The U.S. government and the country in general has had numerous factions or rather sects which fight for common goals or bear universal interests and this is amongst the standard mechanisms which democracies operate. Some of the contemporary examples of factions within the country include: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). However, in the context of American politics, there are several factions found in the Democratic Party, for instance, the progressive democrats advocate for a social agenda that is left-winged and a moderately centre-left economic agenda. Consequently, the liberal democrats commonly advocate for fair trade and further fewer conventional economic policies and more so a foreign policy that is less militaristic. Similarly, the Republican Party has several factions which deviate from the party’s ideology of conservatism and they include: conservatives, traditionalists, moderates, libertarians, and liberals (The Federalist Papers n.d.).
The separation of powers is a constitutional principle which basically is aimed at limiting the powers awarded any institution or even the president and in the U.S. political context it applies in the division of governmental power into 3 branches namely; the judiciary (chief justice and judges), executive (cabinet and president) and the legislative (senate or parliament commonly referred to as the Congress). In the political arena, all the branches have specific powers vested in them by the constitution and therefore in no way do the branches collude or rather conflict in their functionalities. The legislative arm is strictly supposed to enact laws, to amend taxes and adoption of budget while the executive has the sole responsibility and authority to execute the law. The judiciary is on the other hand responsible for interpretation and application of the law through the structure of courts. This philosophy of separation of powers has helped in demarcating precisely the specific roles of each arm of the government so as to prevent the abuse of authority by any of them (The Federalist Paper, n.d.).
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Checks and balances is a system which checks and at the same time balances every one of the 3 arms of government and as a result through such they limit the supremacy of each other. Through this system, no one arm becomes excessively powerful, for instance, the legislative subdivision of the U.S. government checks the powers of the executive through overriding of presidential vetoes, the House has impeachment powers, the senate endorses all departmental appointments, and also power to assert war. It also has a self checking mechanism in that the bills have to be passed by the two houses in the Congress. It checks the judiciary through its power to change the Supreme Court’s size, and authority to instigate constitutional amendments (Constitutional Topic: Checks and Balances - The U.S. Constitution, n.d.).
The executive arm has also its checks and balances on the legislature in that it has the veto power, recess appointments, the commander in chief of the armed forces, and the vice president being the Senate’s president. It also applies checks and balances on the judiciary as it has the supremacy to assign judges, and also the pardon power. It checks on itself in that the cabinet and vice president is able to vote out a president of he/she is incapable of discharging their duties. Similarly, the judicial branch bears checks towards the legislature in that it has judicial review. It furthermore checks the executive through judicial review.
The U.S. Constitution is the document which controls all the breaches of the government and more so puts into writing the precise roles and responsibilities of each of them. The constitution ensures that there is at all time a balance of powers between these branches or rather a faction within the government and also ensures that no faction within the government is able to control the entire government. For instance, in the event that the House is typically ruled by the Democrats and the Senate is Republican, then none of the side can supersede the other. Similarly, the Supreme Court has the power to block factions in the event that they acquire control of both the Executive and the Congress. The country thrives on the foundation of the constitution and more so accommodates all the factions in the society as it uphold civic supremacy and gives them the power to vote to parties which exceptionally address their interests (The Federalist Papers, n.d.).
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