Difference between Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branch of Government
The legislature, Executive and Judicial branches are the three main branches of the United States government. Legislative branch of the government is composed of two main houses, which are referred as the house of congress, they are: The House of Representatives and the Senate. All the parties in both the Senate as well as the House of representative are elected leaders. The most significant role played by the Legislative Branch that is, both the Senate and the House of Representatives is to formulate or make laws; these laws are discussed and voted. Moreover, the Legislative Branch is responsible for appropriating financial resources that are adequate to operate the government. The second branch of the government is the executive Branch; it is made of three major bodies, which are the President, Vice President and the Cabinet. The President acts as the head of this branch; the main role of the executive branch is to implement and administer policies that have been formulated and funded by the legislature or the legislative branch. The President as the head of the executive has the authority to appoint or remove cabinet members; he/she also has the powers to engage in negotiations for acts, treaties and is considered commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The major role played by the cabinet is to offer advice to the President on pertinent governance issues. On other hand, the Judicial Branch is the third component of the US government: It plays a major role in overseeing the US court system; this involves interpreting laws and regulations or the constitution of the United States. This branch is headed by the Supreme Court, which has the mandate to make decisions on whether actions are conducted in accordance with the Constitution of the United States.
In various interviews held by Bill Moyes and legal experts in Texas, it is apparent that Texas resolves conflicts between popular Sovereignty and Protection of Equal rights by using the Court System (www.youtube.com). The court system plays a significant role by making certain decisions to resolve conflicts between Popular Sovereignty and protection of equal rights. However, this process seems to be affected by financial resources that are provided to the Justice system during judicial campaigns.
How to Make the Judicial Selection Less Controversial
One of the strategies that can be applied to make the judicial selection process less controversial is to deter or ban the use of financial resources for campaigns, but encourage the use of verbal eloquence to sell agendas and ideas among participants. Participants that aspire to seek positions as Judges in the judicial justice system should not be allowed to receive any financial contribution from various stakeholders for purposes of supporting their campaigns, but should be provided with organized platforms i.e. conferences where they can verbally sell their agendas and ideas to the electorate. This strategy is appropriate considering the fact that it creates a fair ‘playground’ for participants i.e. those that have adequate financial resources and those that do not possess enormous amounts of financial resources. Additionally, it eliminates incidences of corruption resulting from favors that are provided to sponsors by judges during judicial processes. The major weakness of this strategy is based on the fact that there might be additional expenditures incurred by the judicial system during the selection process i.e. financial resources required to organize conferences for participants to air or sell their agendas.
In addition, the judicial selection could be made less controversial by setting limits on the amount of expenses participants could spend during campaigns. This could involve setting a specific amount of financial limit that a candidate could use during judicial elections. It is also an important strategy that could create the essence of fairness in relation to the manner campaigns are performed by participants. However, the major challenge of this strategy emerges from the fact that it may be quite challenging to ascertain that participants have used a specific amount of financial resources without performing an audit. This basically means that the government or stakeholders responsible for overseeing the project could be compelled to incur extra costs for auditing.
Pros and Cons of Judicial Selection Processes
Appointment is one of the strategies that could be applied in Texas to facilitate the judicial selection process. It basically involves application of legislative powers to select individuals to occupy certain job positions i.e. in the Judiciary systems. One of the benefits of appointments is that it does not expose concerned stakeholders to extra expenditures for instance: Expenditure that may be incurred for job advertisements et cetera. Additionally, appointments provide an opportunity for the appointing organ to select candidates or persons that have the most appropriate qualifications. Scholars have argued that in as much as appointments do not involve extra financial expenditures, they are usually characterized by incidences of bias or corruption occurring when the appointing organs select their favorable or favored candidates. This means that there are higher chances that highly qualified candidates may not be selected by the appointing organs in case they are not the favorite candidates.
This is another strategy that can be applied in the judicial selection process to ensure that highly qualified candidates are allowed to occupy offices in the Justice System. The concept of merit selection basically involves selecting candidates on the basis of their qualification and the needs or requirements of a specific job position. It usually begins by selecting a number of candidates based on their qualifications followed by a review and evaluation of the qualifications taking into consideration requirements of a job position. This method is associated a positive impact based on the fact that it presents a platform for selecting the best candidates for a specific job position. Owing to the fact that the highest qualified candidates are usually allowed to occupy office, there is usually a higher probability that office holders will provide high quality services. Merit selection is also associated with minimum incidences of bias or corruption that may affect selection of candidates. However, the major weakness of this process is that it may involve consumption of a lot of time, hence may delay certain judicial processes. Additionally, merit selection may also be affected by bias during the selection process especially when is conducted by parties that favor specific candidates. Consequently, merit selection may compel government or the selecting organ to incur extra expenses i.e. remunerating the recruitment and selection panel.
