Legislative Branch Law and Legal Definition

Legislative branch is one of the three instruments of democratic government. The legislative branch is vested with the law making powers and it can formulate and rescind laws. Legislature is the only authority with authority to approve proposed laws. The other two branches are the executive and the judiciary. In the U.S., all legislative powers are vested in the Congress, which consists of the Senate and House of Representatives. The legislative branch derives the power to make laws from the Constitution.

In addition to the law making function, legislative branch is also responsible for establishing the government's budget, confirming executive appointments, ratifying treaties, impeaching and removing from office, members of the executive and judiciary. In the U.S., the executive and the legislative branches are clearly separated. The Congress is bicameral and each state has equal representation in the Senate. Membership in the House of Representatives is dependent upon population size.