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Cover: Bottom left: of the U.S. Capitol building, , D.C., of the Legislative Branch of the U.S. . Top: The , headquarters of the federal executive. Bottom right: The Supreme building, headquarters of the federal .

Credits from top to bottom are separated by dashes, left to right by semicolons. All photos are AP/Wide un- less otherwise noted. Cover: PictureQuest RF—Garry Black /Masterfi le; Catherine Gehm.Page 3: Michael Ventura/ Folio, Inc. 4: National Records Administration (3). 7: © Jim /The Image Works. 8: © Bob Daemmrich/ The Image Works. 9: Roy Ooms/Masterfi le. 13: Win McNamee/Getty Images. 24: top, © 2003 Bob Daemmrich/The Image Works. 26: Garry Black/Masterfi le. 27: David Mendelsohn/Masterfi le.

Copyright © 2004 Braddock Communications, Inc. P.tag">O. Box 710720, Herndon, 20171-0720 AMERICAABOUT How the Is Governed

Table of Contents

Overview of national, , and local in the United States ...... 3 Understanding how the system of government operates ...... 3 The role of the U.S. .…………………………………………………………4 How federal, state, and local governments interact ...... 5

Similarities and differences between the U.S. system of government and other forms of democratic government ...... 7

The federal government ………………………………………………………………………9 The Legislative Branch ...... 9 How a becomes ...... 9 The ...... 12 The ...... 12 The Executive Branch ...... 13 Executive departments and agencies ...... 14 The Judicial Branch ...... 17 Chart: Checks and balances ...... 20

State governments ...... 21 Structure of state governments ...... 22 Powers and responsibilities of state governments ...... 22

Local government...... 25 Structure of local governments ...... 25

Elections and the electoral process ...... 28

Nongovernmental organizations and institutions that infl uence public .....29 The media ...... 29 Special groups / nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) ...... 30 research associations ...... 30 associations...... 30 Labor unions ...... 30 Individuals and -sector businesses ...... 32 State and local governmental associations ...... 33 Political parties...... 33 Foreign governments and multilateral organizations...... 33 Chart: Funding government in the United States ...... 34 Glossary ...... 35


The publisher would like to extend a special note of thanks to Michael P. Brien and Howard Miller of BP America Inc. for their assistance in making this publication possible. The assis- tance of the following individuals in providing information and assistance for this publication is also gratefully acknowledged:

Douglas K. Barry, Ed.D., U.S. Commercial , U.S. Department of Commerce Carol A. Bonosaro, Senior Executives Association Elizabeth A. Sherman, Ph.D., Presidential Classroom Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historical Office Paul Rundquist, formerly Congressional Research Service, Library of Vincent T. Tizzio, American International Group Dr. Andrew R. Uscher, Senior Executives Association David K. Voight, U.S. Administration

3 Overview of national, state, and local governments in the United States

The American system of government, begun as an experiment in and in 1776, has proven to be remarkably resilient and adaptable. While often categorized as a democracy, the United States is more accurately defi ned as a constitutional federal . What does this mean? “Constitutional” refers to the fact that government in the United States is based on a Constitution which is the supreme . The Constitution not only provides the framework for how the federal and state governments are structured, but also places signifi cant limits on their powers. “Federal” means that there is both a national government and governments of the 50 states. Visitors closely inspect the original pages of the A “republic” is a form of government in which U.S. Constitution of 1787 in the rotunda of the Na- tional building in Washington, D.C. people hold power, but elect representa- Constitution as interpreted by still governs life in America. tives to that power.

UNDERSTANDING HOW THE AMERICAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT OPERATES To a visiting observer, the U.S. government seem straightforward: the Congress makes the and the President implements them. A closer inspection reveals a much more complex system of interactions and infl uences. As a republic, the ultimate power within the American system rests with the people. This power is exercised through regular, scheduled in which voters select the President, members of Congress, and various state and local offi cials. These offi cials and their staffs formulate policy, make laws, and direct the day-to-day operations of government.

“I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves.”

, 1820



The U.S. Constitution is the blueprint of . The Bill of Rights guarantees for the American system of government. important freedoms to every American, Ratifi ed in 1788, the Constitution defi nes including freedom of speech, press, and three separate branches of government , and the right to be free from (legislative, executive, and judicial), their unreasonable searches, and to have a powers, and how positions in each are to by . be fi lled. The Constitution, as the supreme law One defi ning characteristic of of the land, limits the the Constitution is the system of legislative and ex- checks and balances it created to ecutive powers of all distribute power among the three levels of government. branches. Any law or portion of Each a law that is deemed branch by the courts to be in confl ict with the some form Constitution is nullifi ed, of power with the U.S. Supreme over the Court having the fi nal others. For say in such example, matters. Amend- of the ments to the Supreme Constitution Court (judiciary) are appointed by the are adopted President (executive), but subject to the when pro- consent of the U.S. Senate (legislative). posed by Likewise, the judiciary can strike down two-thirds of as unconstitutional laws passed by Con- the House gress and signed by the President. These and Senate and other checks and balances ensure and ratifi ed by three-fourths of the states. that no single branch of government This is a diffi process, with only 27 exercises too much power. amendments having been made since the Because the government may ex- Constitution ratifi ed. Of these, only 16 ercise only those powers specifically have been adopted since 1800. granted to it in the Constitution, the

Constitution is an important protection On the right, two overlapping pages of the original text of the rights and powers of the people. of the Constitution. On the left, a printed, annotated The first ten amendments to the Consti- version of a House joint resolution amending the Constitution and proposing a Bill of Rights with 17 tution are collectively known as the Bill amendments, 24, 1789.


