Portal:Government of the United States

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Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg

The Federal Government of the United States (U.S. Federal Government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

Selected article

Seal of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.svg
The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, headquartered in San Francisco, is a U.S. federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in western states, Alaska, and Hawaii. The court is by far the largest of the thirteen courts of appeals, with 29 active judgeships. The court's regular meeting places are Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, and Pasadena, but panels of the court occasionally travel to hear cases in other locations within its territorial jurisdiction. The large size of the current court is due to the fact that both the population of the western states and the geographic jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit have increased dramatically since Congress created it in 1891. The cultural and political makeup of the Ninth Circuit is just as varied as the land within its geographical borders. Despite this, one frequent criticism of the Ninth Circuit is its alleged political liberalism. The large size of the court is another unique characteristic; there are periodic calls to split the court into two smaller circuits.

Selected image

LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
The reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

Current Administration

Obama Administration activity

In the news

8 January 2019 – United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019
U.S. President Donald Trump gives the first prime time address of his tenure in office to talk about the partial government shutdown and its key issue, proposed increased funding for the Mexico–United States barrier. (The New York Times)
3 January 2019 –
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani demands clarification after U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday that the Soviet Union was "right to be there", referring to the 1979–1989 Soviet–Afghan War. (The Washington Post)
3 January 2019 – United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019
The newly sworn U.S. House of Representatives passes a major spending bill to fund most shuttered departments and agencies through September 30 and a stop-gap measure to restart the Department of Homeland Security. The proposals will now move on to the Senate which has indicated they will not take up any spending bills that aren't supported by President Trump. (The New York Times)
2 January 2019 – United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019
On the last day of the 115th United States Congress, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and others meet with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss implementing a new budget agreement that may include funding for a new Mexico–United States barrier that could end the current federal government shutdown. (CNBC)
1 January 2019 –
U.S. President Donald Trump requests a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers to discuss border security as a partial government shutdown enters its second week. (MPR News)
29 December 2018 – United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019
U.S. President Donald Trump issues an executive order freezing federal workers' pay raise in 2019, excluding that of military personnel. (CNN)

Current legislation


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Supreme Court cases

Lower courts


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