The United States Constitution distributes power horizontally as well as vertically. Dispersion of authority is a product not only of the separation between the national government and the states, but also of the allocation of power among the legislative, executive, land judicial branches. With regard to the national government, while some powers are separated and specifically assigned to a particular branch, some powers are also distributed in an overlapping manner. This overlapping distribution of power among the three branches of national government creates a system of "checks and balances". That system of checks and balances enables each branch of government to have a sphere of influence over one or both of the other two branches. This course will explore the purpose and effects of this allocation of separation of powers and checks and balances.
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