U.S. Federal Documents & Resources

The University of Mississippi Libraries have been a U.S. Federal Depository Library since 1883. This guide is a gateway to the U.S. Federal Documents collection held by UM Libraries and related resources.

Government Databases: General

How the U.S. Government is Organized

The Constitution of the United States divides the federal government into three branches to ensure a central government in which no individual or group gains too much control.

  • Legislative - Makes laws (Congress)
  • Executive - Carries out laws (President, Vice President, Cabinet)
  • Judicial - Evaluates laws (Supreme Court and other courts)

Each branch of government can change acts of the other branches as follows:

  • The President can veto laws passed by Congress.
  • Congress confirms or rejects the President's appointments and can remove the President from office in exceptional circumstances.
  • The Justices of the Supreme Court, who can overturn unconstitutional law, are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

The U.S. federal government seeks to act in the best interests of its citizens through this system of checks and balances.

 3 Branches of U.S. Government infographic

Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/branches-of-government