The Constitution not only defi nes ates certain laws and programs that are the structure and powers of the federal funded federally, but administered by the government, but also contains general states. , social welfare, assisted provisions regarding . housing and nutrition, , Each state, in turn, has its own transportation, and emergency response constitution which contains provisions are key areas where states deliver services for local governments within the state. using and subject to federal Local governments may include , guidelines. , , school , and This gives the federal government the special-purpose districts, which govern power to infl uence the states. For exam- such matters as local natural resources ple, in the , the federal government or transportation networks. wanted to lower highway limits to The federal government is limited to reduce energy consumption. Rather than the powers and responsibilities specifi - simply legislate a lower , the cally granted to it by the U.S. Constitu- federal government threatened to with- tion. Some of the powers listed in the hold money for road projects from states Constitution include regulating commerce that did not themselves lower the speed between the states, providing for national limit in their states. In many cases, the , creating money, regulating im- states must also partially fund the pro- migration and , and entering grams to qualify for federal funds. into with foreign . A is chartered ac- Over time, however, the Constitution cording to its state’s constitution. Just as has been interpreted and amended to the enacted by the state govern- to changing circumstances, and the ment must not confl ict with , a powers exercised by the federal govern- local government is subject to the legal ment have changed with it. Working with environment created by the state’s consti- the states, the federal government cre- tution and .


Sovereignty of Indian Tribes

Matthew Thomas, leader of the Narragansett Indian , 24 eastern U.S. tribes at a meeting in Mashantucket, , in 2003. Like other groups, Native pursue unifi ed political agendas.

Federally recognized American Indian tribes are considered entities within the United States. This sovereign —sometimes called “nation-within-a-nation”—is protected by , federal law, and court rulings. Members of tribes are not subject to state or local income, sales, or , and states have little power to regulate Indians in tribal . Tribes have their own rule-making bodies and judicial systems to settle disputes arising on tribal lands or between tribal members. While signifi cant, tribal is not absolute; Indians are subject to federal taxes and to laws passed by the U.S. Congress.

6 Similarities and differences between the U.S. system of government and other forms of democratic government

President (or comparable of- fi cial). In the United States, the President is both of government and . The President is elected separately from the legisla- ture and may or may not be of the ’s majority . The President’s consists of individuals who are Constitutionally pro- hibited from being members of Congress at the same time. Arab-Americans vote in the 2004 U.S. presidential in a school in Dearborn, . The United States is pri- marily a two-, in As a constitutional , the stark contrast to many par- United States is not unique. Many “de- liamentary systems where there may be mocracies” are in fact constitutional re- ten or more parties represented in the publics, and share with the United States legislature. This results in clearly defi ned long traditions of democratic representa- political lines in the United States, with- tion, the , and constitutional out the formal need for coalition-building protections. often required to a ruling - One signifi cant difference between ity in a . One factor the United States and some other major contributing to the two-party system in is the selection and role of the United States is the single-member the . In parliamen- system of electing Representa- tary systems, the head of government tives. In some parliamentary systems, is a prime selected from the proportional representation is used, , and is typically of which allows many parties to be repre- the majority political party or coalition. sented in parliament. The prime minister appoints a cabinet One other signifi cant difference is of ministers often consisting of other that elected offi cials in the United States members of parliament. A separate head serve for a defi ned period of time before of state may be a or an elected facing reelection. In many parliamentary


Texas: In a scene played out in many courtrooms, an attorney addresses jurors in a civil trial. Civil cases, unlike criminal cases, revolve around damages for wrongful acts and sometimes result in monetary awards.

systems, elections may be called sud- other countries vest such in denly by the or if there is their . a vote of no confi dence in the govern- Finally, the revenues and expendi- ment. In some parliamentary systems, tures of the U.S. government are much parliament may be dissolved by the head smaller than most of its counterparts in of state and new elections ordered. other industrialized nations when mea- Differences in the judicial system are sured as a percentage of gross domestic not as signifi cant as in the legislative, product. Much of the difference is due to because the United States legal sys- the and benefi ts (such as tem is based predominantly on English care and old-age ) that . Defendants in criminal governments in some other nations pay cases have the right to a public trial by for. In the United States, many of these jury and the right to be represented by services are delivered by the private sec- . One major difference in the ju- tor or are not funded to the same extent diciary, however, is the power of the U.S. by the government, and thus are not to declare laws uncon- counted in government expenditures. stitutional, thereby nullifying them. Few

8 The federal government

The U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. has long symbolized representative government in America. It is divided into two , the House of Representatives and the Senate, both of which need to concur for a new law to take effect.

The federal government is made How a bill becomes law up of three distinct branches, each with Each , thousands of bills are clearly defi ned Constitutional powers introduced in Congress, but only a few and responsibilities. These are the legis- hundred are passed into law. The follow- lative branch, the executive branch and ing is a summary of how a bill makes its the judicial branch. way from draft to being signed into law by the President. THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH 1. A bill is written. A or Repre- sentative may draft original legislation, The legislative branch of the federal or a trade association or private citizen government is comprised of two cham- may request that a bill be prepared and bers of Congress: the U.S. Senate and may assist in its writing. Only a Senator the U.S. House of Representatives. Legis- or Representative, however, can actu- lation must pass both houses before it is ally introduce a bill. Once written, the presented to the President to be signed author of the bill will seek co-sponsors into law. from among his or her colleagues to add greater credibility to the .



Committee and subcommittee

A bill is introduced and assigned and subcommittee to committee hearings and markup

Full chamber

Vote by full chamber and amendments by full chamber

If passed by full chamber, bill is Full Congress referred to other chamber

If passed in different form by other chamber, bill goes to conference committee, which negotiates differences

2. The bill is introduced in the Senate ing interest groups to represent their and/or House. It is assigned a views. and its and sponsors are published 5. Once the hearings are completed, the in the Congressional Record. subcommittee may meet to “mark up” 3. The Parliamentarians of the House the bill, which is the process of propos- and Senate assign the bill to the com- ing and considering amendments to the mittee with appropriate . The bill as written. It then votes on whether chair of the committee may then assign to report the bill favorably to the full the bill to the most appropriate subcom- committee. If not favorably reported, the mittee. It is important to note that the bill dies. committee and subcommittee chairs 6. The full committee may repeat any have a great deal of power over how a or all of the subcommittee’s actions: bill assigned to them is considered. If hearings, markup, and vote. If the the chair opposes the legislation, he or committee votes favorably on the bill, she may simply not act on it. it is ordered reported to either the full 4. The subcommittee may hold hear- House of Representatives or the full ings on the bill and invite Senate, depending on which chamber from public and private witnesses. Many is considering the bill. witnesses are Executive Branch offi cials, 7. When the bill reaches the fl oor of the experts, or affected parties from trade House or Senate, the membership of the associations, labor unions, academia, entire body may debate it. At this point, groups, or the business the bill may be further amended, re- community. Individuals may also make ferred back to committee, or voted on. their views known by testifying, by pro- 8. If the bill is passed by the House or viding a written statement, or by allow- Senate, it is referred to the other cham-

