members, representing the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five territories of the United StatesSpeaker of the House elected by the Representatives to lead meetings3rd in the line of succession to PresidencyCriteria for Office:Elected every 2 years and must be 25 years of age, U.S. citizen for at least 7 years, a resident of the state (but not necessarily the district) they representSenateDuties:sole power to confirm President's appointments that require consent, and to ratify treaties, tries impeachment cases for federal officials referred to it by the House.Structure:100 Senators, 2 for each stateThe Vice President= President of the Senate and may cast the decisive vote in the event of a tie in the SenateCriteria for OfficeElected every 6 years, must be 30 years of age, U.S. citizen for at least 9 years, and resident of state they represent
5 The Executive Branch President’s Responsibilities Head of State Head of GovernmentImplementing/enforcing laws written by CongressAppoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the CabinetThe Vice President is also part of the Executive Branchready to assume the Presidency should the need arise.
6 The Judicial Branch Duties: Structure: Criteria Federal courts: sole power to interpret the law, determine the constitutionality of the law, and apply it to individual cases.can compel the production of evidence and testimony through the use of a subpoena.Once the Supreme Court interprets a law, inferior courts must apply the Supreme Court's interpretation to the facts of a particular case.Structure:Judges and justices serve no fixed term — they serve until their death, retirement, or conviction by the Senate.Allows them to apply the law with only justice in mind, and not electoral or political concernsCriteriaSelected by PresidentFederal judges can only be removed through impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction in the Senate.
9 System of Checks and Balances U.S. Constitution wanted to protect against a strong national governmentSeparated the government’s powers into three branches: the executive, legislative and judicialSystem of “checks and balances.” Each branch has certain powers to “check”, the other branches and make sure that power is balanced among them.
11 Summary Legislative- Executive- Judicial – Writes laws Power to veto legislation Power to declare laws unconstitutionalExecutive-Enforces lawsCan override Executive’s veto Can reject judicial nominationsPower to declare acts of the Executive unconstitutionalJudicial –Upholds and protect constitutional laws/strikes down unconstitutional lawsNominates federal judges Confirms or rejects federal judicial nominations