Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances

648 Words Feb 14th, 2013 3 Pages
There are both similarities and differences, when referring to checks and balances and separation of powers. Both have to do with the Government. But separation of powers is a model of government in which different parts of the government are in charge of different tasks; in the United States, these parts are known as the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. Checks and balances is a means of trying to ensure that these three parts of government stay equal, and that one does not try to take over another.
Separation of powers was first introduced as a government model in ancient Greece, and was used largely in the Roman republic. Under this Government model, the state is divided into separate and independent entities. The normal
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Checks and balances does not separate the powers, rather it expands off of it. Checks and balances gives each entity of government a different advantage over the other.
Some examples are:
1. The president can veto laws, but congress can overrule the veto with 2/3rd vote.
2. The president and congress could agree on a law, but the supreme court can rule it unconstitutional.
3. Congress can pass laws, but the president has the option to veto them.
4. The president can appoint judges and other officials, but the senate must approve of them first.
There are many real life examples of checks and balances being used in the US. Take Andrew Jackson for example. He vetoed over 20 bills after the civil war! Another one would be in 1936, when the Supreme Court declared the NIRA and the AAA, which were 2 new deal programs passed during the Roosevelt administration unconstitutional. After the civil war, congress also overrode over 20 presidential votes!
There are no clear similarities and differences between separation of powers and checks and balances, because checks and balances expand off of the idea of separation of powers. Checks and balances relies on the idea of separation of powers,…