This is the method that is currently applied in Texas to facilitate the judicial selection process. It is usually conducted in various Court levels. In his in-depth interviews, Bill Moyes, covers issues that are currently experienced in the Texas Judicial system as a result of application of partisan election in the judicial selection process. During partisan elections, parties are allowed to indicate their labels on the ballot boxes, allowing the electorate to select their preferred parties. One of the most evident benefits of partisan elections is that it provides a platform for electorate to select their preferred candidates. Additionally, partisan elections provide a platform for the electorate to exercise democracy by freely expressing their rights to select a preferred candidate. On the other hand, partisan elections reduce incidences of conflict that may arise as a result of bias or corruption owing to the fact that it is usually based on a majority rule. During partisan elections, electorate usually tend to select leaders that they feel can fulfill their needs based on their past performance and qualification. This increases the chances of electing or selecting leaders with the most appropriate skills and experience to provide public services. Partisan Elections have been associated with certain disadvantages as indicated the interviews performed by Bill Moyes in his quest to determine how the performance of judicial system is affected by financial resources. To begin with, Partisan election jeopardize the integrity of the judicial systems as most workers within the judicial systems especially judges tend to make decisions that fulfill the needs of stakeholders that offered sponsorship during their campaigns. Moreover, partisan elections limit the chance of electing leaders with the most appropriate qualification considering the fact those with highest amount of financial resources are usually at an upper hand of getting elected. Bill Moyes explores how the acquisition of financial resources by certain judicial officers such as Paul Olszewski and Tom Burke favored their election compared to those who did not have adequate financial resources such as Martha Cowley of Virginia.
In non-partisan elections, candidates that are usually listed on the ballot box are not affiliated or associated with any party. This means that the only information available on the ballot boxes is the names of the candidates participating in the election process or those that are to be selected. The main advantage of this strategy is that candidates are mainly selected as a result of their qualifications or experience rather than on their political parties. Additionally, it limits incidences of confusion that may arise among the electorate on whether to select a candidate regarding his/her political party. Owing to the fact that non-partisan election also requires candidates to sell their agendas to the electorate, there is a higher chance that the financial muscle of the candidates may play a major role in determining the outcomes of the elections for example: There is a higher chance that those that are positively and appropriately portrayed in the media are elected compared to those that do not possess adequate financial resources to sell their agendas in the media.
Life Imprisonment and the Prison System
In an article published by the American Civil Liberties Union, it is indicated that life imprisonment without the possibility of parole is a swift, yet a severe as well as a certain punishment method. It is also reduces the risks that may involve placing innocent lives at risk as compared to death penalties. Additionally, life imprisonment without parole allows stakeholders to allocate resources towards solving cases that might lead to unfair justice. Death penalty is another strategy that has been used in Texas as a mode of punishment for criminals. Despite the fact that Texas has experienced a significant decline in the number of death sentences since the year 1999, it is still considered one of the regions with the highest number of death sentences in the United States of America. However, the only benefit that has been associated with death penalty as a form of punishment is that it creates a sense of fairness especially when dealing with high level criminals such as murderers et cetera.
Taxpayers should have a say in the use of death penalty. In the year 2009, the County of Gray spent approximately $1million to process Levi King’s death penalty. In a research published in the Dallas Morning News, it was indicated that Texas spends an average of $2.3 million to process death penalty for criminal individuals. It is a fact that a significant number of government activities i.e. activities within the Judicial systems are supported by taxpayers money. This means that taxpayers have to dig deep into their pockets in order to support increasing government activities. Taking this factor into consideration, it is appropriate that taxpayers are provided with an opportunity to make decisions on whether death penalties should be used or not.
Death penalty as means of punishing crime in Texas is less effective, exposes innocent lives to risk of death and involves spending a high amount of financial resources (deathpenalty.procon.org). In a research that was conducted by the Death Penalty Information Center in 2009, it is indicated that Police Chiefs ranked death penalty as the worst mode of punishment compared to other modes of punishment or as a means of deterring crime (http://tcadp.org). Additionally, in the year 2012, a research was conducted by the National Research Council and it indicated that there is no substantial research that has indicated whether or not death penalty is an effective way of deterring crime in the United States (http://tcadp.org). According to a report by the FBI Uniform Crime, Southern part of the United States is responsible for approximately eighty percent of executions performed in the United States; however, this region experiences the highest rate of murder in the entire United States (http://tcadp.org). On the other hand, the Northeastern region of the United States, which accounts only for one percent of executions, has the lowest rate of murders (http://tcadp.org). Taking these statistics and reports into consideration, death penalty is not the most appropriate method of crime deterrence.
