The federal bureaucracy is primarily tasked with core functions. These include the implementation and administration alongside the regulation of the bills that are passed by the Congress. When laws are passed by the Congress, it is the role of the federal bureaucracy to set guidelines under which the policies will operate. This practice is known as the implementation process. The federal bureaucracy develops the regulations, which are the guidelines by which the state and federal programs work. The rule-making is the administrative process through which the laws are made. The other crucial element of the structure forming the federal bureaucracy is the administrative component. This essential component enhances the implementation process. Such routines entail issuing permits, collecting fees, and giving tests, among others, which allows for the decisive impact of the federal bureaucracy.
The federal bureaucracy carries out a wide range of functions, and some think that it should be considered as the real government. The fact that the bureaucracy continues to grow without limitations to its power makes it a large entity (Fedewa, 2014). The federal bureaucracy, in my opinion, and to a very great extent, should be considered as the real government. The justification is the fact that it is the body behind the critical operations that run the government. Besides, the Congress acts as the oversight body of the federal bureaucracy, but as the government steadily grows, so does the federal bureaucracy (Fedewa, 2014). With that in mind, I think it is hard to dispute the fact that it has become the fourth government branch and requires consideration as the real government.
The Judicial System
This branch of government is tasked with the interpretation of the laws. Within its structure are the civil and criminal courts that aid in the interpretation. The disputes regarding federal laws, as well as their constitutionality, are resolved and determined through the judicial system, respectively (Garoupa & Ginsburg, 2011). The other role of the legal system is about deciding if the law has been broken and establishing the appropriate punitive measures. However, as the constitution stipulates, they often work together with these other bodies.
The judiciary is hierarchically structured in its unique way, with the highest court in the land being the Supreme Court. The Courts of Appeal fall just below the Supreme Court and are 13 in number. The core function of the appellate courts is to determine whether the law was applied appropriately in the trial courts. The other courts include the 94 district level courts alongside the 12 regional courts of appeal within which the district courts are organized. The other courts include those of bankruptcy and international trade, among others. However, in a broader category, there are three primary levels, including one Supreme Court, thirteen circuit courts, and ninety-four district courts.
The judicial system can curb the federal bureaucracy by imposing constraints such as in the event where a case is filed against an agency. The judicial system can ensure checks on the executive through legal interpretation and judicial reviews by determining whether or not its actions violate the constitution (History, 2017). A check on the legislature is done through judicial reviews as well as interpretations. These judicial powers allow determining whether or not the acts of the legislative bodies were constitutional (Harrison, 2016).
The Iron Triangle
The Iron Triangle represents a mutual, three-way relationship among government bureaucrats, the Congress, as well as the interested groups. This relationship is beneficial to all the three groups as it requires efforts from each group to sustain the relationship (Swanson, 2017). The Iron Triangle can influence government policies due to the interests of these entities. For instance, special interest groups that want to achieve a particular objective may require support from Congress as well as various government agencies. As such, different government policies may fail to pass in the interest of the public. The reason for such being the need to benefit one another in the Iron Triangle. The sustainment of these groups requires efforts and the formulation of policies that suit their interests. Therefore, policy creation will be directed towards these groups, and as such, there occurs a deterrence from the ordinary and optimal policy formulation for the general public.
From this unit, I have been able to gain a better understanding of government operations. There are crucial elements that I managed to capture, including the federal bureaucracy, the judicial system, as well as the Iron Triangle. For instance, concerning the federal system, I have seen the need for Congress to start acting on the bureaucracy and how it grows day-in-day-out. The judicial system has enabled me to develop a better understanding of the operations of the various structures within the legal system. The different court functions and the powers of the judiciary over the other branches of government are more precise with the help of this unit. Eventually, understanding the Iron Triangle has helped me to understand the operations of the government and how policies are influenced. As such, I have realized the reasons for service delivery that occurs from government operations, especially in relation to the Iron Triangle.
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Fedewa, L. J. (2014, July 3). FEDEWA: Bureaucracy: The fourth branch of government. Retrieved March 9, 2020, from THe Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/3/fedewa-bureaucracy-fourth-branch-government/
Garoupa, N., & Ginsburg, T. (2011, October 7). Hybrid judicial career structures: Reputation versus legal tradition. Journal of Legal Analysis, 3(2), 411-448. doi:https://doi.org/10.1093/jla/lar004
Harrison, J. (2016). Legislative power and judicial power. Retrieved March 9, 2020, from University of Minnesota Law School: https://scholarship.law.umn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1021&context=concomm
History. (2017, November 17). Executive-Judicial checks and balances. Retrieved March 9, 2020, from History: https://www.history.com/topics/us-government/checks-and-balances
Swanson, M. (2017, January 21). Iron Triangle definition – Political corruption. Retrieved March 9, 2020, from WallStreetWindow.com: https://wallstreetwindow.com/iron-triangle-definition