The Pros And Cons Of Separation Of Powers

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Separation of powers, a crucial element of Constitutional government, is the distribution of power among three coequal branches of government: the legislative, executive, and judicial. Through the incorporation of checks and balances, this system ensures that no one branch obtains more power than another. James Madison explains the fundamental need for separation of powers in The Federalists No. 47: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands…may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” This need for a balance in powers is what inspired the format of the national government. The system developed is still effective today. The Framers of the United States Constitution were well informed of the devastating consequences of allowing the formation of a superior branch. Under the Articles of Confederation, weak executives did not have the ability to check the powers of the limitless state legislatures. This…show more content…
However, the most current issues surrounding separation of powers are due to the lack of action by the branches. This is evident in events including the War on Drugs and the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals. These controversial problems are not products of a flawed system, but instead, are the result of government officials not taking the initiative to apply the powers entrusted to each of their branches by the Constitution. If the federal government has any intention to correct the conflicts arising in the nation, then the branches must cooperate. As Justice Louis D. Brandeis concludes in Myers v. United States (1926): “The doctrine of separation of powers was adopted by the Convention of 1787… not to avoid friction but, by the means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three departments, to save the people from

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