Checks and balances, or the separation of powers, is based upon the philosophy of Baron de Montesquieau. In this system the government was to be divided into three branches of government, each branch having particular powers.
The legislative branch is in charge of making laws. The executive branch can veto the law, thus making it harder for the legislative branch to pass the law. The judicial branch may also say that the law is unconstitutional and thus make sure it is not a law.
Not only does each branch of the government have particular powers each branch has certain powers over the other branchs. This is done to keep them balanced and to prevent one branch form ever gaining too much power.
The legislative branch can also remove a president or judge that is not doing his/her job properly. The executive branch appoints judges and the legislative branch approves the choice of the executive branch.
it does grant to three separate branches the powers to legislate, to execute, and to adjudicate, and it provides throughout the document the means by which each of the branches could resist the blandishments and incursions of the others.
Federal government policy has limited the proper role of the judicial branch. The military order issued by the president authorizing the use of military tribunals removed the federal court system from its traditional role of overseeing terrorism-related investigations. Military tribunals, including the attorneys assigned to represent defendants, are completely under the wing of the executive branch of government.
Especially fearful of giving too much power to the president, who might come to resemble an uncontrollable king. They were also fearful of giving too much power to the House of Representatives, which they saw as the chamber of Congress that would represent the popular will of America.
Checks and balances, principle of government under which separate branches are empowered to prevent actions by other branches and are induced to share power. Checks and balances are applied primarily in constitutional governments. They are of fundamental importance in tripartite governments, such as that of the United States, which separate powers among legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
To prevent the power of any one branch from being absolute, the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to contain a system of checks and balances. These are powers that each branch has for limiting the power of the other branches.
The framers of the U.S. Constitution, who were influenced by Montesquieu and William Blackstone among others, saw checks and balances as essential for the security of liberty under the Constitution: “It is by balancing each of these powers against the other two, that the efforts in human nature toward tyranny can alone be checked and restrained, and any degree of freedom preserved in the constitution” (John Adams).
James Madison didn’t originate the idea of checks and balances for limiting government power, but he helped push it farther than anyone else before or since. Previous political thinkers, citing British experience, had talked about checks and balances with a monarch in the mix, but Madison helped apply the principle to a republic. Contrary to such respected thinkers as Baron de Montesquieu, Madison insisted checks and balances could help protect liberty in a large republic.