What are the three branches of government and their functions?


The three branches of government are the executive branch, the legislative branch and the judicial branch. The executive branch enforces laws. The legislative branch creates laws. The judicial branch interprets and reviews laws.

The executive branch consists of the president, the vice president and the Cabinet. The president is elected by U.S. citizens every four years and can serve up to two terms. The vice president is elected with the president; however, he can serve an unlimited number of terms. The president nominates potential Cabinet members, who are approved with at least 51 votes by the Senate.

The legislative branch, also known as Congress, consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of both are voted in by U.S. citizens. As of 2014, the Senate has 100 senators, two per state, who can serve an unlimited number of six-year terms. The House of Representatives has 435 members, with each state's number of representatives based on its population, who serve an unlimited number of two-year terms.

The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court and the other federal courts. The U.S. federal government has checks and balances to balance the power between each branch, such as the president's power to veto laws Congress passes, Congress' power to remove the president from office under certain circumstances as well as confirming or rejecting his appointments, and the Supreme Court's power to overturn laws it deems unconstitutional.

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