Portal:Government of the United States

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Obverse of the Great Seal of the United States
United States Congressional Seal
The Seal Of The President Of The United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court

The federal government of the United States is the central United States governmental body, established by the United States Constitution. The federal government has three branches: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers and the system of "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches. The policies of the federal government have a broad impact on both the domestic and foreign affairs of the United States. In addition, the powers of the federal government as a whole are limited by the Constitution, which, per the Tenth Amendment, reserves all power not directed to the National government, to the individual states, respectively, or "to the people". The seat of the federal government is in the federal district of Washington, D.C.

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Official roberts CJ.jpg
The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices. The Chief Justice leads the business of the Supreme Court. He presides over oral arguments in front of the Supreme Court. When the Court renders an opinion, the Chief Justice—when in the majority—decides who writes the Court's opinion. Finally, the Chief Justice has significant agenda-setting power over the Court's meetings. In the case of an impeachment trial of a President of the United States, which has occurred twice, the Chief Justice presides over the trial in the Senate. In modern tradition, the Chief Justice also has the ceremonial duty of administering the oath of office of the President of the United States. The first Chief Justice was John Jay. The seventeenth and current Chief Justice is John G. Roberts.

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LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

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