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Restriction of Government Power

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Restriction of Government Power

In order to guard against what one of the Founding Fathers

called an "excess of democracy," the Constitution was built with many

ways to limit the government's power. Among these methods were

separating the three branches, splitting the legislature so laws

passed are carefully considered, and requiring members of Congress to

meet certain criteria to qualify for office.

Separation of power was very effective; The three branches of

government (executive, legislative, and judicial) are kept separate,

and each has different powers. Congress has legislative, or law

making, powers; the President has the power to carry out, or execute,

the laws; and the Judicial branch had the judging power, used to

interpret the laws. In addition, each branch is able to restrain or

balance the powers of the other two branches upon power abuse. If the

President is suspected of unlawful acts, he can be impeached, or tried

by the House and Senate for misusing his power. If he is found guilty,

he can be thrown out of office, unless two thirds of Congress agrees

with a treaty he proposes. Furthermore, if the President wants to

spend money, his request must pass through Congress, since it has

control over spending. Lastly, Congress can re-pass a vetoed bill.

Congress also has checks and balances against itself. The president

can veto a bill from Congress, and although Congress can override a

veto, obtaining a two-thirds vote is very difficult. Public speeches

by the President may also concern the public with an issue, putting

pressure on Congress to act upon it.


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Keywords: limitations of government power, restriction of local government power, ways to limit government power

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