Q:

What is the purpose of the system of checks and balances?

A:

Quick Answer

The main purpose of the system of checks and balances in the United States Constitution is to ensure that no one branch of the American government becomes more powerful than the others. This is also referred to as the separation of powers. While this model's roots can be traced back to ancient Greece, the American Constitution borrows heavily on this idea from the French Enlightenment philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The three branches of government include the executive, judiciary and legislative. The executive branch includes the president, the judiciary includes the Supreme Court and the legislative includes Congress. Power is limited in many ways, but an example of checks and balances with regard to the legislative branch includes the president's ability to veto a law that is passed by Congress. Similarly, the judicial branch, or the Supreme Court, may deem a law that is passed by Congress to be unconstitutional. While the president appoints members to the Supreme Court, the appointments have to be approved by Congress.

There are many roles of each branch of government, but every function of each role is designed so that it is checked over by another branch of government. For example, while the judiciary branch can proclaim interpretations of laws by Congress, they cannot change them.

Learn more about Branches of Government

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are some examples of check and balances?

    A:

    The United States Constitution has a formal Separation of Powers that divides government into three branches, giving each branch checks and balances on the others to prevent one from becoming too powerful. For example, the legislative branch can impeach the executive branch in the event of wrongdoing.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What stops one branch of government from becoming too powerful?

    A:

    A system of checks and balances prevents one branch of government from becoming too powerful. The Constitution provides the framework by which each of the three branches of government--executive, legislative and judicial--can resist encroachments and check the other two branches.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How do the branches of the U.S. Government work together?

    A:

    The legislative, executive and judicial branches of the U.S. government have distinct powers and responsibilities, but must also work with each other to ensure a system of "checks and balances." The writers of the Constitution set up this system to make sure that one person or branch would not have too much power and that citizens' rights would be protected.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is judicial review controversial?

    A:

    Judicial review is controversial because an unelected group is charged with interpreting the Constitution and thereby the validity of laws affecting the populous.Judicial review should be void of all political bias, however, the power granted to a body that is not accountable to the public can be seen as an imbalance in the checks and balances intended by the three branch system of democracy in the United States.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore