Study Aid: Checks and Balances

Checks and Balances

Executive Branch

  • carries out the laws
  • can veto laws
  • can call special sessions of Congress
  • controls enforcement of laws
  • nominates judges
  • can pardon people convicted of federal crimes
  • commander in chief
  • develops foreign policy

Legislative Branch

  • makes the laws
  • declares war
  • can impeach president and other high officials
  • Senate approves presidential appointments
  • Senate approves treaties
  • can override presidential vetoes
  • exercises power of the purse

Judicial Branch  

  • interprets the law
  • can declare laws or presidential actions unconstitutional
  • lifetime appointments for federal judges