10 Vote by subcommittee Vote by full committee

If passed by full committee, bill is referred to the full chamber

President If passed in identical form by other chamber, If the President signs the bill bill is presented to the or takes no action while President Congress is in session, the bill becomes law

ber. A House-passed bill may be placed If both chambers approve the directly on the Senate Calendar, - conference committee bill, it goes to the ing the subcommittee and committee President for signature. The President reviews. Usually, however, the subcom- has four options: (1) Sign the bill mittees and in both bodies into law; (2) Take no action while the have an opportunity to hold hearings, Congress is in session, in which case the and amend the bill. Related or identical bill becomes law after ten days; (3) Take legislation often proceeds through the no action while a Congress is in fi nal House and Senate simultaneously. adjournment, in which case the bill dies; 9. If a bill is passed in identical form by or (4) the bill. the House and Senate, it is delivered to If the President vetoes a bill, the President. If there are differences Congress may attempt to override the between the House and Senate versions veto. This requires a two-thirds vote by of the bill, a conference committee is both the House and Senate. If either fails appointed by the President of the Senate to achieve a two-thirds majority in favor and the of the House to resolve of the legislation, the bill dies. If both the differences. If the conferees are un- succeed, the bill becomes law. able to reach agreement, the legislation In addition to creating laws, one dies. If they do reach an agreement, of the most important activities of the bill is sent back to both chambers, Congress is oversight of the Executive which must vote on them without further Branch. Congress may hold hearings to amendment. investigate the operations and actions of the Executive Branch to ensure that it is carrying out the law with integrity.


The House of Representatives • Considered the “House of the People.” • Comprised of 435 Representatives, apportioned among the states according to population. Five U.S. territories and possessions also have nonvoting representation in the House: Members of the House of Representatives take the the District of Columbia, American of offi ce in the House chambers in the Capitol in , 1989. , , , and the The Senate U.S. . • All Representatives serve two-year terms • Considered the “Upper Chamber,” it is con- with no limit on the number of terms sidered more deliberative than the House. they may serve, and all are elected at the • Comprised of 100 Senators (two from each same time. state). • Each Representative is elected from a • Senators serve six-year terms, with no limit defi ned geographic within a state on the number of terms they may serve. called a . • For election purposes, senators are divided • Vacancies in the House of Representatives into three classes; one class stands for are fi lled only by a special election or in a election every two . This ensures that . there are always experienced • The members of the House elect a serving in Congress. Speaker of the House, who is the • Vacancies in the Senate are generally fi lled leading offi cer of the chamber and, in by appointment by the of the practice, is a member of the majority state where the vacancy exists. party. • The of the United States Special powers and responsibilities serves as the President of the Senate, of the House not shared with the Senate only in cases of a tie.* include: While sharing broad legislative powers • The power to bring charges of with the House of Representatives, the against the President Senate has several unique powers to itself: and Supreme Court Justices. • The Senate must confi rm presidential • All bills for raising revenue must appointments to the Supreme Court, lower originate in the House. federal courts, and key positions within the • The House selects the President in cases Executive Branch before the appointees where no presidential candidate receives can take offi ce. a majority of electoral votes. In such • The Senate approves or rejects international cases, each state has one vote. treaties negotiated by the President. • In cases of impeachment of the President *In practice, ties are so infrequent that the Vice President spends very little time presiding over the Senate. When or a member of the Supreme Court, the full the Vice President is not present, the Senate selects Senate conducts the trial and acts as jury. a president from its members to preside over daily proceedings.

12 President Bush chairs a cabinet meeting, , 2004.

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH The Executive Branch is by far the largest government. Among the powers and roles branch of the federal government. At its of the President are: head is the President, who serves a four- • Appointing Supreme Court justices and year term. The Vice President is elected lower federal court , all of whom at the same time, and is fi rst in line to must be confi rmed by the Senate; assume the should the Presi- •Appointing a cabinet of department sec- dent die, become incapacitated, or be retaries and agency heads who must be removed from offi ce upon impeachment confi rmed by the Senate; and conviction. • Acting as Commander-in- of the Although the Executive Branch shares ; powers co-equally with the other two • Acting as titular head of state; branches of government, the President • Negotiating international treaties and is the most powerful individual in the treaties with American Indian tribes, which must be ratifi ed by the Senate;

13 HOW THE U.S. IS GOVERNED • Vetoing legislation passed by Congress; Executive departments and agencies • Granting and reprieves for fed- Beneath the President and Vice Presi- eral (except impeachment). dent are 15 departments and numerous In addition to these constitutional agencies which together make up the powers, the President in practice has oth- “government” that we see every day. They er powers that are either informal or not are responsible for administering the law, expressly provided for in the Constitution. enforcing it, and delivering various gov- First and foremost, the President may ernmental services. Their functions are issue Executive Orders, which are direc- far-reaching and affect the lives of every tives that have of law. Executive American. Orders are commonly used for purposes such as: The 15 departments are: • Establishing new programs, offi ces, or commissions to promote or carry out • Department of (USDA) the President’s political agenda; • Department of Commerce (DOC) • Creating policies that affect how legisla- • Department of Defense (DOD) tion passed by Congress is to be carried • Department of Education (ED) out or enforced; • Department of Energy (DOE) • Declaring when the federal workforce • Department of Health and will observe holidays. Services (HHS) Executive Orders can be a powerful • Department of (DHS) tool for the President to achieve policy • Department of Housing and Urban objectives, and this power has been Development (HUD) upheld by the Supreme Court. Individual • Department of the Interior (DOI) Executive Orders may be overturned or • Department of (DOJ) modifi ed by Congressional legislation, but such legislation requires the President’s signature to have effect, unless Congress overrides a presidential veto. Executive Orders may also be challenged in court if they are perceived to violate the Constitu- tion or confl ict with existing law. Finally, the President serves as the head of his or her political party, and can use the stature and visibility of the presidency to articulate political views and advance political objectives, both with the public and with members of his or her party in Congress.

