Skip to content

The Three Branches

Civics 101 in 120 Seconds (ish) – The Three Branches (3 min)

Civics 101 in 120 Seconds (ish) is your straightforward guide through the often confounding legislative process.


Why is our system of government and making laws so complicated? Because It was intended to be difficult to pass laws and to make sure we get it “right.”

Three branches: the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislative

The Legislative branch makes and passes the laws

The Executive implements and enforces the laws

The Judiciary interprets whether the law is being interpreted correctly or is constitutional in the first place.

Each step helps to “perfect” the bill (get more eyes on it) to make sure it is written correctly and will make sense for the Executive to implement it.

Steps also allow for the public to see it and comment on it

In those instances where the law is passed and the people are unsure it is being implemented correctly or is constitutional they are able to bring it to the Judiciary.

This is called ‘Checks and Balances’.

Teach with TVW is a free online resource provided by TVW for Washington state social studies teachers to engage their students in state government and help to inspire active citizens.

Learn more at: