# Does separation of powers mean the branches are equal?

## Question:

Does separation of powers mean the branches are equal?

## Separation of Powers:

Separation of powers means that the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government have different roles and duties. It also means that members of one branch can not simultaneously serve in another branch. (The one exception is the vice president.)

In theory, the separation of powers in the United States federal government means that the three branches of government have equal power. However, in reality, the executive branch has far more power than the other branches. This is because it commands the military and controls America's nuclear arsenal.

Despite this, even the president of the United States has checks on his power by both the Congress and the Supreme Court.

Separation of Powers: Definition & Examples

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Chapter 3 / Lesson 12
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Learn the definition of separation of powers and see separation of powers examples. Learn who came up with separation of powers, its history and significance.