This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Government: Constitutional Powers And Limits Essay

1240 words - 5 pages

In 1787, the framers signed the Constitution “in Order to form a more perfect Union” (US Const. Preamble). They intended to establish a central government without granting it too much power. To ensure that, the framers both, limited and empowered the government in certain ar- eas. But since the original seven articles of the Constitution are over 200 years old, the framers could not foresee the expansion of the government’s power that has happened until the present day. With the “war on terror” being one of the governments priorities, questions arise if the gov- ernment has become too powerful, especially with regard to practicing surveillance. This essay aims to analyse the limits and ...view middle of the document...

The President has the power to make treaties with other countries, however, the legislative branch has to approve of such treaties. The Supreme Court can also judge executive actions to be unconstitutional. Finally, the judicial branch is kept in check by the President who appoints the federal judges, and Congress, who can create lower courts, remove judges through impeachment, and approve judges appointed by President. The system of checks and balances does not only apply to the branches in relation to each other but within the branches itself. This is especially apparent when analysing the structure of the legislative branch. The branch itself is divided into two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, which also keep each other in check. When making laws, a majority of 50 percent is needed in each chamber to agree on a bill. Additionally, the Senate is more stable due to its election process, which keeps the more populist House of Representatives from making rash new decisions based on fluctuations in public opinion. Specific Sections in the Con- stitution are additionally concerned with limiting the branches’ powers. Article I, Section 9 deter- mines the limits Congress, mostly focusing on finances, and Section 9 the limits on the executive branch.
Despite the aforementioned limitations to government power, many of the framers and Americans still feared a centralised government would be too powerful. In general, many of the branches’ individual powers act at the same time as limitations for the other branches. Thus, this paragraph will mostly focus on powers not yet mentioned. The legislative branch has the power to make laws, to tax citizens, and to handle public finances, such as funding the military. The President is granted the executive power, which means that he “shall take Care that the Laws [are] faithfully executed” (US Const. art. II, sec. 3). As the commander-in-chief, he also has the power to command armed forces, and thus, can use force to ensure the execution of the laws. The Judicial Branch, the Supreme Court acts as the highest court of justice in the United States but very little is said about its powers. The Supreme Court’s most crucial power is the aforementioned power of judicial review. In fact, what probably empowers the government the most are the powers that are not specifically mentioned but that can be implied. In some articles the Con- stitution is intentionally formulated in a rather broad manner, which allows the government to in- terpret the text to its advantage. Congress, for instance, can modify the court system without having to amend the Constitution. All in all, the legislative branch seems to hold the most power; however,it is not only kept in check by the other branches but within the branch itself, which makes it more...

Other Papers Like Government: Constitutional Powers and Limits

Assignment #1

3910 words - 16 pages “extraordinary rendition” and torture; and to restore the fundamental right of habeas corpus and due process under the law. Restore. Protect. Expand The Constitution: Amend the War Powers Resolution Executive Summary At the heart of American constitutional democracy is the concept of checks and balances: limits on the reach of each branch of government so that none can act unilaterally or exercise power without accountability. The power to

Government Final Essay

1025 words - 5 pages , which means “let the decision stand”. The end result of this is a very conservative court where there are very little or no change in law nor the interpretation of the Constitution. The problem with this type authority is that law and Constitutional interpretation can’t be adjusted to fit the changing times. 5. Civil Service Act of 1883- The Civil Service Act began in 1883. Before 1883 government employees were appointed based on the spoils system

Continental Carriers Inc

2800 words - 12 pages constitutional law of September 21, 1990) The President of the Republic shall promulgate the laws after they have been approved by the Chamber in accordance with the time limits specified by the constitution. He asks for the publication or these laws, and he may not modify these laws or exempt anyone from complying with their provisions. Article 52 (As amended by the Constitutional Law of October 17, 1927, And the constitutional law of November 9

Bill of Rights

1231 words - 5 pages authority to make the states work together to solve national problems. After the states won independence in the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), they faced the problems of peacetime government. The states had to enforce law and order, collect taxes, pay a large public debt, and regulate trade among them. The United States is a republic that operates under a federalist system. The national government had specific enumerated powers, and the fifty

