Federal Government

The United States government is a government of enumerated powers.  Those powers are enumerated (numbered or listed) in the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution provides for 3 branches of government:

Legislative Branch (Article 1)

Executive Branch (Article 2)

Judicial Branch (Article 3)

Legislative Branch

The Legislative Branch of the federal government consists of the Congress.  The Congress is a bi-cameral (2-house) body consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Both bodies consider and pass legislation, but in order for a bill (a piece of legislation) to become law, both houses must approve it.  After both houses have passed a bill, it proceeds to the President (Executive Branch) for final approval.  If the President wishes to withhold his approval, he can veto the bill.  Only in rare occasions can the President’s veto be overcome.  The law created by the legislature is known as statutory law.  It is published in books called the United States Code.

Executive Branch

The Executive Branch of the U.S. government consists of the President and his Cabinet (heads of the various administrative agencies).  The law created by the Executive Branch includes Executive Orders and Administrative Regulations.

Judicial Branch

The Judicial Branch consists of the 3 levels of courts, e.g. U.S. District Court, U.S Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court.  The law created by the Judicial Branch is known as common law, judge-made law or case law.

The federal court system has its origins in the United States Constitution.  The Federal Court System has 3 levels:

District Court (trial court)

U.S. Court of Appeals (lower appellate court)

U.S. Supreme Court (Supreme Law of the land)

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Published on December 6, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

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