The Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and Separation of Powers
During the time of creation of the American Constitution there was no government and very little order. Even after the creation of the Articles of Confederation, there was still unbalance in the government and many state governments took it upon their power to disobey the articles. When the Constitution was created, one thing framers and the founding fathers of the country agreed on was that there shouldn’t be a central power in the government. A government where powers were separated would ensure that no single group will hold more power than any other group.
The founding fathers wanted to avoid the type of government King George III enforced and be free from oppression. A government where one group had all the power would be a threat to the country and will never work. To prevent that, the government was divided into three sections, executive, legislative, and judicial. By separating the government, each part would have equal power and will keep each other in order through a process of checks and balances, a term created by Montesquieu. Through checks and balances, the legislative branch makes sure that it doesn’t go beyond jurisdiction. The executive branch controls the laws that the legislative branch creates and the judicial branch keeps the executive branch and the president under control. Through this, a government could work together and act for the better of the people.
The idea of checks and balances have worked well for hundreds of years but Bruce Carroll believed that tyranny always have a chance to rise. This can be proven to be true as during times of war, the powers of the executive branch increases dramatically. This gives the president more power which is what President Bush is doing right now. Recently Bush has pushed to put into action a bill that will abrogate habeas corpus. Habeas corpus is a term that requires the government to show legal basis for holding a prisoner. This bill proposed by Bush and passed by congress is unconstitutional and clearly takes away a lot of power from the judicial branch. Another instance where Bush violates the separation of powers is when he declared that he authorized government surveillance of American citizens without a warrant. This is another case where Bush is abusing his powers as he takes it upon his self to make laws without consent. He thinks he not only has the right to execute laws but also write them.
Under the separation of powers, all three branches should keep each other in check. They do different tasks such as the legislative writes the laws, the executive carry outs the laws, and the judicial interprets the laws. If one branch becomes overpowered, the separation of powers is destroyed and puts our liberties at risk.