United States Government: Basic Structure and Function By: Greg Prusakiewicz EDU 290
The U.S. Constitution Basis of all structure and power Supreme law of the land Provides limitations to protect rights of U.S. citizens. Separation of Powers Expressed in first three articles.
The Bill of Rights Protects citizens’ basic civil rights. Made up of the first ten Amendments. Introduced by James Madison. Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Anti-Federalists wanted a Bill of Rights. Compromise.
Three Branches of Government Executive Branch Legislative Branch Judicial Branch The three branches work as a system of checks and balances.
Executive Branch Includes a number of Federal Agencies. Power is vested in the President of the United States. President is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. President enforces laws implemented by Congress and appoints heads of Federal Agencies.
Cabinet and Federal Agencies Executive Office of the President (EOP). Responsible for day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. The cabinet is an advisory body and runs 15 major federal bodies. E.g. Department of Defense, Agriculture, Commerce, etc.
Department of Defense The largest government agency. Aim is to provide military forces to protect the security of the country. Consists of: Army Navy Air Force Many offices and commands, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Legislative Branch Consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Together they form the United States Congress. Oversees the executive branch. Maintains equality through checks and balances.
House of Representatives Speaker of the House is the presiding officer. 3rd line of succession to the President. 435 members divided among states based on state’s population. Members are elected every 2 years.
The Senate 100 Senators. 2 from each state. Vice President is the President of the Senate. Senate tries impeachment cases. Both House and Senate must pass a bill in order to pass legislation.
United States Congress Constitution enumerates powers of congress. Necessary and Proper Clause. Art. 1 Sec. 8 of Constitution. Establishes annual budget. Levies taxes and tariffs.
Judicial Branch Made up of: Supreme Court Lower Courts Special Courts Congress determines shape and structure of federal judiciary.
The Supreme Court Highest Court in the land. Members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Number of Supreme Court Justices is decided by congress. There are currently 9 Judges serve no fixed term and can only be impeached by the House of Representatives.
Judicial Process Article III of Constitution guarantees every person the right to a fair trial. Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments provide additional protections. The appeals process. Judicial Review. Court’s power to review laws and government acts that violate the Constitution.
Summary The Constitution grants and limits the powers of each branch. System of checks and balances. Equal separation of power between branches.
Works Cited Information on slides 2-14 found on: http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government Necessary and Proper Clause slide 11 found in: “The United States Constitution,” Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18.