Free «American Government» UK Essay Sample
Legislative power in the USA is carried out by the Congress in accordance with the Constitution. It has a bicameral structure including the House and Senate. The U.S. Constitution contains a provision claiming that the Congress has the right to enact laws if they are necessary for the implementation of obligations by federal government agencies and their upper management. Congressmen’s powers include the establishment and collection of taxes and fees, making decisions concerning loans, payments of public debt, declaration of the war, recruit of Americans for the army and navy, and enactment of citizenship laws.
The U.S. President heads the executive branch. According to the Constitution, the national leader ensures the enforcement of laws, defines the powers of other officials, represents the country in the international relations, and conducts negotiations. Moreover, the President is the supreme commander of the U.S. forces. The national leader has the right to legislative initiative and delivers a draft budget to the Congress. Moreover, the head of the state has the right of veto when signing the laws. The President does not bear any political responsibility for own actions and decisions but, at the same time, he or she bears a legal responsibility in the form of impeachment. Corruption, treason, or commitment of other serious offenses and crimes are the grounds for impeachment.
Due to the fact that the USA is a federal state, the legal system allows the parallel operation of the two judicial systems such as the unified system of federal courts and the independent system of state courts. The last one consists of the judicial systems of each of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, and four federal territories. The jurisdiction of the federal courts includes the consideration of criminal cases concerning crimes prescribed by the federal law, civil cases for claims against the federal government, and disputes arising in regard to the application of federal laws. Referring to the values of liberty and equality, the court may recall decisions made by the democratically elected legislatures and even those reached by a popular vote (Ginsberg et al. 21).The vast majority of criminal and civil cases are considered by the state courts, and only a relatively small part of them is a subject of proceedings in the federal courts.
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The U.S. Supreme Court heads the entire system of federal courts. It holds an exceptionally important position in the whole structure of higher state agencies along with the U.S. Congress and the President. The U.S. Supreme Court is the only judicial institution specified in the Constitution. It consists of nine judges, one of whom is appointed as the chairman by the President. The members of the Supreme Court, including the head, are appointed by the national leader and approved by the Senate. Its main function is to consider complaints concerning any decisions made by the federal and state courts, as well as statements concerning the repeal of any court’s decision recognized as unconstitutional and controversial. If the Court of Appeal delivers a subsequent request, the Supreme Court may also clarify any question of law arising in a civil or criminal case and provide an accurate and clear interpretation or explanation.
The Union admitted Texas as the 28th state in December 1845 (Manweller 319). The Constitution has divided the powers of the Texan government into three branches: judicial, executive, and legislative. According to the nation’s fundamental law, no official in one branch can exercise the power vested in another branch unless the Constitution authorizes him or her to do so. Texas voters elect most of the offices in the executive branch of the government, including the Secretary of State, the Commissioner of the General Land Office, the Comptroller of Public Accounts, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, and the Governor, who appoints the Secretary of State.
The state legislature includes the Senate and the House of Representatives, which are responsible for the legislative power. 150 members of the House of Representatives are elected for a two-year term while 31 members of the Senate are elected for four years (Maxwell et al. 63). Each representative runs for re-election after senatorial redistricting that takes place every ten years. Regular sessions are held every two years (Texas State Directory 611). However, Texas Governor can convene a particular session to address important issues at any time.
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The judicial branch of the Texan government enforces laws in the local, state, and federal jurisdictions. The state has the Supreme Court of Texas and the Court of Criminal Appeals. The first institution handles civil cases and those involving crimes committed by young offenders. The latter resolves criminal matters. In addition, the courts of appeals, as well as lower and district courts, constitute the judicial power of Texas government. The Supreme Court is the court of the highest resort in all cases except the criminal ones. The Court of Criminal Appeals has jurisdiction over all illegal issues. The courts of appeals hold an intermediate position and are in charge of both criminal and civil cases. The members of the Supreme Court are elected for six years while the judges of lower courts, the courts of appeals, and the Court of Criminal Appeals are elected for four years (Janda, Berry, and Goldman 681). The terms of office differ, but all the judges and justice, regardless of the type of the court they work in, are elected.
A specific contemporary political problem facing the USA today is the necessity to set the term limit for the Congress members. The term limitation is the legislative provision, which establishes a limit on the number of terms that a citizen can be elected to the certain post. The limitation period is a method to prevent the possibility of monopolization when the official holds the position indefinitely. Although the presidential term in the USA is determined, and the head of the state can serve for two four-year terms, no term limit is set for congressmen at the federal level. Some states have already restricted the tenure of the elected local officials. The establishment of a term limit for congressmen is an important political step that will help prevent corruption in the U.S government and eliminate this vice once and forever. The nation will significantly benefit from getting new brains and qualified specialists, who are concerned with the country’s well-being and promising future. The limitation of terms will also help prevent officials from feeling too comfortable in their highest post. This step will not allow politicians to achieve personal objectives and fulfill the requirements set by their colleagues and partners neglecting the fact that they have to work only for the benefit of the nation.
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The necessity to set a term limit is evident. The American institution needs experienced specialists that will serve for no more than two determined terms. Because of living in the ever-changing environment, leaving one person regardless of the reputation and leadership qualities is wrong as the term extension can only jeopardize the smooth functioning of the U.S. Congress. The result of a lifelong and indefinite tenure can be the prosperity of corruption and cronyism. The public regards the long-term members of the Congress holding on to their power as the political merchants, who protect their positions and think only about how to satisfy own interests. However, the main aim of the government at its foundation was to join individuals, who would serve the nation as the public servants. Therefore, the limitation of time on leadership positions is crucial as for today. It is unfair and wrong to let the President serve only two terms and, at the same time, accept the permanent tenure of congressmen.
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The limitation of political terms has caused a great concern in the American political life. Therefore, in order to resolve this contemporary domestic issue, voters have to approve the term limits for congressmen in every state. Federal officials have to hold a referendum to determine whether or not the nation agrees with this radical change (Jost 468). The current polls and past elections have demonstrated that the country needs transformation aimed at bringing new faces to the Congress. However, some states have already adopted the tenure restriction for the local and state officials. The congressional term limit has to be fixed at the federal level in order to feel the real changes.
A substantial public support indicates a widespread aversion to careerism in politics, as well as the belief that a constant infusion of fresh blood into the federal legislature will be more useful to both the Congress and the country. Nowadays, diverse demographic groups including the white and black people, females and males, the supporters of the Democrats and Republicans demonstrate their readiness to take part in a referendum and support the term limit considering it a central goal of the American political landscape.
Many people regard the term limit as a powerful force that can guarantee a favorable legislative outcome and fair candidate election. The promotion of the tenure restriction and frequent turnover will bring new perspectives to the Congress, ensure mandate frequent legislative turnover, and reduce wasteful spending, which currently thrives in the congressmen’s career. The term limitation is a constitutional step towards the changes and adequate regulation of the state’s power. However, special-interest groups do not agree with the tenure restriction as they may lose much with the introduction of the law specifying this issue. From the political perspective, congressional term limits promise prosperous future that will be free from corruption, nepotism, and inequality.
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