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The Branches of the United States Government

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1 The Branches of the United States Government
Executive Legislature Judicial

2 Checks and Balances Limits imposed on all branches of government by giving each the right to amend acts of the other branches. A branch may use its powers to check the powers of the other two in order to maintain a balance of power among the three branches of government. In other words…one branch can’t do everything it has to do without asking permission so that no one branch has all of the power.

3 How do checks and balances work?

4 Questions??? 1. How does the Legislative Branch check the Executive Branch? 2. How does the Legislative Branch check the Judicial Branch? 3. How does the Executive Branch check the Legislative Branch? 4. Write a paragraph explaining why it is important to have “checks and balances.”

5 Executive Branch Headed by the President
Enforces laws made by the Legislative Branch Consists of the President’s Cabinet and the Vice President The Cabinet is appointed by the President

6 Who can be the President?
To be President you must: a. Be at least 35 years old. b. A natural-born U.S. citizen and have lived in the U.S. for at least 14 years. When elected, the President serves a term of four years. The most one President can serve is two terms, for a total of eight years.

7 Trivia Time!!!!! The youngest person to become President was Theodore Roosevelt. He was 42 years old. He was Vice-President under William McKinley when McKinley died. The youngest person elected President was John F. Kennedy who was 43 years old. Kennedy was also the only Roman Catholic President!

8 The Cabinet The cabinet is made up of department heads of the government. The heads of the departments are called Secretaries. Each Secretary is in charge of their Departments Informs the President of information involving situations from their sections.

9 Cabinet cont. Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce
Department of Defense Department of Education Department of Energy Department of Housing and Urban Development Department of the Treasury

10 Cabinet cont. Department of Homeland Security Department of Justice
Department of Health and Human Services Department of the Interior Department of Labor Department of State Department of Education Department of Veterans Affairs

11 Powers of the Executive Branch
The president leads the army, navy, and marine corps. The president decides the leaders of the cabinet. The presidents nominates who will be ambassadors, Supreme Court Justices, and other officials. The Senate (Legislative) confirms these people.

12 Powers cont. The president can call the Senate and the House of Representatives into session. The president can ask representatives and ambassadors from other countries to visit. The president makes sure that laws are carried out. Approves the laws that Congress creates or the President can veto (Latin for “I refuse”) laws from Congress

13 Legislative Branch Bi-Cameral (meaning that there are 2 houses)
Senate and House of Representatives Meets at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Its primary duty is to write, debate, and pass bills, which are then passed on to the President for approval.

14 Legislative cont. Makes laws controlling trade between states and between the United States and other countries. Makes laws about taxes and borrowing money. Approves the making of money. Can declare war on other countries. If a President vetoes a law the Congress can cancel the veto if 2/3 of the members vote to do so.

15 Legislative cont. Representation in the Senate is equal (2 Senators for each state) Representation in the House of Representatives is be based on the population of the state (435 total) Congress meets once every year and usually last from January 3rd to July 31st, but in special cases, it can last longer

16 Senate Senators must : Be at least 30 years old.
Be a U.S. citizen for the past 9 years. Live in the state they represent

17 Senate Say yes or no to any treaties the president makes.
Say yes or no to any people the president recommends for jobs, such as cabinet officers, Supreme Court justices, and ambassadors. Can hold a trial for a government official who does something very wrong.

18 House of Representatives
Representatives must: a. Be at least 25 years old. b. Be a U.S. citizen for the past 7 years. c. Live in the state they represent.

19 House of Representatives
Start laws that make people pay taxes. Decide if a government official should be put on trial before the Senate if s/he commits a crime against the country. This power is the power to impeach.

20 More Trivia!!! Only three Presidents have had impeachment proceedings against them by the Congress!!! Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton.

21 Questions??? 1. Why do you think the writers of the Constitution made 2 houses in the Legislature? 2. Why do you think the Legislature decides to declare war instead of the President. 3. Write a paragraph about how the Legislative Branch has power to check the Executive and Judicial Branch.

22 Judicial Branch The judicial branch of government is made up of the court system. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Courts decide arguments about the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether they break the rules of the Constitution

23 Supreme Court The Supreme Court is made up of nine Justices.
One of these is the Chief Justice. They are appointed by the President and must be approved by the Senate. Justices have their jobs for life, unless they resign, retire, or are impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate

24 Who can be a Supreme Court Justice?
There are no requirements in order to be appointed a Justice, but all have been trained in the law. Many Justices served as members of Congress, governors, or members of the President's Cabinet. One president, William Howard Taft, was later appointed Chief Justice.

25 Top row (left to right): Stephen G
Top row (left to right): Stephen G. Breyer, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Samuel A. Alito. Bottom row (left to right): Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and David H. Souter.

26 Trivia Time!!! The first woman on the Supreme Court was Sandra Day O’Connor. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981. The first African American Justice was Thurgood Marshall. He was appointed in by President Lyndon Johnson. He was made the Chief Justice!

27 Questions??? 1. Who can decide to declare war?
2. What branch enforces laws? 3. What branch decides what laws are Constitutional? 4. What are “checks and balances”? 5. Why do you think there are 9 Supreme Court Justices?

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