Explain how the actions of the executive and/or judicial branches have personally affected your life.

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Everyone leads a different life, but the executive branch and the judicial branch certainly affect all of us to some degree over our lifetimes.  I hope some examples help you start thinking about how your life has been affected.

The executive branch sets policy, appoints cabinet heads, and issues executive orders. The executive branch also has some prosecutorial discretion.   If you live in an area which has experienced a natural disaster, it is up to the president to declare this a state of emergency, thus allowing federal funds and federal workers to help your area.  if you live in a state in which marijuana use is legal, recreationally and/or medically, it is the executive branch that decides not to prosecute for its use, which is still illegal in federal law.  If you or someone in your family works for a company that does federal contract work, the executive branch has provided for paid sick leave as a condition of getting the contract.  I have included a link that lists President Obama's executive orders thus far, and you will see that the coverage of subjects is quite wide.

The judicial branch's influence on your life is likely to be much larger than you think.  If you are female, you have a large degree of reproductive choice because of the judicial branch.  If you vote, which everyone should, the courts are supposed to protect your right to do so, very recently striking down some voter ID statutes that made it more difficult for people to vote.  If you are a minority candidate for college, the Supreme Court has said that universities may take that into consideration as one factor to admit you. If you or a friend is part of the LGBT community, marriage is now a right.  No matter whether you are young, old, male, female, rich, poor, black, white, or something in between, the judicial branch has certainly ruled in some way that has affected your life.

It is good to sit down and consider how important the role of these branches of our government are in our lives and be grateful to live in a democracy in which we do not have to concern ourselves with the kind of role a dictator would play in our lives.  These branches of government may not always act in ways we agree with, but they are meant to be "for the people," a staple of any democracy.