Law and Society – Research Paper

Historically, many people have believed that when unlimited power is left in the hands of one person or a group, others are denied their freedom and their powers are also restricted. The United States democracy is characterized by separation of powers where power is divided across three different branches to safeguard freedom for all and to limit abuse of power. Division of government responsibilities into discrete branches in order to prevent one branch from serving the functions of another is what is referred to as separation of powers (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015). The main intention behind separation of powers is to prevent concentration of powers, to ensure that one branch can check the functions of another, and to ensure that there is power balance. Under the model of separation of powers, the political authority in the United States is divided legislative branch, executive branch, and the judicial branch. In order for these three branches to be effective in promoting liberty in the United States, the federal government felt that they have to be kept separate and be allowed to act independently (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015).

With respect to the making, enforcement, and interpretation of laws, the legislative branch enacts laws of the state and appropriates the funds needed by the government to keep its operations moving. The branch responsible for implementation and administration of the public policy that the legislative branch has enacted and funded is the executive branch (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015). The judicial branch is charged with the responsibility of interpreting laws and the constitution and application of such interpretations to arguments that are presented before it. People charged with the responsibilities of exercising these three powers are not permitted to perform either of the other’s functions unless permitted by the United States Constitution. For this reason, no institution can become so powerful to restrict the freedom of citizens (National Conference of State Legislatures, 2015).

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