Three Ring Government

Well, I must say that whenever I have had involvement with government on the state or federal level, I have thought that a circus was surely running things!

The French author and philosopher Montesquieu, leaning heavily on Aristotle and the Greek historian of the Roman Republic Polybius, in his The Spirit of The Laws (1748) helped popularize the notion of a mixed government: executive, legislative and judicial, providing a safeguard to liberty.  As our history has shown, it is hard for the components to stay in balance.

For most of our history Congress was the predominant power.  In the 20th Century the Executive grew immense and Congress was often reduced to being a junior partner to powerful Presidents.  Since World War II, the Judiciary, through the Supreme Court, has often wielded ultimate power in regard to government in quite a few areas.  I doubt if most of the Founding Fathers would be pleased by the waning of the power of Congress, especially in regard to the Judiciary which they designed to be the weakest branch.  However, with their realistic view that men were not angels and would seize power when they can, I doubt if any of them would be surprised.

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Three Ring Government  
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