Assess the Strengths of the Uk Constitution

756 words - 4 pages Assess the strengths of the UK constitution [25 marks] A constitution is a set of principles, that may be uncodified (unwritten) or codified (written), that relates to how power is distributed within a political system, and establishes how a state is to be organised and governed. Constitutions seek to establish duties, powers and functions of various institutions of government and contribute to defining the relationship between the state

He Limits Of Presidential Power

277 words - 2 pages he Limits of Presidential Power 0 inShare Download The App email The Limits of Presidential Power: All The President’s Power The Daily Reckoning Special Position Paper By Thomas E. Wood Jr. Vice President Dick Cheney recently told the Washington Post that when the Bush administration entered office, it was determined to reinvigorate the presidency and reverse the steady reduction in executive power and prerogative that had

Executive Power

877 words - 4 pages that is backed by political advisers and the massive civil service. MP's don't posses the same legitimate backing. In summary this is another factor which limits parliament ability to mount a challenge against government. Another factor to consider is the House of Lords. While it may not be democratically elected like the House of Commons, the second chamber has powers to amend and delay legislation. In fact, there have been many

Politics Essay

992 words - 4 pages Government & Politics Essay The UK needs a codified constitution: A constitution is a set of laws, rules and practices that authorize the state to govern, also specifying the powers of the governing institution and the formal relationships between them, civilian and the state. There are numerous types of constitution. Constitutions could be codified and uncodified, unitary (Centralized government makes legislation, and passes it down

John Locke the Blueprint

1017 words - 5 pages government by the people for the people. C. And finally, Locke was the first person to introduce the idea of separation of powers within a government. Separation of powers can be defined as the division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies. Such a separation, Locke argued, limits the possibility of arbitrary excesses by government, since the sanction of all three branches is

Con Law Basics

545 words - 3 pages willing to invade the political process of the state legislature Nutshell Version Majority Power v Minority Freedom Theories of Judicial Review Justification for the Power What is the standard of Constitutionality Methodology I. Traditional Theory (Constitutional Absolutism) You do not need to have consistency between the practice of judicial review and the principles of democratic government -Constitution is a set of Rules -Rules in

Australia's Constitution, Fossilised?

1265 words - 6 pages , only having a single success in 25 attempts to change the constitution. Labor’s determination for constitutional change could occur more frequently if their push for a centralised government with more constitutional powers for amendment could occur. Judicial review is a primary method for the constitution to evolve in modern times through the interpretation by the High Court of Australia. Over time the High Court has interpreted, developed and

Related Essays

Checks And Balences Essay

863 words - 4 pages Branch checks the Executive branch by declaring their actions unconstitutional, and for the impeachment trials the Chief of Justice presides over them. The Judicial Branch checks in the Legislative Branch by ruling the federal and state laws unconstitutional. Checks and balances are an important role in our branches of government, because it limits the power that one branch has over the others. The separation of powers, separates the powers

Constitutional Reforms Essay

1170 words - 5 pages To What Extent Have Constitutional Reforms Since 1997 Reduced the Powers of the UK Government? (40 Marks) The UK government has a lot of power and is able to make and abolish laws. Human Rights Act 1998, Freedom of Information Act 2000 and devolution are examples of constitutional reforms that have in some ways decreased the power of the UK government. Devolution is where the supreme power (in this case Westminster) distributes some power to

History 301 Essay

1176 words - 5 pages three branches of government in balance. Even though it may seem one branch has risen preeminent over the others, overall the three branches have achieved a reasonable balance with no one branch holding all the governmental power. References James McClellan, Liberty, Order, and Justice: An Introduction to the Constitutional Principles of American Government (3rd ed.) (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2000). Chapter: Separation of Powers at the

How Democratic Is The American Constitution

945 words - 4 pages about this book. In the history of the United States, there are two factors that mark its constitutional history. For one thing, the rights of citizens were organized through limits to power, linked to a libertarian conception of liberal viewpoint. For another, the original structure of the constitution is influenced by the fear of the "framers" to a popular majority government could oppress the rights acquired as Alexis de Tocqueville