Checks and Balances on the Judiciary

Checks and Balances on the Judiciary

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Question 3

As a direct result of how the system of “Checks and Balances” is set by the Constitution, do you think there is any specific branch of the national government that does not have enough power to properly protect the rights of citizens? For this question, choose one of the branches and explain why it is prevented specifically by the system of “Checks and Balances” from being able to properly protect citizen rights.

Checks and Balances on the Judiciary

Each part of government is responsible for supervising the other features and prohibiting any arm from being overly superior, thanks to the checks and balances system. In the United States, the Checks and Balances system is under the Separation of Powers. Checks and balances are often only used in democratic nations. In three-part governments, such as the one in the United States, where power is divided among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, they play an important function. Due to the checks and balances system, the judicial branch does not have enough power to adequately protect the citizens’ rights. This paper discusses the system of checks and balances. It also evaluates the judicial branch of government and how it is restricted in power by the checks and balances system hence not fully serving the citizens.

The System of Checks and Balances

The several measures referred to as checks and balances are used to minimize risks, deter improper behavior, or limit the likelihood of dominance accumulation. Checks and balances typically make sure that no one branch of government has total authority over choices, specify who is responsible for what tasks, and compel cooperation among the branches (Ginsburg & Huq, 2018). The term “checks and balances” in the American government describes the division of power within the government, which is made possible by creating three distinct branches: the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. Each has an exclusive set of powers, which allows them to balance their authority.

Polybius, a Greek politician, was the first to initiate the idea of checks and balances as a separation of powers regarding the old Roman government. As a historian, Polybius divided the old Roman Empire’s mixed Constitution into three primary categories; democracy which was the people, aristocracy, which was the Senate; and monarchy, which was represented by the consul (Ginsburg & Huq, 2018). He had a significant impact on later conceptions of the division of powers. Baron de Montesquieu, a French scholar who lived during the Enlightenment Age, wrote about the importance of the division of authority in his book entitled The Spirit of Laws.

The division of powers among the three departments of government established by the US Constitution accords the federal government checks and balances. The Constitution grants each branch unique powers to guarantee that no one arm of the government might amass an overwhelming amount of direct authority (Ginsburg & Huq, 2018). The U.S. government uses checks and balances in several ways. Firstly, the legislative branch of the government is responsible for passing regulations. However, the executive branch grants the President the power to block any legislation, enabling the President to control the legislative branch.

Furthermore, particular regulations may be declared illegal and rendered invalid by the judicial branch of the government, which evaluates the regulations created by the legislative branch. The legislative branch can also override the President’s power with a two-thirds “supermajority” vote in the two houses of Congress, despite the President’s complete authority (Potrafke, 2018). As a result, the President is prevented from abusing his position for self-gain. The judicial branch has the authority to declare executive directives, which state how particular regulations should be applied, unlawful.

The Judicial Branch of Government

The federal court system regularly engages with the executive and legislative branches despite working separately from them due to the fact that the Law guarantees it. Federal laws are approved by Congress and signed into effect by the President. The judicial branch resolves other lawsuits and decides if national laws are valid. However, to ensure that court orders are followed, judges depend on the executive branch of the government (Makogon et al., 2018). The courts decide what truly happens and what is necessary to do about it. They decide if an individual did something wrong and the severity of the penalty. They also provide a diplomatic means of resolving particular conflicts that parties are unable to resolve by themselves. Some issues or misdeeds are adjudicated in proceedings, while others are addressed in federal courts, depending on the issue or accusation.

The United States’ top Court is the Supreme Court. It was entrenched beneath Article III of the U.S. Constitution, allowing Congress to validate legislation and create a series of lower courts. Ninety-four district-level trial courts and thirteen appeals courts are found underneath the Supreme Court in the present-day national judiciary composition (Morone & Kersh, 2018). The appellate courts are another name for the courts of appeals. Twelve regional courts, each having an appeals court, constitute the ninety-four federal judicial districts. The extent to which the rule was suitably implemented in the trial court is something that the appellate Court must determine. Three judges are found in appeals courts, which do not operate with juries. A court of appeals assesses appeals from alternatives taken by National administrative authorities and petitions to district court discernments from courts within its jurisdiction (Makogon et al., 2018). The Court of Appeals for the National Court also has national competence to hear appeals on complex issues, such as intellectual property laws and those determined by the International Trade Court and the Federal Claims Court.

