How the constitution provides for a system of separation of powers and checks and balances
The topic on the separation of powers and how the various arms of governments offer checks and balances on each other has evolved into a topic of concern across various settings all over the globe. Nonetheless, it is essential to note that the United States Constitution clearly stipulates on how the three arms of government relate with each other. To be precise, the United States Constitution dictates that the national government is divided into three branches. These branches include the judiciary, legislature, and the executive (Flynn, 2009). While it is true that these arms of government may appear to be independent of each other, it is of the essence to note that they are not. This is because the constitution has set up a system that assure that there is a balance between the three branches.
The United States also provides a system of checks and balances and separation of powers by giving certain powers to the president, which assures attainment of the same. The United States Constitution mandates the president to check on the legislature by giving the president the power to convene special sessions with the congress. The president can also appeal to the people on certain legislation. In addition, the president has the power to recommend on specific legislation that should be adopted by the legislature. Overall, the United States Constitution offers the president the veto power over the legislative motions. On the other hand, the executive offers checks and balances for the judiciary by appointing federal and Supreme Court judges (Flynn, 2009).
Finally, the United States Constitution offers a system of checks and balances by giving certain powers to the judiciary. As such, the judiciary checks on the other two branches in different ways. Above all, the judiciary checks on the executive in that the judges as part of the judiciary have the powers to judge whether the actions put forth by the executive are constitutional or not. Furthermore, judges are offered life appointments, which ensures that they are not controlled by the executive. In providing checks over the legislature, the judiciary is mandated by the United States Constitution to judge whether legislative acts are in line with the constitution (Flynn, 2009). From this analysis, it is clear that the United States offers a system of separation of power by according the three arms of government distinct roles. However, the roles of each arm are checked by the other arms; hence, offering a system for checks and balances.
How a bill becomes a law at the national level
Often referred as the federal legislative process, there are various steps taken by a bill before becoming a law for use at the national level. The process of developing a bill into a law begins with the introduction of the bill. In this case, a Congress member introduces a given legislation. Many at times, the person (s) introducing the bill are referred to as the sponsors. At this stage, members from House or Senate interested in the bill may add themselves as the co-sponsors. After introduction, the bill is ascended to a Committee enshrined with jurisdiction over the issues raised by the bill (Hamilton, 2010). Thereafter, the said Committee sanctions a hearing on the bill and determines if there is the need for any changes in the bill. In most cases, a sub-committee is established to preside over such hearings. If there is no need for any changes to bill, the bill is moved out of the committee, and the chairman of the committee drafts are report detailing the purpose of the bill.
After the report is duly completed, the bill moves to the House and Senate where it is debated and any necessary amendments made. Worth noting is the fact that any amendment of the bill at this stage calls for a majority vote. If Senate and House pass the bill, it is referred to the other chamber where it is debated and approved or rejected or amended before approval. Thereafter a conference in carried out on the bill and in cases where there are significant differences in the Senate and House versions of the bill a conference committee is called to reconcile the differences (Hamilton, 2010). After this, the conference reports is sent to House and Senate where the two houses approve it and send it to the president for eventual signing of the bill into a national law.
Flynn, V. (2009). Separation of Power. Boston: Simon and Schuster.
Hamilton, J. (2010). How a Bill Becomes a Law. New York: ABDO Publishing Company.