Separation of powers is a fundamental principle of the United States Federal Government in which each distinct branch, the legislative, executive and judicial, can check and balance the other to prevent the concentration of power. This system of government safeguards against one branch exercising the essential functions of another.Know More
The separation of powers is a respected and long-held basis of American government that was the original premise behind the Constitution. The goal of the original framers was to create a government that would not become tyrannical. Instead, it was purposely designed to promote liberty and democratically represent the will of the people. Even when the separation of the powers creates a situation that isn't in alignment with the public will or slows governmental processes, the system of checks and balances remains.
The separation of powers applies in all cases other than the presidential pardon. Congress is not able to block a legitimate pardon or impose oversight of pardons. Bad press may be created against the president, but the Constitution guarantees the president's power to pardon.
The 18th century French philosopher Charles-Louis de Secondat coined the term separation of powers in his publication, Spirit of the Laws, a treatise that was inspirational to the framers of the United States Constitution.Learn more about Elections
Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld, had the power to bring about the seasons. Though she spent time in the Underworld, she returned to the living to renew life each year.Full Answer >
Congress has the power to make new laws, change existing laws, raise and support armed forces, declare war, establish post offices, secure patents and copyrights, collect taxes, regulate commerce, oversee the national budget and regulate other aspects of national finances. It also has the power to investigate other branches of government, confirm presidential appointments, ratify treaties and impeach the president and other federal officials.Full Answer >
The judicial powers of the president of the United States are the power to pardon and grant reprieves, the power to appoint federal judges and the power to appoint justices to the Supreme Court. The power to appoint judges and justices is limited in that those appointments must be approved by Congress. Conversely, the power to pardon and grant reprieves is quite broad.Full Answer >
The War Powers Act of 1941, passed in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, granted the United States government increased power. Specifically, the president was given authority to override certain laws and constitutional checks and balances.Full Answer >