This assignment will be a written essay of no more than 300-400 words, double spaced.  It will be based on the readings in Chapter 10-13 in your text, By the People.  (The chapter number and pages may be different in some of the book editions.  See your Syllabus under Modules to associate Chapter and Topic). You have a choice of general topics related to the three branches of government: Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary: Select only one discussion. This assignment is due on Monday, November 8, by 11:59 pm, MST.
Congress is bi-cameral: a House of Representatives (435 members) and a Senate (100 members). Congress operates under complicated rules that make legislation (passing laws) difficult because of conflicting ideological values and partisan party loyalty among its members. Congress is the most unpopular of the three branches. Most Americans believe Congress is incapable of solving societal problems like healthcare, social justice, voting-rights, immigration, crime, inequality, wages, poverty, and global warming. Americans believe it is not responsive to national priorities as the framers of the Constitution intended.
Discuss whether Congress has lost its ability to achieve collective aims to solve societal problems (infrastructure, civil rights, healthcare, environment) or whether it has become a “broken branch”.  
The Presidency
The president is the face of America and personifies who we are and what we are becoming.  He injects new ideas and values into American politics through his powers. The president has three types of powers: those expressed by the Constitution, those delegated by Congress, and those inherent in the role of chief executive.  His roles include commander-in-chief, top diplomat, first legislator, head bureaucrat, economist in chief, head of state and political party leader. Some say the presidency has grown more powerful than the other three branches. Others say it has also become weaker, depending on the issue, the circumstances and the office holder.
President Trump raised concerns among political scientists and the electorate when he violated the norms of basic civility. He threatened leaders of other countries, rolled back regulations, placed immigrant children in cages, demeaned federal judges, denigrated political opponents, accepted campaign assistance from foreign governments, abused women, and used his office for personal financial gain. He was impeached twice and is now the subject of several criminal investigations. He also used his pardon powers to pardon cronies convicted of crimes.
Discuss whether President Donald Trump had grown too powerful or too weak to carry out the duties of the presidency. Do Americans still approve or disapprove of his performance? Some still believe he will run for president in 2024. Do you feel he should run again? 
The Judicial Branch
The country relies on the Supreme Court to resolve matters involving the interpretation of the Constitution. The judiciary has affected a vast range of areas through its Constitution-interpreting authority, from religion, race and gender discrimination, gun-control, abortion, same sex marriage, state disputes, civil liberties and rights, and even presidential elections. The Supreme Court also exercises tremendous power over our politics and government.  Supreme Court decisions often arouse great controversy, leading critics to call for limits on judicial activism and judicial restraint.  Critics are also concerned about the institution itself when they question whether the nine justices are following the rule of law; are they guided by their ideology; are they influenced by the President who appoints them; and are they are moved by peer pressure when making decisions that ultimately affect all of us. 
Discuss whether the judicial branch should have less or more power in American government and politics. How would you propose to restrain their judicial authority? 
Your assignment will be graded based on quality and relevance to the book content, Chapters 10-13. This assignment is worth 30 points.