Governmental Powers: The Three Branches of Government
The United States Constitution was written to guarantee certain civil rights and to develop a balanced system of government that was not all powerful in order to prevent tyranny. The writers of the Constitution accomplished this by crating three branches of government. One was to make laws (Congress), one was to enforce the laws (President), and the other was to interpret the law and protect the Constitution (U.S. Supreme Court). They set guidelines for each branch stating what powers each branch was to have. Congress has many powers and they are to assess and collect taxes, regulate commerce, coin money, establish post offices and lesser courts, raise and maintain an army and a navy, propose amendments to the Constitution, and is the only group that has the power to impeach the President or any other government official for misconduct. The Supreme Court has the power to conduct judicial review. This means that they can say that any law passed or any action taken by Congress or the President is not constitutional and is therefore invalid. They also have the sole power to settle problems between states or in the lower courts. They also make all the rules and procedures that the lower courts must follow. The President is responsible for enforcing the laws and so he commands a wide range of powers. He has the power to veto any law Congress tries to pass. He can also issue executive orders, has the power to appoint government officials, has the power to pardon people convicted of federal offenses, the power of impoundment, the sole control over foreign policy,...