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Does the President make the law or does someone else? If so, what is that someone called?

Greetings! I'm Ms. Tipton at the International Community School. My 3rd graders have a few questions and I'd like to share your advice with them. Thanks in advance!

#law #president


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Ari’s Answer

Hi there!

In the US, we have a 3 - branched system of government.

The Executive Branch (the one that the president heads AND the governors in the states) - This is the branch that approves the laws that the Legislative branch makes (I'll touch on that next) AND carries out and enforces the laws that the legislature makes.

The Legislative Branch (the one that Congress is part of and the state legislatures have) - This is the branch that CREATES the laws

The Judicial Branch (the Supreme Court and all the lower courts for the US and in the states) - This is the branch that ensures that the laws follow the US constitution

Ari recommends the following next steps:

I STRONGLY suggest you read up on the 3 branches. A good book would be How the U.S. Government Works by Syl Sobel
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On Youtube and other outlets, there is an older TV series called Schoolhouse Rock. It has GREAT, easy to understand explanations for all 3 branches
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Susy’s Answer

Hello! For the United States government, laws begin as bills in the Congress - the House of Representatives or the Senate. (Those are our congresswomen and congressmen and senators.) If both of them agree to the bill, then it goes to the President to sign it and then it is a law. The President can suggest laws to the Congress, but the President cannot make a new law or change an old one all on their own.

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Michael’s Answer

They way a law gets made is that first there is a need for something in the land. For example, people are hurting, people are suffering, or something bad needs to be stopped. Since you mentioned the President, then on a national level the voice of the people will make its way into Congress, also known as the Legislative Branch of our U.S. Government. From there a Bill will get introduced and eventually voted on. If the Bill passes both the House of Representatives and Senate, then it is sent to the President for their signature which signs the Bill into Law. However, if the President vetoes (i.e. rejects) the Bill, then the Congress has the option (with 2/3 of the vote) to override the veto; which then makes the Bill a Law.

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Kim’s Answer

The separation of powers, which Ari addressed in his answer, is very important to understand. It gets a little complicated.

Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) make the laws. The President does NOT have to agree to sign it. If he refuses to sign it, it is called a VETO. Then the Congress can vote to make it a law anyway, even if the President refuses to sign it. It takes a whole lot of votes to do this, and it is called "overriding the veto."

The President does NOT make any laws. He can ask Congress to make laws that he wants to see enacted, but Congress does not have to act upon his request.

The Executive Branch of Government (the President) is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws of this country.

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Paul’s Answer

The Federal Government, which the President is part of makes federal laws. A federal law covers all the States in the United States.

Your local government can also make laws. Your local government includes the State, County or City you live in. State laws cover your State, County laws cover your county and City laws cover your city.

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Evelyn’s Answer

There is a large group of. Men & Women that assist the President with making decisions. We call them Congress. This group is made up of Senators and Representatives. All of them have to run for election in the state where they live, and if they win election, they move to Washington D.C. to assist the President in making decisions and passings laws for everyone.

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