Name the responsibility of the Legislative Branch of our national government.


Make laws

What is a "bill" in Congress?

An idea for a new law

Name the 2 houses in the legislative branch

House of Representatives


What is needed or required for a bill to pass in the legislative branch of government?

both houses (House of Representatives and Senate) must vote on the bill and the majority of the votes must say "yes" to pass.

Where does the new bill that is passed in the legislative branch go after it is passed?

To the President of the U.S.

After the President gets the new bill from the Legislature what can he decide to do with this new bill?

He can pass the bill


He can VETO the bill

What happens if the President VETOES the bill?

The bill goes back to the Legislature. They can overrule the President ONLY if 2/3 vote to do this. IF THEY DO NOT have 2/3 wanting the bill, it dies.

What power does the Senate have?

  • Approve or reject appointments to jobs that the President makes (ambassadors, judges, cabinet members)

What power does the Legislature have?

  • Declare war - only when BOTH houses agree to do this
  • Impeach government officials (House of Representatives)
  • Collect taxes
  • Create national currency
  • IMPEACH – take out of office – government officials who abuse their powers in the Executive and Judicial Branches

What Article of the Constitution describes the power of the Legislature?


Article 1

What Article of the Constitution describes the power of the Executive branch (President)?


Article 2

What Article of the Constitution describes the power of the Judicial Branch?


Article 3

What is the responsibility of the Executive Branch?

To carry out the laws of our country

Name the person in charge in the Executive Branch.


The President of the U.S.

Also called the Chief Executive

Who works in the Executive Branch

Other government officials such as the President’s cabinet members

Name the key powers of the Executive branch. (8)

  • Sign or veto bills passed by Congress
  • Make proposals for new laws in the state of the Union speeches.
  • Call Congress together for a special session (meeting)
  • Sign treaties
  • Commander in chief of armed services (military)
  • Nominate judges, ambassadors, and cabinet members
  • Grant pardons to prisoners
  • Represent the U.S. in foreign affairs

Can a President make laws?

  • NO – he can only PROPOSE laws.

What is the job of the JUDICIAL branch of government?

  • Interpret our laws
  • Settle arguments or disputes between states.
  • Protect the Constitution

What is the head of the judicial branch?


The Supreme Court

How many judges are on the Supreme Court?



Who appoints the members of the Supreme Court?


The President but the Senate must approve of his choice

What is the leader of the Supreme Court called?


Chief Justice

If you were a justice on the Supreme Court, how long would you keep this job?


For life

What are the powers of the Supreme Court?

  • Determine if laws are unconstitutional
  • Determine if treaties are unconstitutional
  • Interpret meaning of laws
  • Preside over impeachment trials (chief justice does this)

How do we know that each government branch will not get too much power?

Checks and balances

Each government branch has the power to "check" or stop the actions of another branch. The powers of each branch are BALANCED in each of the other branches.

Tell an example of CHECKS AND BALANCES

The Congress can pass a law but the President can veto or pass the law. His power is a check on the Legislative branch

What would happen if Congress and the President BOTH agree on a law that is unconstitutional?

The judicial branch has the power to check on the power of the President and Congress. If the law is unconstitutional, the court will not let the law pass.



Name the person who was responsible for proposing the 3-branches of government at the Constitutional Convention.


James Madison

What did the Virginia Plan state:

There will be three branches of government

The number of representatives will be based on the population of each state.

The federal system of government under the Constitution made our government power __________


Shared powers between the states and the national government

Why was the Bill of Rights added to the Constitution?

Many were afraid of the Constitution taking away individual rights. The delegates agreed to add the Bill of Rights as an amendment to the Constitution.

What system in our government prevents one branch from becoming too powerful?


Checks and balances

What did the Federalists believe

  • Central government should be strong
  • National bank

Which house in Congress has an equal number of representatives from each state?



When was the Constitution signed

September 1787

When was the Constitution ratified or approved?

June, 1788

When the Constitution was ratified, how many states approved it?


9 out of the 13 states

What does impeachment mean?

When the House of Representatives accuses the president, judges, and other officials of serious crimes. The Senate has the power to put the impeached person on trial