One of the changes that can be implemented in the Texas judicial system to reduce incidences of wrongful convictions is encouraging the culture of integrity and value provision among lawyers or defense attorneys. In 2002, a study conducted in Texas indicated that approximately a quarter of 251 habeas corpus petitions that were filed in Texas were less than fifteen pages in length. This is an indication of poor quality and minimal work that was conducted by the defense attorneys of the petitions. This can be reduced by ensuring that a culture of integrity and high quality work is performed by lawyers or defense attorneys. Additionally, lawyers should be allocated or assigned duties and responsibilities on merit and their past experiences. This is a strategy that pertinent for the reduction of allocation of duties to lawyers with questionable practices. Research indicates that between 1995 and 2000, a quarter of death row criminals or inmates were represented by lawyers with questionable levels of integrity i.e. those that were on probation, reprimanded or those that were suspended. Allocating duties and responsibilities to lawyers on merit and experience is one of the methods than can be used to reduce incidences of wrongful convictions.
One of the most interesting issues discussed in the www.texaspolicy.com website is expansion of Affordable Care Act in Texas. Affordable Care Act has a direct impact on the well-being of Texans (www.texaspolicy.com). This is the most important issue in the website owing to the fact that human health is the foundation of development for any society. The issue of health is widely discussed on a global perspective; this is due to the fact that health costs have become more expensive in the contemporary generation raising concerns from various stakeholders. The website indicates that there has been increasing debates overtime in Texas, with major stakeholders citing that expansion of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid is pertinent for the well-being of Texans. This expansion is expected to facilitate a reduction of the property taxes incurred by local health service providers in Texas for uncompensated healthcare (forabettertexas.org). The issue of health is also discussed in the forabettertexas.org website where access to affordable and quality health care is considered a fundamental requirement for local Texan populace. The website cites certain policies such as Affordable Care Act and Insurance Programs as pertinent aspects of healthcare service provision.
Texas Policy Process
Policy formulation and implementation process involves various steps and stages that usually engage different stakeholders. The general public is usually involved in this process i.e. they are provided with information regarding what to expect from a policy that is yet to be implemented. Additionally, through media channels, the general public in Texas is usually provided with information regarding the outcomes of a policy that was subjected to congress for review or evaluation. In some cases, the general public is usually engaged in various interviews by a variety of media houses that basically attempt to determine their perspective regarding proposed or implemented policies. These strategies act as crucial structures of transparency in relation to policy implementation in Texas. From a personal perspective, Texans should have a strong say in the development of policy. Public policies have a direct impact on the lives and activities undertaken by the general public; as such, it is crucial to seek their opinions on whether proposed or implemented policies satisfy their needs.
Interest groups in Texas such as the Center for Public Policy Priorities play a significant role in ensuring that policies implemented meet the demands or needs of the general public. There are various Interest groups in Texas and they are driven by varying agendas. These groups should be provided with an opportunity to provide their perspectives regarding certain policies. This is crucial as it provides a wide base of knowledge for policy makers to ensure that policies implemented fulfill the needs of the people. However, owing to the fact that interest groups are driven by different agendas, their opinions should not be used a basis for policy formulation, however, policy makers should consider opinions of the general public.
Legislators have the responsibility of formulating policies and regulations that have a major impact on the lives of the general public. However, some of the policies may be characterized by certain weaknesses and or loopholes leading to their ineffectiveness. A proper relationship between a legislator and interest groups/lobbyists should occur in a networking manner in that the lobbyists and legislators share ideas on how proposed or implemented policies should be implemented and corrected to meet the needs of the general public.
"Is Life in Prison without Parole a Better Option Than Death Penalty? - Death Penalty - ProCon.org." ProConorg Headlines. Web. 6 July 2015. <http://deathpenalty.procon.org/view.answers.php?questionID=001017>.
"Texas Needs Public Defenders." Houston Chronicle. Web. 6 July 2015. <http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Texas-needs-public-defenders-1621574.php>.
Web. 6 July 2015. <http://www.texaspolicy.com/multimedia/video/the-aca-in-texas-po2015>.
"CPPP | Health and Wellness." CPPP | Health and Wellness. Web. 6 July 2015. <http://forabettertexas.org/healthandwellness.html>.
Web. 6 July 2015. <http://tcadp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/TXDPFactSheet-June-2015.pdf>.
"Bill Moyers, Justice for Sale (1)." YouTube. YouTube. Web. 6 July 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdTm_bR7k0k&feature=youtu.be>.