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legislative branch

the branch of government having the power to make laws; the legislature. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for legislative branch
  • In the political sphere, progress is being made on electoral reform, which was approved by consensus in the legislative branch.
  • It seems impossible that anyone would think well of the job our legislative branch is doing, yet some do.
  • They don't conduct an additional poll within the legislative branch every year to reaffirm already-affirmed spending.
  • Political questions belong in the legislative branch while legal questions are settled by the legislative branch.
legislative branch in Culture
legislative branch [(lej-i-slay-tiv)]

The branch of the federal and state government empowered to make the laws that are then enforced by the executive branch and interpreted by the judicial branch. The legislative branch consists of Congress and the fifty state legislatures. At both state and federal levels, legislatures are made up of popularly elected representatives, who propose laws that are sensitive to the needs and interests of their local constituents. After a law is proposed as a bill, it is sent to appropriate committees for several stages of discussion, research, and modification. It is then debated in both legislative houses — except in Nebraska, which has a single-house legislature — and put to a vote. If the law is passed, it is still subject to further modification and final vote by both houses. Under the system of checks and balances, the president can refuse to sign the bill into law (through the veto power). The legislature can then vote to override the veto. Other checks and balances include legislative powers to impeach public officials (see impeachment), confirm appointments to the executive and judicial branches, and vote on appropriations.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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