In Federalist Paper #51, James Madison states that “In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” In addition, the founding fathers created the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances in order to limit the powers of government and protect individual rights. Through the separation of powers, the Constitution distributes powers of national government among the three branches. Therefore, the legislative branch has power, under the Constitution, to make laws. The executive branch, headed by the President, executes or carries out laws. The Constitution established the Supreme Court to head the judicial branch, which interprets and applies the law in federal court cases. Under checks and balances, each branch plays some role in the actions of others. In combination, the foundation of separation of powers and of checks and balances promote a government of separated institutions that share power and no branch can do its job without some cooperation from the others.
First, the Legislative Branch is given the powers to make the laws and it checks over the Executive branch by allowing the president to veto laws passed by congress; however, the congress can override the veto with a two-thirds vote. The veto power states that the president can stop the enactment of a bill or resolution by refusing to sign it. When it comes to veto, they are two kinds, in which the President returns the legislation to Congress, explaining the reason for the veto and two, the Congress overriding the veto by forcing a bill to become law over Presidential objection. Furthermore, the President has a total of ten days except Sundays to sign or reject a bill passed by Congress; and failure to do so will consent the bill. However, if Congress delays progress during the ten day period, the bill does not become law. For instance, After the Civil War President Andrew Johnson vetoed over 20 bills and after the Civil War Congress overrode over 20 Presidential vetoes.
Next, the Judicial Branch has one of most important jobs in the three branches and that is to interpret laws by judging legislative acts to be unconstitutional or not. Even though, the President and Congress may agree on a law, the Supreme Court still has the choice to proclaim a law unconstitutional. In addition, the process can be done through a judicial review which is a legal procedure that takes place in the Supreme Court. “In a judicial review, a Supreme Court judge reviews the validity of a decision. A judicial review is a complicated legal process because they are certain laws that set out the rules for a judicial review. “Two of these are the Administrative Tribunals Act, which sets out the time limits for applying for a judicial review, and the Judicial Review Procedure Act, which sets out the procedural requirements” (judicial review 2). For example, the case between Marbury versus Madison established the right of the Judicial Branch of the government to declare a law unconstitutional. Also, In 1935 and 1936 the Supreme Court declared the NIRA and then the AAA (two New Deal programs passed during the Roosevelt administration) unconstitutional.
The Executive Branch plays a major role in carrying out laws and checks over the judicial branch by allowing the president to appoint government officials with consent from the senate. The president’s influence over the departments and agencies in the executive branch are extremely significant because he chooses the people that will best implement his agenda. Although, the president is granted appointment powers, the Senate is authorized to confirm these appointments. “The President appoints 1,000 top officials,