3 Branches of government
Introduction to the 3 branches!
They are the Executive, (President and about 5,000,000 workers) Legislative (Senate and House of Representatives) and Judicial (Supreme Court and lower Courts). The President of the United States administers the Executive Branch of our government. He enforces the laws that the Legislative Branch (Congress) makes.
Most of the time the House and the Senate each meet in their own chamber in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. However, every once in a while, they must meet together (joint session). For example, a joint session is needed to count the electoral votes in presidential elections. Joint sessions are held in the House chamber.
BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT
A cool little music video.
Some facts about the Legislative branch
- The legislative branch is made up of the two houses of Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives. The most important duty of the legislative branch is to make laws. Laws are written, discussed and voted on in Congress.
- Both parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives elect leaders. The leader of the party that controls the house is called the majority leader. The other party leader is called the minority leader.
- There are 100 senators in the Senate, two from each state. Senators are elected by their states and serve six-year terms. The Vice President of the U.S. is considered the head of the Senate, but does not vote in the Senate unless there is a tie. The Senate approves nominations made by the President to the Cabinet, the Supreme Court, federal courts and other posts. The Senate must ratify all treaties by a two-thirds vote.
Some facts about the Executive branch
- The President is the head of the executive branch, which makes laws official. The President is elected by the entire country and serves a four-year term. The President approves and carries out laws passed by the legislative branch. He appoints or removes cabinet members and officials. He negotiates treaties, and acts as head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces.
- The executive branch also includes the Vice President and other officials, such as members of the cabinet. The cabinet is made up of the heads of the 15 major departments of the government. The cabinet gives advice to the President about important matters.
Some facts about the Judicial branch
- The judicial branch oversees the court system of the U.S. Through court cases, the judicial branch explains the meaning of the Constitution and laws passed by Congress. The Supreme Court is the head of the judicial branch. Unlike a criminal court, the Supreme Court rules whether something is constitutional or unconstitutional—whether or not it is permitted under the Constitution.
- On the Supreme Court there are nine justices, or judges: eight associate justices and one chief justice. The judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. They have no term limits. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Its decisions are final, and no other court can overrule those decisions. Decisions of the Supreme Court set precedents—new ways of interpreting the law