Constitution Essay Example

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4POLITICAL SCIENCE

The United States Constitution

Introduction

The United States Constitution embodies a history of jurisprudence and political theory in which the state’s political authority is divided into organs namely judiciary, executive and legislature. A system of separation of powers and how the nation is governed is set out in the Constitution. By creating harmony between different branches, it promotes liberty, independence and consultation. The division of government responsibilities is essentially the separation of powers into distinct branches that limit one branch from overstepping the core functions of others.  Indeed, the constitution provides not only for checks and balances but also prevents concentration of power. While the executive branch is tasked with administering and implementing the public policy, it is funded by the legislative branch. Meanwhile, the judicial branch applies interpretations to controversies in law and interprets the laws and the constitution. On the other hand, the legislative branch of government appropriates the money needed to operate the government and enacts laws of the state. With each branch holding checks and balances, no one branch holds excessive powers.

Legislative branch

The United States Constitution, under Article I, empowers and creates the legislative branch of government. The legislative branch is led by the United States Congress which comprises the Senate and the House of Representatives situated at Capitol Hill. Through Congress, the laws are enacted, drafted and discussed (NCSL, 2015). These two houses are vested with important powers that include passing legislation, impeaching federal officials, regulating trade and money, approving treaties, and originating spending bills. The organ also declares war and approves presidential appointments and nominations to federal positions. Most of the bills regard taxation and expenditure of the federal government. Congress has power to borrow money on the credit and besides controlling the federal budget also regulates inter-state commerce. Although it may be vetoed by President, a two-thirds vote of both houses can have the vetoes overridden. The Congress is constituted by delegates from each US state with two senators from each state serving six-year terms. There are 435 representatives in the House of Representatives where each state sends at least one representative (Kilman & Costello, 2000). The number of representatives per state is determined by the population of the state. For example, while California has 53 representatives, Delaware has one representative. Through public election is when the representatives are elected only by registered voters residing in the district of the candidate. As the representatives serve two-year terms, the vice president heads of the Senate but unless there is a tie he or she does not vote. While the Congress can check the president, this one example shows how congressional powers can be ‘checked’ by the executive branch. The Senate must ratify all treaties by a two-thirds vote and approve presidential nominations to federal posts.

Executive branch

The United States Constitution, under Article II, empowered and created the government’s executive branch (Bjornlund, 1998). The executive branch is led by the United States president including the advisors of the president and is based at the White House. The President makes laws official and is elected by the entire country during general elections. The president and the vice-president are elected for a four-year term or a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms. While carrying out and approving laws passed by the legislative branch, he or she can remove or appoint cabinet officials and members (Davies, 2001). The president is the commander in chief of the armed forces, acts as head of state and negotiates treaties. With the consent and advice of the Senate, the president makes appointments to the federal executive departments and federal judiciary. The president also makes temporary appointment during the Senate recess and executes expenditures authorized by Congress. The Vice President, cabinet members and attorney also constitute the executive branch. As the cabinet advices to the President on important issues, it is made up of the heads of the 15 major government’s departments.

Judicial branch

process, the court in adopts a top-down fashion to assure uniform policies and how laws should be interpreted. Yet, to low-level judges, it gives discretion in individual cases. Determined by the type of case, the amount of discretion is influenced by the standard of review. appeals, the production of evidence and determines how a testimony is compelled by the law (Peterson, 2008). Through the judicial reviewThe creation of the judicial branch, under Article III, of the US Constitution offers oversight of the court system in the country. The judicial branch interprets the laws passed by Congress and the Constitution through court cases, and is located at the Supreme Court. While heading the judicial branch, the Supreme Court determines whether or not an issue is permitted under the Constitution (The World Book Encyclopedia, 2004). As opposed to the criminal court, it rules whether something is unconstitutional or constitutional. There are nine judges or justices in the Supreme Court; one chief justice and eight associate justices. The Senate approves any judge as nominated by the President. While the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, it has no term limits. No other court can overrule Supreme Court’s decisions since their decisions are final. New ways of interpreting the law are precedents based on the decisions of the Supreme Court. Moreover, the court reviews constitutionality of laws and exercises 

Conclusion

The US constitution under article I, II and III provides for the creation and empowerment of three organs of government; legislative, executive and judicial branches respectively. The constitution ensures separation of powers and appropriate checks and balances to ensure harmony and independence as each function dispenses their mandate. The legislative organ constitutes the House of Representatives and the senate drawn from each US state while the judiciary is headed by the chief justice with nine judges. On the other hand, the executive is headed by the president and has fifteen cabinet members. Each organ has roles that are distinct but depend on another for funding, nominations, approvals and direction. The general elections bring in the president, vice-presidents and members of the Congress to office to serve for a number of terms and years.

References

Bjornlund, L.D. (1998). The US constitution: Blueprint for democracy. Lucent Books.

Davis, Z. (2001). Presidential Vetoes, 1989-2000. United States Senate

Kilman, J. H. & Costello, G. (2000). The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office.

National Congress of State Legislatures, (2015). Separation of Powers, http://www.ncsl.org/research/about-state-legislatures/separation-of-powers.aspx.

Peterson, C. (2008). The US Constitution. Capstone Publishers.

The World Book Encyclopedia, (2004). About America: The constitution of the United States of America with explanatory notes. World Book. http://www.ait.org.tw/infousa/zhtw/DOCS/constitution.pdf.