Checks and balances
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Checks and Balances. Each branch of government has some form of control over or influence on the other two. Judicial Branch INTERPRETS LAWS. Legislative Branch MAKES LAWS. Executive Branch CARRIES OUT LAWS. Checks and Balances. Congress checks the President Makes laws

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Checks and Balances

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Checks and balances

Checks and Balances

Checks and balances

Each branch of government has some form of control over or influence on the other two

Judicial Branch


Legislative Branch


Executive Branch


Checks and balances1

Checks and Balances

  • Congress checks the President

    • Makes laws

    • Appropriates funding

    • Coins money

    • Can override a veto by 2/3 vote

    • Impeach the President

    • Senate approves treaties and Presidential appointments for judges

    • Declares war

    • Regulates immigration

Checks and balances2

Checks and Balances

  • Congress checks the Supreme Court

    • Creates lower courts

    • Impeach federal judges

    • Senate approves appointment of judges

Checks and balances3

Checks and Balances

  • Supreme Court checks President

    • Judges are appointed for life

    • May declare executive actions unconstitutional

Checks and balances4

Checks and Balances

  • Supreme Court checks Congress

    • May declare acts of Congress (laws) unconstitutional

Checks and balances5

Checks and Balances

  • President checks Congress

    • May veto legislation (laws)

    • Call special sessions of Congress

    • Appeal to the people (through State of the Union Address) to influence legislation

Checks and balances6

Checks and Balances

  • Additional Presidential Powers

    • Carries out Laws

    • Makes treaties with other nations

    • Writes the budget

    • Can “pardon” a felon (excuse them)

    • Can grant amnesty (same as “pardon” but for a group)

    • Granted special war-time powers

Checks and balances scenarios

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • Identify which branch of government is checking which branch

  • “The President vetoes a bill passed by Congress”

    • Executive checks Legislative

  • “The Supreme Court rules a law passed by Congress is unconstitutional”

    • Judicial checks legislative

Checks and balances scenarios1

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • “Congress refuses to confirm the nomination of Bob Dorkmeister to the Supreme Court”

    • Legislative checks executive

  • “A bill to raise the legal driving age to 18 is vetoed”

    • Executive checks legislative

  • “U.S. diplomats write a treaty with the government of Iraq, but the U.S. never approves the treaty”

    • Legislative checks executive

Checks and balances scenarios2

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • “Justice Jones is impeached for abusing her power and accepting bribes”

    • Legislative checks judicial

  • “A law outlawing the Black Panthers as an organization is found unconstitutional because it violates first amendment rights”

    • Judicial checks legislative

  • “A conservative federal judge is appointed by a conservative President after a liberal justice dies”

    • Executive checks judicial

Checks and balances scenarios3

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • “The Supreme Courts interprets an executive order requiring border guards to stop workers from crossing the U.S./Mexican border, which violates a treaty with Mexico”

    • Judicial checks executive

  • “A spy is found guilty of treason, but the President grants a pardon from the death penalty”

    • Executive checks judicial

Checks and balances scenarios4

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • “The Department of Education’s policy that all students must be taught in English only is ruled a violation of the Constitution”

    • Judicial checks executive

  • “A special session of Congress is called because Congress did not vote on a bill to fund relief efforts in Afghanistan”

    • Executive checks legislative

Checks and balances scenarios5

Checks and Balances Scenarios

  • “The President promises to spend $5 billion more on education next year, but when the next year comes, the budget only gives $1 billion more to education”

    • Legislative checks executive

  • “Congress overrides a veto by getting a 2/3 majority vote in the Senate and the House of Representatives in order to pass a bill into law”

    • Legislative checks executive

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