The ninety-four District courts find solutions to issues by assembling important records and using regulatory guidelines to regulate who is right. There is a district judge in trial courts who controls the hearing and a jury who provides the adjudication. These judges work with magistrate judges to put together cases for hearings. They could also carry out petty case trials. Each state, as well as the District of Columbia, has at minimum one trial judge. As a division of the district court, each district has a U.S. bankruptcy court (Morone & Kersh, 2018). U.S. district courts that hear national proceedings and bankruptcy claims are located in four American territories. These are the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Additionally, there are two distinctive trial courts. Most claims for civil penalties against the U.S. government are handled by the Federal Claims Court, whereas the International Trade Court focuses on disputes concerning international commercial and customs rules.

Cases involving individual, commercial, or farm bankruptcy are solely within federal courts’ purview. Thus, no bankruptcy case may be brought before a state court. People or corporations unable to compensate their lenders can either obtain a court-supervised liquidation of their property through the bankruptcy procedure, or they can restructure their finances and put together a strategy to repay their creditors (Makogon et al., 2018). Three-judge panels known as Bankruptcy Appellate Panels (BAPs) are qualified to adjudicate bankruptcy court judgments. The federal appeals courts must create these teams because they are a part of those courts. Several Article I, or legislative courts, which lack full judicial authority, were established by Congress. The ability to hear allegations at the heart of habeas corpus disputes and render a final adjudication on all federal and constitutional law matters is known as judicial power.

How the System of Checks and Balances limits the Judiciary

The checks and balances system restricts the Judiciary’s authority in many ways. One manner is that, in addition to the judicial branch interpreting laws, the President appoints district court judges, justices of the Supreme Court, and judges of the Court of appeals (Tucker, 2018). The President must ensure that the candidates he provides to Senate for vetting are up to the task. There is a possibility that the selected candidates do not meet the position requirements since the President may not be well knowledgeable on judicial matters. The President mainly relies on advisors to develop a list of candidates the Senate will vet. Although the legislative branch’s Senate approves the President’s candidates for judicial positions, Congress can remove any of those judges (Tucker, 2018). The Judiciary has no say on who is to be part of it. Its leadership and work positions rely on the President, the Senate, and Congress.

A statute can then be invalidated, which is known as judicial review. However, the Supreme Court is monitored because the President and Senate choose and confirm the Court’s members accordingly. Additionally, Congress can convict the president and federal judges of high-level offenses and felonies such as treason or corruption. There is a possibility that the judges in the Judiciary may be forced to commit illegal activities, such as convicting an innocent person or freeing a guilty person to gain favors from members of the Senate or Congress (Tucker, 2018). This highly promotes illegal activities. There has also been a rise in the number of judges involved in corruption to keep their jobs. Since the Senate vets the candidates appointed by the President, the chosen candidates may try to buy the loyalty of the members of the Senate to increase the chances of them getting the job. A lot of corruption and nepotism are involved in the vetting, appointing, and firing judges at the Judiciary.


Based on research, the separation of powers through the system of checks and balances ensures that all three branches of government are doing their work as they should. However, the system may need improving since some loopholes have come up over time. The fact that the appointment of the judges in the Judiciary entirely depends on the other two branches of government has led to illegal activities. The Judiciary should have an independent body that deals with appointing, vetting, and firing the judges. The independent body should ensure that the appointed judges are up to the task. The independent body will also ensure that the appointed judges are chosen not based on their socioeconomic background, race, or nepotism but due on their skills, knowledge, and experience. By doing so, they will have reduced the chances of illegal activities within the government, and the government will be able to serve its people better.


Ginsburg, T., & Huq, A. Z. (2018). How to save a constitutional democracy. In How to Save a Constitutional Democracy. University of Chicago Press., B. V., Markhgeym, M. V., Novikova, A. E., Nikonova, L. I., & Stus, N. V. (2018). Constitutional Justice in Circumstances of Public Authority Limits. Journal of History Culture and Art Research, 7(2), 722-728.

Morone, J. A., & Kersh, R. (2018). By the people: Debating American government. Oxford University Press.

Potrafke, N. (2018). Government ideology and economic policy-making in the United States—a survey. Public Choice, 174(1), 145–207., P. (2018). Unelected power. In Unelected Power. Princeton University Press.

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