Federal government agencies collect data, as well as initiate programs. This , who works for the U.S. Department of Energy, uses an aircraft to collect data on air over New .

14 Old-age pensions, known as Social Security in the United States, are paid to millions by the U.S. government. Above, printed checks wait to be mailed from the U.S. Treasury’s fi nancial management facility in , .

• Department of Labor (DOL) and Budget, and the U.S. Trade Repre- • Department of State (DOS) sentative. Other positions that are cur- • Department of Transportation (DOT) rently or have recently been considered • Department of the Treasury cabinet- positions are the director of • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). the Environmental Protection Agency, the Each department is headed by a sec- director of Central Intelligence, and the retary, who is appointed to the position by President’s advisor. the President subject to Senate confi rma- In addition to the cabinet-level depart- tion. The departmental by law ments, there are numerous independent make up the President’s Cabinet, a group Executive Branch agencies and commis- of people who advise the President on any sions, some of which are quite large. subject relating to their responsibilities. Some examples include the U.S. Postal The President may also accord cabinet- Service, the Environmental Protection level status to other top Executive Branch Agency, and Aeronautics and offi cials. Typically this includes the Vice Space Administration (NASA). President, the President’s Chief of Staff, Regulatory agencies are an espe- the director of the Offi ce of Management cially powerful type of agency. They are


empowered by Congress to make and are appointed by the President subject enforce rules governing specifi c parts of to Senate approval. Their rules have the the economy often dealing with complex force of law, but may be challenged in the technical issues. Major regulatory agen- courts or overturned by Congress. cies include: Of all the independent agencies, none • Securities and Exchange is more independent than the Federal (SEC) Reserve System, the nation’s central (FTC) also known simply as “the Fed.” The • Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Board of of the Federal Re- • and Drug Administration (in HHS) serve is responsible for establishing the (FDA) nation’s monetary policy, setting inter- • Federal Communications Commission est rates, and determining the supply of (FCC) money. Decisions made by the Fed have • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) far-reaching effects on the nation’s econ- • Equal Opportunity omy, interest rates, infl ation, job creation, Commission (EEOC) and . In fact, many • Occupational Safety and Health consider the Chairman of the Board of Administration (in DOL) (OSHA). Governors to be the second most pow- Together with other regulatory agen- erful individual in government after the cies, these bodies make rules that affect President. nearly every business and consumer. Commission members and agency heads

Presidential Succession

The Department of Homeland Security is the nation’s newest cabinet-level depart- ment. The date of creation is important because the presidency passes to the Vice President in case of or incapacitation of the President. If the Vice President is unable to serve, the line of succession is as follows: • Speaker of the House; • President Pro Tem of the Senate; • Department secretaries, generally in the the departments were created, beginning with the of State.

16 The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., houses the nation’s highest court. The nine justices on the court play a decisive role interpreting legal and constitutional issues for the nation.

THE JUDICIAL BRANCH (also known as Circuit Courts or Appellate Courts), courts, The judicial branch is responsible for courts, and courts of federal claims. The passing on legal cases that courts of the federal judiciary hear both challenge or require interpretation of acts civil and criminal cases appealed from of Congress and for trying criminal cases state courts. Their original jurisdiction in which the defendant is accused of vio- covers cases relating to , trade- lating federal law. Federal courts also have marks, claims against the federal govern- appellate jurisdiction over state laws when ment, bankruptcy, fi nancial securities, challenged on constitutional grounds, maritime law, and international claims. and jurisdiction over cases involving more As a separate branch of government, than one state, citizens of more than one the judiciary is independent of the other state, or foreign parties. two branches, subject only to the checks The judicial branch consists of the and balances defi ned in the Constitution. Supreme Court and the lower federal An independent federal judiciary is courts, including the Courts of Appeal


considered essential to ensure fairness and popular opinion, the process of se- and equal justice for all citizens. The lecting judges has become highly politi- Constitution promotes judicial indepen- cal. Supreme Court Justices and lower dence in two major ways. First, federal court judges are nominated by the Presi- judges are appointed for life, and they dent and take offi ce only when confi rmed can be removed from offi ce only through by the Senate. impeachment and conviction by Con- The Supreme Court currently has gress of “, Bribery, or other high nine justices, a number set by law. Lower Crimes and .” Second, the federal courts, including their jurisdic- Constitution provides that the compensa- tions, number of judges, and budgets, tion of federal judges “shall not be dimin- are established by Congress. All federal ished during their Continuance in Offi ce,” judges require confi rmation by the Senate which means that neither the President in order to take offi ce permanently. The nor Congress can reduce the salary of a President, however, may appoint judges federal . These two protections help for a temporary term while the Congress an independent judiciary to decide cases is not in session. Federal , who free from popular passions and political perform judicial activities such as setting infl uence. , issuing warrants, and conducting Although the judiciary was envisioned hearings for offenses, are appoint- by the writers of the Constitution to be a ed to eight-year terms by Federal District branch insulated from political pressures Court judges.

18 The Supreme Court and Civil Rights

The Supreme Court’s role as an equal partner in government was solidifi ed by the famous case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803. In this case, the Supreme Court for the fi rst time declared a law passed by Congress and signed by the President unconstitutional, thereby nul- lifying the law. Rather than being simply White and black students study together at Clinton High School in Clinton, , in 1964. The saw a court that interprets the law, the - many advances in racial integration in the United States, preme Court has the power to void laws. prompted by public opinion and the federal court system. Although it was 54 years before the Supreme Court declared another law unconsti- tutional, it has become increasingly active since the middle of the 20th , espe- cially in the area of civil rights. A succession of cases was a driving force in the expansion of rights for minorities and protections for defendants in criminal cases. Many of these, though controversial at the time, are now praised as enduring victories over injustice. The following are examples of some cases that had a lasting impact:

• In 1954, the court held in Brown v. Board of Education that having separate schools for whites and blacks was inherently unequal, and resulted in a massive desegregation effort in public schools. • In 1956, the court upheld a lower court ruling overturning state laws that dis- criminated against minorities. Practices such as forcing blacks to sit at the back of buses (the situation that originated the case) were outlawed. • In the 1967 Miranda v. case, the court held that individuals in custody must be told of their rights to remain silent and to have legal counsel. These rights are now known as “Miranda rights.”

