Checks and balances are procedures that prevent the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the U.S. government from abusing power. For example, the legislative branch makes laws, and the president, the representative of the executive branch, can veto them. At the same time, Congress, the legislative branch, can override presidents’ vetoes if a two-thirds supermajority of both houses disagrees. The judicial branch can state that laws or presidents’ actions are unconstitutional. Undoubtedly, checks and balances make a profoundly positive impact on the American political system. According to Rosenzweig (2019), the founding fathers believed that this system would ensure the separation of powers and discourage the lust for power. It is evident that checks and balances reduce mistakes and avert improper behaviour encouraging the government to work more efficiently and collaboratively.
Furthermore, the impeachment of President Trump is an excellent example of how checks and balances work. Donald Trump was accused of using his power to pressure Ukraine for personal political gain. The House of Representatives brought up the issue, while the Senate acquitted the President. The former stated that Donald Trump had behaved inappropriately and abused his power; thus, it raised the question of impeachment. Most of the members of the latter saw not enough evidence; therefore, the President was acquitted. While it is difficult to answer whether Donald Trump was guilty or not, it is obvious that the House of Representatives made the right decision. Rosenzweig (2019) notes that “the House is making the critical, essential choice to reaffirm its role as a co-equal branch of government charged with the solemn duty of restraining executive overreach” (para. 10). Its members shared their concerns about President Trump’s behaviour and demonstrated that it should never be ignored if an individual or a group of individuals abuse power.
Rosenzweig, P. (2019). Trump impeachment: Obstruction of Congress charge will define our future as a nation. USA Today. Web.