The Three Branches of Government

By: Jonathan Haruta

The Executive Branch of Government

If the president dies who's next?


  • The Vice President Joseph Biden
  • Speaker of the House John Boehner
  • President pro tempore of the Senate1 Patrick Leahy
  • Secretary of State John Kerry
  • Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew
  • Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
  • Attorney General Eric Holder
  • Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
  • Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
  • Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
  • Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan
  • Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
  • Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

The Cabinet

The Current Cabinet Members

  • The Secretary of State John Kerry
  • The Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew
  • The Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel
  • The Attorney General Eric Holder
  • The Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
  • The Secretary of Agriculture Tom J. Vilsack
  • The Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
  • The Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius
  • The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan
  • The Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
  • The Secretary of Energy Ernest Monix
  • The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
  • The Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson

The Cabinet's responsibility

  • The Secretary of State: travels around the world to meet with other leaders to discuss problems and helps the president.
  • The Secretary of The Treasury: is responsible for keeping track of the spending budget and the funds of the government.
  • The Secretary of Defense: oversee's the army, the coast guard, and the military.They run the pentagon and The Department of Homeland Security
  • The Attorney General: serves as an attorney in representing a government in all legal matters. The attorney general is nominated by the president.
  • The Secretary of The Interior: uses science to manage and sustain America’s lands, water, wildlife, and energy resources.
  • The Secretary of Agriculture: makes sure that our country's food is safe
  • The Secretary of Commerce: promotes job creation and improves the american standard by trying to get everyone a job.
  • The Secretary of Labor: is the head of the U.S. Department of Labor, exercises control over the department, and enforces and suggests laws involving unions and the workplace.
  • The Secretary of Health and Human Service: They provide millions of children, families, and seniors with access to high-quality health care, help people find jobs and parents find quality child care, and keep the food on Americans’ shelves safe.
  • The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: They make national policies and programs that address America's housing needs, improve and develop the Nation's communities and enforce fair housing laws.
  • The Secretary of Transportation: oversees state highways, mass transit, ferries and other transportation programs.
  • The Secretary of Energy: agency that has both important energy- and national security-related missions.
  • The Secretary of Education: the agency of the federal government that makes policies for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistances to education.
  • The Secretary of Veteran Affairs: responsible for providing services to America’s veterans. Provides health care services, benefits programs and access to national cemeteries to former military personnel and their dependents.
  • The Secretary of Homeland Security: designed to consolidate U.S. defenses against terrorist attack and to better coordinate counterterrorism intelligence.

Length of term of President and Vice President

The length of a term as President of the United of the United States is up to 12 years, the length of a term as V.P. (Vice President) has no official term limit, the most a V.P. has served has been two full terms in office.

Vice President and Presidential salary

President Barack Obama earns a base salary of $400,000 per year. Vice President Joseph Biden's salary is $230,700 a year.

The Responsibilities of the President

When a president takes office, he or she swears to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." The Constitution gives the president the following foreign policy responsibilities:


  • Making treaties with other countries, with Senate approval
  • Receiving foreign heads of state
  • Commanding the U.S. armed forces, as well as any state militias under federal control
  • Domestically, the president is responsible for:

  • Making sure that the U.S. laws are enforced
  • Appointing public officers, such as Supreme Court judges
  • Issuing criminal pardons
  • Proposing bills to Congress
  • Presenting a State of the Union

The Responsibilities of The Vice President

The Vice President is also part of the Executive Branch, ready to assume the Presidency should the need arise. The V.P. is the president's shadow. He learns all the responsibilities of the President so he can be the man in charge if something happens to the president

Joe Biden

Barack Obama

The Judicial Branch of Government

The Judicial Branch of Government or the Supreme Court decides laws that would be fair for the people of the United States. The Executive Branch can veto them and The Legislative Branch decides if they are constitutional or not.

Term : The length of term for a Supreme Court Justice is for life but you can retire if you choose.

Appointing : The appointing process is the President nominates judges and the Senate reviews the selections.

Current Members: The current members are Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg , Stephen Breyer, John G. Roberts, Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Sonia Sotomayor,and Elena Kagan.

The Current Supreme Court Justices

Salary of a Supreme Court Justice

  • Federal district judges makes $169,300
  • federal appeals court judges makes $179,500
  • Supreme Court justices makes $208,100
  • The chief justice makes $217,400

What a case goes through to get to the Supreme Court

A case has to go through all the lower courts like city, county, and state before it makes it to the Supreme Court.

Three Cases That Have made it to The Supreme Court


Marbury v. Madison 1803: It was the first instance in which a law passed by Congress was declared unconstitutional. Initially the case involved Secretary of State James Madison, who refused to seat four judicial appointees although they had been confirmed by the Senate.


McCulloch v. Maryland 1819: upheld the right of Congress to create a Bank of the United States, ruling that it was a power implied but not enumerated by the Constitution.


Gibbons v. Ogden 1824: Aaron Ogden had filed suit in New York against Thomas Gibbons for operating a rival steamboat service between New York and New Jersey ports. The Court held that the New York law was unconstitutional.

The Legislative Branch of Government

The Legislative Branch of Government or Congress can:


  • override president's veto
  • approves treaties & presidential appointments
  • can impeach and remove president and other high officals
  • creates lower federal courts
  • prints and coins money
  • raises and supported armed forces
  • can declare war
  • regulates foreign and interstate trade

What is the Legislative Branch of Government

Legislative : relating to the branch of government that makes the laws

Term for a United States Senator

Senators serve staggered six-year terms.

The Makeup of The Senate

A state's lawmaker chooses two members to represent the state. They serve six year terms. Congress currently has 100 senators and 435 house members. The U.S. Senate, together with the U.S. House of Representatives, makes up the U.S. Congress. Two senators represent each state.

Salary of a United States Senator

Since January 1, 2009, the compensation for most Representatives and Senators has been $174,000. Compensation for the Speaker of the House is $223,500, while the President pro tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate receive a salary of $193,400.

Qualifications of a United States Senator

The Constitution lists three requirements for any individual wishing to become a US Senator. A Senator must: be a US citizen for at least nine years when elected to the Senate, Must be at least 30 years of age, and be a resident of the state that the Senator represents.

The Senate

The Makeup of The House of Representatives

The House of Representatives and the Senate together make up Congress.The House has 435 members. The members are from all of the 50 states. The number of representatives is based on your population.

Salary for a Member of The House of Representatives

A United States Representative receive's an annual salary of $174,000. This salary is determined by Congress.

Length of term for a member of the House of Representatives

The term limit for representatives is 2 years.

Qualifications for eligibility in the House of Representatives


  • must be at least 25 years of age
  • must have been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years
  • must be an inhabitant of the State

The House of Representatives