Executive and Legislative Shared Powers

Executiveand Legislative Shared Powers

Executiveand Legislative Shared Powers

The Constitution has provided guidelines regarding roles of each armof the government. The United States Constitution states that theexecutive has the authority and responsibility to implement the lawspassed by the legislature upon interpretation by the judiciary. Thelegislature, on the other hand, has the duty of ensuring that itmakes laws while at the same time playing an oversight role on theother arms of government. In recent times, both the executive and thelegislature have been determined not to perform the constitutionalmandate they both have. The executive has been perceived to exerciseexcessive power when it comes to execution of tasks within thegovernment. Similarly, the legislature has failed to uphold theconstitution by its inability to play an oversight role to theexecutive. A case analysis of Remembrance of Powers Lost byWebb Jim would be utilized to provide an understanding of theconcept.

The Presidency has in recent times made decisions that under normalcircumstances would elicit a debate from the Congress. A typicalexample was when George Bush signed the Strategic Framework Agreementwith Iraq. The President deliberately failed to label the agreement atreaty in a bid to avoid confrontation with the Congress (Webb,2013). Some of the effects of such a move can be witnessed today. Theexecutive authoritatively made the decision without tabling the issuefor debate, an act that could be viewed as a breach of theconstitution. However, one could consider that the President wasexercising their powers under the circumstances. In another incident,President Obama authorized military intervention against MuammarGaddafi’s military. The decision to intervene was made withoutconducting any consultations with the Congress. Additionally,President Obama recently signed an agreement acknowledgingAfghanistan as an ally and a member of the NATO (Webb, 2013). Itcould have far-reaching consequences for the United States. It isunfortunate that the decisions reached by the executive arm of thegovernment fail to pass through the Congress for further debate andmajority approval.

The examples presented are a reflection of the manner in which theexecutive is maximizing its powers. Needless to say, the legislaturehas the authority to ensure that it offers checks and balances to theruling government. The United States Constitution has given themandate to the legislature to provide checks to the governmentespecially regarding issues of foreign policies. Despite the factthat the President has powers on certain issues of foreign policies,he has the legal mandate to work within the provisions of theconstitution. The Congress must have a say in decisions the Presidentmakes to avoid cases where a constitutional crisis is encountered.

The legislature has evidently failed to conduct its mandate asprovided for under the constitution. Despite the fact that they havepowers to conduct checks and balances on the executive, they haveconsistently failed to do so. The effect of such a move is that theexecutive authorizes various activities within governmentirrespective of the effects that they could have. It can be concludedthat the legislature may have forgotten the powers the Constitutionhas given them. Much of the decisions made by the executive fail toget the opinion of the legislature. The case presented is areflection of the need for the different forms of government to worktogether in a bid to avoid a crisis on issues of national interest.


Webb, J. (2013, Spring). Remembrance of powers lost. WilsonQuarterly, 37(2), 65-67. Retrieved from The National Interest.