A system of separation of powers controls the governmental structure in the United States. Three different divisions are established under this form of government. They include the courts, the government (presidency), and the legislature (congress). This division means that the diverse roles within the country are successfully undertaken. The division of powers also guarantees that the different roles that are assigned to the three arms of government within the country are independent. Ideally, all government arms are considered equal, but in fact, as opposed to others, some firearms tend to have more strength. This paper will evaluate the various functions and composition of these arms of government and thereafter will conclude by stating which of the three branches of government is the most powerful.
The legislature is the arm of government that is tasked with the mandate of making laws within the country. The legislature is composed of the Congress (the House of Representatives and Senate). They are also given the mandate of vetting and consequently ascertaining or rejecting the appointments and other policies that are made by the presidency. The senators and the representatives need to be elected by the electorate before assuming office. The senate which is the upper house in the congress is comprised of 100 senators who served a 6-year tenure with unlimited terms of office. Each state usually votes for two senators in the elections. The lower house consists of the house representatives. This house of congress has 435 members who are elected by the citizens to serve for two years with an unlimited number of terms in office.
The next branch is the executive or the presidency. It is headed by the President who has been democratically elected by the electorate within the country. The presidency is mandated to enforce the laws that have been enacted by the congress. The presidency also consists of the vice president who is the second person in command within the country. The cabinet and the bureaucracy are the other two groups that are under the presidency. The cabinet needs to be approved by the congress by a majority vote of at least 51 percent of the members. The bureaucracy basically consists of the people who are employed by the government. There is a particular code of ethics that they are required to abide by. The bureaucracy is always kept in check by all the three arms of government. The judiciary is often mandated to issue various writs such as the mandamus in order to compel a state employee. The president issues directives that need to be adhered to by the bureaucracy. Finally, the congress has the power to ask the bureaucracy to account for any of its actions.
The judiciary is the final arm of government within the United States. It is tasked with the interpretation and application of the law. It does this through making determinations on the cases that are brought before the various courts of law. It is comprised of the Supreme Court and the federal courts. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and is comprised of 9 justices who are headed by the Chief Justice. These justices are appointed by the president but require the senate’s approval before taking office. A minimum of 6 judges is required in order to adjudicate over a given matter. The decision of the Supreme Court is binding on the lower courts.
From the above findings, it seems that the congress is the most powerful arm of government. This is due to the fact that they are tasked with the task of enacting laws that are binding over every person within the country. They also keep the other arms of government in check by approving or rejecting the appointments that are made by the other arms of government. Finally, the congress can issue censure motions against the presidency in exceptional circumstances in order to remove him in power.