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"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed."— Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence
All three branches of the United States government have power that is incredibly important to the way our country in ran. I do believe that the executive branch may be the most powerful because of the fact that the President of the United States in a part of this branch of government. The President is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, deals with foreign affairs and policies, and is head of state and head of government for the United States of America. In addition to the President, the executive branch consists of the Vice President, the Cabinet, and many independent federal agencies.
I agree with the previous poster. The Constitution was deliberately written to include a separation of powers between three branches of government: executive (president), legislative (Congress, comprised of House and Senate) and Judicial (Supreme Court).Although the President is considered to be the commander in chief of the armed forces, is the chief executive officer with the power to uphold law, negotiate treaties with foreign governments, and make key political appointments (a fact which this office can use to increase its power), the President is still not higher than any of the other two branches because the executive is subject to checks by the other two branches. Congress makes laws, but the President can veto them. Congress, in turn, can also override vetoes. The Supreme Court, meanwhile, is tasked with making sure that legislation does not come in conflict with what has already been established under the Constitution. The three branches, then, work in tandem to keep each other from potentially becoming most powerful, and, when the system works (sometimes because of the partisan structure of Congress it aligns more with the President and this presents a different situation) no one branch is ever more powerful than another.
The question of "highest" branch might need a bit more clarification. The federal government is seen as the most prevalent in carrying out the functions and responsibilities of the Constitution. Yet, that does not take away from the role of state and local governments, as evidenced in the role of Federalism. At the same time, I think that the particular notion of which branch might be ranked "higher" than another might be more of an issue of personal analysis. The framers deliberately made up a setting of checks and balances so that one branch did not automatically supersede or overrun another. In the end, the framers conceived of each branch having distinct powers that another does not. Yet, all branches must work together in order for the business of government to be properly executed.
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