In these and many other important cases, the Supreme Court overturned state and local laws and practices that had the effect of denying minorities equal rights under the law. An important basis for these decisions was the Fourteenth Amendment, which states in part: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or im- munities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its juris- diction the equal protection of the laws.”

“… the judiciary is the safeguard of our liberty and our property under the Constitution.” Charles Evans Hughes, Chief Justice of the United States, 1930-1941


Checks and Balances

• Senate confirms Executive presidential • Appoints federal appointments to judges and justices executive and judicial posts • Represents federal • Can veto legislation government before • Congress can override • Vice President is the court a presidential veto President of the Senate • President can • Congress exerts and can tie votes issue pardons for oversight of executive offenses other than activities impeachment • Congress controls budget • Congress can impeach • Chief Justice presides and, upon conviction, over of presidential remove the President impeachment from office • Can declare presidential acts unconstitutional

• Senate confirms judges and justices • Can impeach and remove judges and justices • Sets size of Supreme Court • Can initiate constitutional amendments • Creates federal courts inferior to the Supreme Court Judicial Legislative

• Interprets legislation with power to declare it unconstitutional

20 State governments

The building in , , hosts that court and other regional courts as well, including a federal appeals court. A system of federal courts stretches throughout the nation, and provides a national legal structure, in addition to state courts and state laws.

As a federal system of government, states, there is a federal district—the the United States has several layers of District of Columbia—which is the national government ranging from the and not part of any state. The government at the national level, to state District of Columbia is governed by the and local governments. Two of these government, with budgetary control layers—the national and state—are and administrative oversight by the U.S. addressed in the U.S. Constitution. Congress. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress State governments are not subunits of the authority to admit new states to the the federal government; each state is sov- union. Since the ratifi cation of the ereign and does not report in any constitu- Constitution by the original 13 states, the tional way to the federal government. The United States has grown to encompass U.S. Constitution and federal law, however, 50 states, varying widely in population supersede state and state laws and geographic size. In addition to the 50 in areas where they are in disagreement.


STRUCTURE OF STATE GOVERNMENTS state’s budget, confi rming appointments to the executive or judicial branches, and The U.S. Constitution guarantees each conducting oversight of executive branch state a republican form of government operations. In many smaller states, leg- —that is, a government run by popularly islators serve part-time and receive only elected representatives of the people. nominal compensation. They may meet State governments generally mirror the just a few weeks or months of the year federal government: In each state there before returning to their full-time occupa- is an elected head of the executive branch tions. In larger states, legislators serve (the governor), an independent judiciary, year-round and receive the compensation and a popularly elected legislative branch. and benefi ts of a full-time job.

Executive Judicial The executive branch of each state is State court systems have jurisdic- responsible for administering the day-to- tion over matters not covered by federal day operations of government, providing courts, including most civil cases between services and enforcing the law. It is led by parties in the same state, criminal cases a governor, elected by statewide ballot for where violations involve state or local a two- or four-year term, depending on laws, law, and issues relating to the the state. Other top executive offi cials who state constitution. may be elected rather than appointed are The highest court in each state is the the governor, , state supreme court or court of appeals. attorney general, comptroller, and mem- Justices are typically elected to lengthy bers of various boards and commissions. terms, but do not serve for life. The high Positions not fi lled by election are usually court usually has only appellate jurisdic- fi lled by appointment by the governor. tion—reviewing decisions by lower courts —and its decisions in turn may be ap- Legislative pealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The All states have a popularly elected structure of lower state courts varies legislature consisting of two chambers, except widely by state. Some states have sepa- , which has a single-chamber rate courts for civil and criminal matters, legislature. Legislators are elected from and all states have some form of local single-member districts and typically serve municipal or courts to handle mi- a two-year or four-year term. The names nor offenses and small claims. of the chambers vary by state. In most states the upper chamber is called the POWERS AND RESPONSIBILITIES senate, while the lower chamber may be OF STATE GOVERNMENTS called the house of representatives, house As sovereign entities within the frame- of delegates, or state assembly. work of the U.S. federal system, each state Primary duties of the legislature has its own constitution, elected offi cials, include enacting new laws, approving the and governmental organization. States

22 Members of the energy committee of the listen to testimony by experts on a pro- posal to site energy-generating wind turbines offshore, 2003. have the power to make and enforce laws, courts and the system; levy taxes, and conduct their affairs largely • Generally providing for the public safety; free from intervention from the federal • Issuing licenses and driver’s government or other states. licenses; State governments have primary re- • Issuing and birth and death sponsibility for providing many important certifi cates; services that affect the everyday lives of • Administering publicly funded health, their residents. These include: housing, and nutrition programs for • Setting educational standards and es- low-income and disabled residents; tablishing methods for funding public • Managing state and other lands education; for recreation and environmental con- • Building and maintaining transportation servation purposes; networks; • Administering and certifying elections, • Establishing state-sponsored including elections for federal offi cials; and universities; • Commanding the state National Guard, • Licensing and regulating businesses except when called to national service. and professions; Some of these responsibilities are • Creating and overseeing non-federal delegated to or shared with local govern-


ments in many states. For example, in most states, marriage licenses are issued by city or county governments.

The role of state constitutions In contrast to the U.S. Constitution, which is broadly written, state constitu- tions can be very detailed and specifi c. Many state constitutions go on for pages State rival state governors’ offi ces in power describing, for example, the rules for is- at the state level. In this 2003 photo, a state suing bonds or defi ning the jurisdiction of senator uses her laptop in the state Senate chamber to check some data. various state courts. Why so much detail in state constitutions? One reason is that they are more readily amended than the U.S. Constitution. In most states, approval by a majority of voters in a statewide elec- tion is all that is required. Another reason is that states, in contrast to the federal government, are largely free to exercise any power not prohibited to them. In order to effectively restrict state government powers, the restrictions must be spelled out in the state’s constitution. Finally, most states are required by their constitutions to have a balanced budget. Exceptions, such as borrowing to fi nance transportation or other construc- tion projects, must be provided for in the constitution.

A state in Texas signals an “aye” vote on the fl oor of the Texas House of Representatives during fi nal passage of a school fi nance proposal, 2005. His bill then headed to the state Senate for further debate, as Texas has a bicameral legislature.

