Chapter 3 Government and Administration
I. The Executive Branch
The President of the U.S is the head of the executive branch and the head of the state elected by the whole nation. The Constitution requires the President to be a natural-born American citizen at least 35 years of age. The president election was held every 4 years.
1. Presidency Election;
1) In America, the “winner-take-all” system applies in all states expect
2) The electors of all fifty states and the District of Columbia-a total of 538 persons-comprise what is known as the Electoral College. To be successful, a candidate for the Presidency must receive 270 votes. 3) The presidential term of 4 years begin on Jan 20 following the November election, the president publicly takes an oath of office, which is administered by the Chief Justice of the U.S. A president can be elected to office only twice.
2. The Presidential Powers
Executive powers: the highest duty
Powers in foreign affairs
Judiciary powers: give reprieves(缓刑) and pardons (赦免) in federal
II. The Legislative Branch
1. A Two-chamber Congress (国会)
Article I of the Constitution grants all legislative power of the federal government to a Congress composed of two chambers, a Senate and a
House of Representatives.
Age; 30 25
Citizenship; 9 7
6 2 Term;
Every 2 years one-third of the Senate stands for re-election. Today, the House is composed of 435 members. The Senate is composed of 2 members from each state, Membership in the House is based on population and its size is therefore not specified in the Constitution. 1)Each house of the Congress has the power to introduce legislation on any subject, except revenue bills (征税议案) which must first come from
the House of Representatives.
2) The Constitution provides that the Vice president shall be president of the Senate. He has no vote, except in a case of a tie. The House of Representatives choose its own presiding officer-the Speaker of the House.
III. The Judiciary Branch
1. According to the Constitution, the judicial power of the U.S shall be vested in one Supreme Court.
The judicial system has evolved into the present structure: the Supreme Court, 11 court of appeals, 91 district courts, and 3 courts of special jurisdiction. U.S. judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
2. The Supreme Court is the highest court of the U.S and is the only organ which has the power to interpret the Constitution. The Supreme Court at present consists of a Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices.
IV. Political Parties
In general, American has a two-party system. There are two major political parties in America: the Democrats and the Republicans.
The American Constitution is the oldest written constitution in the world. It was drawn up in 1787 and went into effect in 1789. It is the basic instrument of American Government and the Supreme law of the land.
Separation of powers: checks and balances 制约和平衡
The government is divided into three branches: the legislative(立
法) ,the executive(行政) ,and the judicial(司法). Each branch has part of
the powers but not all the power.