Checks and Balances The Three Branches of the American by Jr. Daniel E. Brannen

By Jr. Daniel E. Brannen

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The president can make treaties with other nations only when two-thirds of the senators approve. On May 24, 2002, for example, President George W. Bush and President Vladimir Putin (1952–) of Russia signed the Moscow Treaty on Strategic Offensive Reductions. The Moscow Treaty was an agreement to reduce the number of strategic nuclear warhead arsenals in America and Russia to between 1,700 and 2,200 each by December 2012. S. Senate ratified the treaty unanimously in March 2003. The Senate also must approve the president’s selection of federal judges, ambassadors to other countries, executive department heads, and other important officers.

If senators and representatives disagree with how the Supreme Court is interpreting a law, they can amend, or change, the law to clarify it so the Court can alter its interpretation. Congress can also pass a new law to correct a constitutional defect 194 Checks and Balances The Three Branches of the American Government American Government: An Overview when the Supreme Court strikes a law down as unconstitutional. For example, in Roe v. Wade in 1972, the Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban abortions completely because women have a constitutional right to have abortions in some cases.

The House of Lords was often called the upper chamber of Parliament (the name for the British legislature). Its members were religious leaders, such as bishops and archbishops, and others from the noble class of English society. Instead of being elected to office, members of the House of Lords inherited their 208 Checks and Balances The Three Branches of the American Government Historic Roots of the Legislative Branch seats. This meant that the House of Lords represented the wealthiest class of English society, not the general population.

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