Checks and balances, in United States government, is a separation of powers to keep one branch of government from gaining any more power than another.

Legislative BranchEdit

  • Makes all laws
  • Declares all martial law
  • Controls all money and budgets, borrows, etc.
  • Has sole power to declare war[1]
  • Oversees government officials
  • Confirms the heads of the executive branch
  • Confirms judicial appointments
  • Ratifies treaties
  • Organizes impeachment trials

Executive BranchEdit

The President

Judicial BranchEdit

  • Determines which laws Congress intended to apply
  • Determines whether a law is unconstitutional
  • Determines how Congress meant the law to apply to disputes
  • Determines how laws apply to prisoners
  • Policies its own members


  1. George W. Bush had a problem with this one
  2. The GOP hates this clause; does not call for Christian theocracy
  3. Richard Nixon even somehow got this right at least part of the time
  4. Grover Cleveland was the king of the veto
  5. Unless you're George W. Bush, and can declare war on Iraq and Afghanistan without congressional approval
  6. Gerald Ford was known for giving pardons to crooks

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