Phase 1 Individual Project
November 24, 2014
There are three main components that make up our United States Federal Government and we know them as: the Judicial, Legislative, and Executive branches. Each of these branches has their own individual jobs and powers that make up our government as a whole. These career performances are crucial in maintaining a functioning society.
The Judicial Branch is run by the Supreme Court. It is their job to interpret the constitution and review laws to make sure they are constitutional. They have the power to overturn laws that have been deemed unconstitutional. It is also in their power to decide the fate of cases that are brought before them involving state rights. (Congress for Kids, 2008.) Laws reviewed by the Judicial Branch are created by the Legislative Branch.
The Legislative Branch also has its own individual powers to complete the government in its entirety. This particular branch is run by Congress. Congress is also broken down into two different sub-divisions: The House of Representatives, and the Senate. These two divisions come together to help pass laws, approve certain treaties, and- if necessary- impeach government officials (Congress for Kids, 2008.) such as the President. The leader of our country has major powers and job requirements, too. If the Legislative branch catches the president accepting a bribe or if he is convicted of treason, they have the power to remove him from office. Our President, Barack Obama runs the Executive Branch and it is his responsibility to, “carry out federal laws and recommends new ones, direct national defense and foreign policy, and perform ceremonial duties. Powers include directing government, commanding the Armed Forces, dealing with international powers, acting as chief law enforcement officer, and vetoing laws.” (Congress for Kids, 2008.) These three branches were created to prevent the government from becoming too powerful. This is a concept known as “Separation of Powers.” Federalism is another term that is very similar to this concept and deals with state and federal government powers.
Federalism allows all states to have their own working governments branched out from our federal government. This, too, is to prevent one from overpowering the other. An example of this would be same-sex marriage or marijuana laws. Both of these are legal at some level in certain states but are still federally considered illegal. I am legally married to my wife in the state of Iowa, but our marriage is not recognized in South Dakota where I live. This can create very confusing situations when filing taxes, among other difficulties. Therefore, this affects the criminal justice system on all levels.
If a city or state ruling is considered to be unjust or unconstitutional, the defendant can appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to have the outcome overruled on a federal level. This is also something that is happening in the state of South Dakota regarding same-sex marriages. Six couples in our state are trying to have the court overrule their decision to ban same-sex marriage saying this is