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What are actual checks and balances?

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At least in the American governmental system, checks and balances are the system of powers given to the three branches of government: the Legislative (lawmaking), Executive (heads of state), and the Judicial (courts). The checks and balances system makes sure that each branch has powers over the other two branches, yet are checked in other ways. This method is used to keep a branch from gaining too much power in the system.

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