Think you know how our government works? Here are some troubling statistics.
Maybe we could all use a refresher? Check out this guide to get the basics of United States government.
We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The Constitution of the United States separates the federal government into three parts (branches). The idea is to make sure no one branch gains complete control of the federal government. Click the tabs above to explore each branch in depth.
The three branches of government interact through various checks and balances. These interactions allow the US government to avoid a complete takeover by one or another party, and also ensure that each branch may be held accountable by other branches. These checks and balances include:
v. legislative The president can suggest and veto laws passed by congress, and also call special sessions.
v judicial The president appoints justices, and through the attorney general (who is a member of the president's cabinet) represents the government in court.
v. executive Congress may override vetoes with a 2/3 majority, and has the power to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.
v judicial Congress must approve federal judges.
v. executive The Judicial Branch can declare executive acts to be unconstitutional.
v. legislative Laws created by the congress may be challenged in court. The Judicial Branch can declare laws to be unconstitutional.