1. The House of Representatives serves as a check on the Senate since no statute can become law without the approval of the House.Return to Founding Principles...
2. At the same time the Senate (representing the legislatures of the states before the 17th Amendment) serves as a check on the House of Representatives since no statute can become law without its approval.
3. A President can restrain both the House and the Senate by using his veto to send back any bill not meeting with his approval.
4. The Congress has, on the other hand, a check on the President by being able to pass a bill over the President’s veto with a two-thirds majority of each house.
5. The legislature also has a further check on the President through its power of discrimination in appropriating funds for the operation of the executive branch.
6. The President must have the approval of the Senate in filling important offices of the executive branch.
7. The President must also have the approval of the Senate before any treaties with foreign nations can go into effect.
8. The Congress has the authority to conduct investigations of the executive branch to determine whether or not funds are being properly expended and the laws enforced.
9. The President has a certain amount of political influence on the legislature by letting it be known that he will not support the reelection of those who oppose his program.
10. The executive branch also has a further check on the Congress by using its discretionary powers in establishing military bases, building dams, improving navigable rivers, and building interstate highways so as to favor those areas from which the President feels he is getting support by their representatives.
11. The judiciary has a check on the legislature through its authority to review all laws and determine their constitutionality.
12. The Congress, on the other hand, has a restraining power over the judiciary by having the constitutional authority to restrict the extent of its jurisdiction.
13. The Congress also has the power to impeach any of the judges who are guilty of treason, high crimes, or misdemeanors.
14. The President also has a check on the judiciary by having the power to nominate new judges subject to the approval of the Senate.
15. The Congress has further restraining power over the judiciary by having the control of appropriations for the operation of the federal court system.
16. The Congress is able to initiate amendments to the Constitution which, if approved by three-fourths of the states, could seriously affect the operation of both the executive and judicial branches.
17. The Congress, by joint resolution, can terminate certain powers granted to the President (such as war powers) without his consent.
18. The people have a check on their Congressmen every two years; on the President every four years; and on their Senators every six years.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The Founding Fathers had the following provisions set up to create the necessary checks and balances: