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

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We are all affected by the actions of both the executive and judicial branches (as well as the legislative branch) at some point in our lives.

The president or the governor of each state obviously cannot accomplish the task of the executive branch alone. Therefore, a multitude of administrative agencies were created in order to assist in the role of enforcing and administering the laws created by the legislature. Examples of these agencies are the Transportation Department (who build the state highways), the Department of Licensing (who provide your driver's license and your doctor's license as well), as well as your community's fire department, police department, and sheriff's office. So you can clearly see how the executive branch would affect your everyday living.

The judicial branch interprets the laws that the other branches of government create and enforce. It also acts as a check and balance on the other two branches of government. Courts have the power to declare a statute unconstitutional. Once that is done, the statute becomes unenforceable. Hence, if there is a law within the jurisdiction that is unconstitutional, the courts can get rid of it. For example, the judicial branch decided the case of Roe v. Wade, dealing with abortion. So, again, you can see how they would affect your everyday life.

It is in your best interest to learn and know about all three branches of government and what they do. Your life and your loved one's lives may depend upon the decisions of the system.

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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. 

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