Examine the system of checks and balances in US politics (10)


Checks and balances gives each branch, the executive, judiciary and legislative, the means to partially control the other branches to prevent encroachment on their own power and maintain democratic government. Checks and balances are a consequence of the separation of powers which was set up in 1787 by the Founding Fathers to prevent tyranny. They were largely influenced by French philosopher Montesquieu who first presented the idea. Separation of powers is a system not found in the UK where the fused legislative and executive hold the majority of power and have limited checks from each other or the judiciary.

Congress has the power to check both the executive and the judiciary. For the executive, Congress has the power to impeach the President. This was seen in 1998 with the House voting to impeach Bill Clinton. Congress also hold the power of the purse which allows them to limit executive spending. For example, Congress withdrew funding for the Vietnam war in 1973, essentially ending the war despite presidents orders. They also have the power to override presidential veto with a two-thirds majority. The power to reject Supreme court appointments is…


No comments have yet been made