How do our branches of Government preserve freedom?
The Executive Branch
There are three branches of government, the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. Each of these branches are given power by the Constitution to “check and balance” each other, so that no branch holds total authority over the government and the country. The executive branch consists of the President and federal agencies that carry out (or execute) the laws of the land. Under the Constitution, the President also serves as the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. The President is responsible for the ratifying and enforcing the laws created by Congress. He also has the power to veto laws. A presidential veto can be superseded by Congress through a two/thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.
The Legislative Branch
The legislative branch consists of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, which together form Congress. The legislative branch is responsible for drafting and passing the laws of the land. It declares war, controls taxation and appropriation, approves or rejects treaties, reviews and confirms executive branch appointees, and has the power to remove executive and judicial branch officials. The legislative branch is the first branch listed and defined in the Constitution. It is the only branch of government that can issue new laws or make changes to laws that already exist.
The Judicial Branch
The judicial branch (the federal courts) interprets the Constitution, reviews the laws passed by Congress, reviews actions and policies of the executive branch, and can declare those laws, actions and policies unconstitutional. The highest court in America is the Supreme Court, which heads the judicial branch. Supreme Court Justices are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.
Departments and Agencies
Governmental departments and agencies are largely under the purview and direction of the executive branch. As such, the President oversees these departments and agencies and in many cases appoints the heads of these entities. These departments and agencies include the National Security Agency (NSA), the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which are all crucial to the security of our nation.
Department of Homeland Security website
State and Local Governments
The Founding Fathers crafted a federal system of government whereby the national government would share authority/responsibility with state governments, and state governments with local governments. State and local governments are responsible for things such as local law enforcement, schools, and driver’s licenses.