Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

The Most Powerful Branch of US Government

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
  • View Poll Results: Which is the most powerful branch of US government?
    The Legislature (Congress)
    6
    12.24%
    The Executive (President)
    22
    44.90%
    The Judiciary (Supreme Court)
    13
    26.53%
    They are all equal
    8
    16.33%

    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Even though this is a poll, I'd be really grateful for all your thoughts.

    Which, in your opinion, is the most power branch of government in the US? And more importantly, why? In the UK I think the answer is less debatable. However, given the presence of the US Constitution, which aims to make all three independent and interdependent, has do Americans truly enjoy perfect equilibrium of checks and balances in their government.

    Some people say that because the article concerning Congress comes before others, the Framers had predicted the legislature to be the most powerful. Even if this simple logic was true, the situation has changed. For example, consider the President's power to launch nuclear warheads.

    I personally opt for the judiciary (slightly influenced by high hopes of one day being a member of that group) mainly because of its security of tenure, and the fact that they aren't elected (I'm focusing on the Supreme Court here).
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Executive. I dont know why people voted for the Judiciary, Bush appoints the judges...
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sr4470)
    Executive. I dont know why people voted for the Judiciary, Bush appoints the judges...
    The president appoints the judges - which means while Bush has just appointed one associate and one chief justice, he still has 7 justices who he didn't appoint. Any other reasons why you think the executive is the most powerful? Sure, it can veto legislation, but that veto can be overruled. And in 2000, the election disputes were settled in the courts. Clinton was impeached by Congress.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sr4470)
    Executive. I dont know why people voted for the Judiciary, Bush appoints the judges...
    But, their appointment has to be approve by Congress, and can be vetoed by them.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Leo-Marcus)
    The president appoints the judges - which means while Bush has just appointed one associate and one chief justice, he still has 7 justices who he didn't appoint. Any other reasons why you think the executive is the most powerful? Sure, it can veto legislation, but that veto can be overruled. And in 2000, the election disputes were settled in the courts. Clinton was impeached by Congress.
    Clinton was never impeached.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rusty33)
    But, their appointment has to be approved by Congress, and can be vetoed by them.
    There hasnt been any recent veto to my knowledge...
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Well if the power laid with the president wouldnt the US have seen abortion become illegal and Roe v Wade overturned by now.

    Judges appointed to the supreme court under my understanding stay there for quite sometime leading to no president (max 8 year term) having a marked influence.

    My vote goes to the judicary.(Under the UK system i would choose the Executive)
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Rusty33)
    Clinton was never impeached.
    Sorry, slip of the tongue...or whatever the typing equivalent is. I meant he was tried for impeachment. Either way, a president can be impeached by Congress, which was my point.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JBacon)
    Well if the power laid with the president wouldnt the US have seen abortion become illegal and Roe v Wade overturned by now.

    Judges appointed to the supreme court under my understanding stay there for quite sometime leading to no president (max 8 year term) having a marked influence.

    My vote goes to the judicary.(Under the UK system i would choose the Executive)
    i'm surprised no-one's voted for the legislature yet. Although security on tenure is very important in my opinion, if we momentarily remove personnel and just look at the institutions themselves, doesn't Congress trump the Supreme Court because it can make constitutional amendments - in other words, while the Supreme Court is the umpire of the Constitution, Congress, through the power of amendment, writes the Constitution?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by sr4470)
    There hasnt been any recent veto to my knowledge...
    Congress hasn’t felt that it is necessary, but they do have the power. Much like the Liaison Committee in the UK, nominated Judges are brought before selected members of the Congress and questioned in order to determine if they are fit for the Bench.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Leo-Marcus)
    i'm surprised no-one's voted for the legislature yet. Although security on tenure is very important in my opinion, if we momentarily remove personnel and just look at the institutions themselves, doesn't Congress trump the Supreme Court because it can make constitutional amendments - in other words, while the Supreme Court is the umpire of the Constitution, Congress, through the power of amendment, writes the Constitution?
    The Supreme Court has no authority to add anything to the Constitution, only to Veto sections of it. And, Congress must only pass through the Executive branch to Amend the Constitution. The Supreme Court can only overturn an Amendment if the legality of the Amendment is raised in question by the people.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    How are executive orders processed?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Leo-Marcus)
    Sorry, slip of the tongue...or whatever the typing equivalent is. I meant he was tried for impeachment. Either way, a president can be impeached by Congress, which was my point.
    I understand now.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JBacon)
    Well if the power laid with the president wouldnt the US have seen abortion become illegal and Roe v Wade overturned by now.
    I am not entirely convinced it would be illegal across the whole US, before Roe was passed a number of states had already made abortion legal. Should the decision ever be overturned the issue would be returned back to the states, and as a majority of US citizens do actually favour limited abortion, the process would probably be legal in many states. However, it is almost certainly true that it would be illegal in some states.

    My vote, though, also goes to the judiciary. Just look at the long term impacts of the rulings of the Warren Court on American society...
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LoveYourSlavery)
    How are executive orders processed?
    It largely depends on what kind of executive order we are talking about. Be it with the Military, implementing new laws, appointing judges, etc. Every procedure carried out by the President has a strict set of guidelines that need to be followed, all of which eventually run through the legislative branch.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Leo-Marcus)
    Sorry, slip of the tongue...or whatever the typing equivalent is. I meant he was tried for impeachment. Either way, a president can be impeached by Congress, which was my point.
    You were actually correct initially. It still counts as impeachment even if he wasn't thrown out of office.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by algenon)
    My vote, though, also goes to the judiciary. Just look at the long term impacts of the rulings of the Warren Court on American society...
    One of the most intelligent things I've ever read on this board.:yy:

    One could argue though that the President is having a large impact on laws, or lack thereof in this term that is equivalent to that of the impact the Warren Court had.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by psychic_satori)
    You were actually correct initially. It still counts as impeachment even if he wasn't thrown out of office.
    I was addressing the implication, but he's right.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    They are all as powerful as each other, tyranny is close to impossible if we rule out the obvious impact of corruption. :rolleyes:

    The American voter is essentially more powerful than all of these branches, and each branch of the U.S. Govt has control to some extent over another, which ensures an even balance of power across Government.

    The phrase "checks and balances" was also coined by Montesquieu. As such, when employing a system of checks and balances for governmental action to be processed, it must pass through a so-called Montesquieuian gauntlet. In a system of government with competing sovereigns (such as a multi-branch government or a federal system), "checks" refers to the ability, right, and responsibility of each power to monitor the activities of the other(s); "balances" refers to the ability of each entity to use its authority to limit the powers of the others, whether in general scope or in particular cases.

    Keeping each independent entity within its prescribed powers can be a delicate process. Public support, tradition, and well-balanced tactical positions do help maintain such systems.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal..._United_States
    See linky for a list of the checks and balances that each branch of the Government can use against another.

    So I would have to answer 'all equal', as it is a lot more of an accurate guess than the others, and the powers lies fundamentally in the hands of the voters, rather than any exclusive branch.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Beekeeper)
    So I would have to answer 'all equal', as it is a lot more of an accurate guess than the others, and the powers lies fundamentally in the hands of the voters, rather than any single branch.
    Having lived under the restrictions and allowances of the government my entire, I have to whole heartedly agree.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: March 9, 2006
New on TSR
Article updates
Useful resources
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.