Branches of Government

The government of the United States has three main branches which carry out governmental functions with accordance to the power granted to each individual branch. This is accordance to the separation of powers technique of governance which prevents the government from abusing its powers hence violating the country's constitution. The three branches are namely; legislative, judiciary, and executive. However, the three branches work together though their powers differ from one to the next.

The Role of the Legislative

It was established by article 1 of the national constitution. It is the law making arm of the United States government. However, it is headed by congress which has two branches namely; the senate and the House of Representatives and some other agencies whose work is to support the legislative congress. Moreover, amendments which were later made to the constitution gave some additional powers to each branch of the legislature.

The Role of the Senate

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The senate's primary role is too slow processes of legislation by application of inquiries, hearings as well as debating while at the same time offering advice and consent to other branches of federal government such as executive and the judiciary. It is also the role of the senate to ratify treaties which have been negotiated by the executive branch through the two-third majority. Furthermore, the Senate also does impeachment in which through the American history, only two sitting presidents have ever went through the same that is, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson. In a case whereby a tie vote happens to the outcome, the deciding vote comes from the vice president of the United States.  Moreover, after signing of each bill by the president it must pass through the senate for approval.

The Role of the House of Representatives

The major role of the house of representative is to pass federal laws. However, it makes laws which affect tax payment system and also make decisions on whether a an official of the government should be put on trial ,in the event of a crime case, before the senate. Additionally, the House of Representative also affects affect thee united states economy in ether a good or a bad way with accordance to the way bills are handled. However, the final decisions of the House of Representatives mainly depends on the public opinions since its members are public elected unlike the senate.

The Role of the Executive

This is the part of government which has sole responsibility and authority for the administration of state's bureaucracy. The branch is headed by the president of the United States. However, within the branch, president has the powers to manage roles of the federal government and national affairs. In addition, the president is the overall commander of the armed forces thus the executive has the power of guarding the nation. With accordance to the article ii of the American constitution, the president has the power to execute and enforce the laws which have been created by the congress. Moreover, executive has fifteen branches where each is headed by an appointee of the president. Furthermore, executive has powers over all the other two branches of the federal government. This simply implies that all other branches of the government fall under the executive (Peterson, 2006).

The Role of the Judiciary

The judiciary forms the arm of the government that interprets law and applies it in the court systems of the United States. However, under the separation of powers, the judiciary does not make laws or enforce it rather it interprets and call for the action from other bodies of the government for action. Furthermore, it is rated as the third arm since other two have more powers than it has but its main role is to defend and uphold the constitution of the United States and assuring that law prevails. With accordance to the general duty, daily work of the judiciary reflects the level of jurisdiction by a court or a judge. In addition, judiciary has the role to protect us from wrong-doers by providing conflict resolution methods and imposing relevant punishment to the criminals.

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The Separation of Powers

The concept of separation of powers is stipulated by the constitution of the United States. However, it is applied where federal government is divided into three branches namely the executive, legislature and judiciary. It was formed so as to prevent abuse of power by the government thus offering checks and balances to the conducts of the government. The system made sure that each arm of the government has powers over the other so as to ensure that constitution of the United States is not bleached by the powerful individuals (Campbell, 2004).


Federalism is a governing system whereby sovereignty is constitutionally divided between central authority and others constituent political units. However, powers are shared between national and provincial governments in a country. The responsibilities of the United States federal government are to maintain national security and exercising diplomacy at international level. Basically, it has the power to make laws which affect the entire country unlike the state or local government authority. The government structures which fall within the federal government are; ministries, departments and agencies to which government ministers are assigned. It also works alongside the agencies which collect revenue and those that make national budget (Wheare, 1980)

Impacts of Federalism to Criminal Justice System

Criminal justice system is dealt with at all levels of governance in the United States. This is done at local, state and federal level. In most cases, federal criminal justice system deals with crime cases which affect the entire country both at the national and international level. However, the federal government has many primary law enforcement agencies which deal with crime cases that affect the national security. For instance, terrorism cases are dealt with by a law enforcement agency called the federal bureau investigations agency (FBI) which carries out investigations both at the national and international level

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Moreover, federal criminal justice system at the federal level is accomplished by federal judicial systems. The federal judicial system involves the Supreme Court whereby judges rule on the punishment to be imposed on the criminals if they are found guilty of the offences at the correction centers. The criminal correction centers are governed by correctional authority which takes over the responsibility of criminal correction from the judicial system once sentence is granted to the criminal (Smith, 2007)

The Federal court systems verses the State Criminal Court Systems

The first similarity is that both courts falls under the authority of the judiciary. Their main objective is to applaud the law of the country and enforcing its following. Both court systems have similarities as well as differences. The similarities are that both courts make independent decisions since their structure and conducts are stipulate by the constitution. In addition, both courts work in cooperation with other law enforcement agencies which carry out investigations and criminal corrections after ruling is made on the criminals by the court. However, the two court systems are different in that federal court system has a wider coverage than the state court systems. Federal courts deal with cases which are both at national level as well as at the international level whereas state court systems deals with the cases which are only at the state level.

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