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Separation of Powers

A system of checks and balances


Separation of powers forms the cornerstone of the constitutional framework envisioned by the Founding Fathers to ensure a form of government in which no individual or group ever becomes too powerful. For example:
  • Congress (legislative branch) can pass laws, but the president (executive branch) can veto them.

  • Congress can override the president's veto.

  • The Supreme Court (judicial branch) can declare a law approved by Congress and the president unconstitutional.

  • The president can appoint judges to the Supreme Court, but Congress must approve them.

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