24 Local government STRUCTURE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS Each state constitution provides for the establishment of local governmental entities. In all states, these local entities include counties* and cities, but most states also provide for other types of lo- cal government, including wards, school districts, conservation districts, , and transportation . These Volunteers work to enroll homeless people on to the special types of local government have voter list in a Salvation Army shelter in , California, 2004. County and municipal governments, sometimes regulatory, administrative, or taxing au- assisted by citizens, perform all kinds of functions that thority as defi ned in the state constitution touch daily lives. or in state law. also share responsibility with the state for There are over 500,000 elected of- providing social benefi ts for low-income fi cials in the United States. Of these, fewer residents, monitoring and enforcing envi- than 8,500 are at the national and state ronmental and building codes, level. The rest are local government of- overseeing child welfare, and performing fi cials — members, school judicial functions. In some states, counties board members, , sheriffs, and are the geographic units for public school an array of other individuals who serve in districts, but schools usually have a sepa- various capacities. rate administrative structure. Counties are run by popularly elected County government offi cials. There is typically a board of su- Counties are the basic territorial divi- pervisors or a which sion within a state and range in size from sets policy and often exercises executive under 100 square kilometers to over functions as well. Other elected county po- 200,000 square kilometers. In 48 states, sitions may include , judge, justice counties are also the primary governing of the , medical examiner, comp- entity below the state government (coun- troller, assessor, or , among ties in Connecticut and do others. In addition to these elected of- not have governmental functions). fi cials, many counties have a professional Major functions of county govern- administrator, who is hired to manage the ments include recordkeeping (births, county government’s overall operations. deaths, land transfers, etc.), administra- tion of elections (including voter registra- tion), and maintenance of local and rural roads, , building *In , the political division which would be called a county in other states is known as a . In , it is code enforcement, and known as a . (especially in rural areas). Some counties


Municipal government who may or may not have a on the council, is the head of the municipal gov- are incorporated cities, ernment and is responsible for overseeing towns, or within or independent of day-to-day administrative functions. Some a county having their own governing and cities have adopted manager form taxing authority. They range in size from of government, where the city council small towns with fewer than 100 residents hires a professional manager to run the to large metropolises spanning several operations of the city. A city manager is counties (such as New City). the chief administrative offi cer of the city Municipal government responsibili- and, though not elected, reports directly ties include public safety, maintenance of to the elected city council or . city , parks and recreation, waste- water treatment, trash removal, zoning Special district governments and building code enforcement, fi re and rescue services, animal control, public According to the U.S. Census Bureau, transportation, and other essential servic- over one-third of all governmental enti- es. Larger cities may also provide assisted ties in the United States are so-called housing, operate public , special district governments. Special district governments operate independently of other local governments and are usually established to serve a spe- cifi c purpose within a specifi c geographic . Examples include: • Water and conservation; • Fire prevention; • ; Small towns throughout America, such as this idyllic spot in the Napa Valley, California, rely on local governments to deal with the basics of • Emergency services; municipal and community life. • Transportation. Leaders of these gov- and administer social welfare programs ernmental entities may be elected or funded by the city, the state, or the fed- appointed. Powers of special district eral government. Many cities also own governments vary widely, but many have or regulate public utilities such as water, signifi cant regulatory and taxing authority. electric power, natural gas, and telecom- Their activities are commonly funded by a munications. special or collected Cities and towns are governed by within their area of jurisdiction, or by fees elected offi cials. These offi cials usually charged to users of their services. include a mayor and a city council who make decisions and set policy. The mayor,

26 Children peer with curiosity out of a school bus. Of all the forms of local government in the United States, school districts are often the ones that draw the most attention from the public. In the United States, school districts have considerable setting education policy.

Public education business property, and state governments may provide additional funding from gen- Public education through grade 12* eral state revenues or dedicated revenues is available at no to virtually every from state . State governments school-age resident. Each state’s constitu- are responsible for setting education tion or public laws provide for the manner standards and general policies within the by which public education is to be admin- state, but implementation is left to the lo- istered and funded. In most cases, school cal school boards. districts are established with a popularly elected school board or board of trustees. These boards create budgets, set policy, and hire the administrators who run the schools. School districts do not necessari- ly coincide with other political boundaries, though often they serve a specifi c city or county. In most states, public education is *The end of , approximately 17-18 years funded by taxes assessed on personal and of age.


Elections and the electoral process

Federal elections are held in Novem- party nominating conventions, which are ber of even-numbered years. Just as the usually held in or August. These po- President, Senators, and Representatives litical conventions are where each party’s have overlapping constituencies, their nominee is actually selected. terms also overlap. In the general election in November, • All Representatives are elected every two Senators and Representatives are elected years by the voters of the district they by plurality vote—the candidate receiving represent. the most votes wins, even if it is not a ma- • Senators serve six-year terms, with one- jority. In presidential elections, each state third of them up for election every even is allocated a number of electoral votes year. Senators are chosen in statewide equal to the sum of U.S. Representatives elections and represent all residents of and Senators for that state. The District of their states. Columbia, though not a state, has three • The President and Vice President are electoral votes. elected together every four years in a The presidential candidate who wins nationwide election. the popular vote in a state “wins” that The election process begins well in state’s electoral votes, usually in a winner- advance of the actual election as individu- take-all manner. After elections in each als declare their candidacies for offi ce. state are certifi ed, the electoral votes won In the congressional election process, if by each candidate are counted. If a can- more than one candidate from the same didate receives a majority of the electoral party seeks the offi ce, a votes (at least 270 of the 538 total), he or is held to determine which candidate will she is declared the winner. If no candidate be on the ballot in the general election. wins a majority of electoral votes, the U.S. The primary process for presidential House of Representatives chooses the elections is different from congressio- winner, with each state delegation hav- nal elections. Beginning in January and ing one vote. Because the President is not lasting through of the election year, elected directly by the people, it is possi- states hold presidential primaries or cau- ble for a candidate to receive a plurality of cuses. The results of these ballots deter- the popular vote and yet lose the election. mine how many delegates will represent each respective candidate at the national

28 Nongovernmental organizations and institutions that infl uence public policy

The then-Governor of Massachusetts addresses members of the Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank, 2001. Think tanks, groups of scholars who research and write on public policy, are one of many kinds of private organizations in the United States that seek to infl uence the government.

