What Are the Three Branches of Government?


Three Branches of Government
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Three Branches of Government


The U.S. federal government affects all of our lives. It is made up of three different branches. The branches were established by the U.S. Constitution, which was adopted in 1787. The first branch serves in the Capitol building, the U.S. Capitol building, and it’s the legislative branch.


Now, there are two parts to the legislative branch. There is the Senate, which is made up of 100 members (two from each state), and there is the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives is made up of 435 members. All told, there are 535 members of the legislative branch.


These are designated based on census numbers to each state. A state like California has a lot more representatives than a state like Delaware. The second branch is the White House (this is the White House), and it’s the executive branch.


The executive branch includes the president, and you have the vice president and the cabinet. There are 15 different cabinet positions ranging from the secretary of state, which is the oldest most prestigious of the cabinet offices, all the way to the Department of Homeland Security, which is a more recent creation.


The third branch of the government is the judiciary, which is housed in the Supreme Court, which is the top court in the land. Now, the Supreme Court, underneath them, there’s the Court of Appeals, and underneath those are district courts. Very few cases actually make it all the way up to the Supreme Court.


Most cases are heard of the district court. Then, if one of the sides appeals, it may be heard by the Court of Appeals, and then the Supreme Court is the final arbitrator in any lawsuit that is filed. These are the three different branches of government.


They all have different powers. The Constitution was structured this way so that there are checks and balances between each of them and they each have a different function. The legislative function is to make laws. That’s why we hear about different congressmen or senators that may be arguing over which laws we should have.


The executive branch, they enforce the laws. The Supreme Court and our court system, they oversee the laws and decide which ones are constitutional and which are not. They evaluate them.


They evaluate the laws and they can determine if a law should be considered unconstitutional and removed from the books. These three branches of government make up the U.S. federal government. We should know how they are structured and the different divisions of them.



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Last updated: 08/10/2018

 

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