Checks and balances pertaining to the United States government has a sole purpose of preventing the three branches of the government of gaining too much power which in turn could be the downfall of this country. Within each branch, The Judicial, The Legislative and The Executive are elected officials that, makes the hard decisions for the three hundred million plus citizens which voted them to their respective office. Each branch has a duty to this country whether the responsibility is drafting, enforcing or upholding the law, and just as important is to make sure each branch stays true to their task issued to them by the Constitution. The system, on the surface, seems like it would work smoothly and allow each branch to operate within their ranks and without stepping over toes, but what happens when one of the branches are granted a special veto power to overrule legislation passed by another branch? Is that a violation of checks and balances? Or does that statue, granted to a single elected official better keep the branches of government in check when writing and passing laws?
When a bill gets introduced by a member of the House or Senate, with the hopes of it being written into law, it takes multiple members of each chamber to bring said bill to a final vote. After different actions conducted by the sponsoring members, and usually multiple rewrites, it can be brought to a vote on the House floor. After receiving a majority, the bill then can be sent to the President’s desk for final approval. If the President decides to sign off, then the process is over and that bill is officially signed into law. Now this process could take months and sometimes years from start to finish, and in the end, if the President decides against it, he can veto it, making that bill void. However, if the bill has an unusual amount of support in both chambers, the elected officials could vote to overrule the President’s decision not to sign off on the bill, overriding the veto changing the proposed bill into a law. Veto power is few and far between in the United States Government, it takes at the minimum a 2/3 majority in the House to veto a bill signed off by The President. Just as easy is it is for the President to veto a law, they can also amend any law passed by utilizing Executive Orders.
If the President decides to draft an Executive Order, it could be anything from giving federal employees a half of a day before a federal holiday, all the way to confining all Japanese born U.S. citizens to internment camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and everything in between. Critics of the President using Executive Orders usually have one defense, why does a single man have the power to write their wishes into law without going through proper channels of Congress. Critics think when Presidents use Executive Orders, it undermines the hundreds of elected officials whose job it is to write and pass legislation.
In reality, The President is voted into office by voters nation-wide and not just by voters in certain districts like members of congress are elected. If the incumbent head of the executive branch passes an executive order and his predecessor simply wants it overturned, that order originally passed by the incumbent becomes null and void as quick as the President signs off on the order. When an executive order is signed off on, it has the same powers as a federal law, but federal laws are subject to legal review and scrutiny. When determining whether or not that order passed was unconstitutional or not, the supreme court evaluation includes case law regarding the topic as well as deciding if the order compromises a standing law set forth from the founding fathers.