POLS 2302 Written Assignment
The Structure of Government in the United States
The structures of government in the United States are quite complex and should be analyzed more appropriately to understand it. This paper seeks to critically examine three areas that had been studied in the semester and, which I find to be quite impressive, the three subject areas include; the powers of the president, the powers and structure of Congress, and lastly, the Texas Judicial Branch. To understand the function and way of operation of the United States government, the three identified areas are quite significant as they would give critical insight into the government as a whole. When it comes to the powers of the president, it is evident that the constitution offers few special powers to him/her that would enable the country to be governed in a better way (Cooper, 123). However, it is also important to indicate that the concept of the inherent powers expands the authority of the president typically. The central powers that are offered to the US’s president by the constitution to include, the treaty power, the legislative power, and the appointment powers. On the other hand, it is also critical to study the powers and structure of the US Congress to understand how the government runs, and more importantly, how the laws are made. Lastly, learning about the Texas Judicial Branch is essential as it would enable individuals to understand how the judiciary works in the United States. It is also an important thing to look into the contemporary issues of the highlighted topics.
In the contemporary world, it has been argued by most analysts including the Senate members that the office of the president has been given too many powers. It is also vital to state that most of these concerns have been brought up when Obama was in control. For this reason, Congress has always been trying to limit the powers given to the US president by the constitution. However, most of these issues regarding the powers of the president cannot only be termed to be contemporary concerns as such had been raised over the past years. The misgivings escalated at the time when Obama was in his second term and even became more serious when President Trump was in his first days of power (Cooper, 133). Since the time that Trump was inaugurated, such concerns regarding the president’s powers in the United States escalated as from January.
Analysts do state that this has been brought about by the fact that Trump’s bizarre public conduct had increasingly started to raise more questions among the citizens. For instance, most of the times, Trump’s actions of a continuous disregard of his policy experts who are meant to giving comprehensive guidance in matters of governance. It is believed that most of the policy experts would be of great value when it comes to the diplomacy. Therefore, it is expected that the president would have a difficult time when it comes to ensuring that there is a good diplomatic relationship amongst other nations. Affecting the diplomacy between the United States and other nations would mean ruining certain aspects such as trade and commerce. It is due to this particular reason that Congress seeks to ensure that the powers of the president have been reduced. However, it is also important to indicate that the United States’ norms and laws have not only governed but changed the way individuals think regarding the powers of the president (Cooper, 89). Such issues, on the other hand, are what contributes to the challenges faced by the US president when it comes to governing the nation as a whole. For instance, no law has been put in place, which would stop the president form hiring one of his/ her family members such as their daughters, or even keeping their private affairs off while they are still in power.
Therefore, coming up with new laws would mean enabling the adjustment of various powers of the president, which in one way or the other is intended to limit the abuses that are likely to occur. However, some of these powers could be limited by the presidents themselves, those who are more philanthropic and wishing to push the country forward concerning democracy. An excellent example of this can be seen from the fact that President George Washington created a stage for the voluntary two-term limit, which is being followed to the recent days (Wilson, 29). This was one way that significantly reduced the powers of the president. Were it not for President Washington’s decision, the presidency would be bringing issues until today, as the rogue presidents would have wished to stay in power for long. On the other hand, there is no any law that bars the president from ending an investigation that is being carried out by the FBI. This can endanger the citizens in one way or the other if the purpose of the investigation is not good. These are some of the reasons that call for the formation of laws, which would help in gradually doing away with the abuse of office whenever they do occur. Therefore, the role of Congress in ensuring that it does cut down the powers of the president is quite crucial (Wilson, 79).
On the other hand, analyzing the contemporary issues in the Texas Judicial Branch is quite essential as it would give an insight into the judicial system. Texas Judiciary faces quite some challenges in the contemporary world, which in one way or the other has prompted to various reforms. Such reforms are aimed at ensuring that individuals have raised most of the raised concerns. For instance, the court systems in the United States do lack power in the people. For this particular reason, the current constitution of Texas does not vest its power in the people. As a result of this, most of the people do distrust any constitutional change that is likely to take place. Individuals have expressed their fears that any changes would result in giving the president even more powers, which in one way or the other is likely to violate the rights of the citizens. Learning the Texas Judicial System vital as it is one of the most sophisticated and complicated systems that happen to be in the United States.
The first problem that faces the Texas Judiciary Branch is a lack of coherence. In their modern state, there is no proper or coherent structure in the Texas Judicial System. This has mostly been contributed by the fact that the districts are highly unclear and overlapping. Additionally, the ability of the legislature to interfere and come up with some new court levels has brought about the whole issue. Secondly, in the current Texas courts structures, there is too, much overlapping of its functions, which in one way or the other affects its functions (Jillson, 87). Another vital concern that affects the Texas Judicial System is the issue of legal training. Since there are no standard qualifications for judges in the region, it has become a challenging factor to deal with the legitimacy of the rulings. The city council sets most of the municipal judge qualifications typically. Most of these strategies would have just worked during the agrarian society. In the contemporary society, judges ought to have been educated well (Jinks & Derek et al., 96).
In the contemporary days, it has been found out that of the courts in Texas have been interfered with politics. Judicial systems are always expected to engage in ways that are nonpolitical, to execute their functions effectively. With such engagements, it would become quite difficult for the citizens to entrust the judges with court cases. For judges to be trusted by the citizens, they are supposed to be independent at all times and ensure that they are never subject to political pressures as this would ruin their reputation terribly (Pacelle, 72). Additionally, from a critical analysis of the Texas Judicial Branch, one realizes that the contemporary courts are divided by placing them in their categories of geographic coverage, origin, and jurisdiction. The original jurisdictions are normally meant to hear cases that are original and that the case records and pieces of evidence have been provided altogether. The Appellate jurisdiction is on the other hand meant to review cases, which have gone through the lower courts. The presence of the appellate courts is quite crucial as it enables individuals to petition and seek more justice regarding their cases. The highest state appellate courts in this area are the Criminal Courts of Appeal and the Texas Supreme Courts, and they are critically known of having statewide jurisdiction. Lastly, t this level of the courts, new pieces of evidence are not required as they had been presented at the lower courts.
Cooper, Phillip J. By order of the president: The use and abuse of direct executive action. University Press of Kansas, 2014.
Jillson, Cal. Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State. Routledge, 2017.
Jinks, Derek, Jackson N. Maogoto, and Solon Solomon, eds. Applying International Humanitarian Law in Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Bodies: International and Domestic Aspects. Springer, 2014.
Pacelle, Richard. The role of the Supreme Court in American politics: The least dangerous branch. Routledge, 2018.
Wilson, Woodrow. Constitutional government in the United States. Routledge, 2017.