The Principle of Federalism (SB, chapter 3)




Federalism creates two different levels of government.   

One level is called the Federal level.  This level is also called the national or central government, or just the government.

The other level is called State level.




The Principle of Separation of Powers (SB, page 34)



The Principle of Separation of Powers creates three branches of government.  They are the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches.


The Executive Branch includes the President of the United States, the Vice-President, and the Cabinet.

The Legislative Branch includes all members of Congress 100 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. Representatives.

The Judicial Branch includes justices who serve on each State Supreme Court and justices who serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.


The United States Supreme Court has 1 Chief Justice and 8 Associate Justices

The California Supreme Court has 1 Chief Justice and 6 Associate Justices




The Principle of Checks and Balances forces the three branches of government to work together.

This principle gives each branch some authority over the others actions while preventing any one branch from becoming too powerful.

Splitting the Power at the Federal Level

The Executive Branch

Has the power to veto or sign bills drawn by Congress.

Nominates Justices to the Supreme Court.

The Legislative Branch

Can override presidential veto

Approves or rejects Supreme Court nominations.    

Can impeach a president or Supreme Court Judge.

Judicial Branch

Has the power of Judicial Review (established with Marbury v. Madison)

This allows them to declare any act of President or Congress unconstitutional.