Almost a quarter of a millennium of existence, the American government remains strong despite of some perennial problems in all sectors of the society encompassing nearly 50 American Presidents.
The American government is composed of three main branches mainly the executive, legislative and judiciary. The Executive branch is headed by the president as its chief executive. Under the faithful execution clause of the American Constitution, the president is mandated to faithfully execute all laws and it includes Supreme Court decisions. The chief executive is aided by his cabinet members in all sectors of governance ranging from the most influential State Department to the fiery Justice Department. The president has its deputy namely the Vice President. He is considered as the president in waiting. Both the president and the vice-president are elected through the Electoral College.
Second, there is the legislative branch (commonly called Congress). It main purpose is to make laws. But there are functions in which this branch is mandated by the Constitution to obligate. Some of these functions are to concur the treaty (Senate does this), override the veto of the President, approve budget and in aid of legislation conduct legislative inquiries. But the most publicized function of Congress is to approve the articles of impeachment (House of Representatives) and to act as an impeachment court (Senate). Who can forget the infamous Watergate scandal?
Lastly, people called it as the “last bastion of democracy”. It is the judiciary branch. Its function is to interpret the law. The primary instrumentality of this branch is the Supreme Court. It is composed of man and woman of law imbued with virtues of independence, integrity and impropriety. The decision of the Supreme Court is considered as part of the law of the land and as the effect of a law.
These three branches of government often checks and balances each of their colleagues’ acts. Inspired by the blessings of democracy, no branch can act arbitrarily. The executive can veto a legislative act. While Congress can disapprove the budget of the executive or even impeach the president. Often called as the weakest branch, the Supreme Court is never weak in annulling laws which are repugnant to the constitution.
Even without this system of check and balances, the Americans have the power to correct the whimsical public officials by their right of suffrage. Indeed, the pen is mightier than the sword.