The U.S. system of government was and other forms of media publicizing designed to be deliberative, accessible varying opinions, both critical and sup- by citizens, and open to a wide variety of portive of government policy. opinions and . Just as the gov- The media serves at least three ernment has evolved and grown over important functions in infl uencing pub- time, so too have the institutions that lic policy. First, policy makers are under seek to infl uence the government. constant scrutiny by the extensive media industry. Public offi cials realize that almost THE MEDIA anything they do or say—even in private The media in the United States is con- —may appear in the media, and so are re- trolled by the private sector and faces no luctant to make decisions or perform acts political censorship by the government. that they would not want publicized. There is a strong tradition of independent Second, the media reports facts and newspapers, magazines, , , conducts independent analysis concerning


public policy issues, thereby educating the research, publish books and articles, and public. Finally, the media provides a forum prepare position papers on topics related for publishers and broadcasters (and their to public policy. Their experts are often readers and listeners) to present editorial called to testify before Congress, and their opinions that may infl uence others. Many published works are often cited by others large newspapers, for example, endorse to support their own positions. particular candidates for offi ce or publish While some of these groups have a guest articles favoring one policy over distinct partiality towards liberal or con- another. servative policies, many are highly re- By bringing the acts of public offi cials spected as authoritative sources of study to light, educating the public about the on matters that affect public policy. Some issues, and deliberately favoring certain prominent think tanks with a long candidates and policies, the media can of contributing to the public policy debate infl uence policy directly or, by shaping include the , Heri- public opinion, indirectly. tage Foundation, Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, Center for Strategic SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS / and International Studies, and the Com- NONGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS petitive Enterprise Institute, among (NGOs) others. Special interest groups are private- TRADE ASSOCIATIONS sector organizations whose members share common interests or positions on Trade associations are membership public policy, and who pool their resourc- organizations that represent the interests es with the intent of gaining a more prom- of a particular industry or profession. inent voice in policy . There are They communicate the concerns of their literally thousands of such groups repre- members to policymakers both in the senting almost every conceivable interest. legislative and executive branches. Just Some organizations have a long history as importantly, they report back to their of working towards a general goal, while members about new policies, rules, and others are formed temporarily to advocate proposals so that the members are edu- for or against a specifi c policy proposal. cated about what is required of them. Prominent examples of special inter- est groups are those who advocate for en- LABOR UNIONS vironmental protection, benefi ts for senior While the primary purpose of labor citizens, protection for minority groups, unions is to represent their members in and policies. negotiations with employers, unions also play a signifi cant role in infl uencing public PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH policy. In speaking for their members, ORGANIZATIONS their input is considered whenever trade, These organizations, sometimes environmental, workplace safety, health- called “think tanks,” conduct original care, and other key issues are debated.

30 How organizations attempt to influence public policy

Various organizations and institutions attempt to infl uence policy and public opinion in a variety of ways:

• Educating public offi cials and their staffs about the positive or negative effects of policy proposals; • Conducting advertising campaigns and public relations initia- tives supporting their views; • Arranging for expert opinions and providing facts, data, and opinion polls to support their positions; • Arranging for witnesses to testify before congressional committees; • Encouraging their members to vote, communicate with their elected offi cials, and write letters to the media supporting their positions; • Forming political action committees to contribute money to the campaigns of candidates who support their positions.


to policymakers how pro- posed legislation will affect the , they also serve other functions: • Ensuring that their em- ployers are aware of laws and policies that apply to them. This facilitates com- pliance with the law. • Providing expert, sub- stantive advice about the A union offi cial addresses a labor rally in City, 2004. This group had gathered to demonstrate support for striking grocery store workers in effects of proposed legis- California. lation, which can help law- makers create fairer laws Unions are considered infl uential with fewer unintended because of their ability to mobilize their consequences. members to vote and speak out. Unlike business associations, which typically rep- Corporate representatives who are resent a relatively small number of compa- effective and principled advocates of nies, trade unions represent thousands or the interests of their companies and millions of workers, who are also voters. of the business community as a whole help government arrive at INDIVIDUALS AND PRIVATE- better-informed … decisions.” SECTOR BUSINESSES Bryce Harlow, 1984 Private citizens and businesses com- STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTAL monly form coalitions or interest groups ASSOCIATIONS to make their voices heard in the halls of government, but many also take on Because state and local governments their own to infl uence government policy. can be signifi cantly affected by federal These activities include writing to their government policy, they have formed their elected offi cials about particular policies, own associations to ensure that the inter- writing letters to the editor of their local ests of states, cities, counties, and other newspaper, and appearing at hearings governments have a voice. and other public functions where policy is Several major groups in this category are: debated. • National Governors Association Because businesses are affected to • of Cities a great degree by government policies, • National Conference of State many have established Legislatures government relations offi ces to represent • National Association of Counties their interests in Washington. While a pri- • International City Managers Association mary function of these corporate repre- • U.S. Conference of Mayors. sentatives is to educate and communicate

32 and help raise funds for political cam- paigns. Other activities include: • Conducting voter education programs • Conducting issue and opinion research • Providing information about govern- ment offi cials and activities. The minor political parties also pro- vide organized to those in power, placing an additional check on government power.

FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND MULTILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS As the governing power of a sovereign nation, the U.S. government is technically responsible only to the American people. There are ways, however, for foreign gov- ernments to infl uence policy in the United States. Treaties, for example, become the law of the United States when ratifi ed. In Top: A worker hangs a banner outside Madison Square Garden, , in preparation for the 2004 negotiating these treaties, foreign gov- Republican National Convention. Bottom: A sign hangs ernments have infl uence over what will on Fleet Center, site of the 2004 Democratic Convention in . become U.S. law. These organizations are particu- Foreign governments and internation- larly vocal on federal transportation, tax, al bodies can infl uence the U.S. in other environmental, education, and social ways, either directly or indirectly. One policy. Federal policymakers often turn good example is on trade disputes where to state and local governments for advice foreign governments have the author- on how best to structure and implement ity to impose duties on imports from the programs such as housing, nutrition, and United States. These governments may healthcare that are funded federally, but knowingly target goods from infl uential delivered locally. U.S. industries or states, believing that the affected parties in the United States will POLITICAL PARTIES call on the government to change policies to avoid the duties. There are two major national political While foreign governments can con- parties in the United States: the Demo- duct public relations efforts and lobby cratic Party and the Republican Party. through their embassies in the United Together with minor parties, these or- States, they cannot contribute fi nancially ganizations are an important part of the to the campaign of any candidate for American system of government. Political federal offi ce. parties recruit candidates for public offi ce


Funding government in the United States

The various levels of government use a wide variety of taxes and fees to pay for their operations. The following is a summary of the major sources of rev- enue for each level of government.

