To the US, the checks and balances system is a vital part of the constitution. The US constitution is the unifying factor of the three branches that constitute the federal government. The checks and balance system ‘work’; is for the branches to ‘check’ one another’s power and make sure that the power is balanced between them. In the ( BP AMERICA INC, 2004) book, the three main examples of the system are clearly outlined and each involves a branch of government.
The executive arm is usually perceived as the most powerful but the system of checks and balances levels all the power in equal measures across the branches. This branch enjoys its share of being the ‘the watch dog’ if you may of the system. For example in regards to the judicial branch, the president nominates judges. However according to ( BP AMERICA INC, 2004), the constitution limits power of the legislative and executive in a way favoring the Judicial branch but the jury is still out on that one. One of the prominent examples of the system is that the executive branch can veto a bill; this exercise of power is checked and balanced by the legislative branch when they revisit the bill and maybe cancel the veto. The executive may have the president as the commander in chief of the armed forces but in the US only congress can declare war, this is according to (Radu, 2010).
The judicial branch of the US government according to (Rafael La Porta) makes decisions based on the constitution. When the legislative branch makes any law, the court which represents the judicial branch can declare the laws as unconstitutional. The executive branch exercises more power by formulating or implementing presidential acts, the judicial can use the courts to declare such acts as unconstitutional. The judicial branch as depicted in (Rafael La Porta) uses the system to achieve the freedom to exercise its powers without being undermined by the other branches on grounds of power over use.
The legislative branch makes the laws but the executive has the power to approve the law, while the judicial branch has the power to determine whether it’s unconstitutional. The system according to the ( BP AMERICA INC, 2004) , gives this branch some privileges to ensure there is balance of power. It is the congress that approves nominations for the head of the executive branch, the president. They can also abide by the system by impeaching or removing the president from office. In the (Radu, 2010), the government works under the budget and so the congress controls it to ensure the system is in check. According to the same paper the senate, under the legislative branch is in charge of confirming the executive branch’s nominations of the members of the judicial branch. The (Radu, 2010) mentions that although the executive can veto a bill from the legislative branch, the legislative branch can take a look at it again and even cancel the veto, only in a threat of power over usage.
In conclusion, the system of checks and balances in the US works only to ensure power balance and therefore a normal government, favorable to its subjects.
BP AMERICA INC. (2004). HOW THE UNITED STATES IS GOVERNED. HERNDON, VIGINIA: Braddock Communications.
Radu, L. (2010). THE SYSTEM OF “CHECKS AND BALANCES” INTHE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE U.S PRESIDENCY AND THE AMERICAN CONGRESS. 248.
Rafael La Porta, D. C. (n.d.). JUDICIAL CHECKS AND BALANCES .