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IntroductionA new student, Jean Felipe, just moved from France to the United States and is new in your class. TaskYour task is to identify the three branches of government, the members of each branch and explain the responsibilities of each one. Second, from the information you have found you need to create a tree diagram that shows the three branches of government and the purpose of each branch. Third: Using the Congress for kids website and the diagram below, find out about checks and balances. How do checks and balances ensure that one branch of government  does not receive too much power? Last: On Microsoft word, or Google Docs, create a 10 question quiz for Jean Filipe to answer (2 questions about checks and balances).
Tip: To turn text into a link, highlight the text, then click on a page or file from the list above.
During the last week the media has been saturated with articles about the allegedly rigged presidential elections in Iran and the ensuing protests and state lockdown. Once you have found all of this information you will create a tree poster that represents the three branches of government. You should have a triangle showing what powers each branch uses to check the powers of the others.
However, there is little understanding of the significance of the election within the broader scheme of Iranian politics.


Finally, to assess whether or not Jean Felipe has really learned all he needs to know about the three branches of government, you must create a quiz for him to take. Specifically, what role does the president play in Iran, how are Iranian officials generally elected in Iran, and how conducive is Iran's system for a truly democratic government?
In order to portray a more complete picture, I am going to give an overview of the Iranian political system. He is elected indirectly by the Assembly of Experts (who are elected every eight years by the General Electorate). The Assembly of Experts also have the power to dismiss the Supreme Leader, although this has never been done in the thirty years since the Islamic Revolution when the current system was implemented. There is no term length for the Supreme Leader, giving them immense leverage and immunity from public opinion.
There have only been two Supreme Leaders since the Revolution in 1978, with the current one being Ali Khamenei, in power since 1989.Powers of the Supreme Leader include the ability to appoint the Head of the Judiciary, the Commander of the Armed Forces, and the Expediency Discernment Council.
Furthermore, he also gets to choose the director of the National Television and Radio network, the head of major religious foundations, the prayer leaders in city mosques, and members of national security councils.
The Guardian Council gets to decide when a bill passed by the Parliament is unconstitutional using a process similar to judicial review in the E.U. He is the head of the judicial branch in Iran, as he gets to appoint the head of the Supreme Court as well as the Chief Prosecutor.
Parliament consists of 290 members who are elected to four-year terms (with the last election having been in 2008).


All Majiles run in single member districts using a warped version of a majority system where instead of candidates needing to get over 50% of the vote to win and avoid a runoff, in Iran the candidate with the most votes needs only 25%. Even with such a low threshold, in 2008, of the 290 races there were 82 that went to a runoff.The main responsibilities of the Majiles are comparable to most legislatures as they draft legislation, ratify treaties, and approve the national budget. Currently Mahmoud Ahmadinejad holds this position and won reelection earlier this week, although the results are highly dubious and many – if not most – believe them to be fraudulent (see my colleague Allison Meyer's blog post on the aftermath of the election). This gives the Supreme Leader great control over who gets to run for President since half of the Council is elected by him (and the other half is nominated by the Head of the Judiciary, who is appointed by him). The President is supposed to uphold the Constitution and is the head of the executive branch for all matters that are not directly related to the Supreme Leader.
It is the president's responsibility to propose laws, sign international treaties, draft the national budget, etc. The president also appoints members of his cabinet as well as vice presidents (currently there are 10 vice presidents); all of them must be approved by the Parliament, however.



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