Federal • Personal and corporate • Payroll taxes for Social Security and • Excise taxes • and gift taxes • duties

State • Personal income tax (43 states) • Corporate income tax • State sales tax (45 states) • Excise taxes • Business and professional permits and licenses • Lotteries • Transfers from the Federal Government

County, municipal and other local • Real estate and tax • Commercial property tax • Sales tax (where allowed by the state) • Fines for traffi c, parking, and other minor offenses • Income tax or business (where allowed by the state) • Miscellaneous permits, licenses, and fees

34 Glossary Appellate: A court that hears cases ap- between U.S. Representatives and U.S. pealed from lower courts. Some courts Senators to resolve differences when two have both original jurisdiction (that is, versions of a similar bill have been passed cases may be tried fi rst in the court) and by the House and Senate. Identical bills appellate jurisdiction. must pass in both chambers before the Bill: Legislation introduced in either the bill can be presented to the President. House or the Senate. Confi rmation: The act of the U.S. Senate Bill of Rights: Name given to the fi rst ten approving a presidential nominee to an amendments to the U.S. Constitution be- executive branch post or federal judge- cause they specifi cally protect the rights . of individuals. Congressional Record: The offi cial Cabinet: The President’s closest advisors, transcript of the proceedings of the U.S. consisting of the Vice President and, by Congress. law, the heads of the 15 Executive Branch Constitution: The basic laws and prin- departments. The President or Congress ciples of a nation that defi ne the powers may also accord cabinet-level status to and responsibilities of government and other top offi cials. the rights of the people. The United States : In U.S. presidential , a has a written constitution, but constitu- system used by some states to select tions in some other nations are unwritten. delegates to state and national nominat- Department: The highest administra- ing conventions. In a caucus, local party tive division of the Federal Government, members gather to discuss candidates comparable to a ministry in parliamentary and issues, and then vote. In Congress, systems. Departments are created by law, a caucus is a meeting of members of the and the head of a department is called same political party or special interest a secretary (except for the head of the group. Department of Justice, whose title is At- Chamber: A legislative body. The U.S. torney General). Congress is comprised of two chambers: Electoral : In U.S. presidential the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of elections, the is the Representatives. Chamber also refers to group of electors who actually cast bal- the hall where each body meets to con- lots for the President. When a voter casts duct offi cial business. a ballot for a presidential candidate, he or Checks and balances: System set forth she is actually voting for a slate of electors in the U.S. Constitution which divides from their state who will cast their ballots governing power between the Executive, for their candidate. Legislative, and Judicial Branches. Each Excise tax: A tax on the production or branch exercises some form of authority sale of specifi c products. In the United over the others, thereby balancing power States, excise taxes are commonly levied across many individuals and institutions. at the federal, state, and local levels on Conference Committee: A meeting products such as and .


Markup: An activity of committees and is based on the number of votes each subcommittees in the U.S. Congress in party receives. which proposed legislation is considered Republic: System of government in section by section, debated, revised and/ which the ultimate powers of government or amended. rest with the people who elect representa- Parliamentarian: In the U.S. Congress, tives to formulate policy and carry out the the offi cial who, being an expert on House laws. or Senate rules and procedures, assists Single-member district: A geographic the offi cers in legislative procedures, in- district from which a single member is cluding the assignment of bills to appro- elected by a majority or plurality of the priate committees. popular vote to represent it in a legislative Primary: An election held among candi- body. dates of the same party to decide which Veto: An act by the President that re- one will represent the party in the general jects legislation passed by the Congress, election. thereby preventing its enactment. The Proportional representation: System of Congress can override a veto by passing representative government in which the the legislation with a two-thirds majority political makeup of the legislative branch in each chamber.

36 Additional Resources

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT Contains general information about the The White House structure and responsibilities of county http://www.whitehouse.gov governments. Also provides extensive da- Click on “Your Government” for a general tabases with demographic and economic overview of the structure of the federal statistics for individual counties. government and links to the websites of PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH executive departments and agency and to ORGANIZATIONS other branches of government. Private-sector “think tanks” are often the USInfo birthplace of new ideas and http://usinfo.state.gov in the public policy arena. Their scholars Thomas conduct original research and review the http://thomas.loc.gov/ philosophical, economic, social, cultural “Thomas” is a service of the Library of and political implications of public poli- Congress, and is an offi cial source of cies. The following are the websites of legislative information. It contains links some infl uential think tanks representing to congressional calendars, vote records, a cross-section of the political : legislation (both proposed and passed), Brookings Institution and other useful legislative information. http://www.brookings.org FirstGov.gov http://www.fi rstgov.gov http://www.heritage.org FirstGov is the U.S. Government’s offi cial American Enterprise Institute portal for information about gov- http://www.aei.org ernment benefi ts, services, and information. The Cato Institute FirstGov also provides links to the websites http://www.cato.org of state, local and tribal governments. The Urban Institute http://www.urbaninstitute.org STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT National Conference of State C-SPAN Legislatures (NCSL) http://www.c-span.org/ http://www.ncsl.org/ C-SPAN is a service of the cable television Provides current information about industry and provides live television the structure and activities of state coverage of the proceedings of the U.S. legislatures. Click on “Legislatures” and House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, “Websites” for links to individual states’ and other forums where public policy is legislature websites, state constitutions, debated or discussed. The C-SPAN website and legislation. provides current and archived news and National Association of Counties information about politics, public policy (NACo) and governmental actions. http://www.naco.org/ Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive U. S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Legislative Judicial ExecutiveBureau of International Legislative Information Judicial Programs Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicialhttp://usinfo.state.gov/ Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive Legislative Judicial Executive