Govt 101 – Separation of Powers
--By Ben Gilmore
Definitions — [“government” is — direction, regulation, control, restraint]
- First – You plan a project.
- Second – You carry out the plan.
- Third — You consider how the plan worked.
- A football coach conceives a play and diagrams it for the team.
- The team executes the play.
- They judge whether it was executed according to the plan – AND – whether it worked.
Think about this –
Everything you do. Every project – From planning the day before you get up, to brushing your teeth and getting dressed – Involves these three functions of “government”.
All government involves, legislative, executive, judicial functions. These functions are represented in the departments of American civil government.
- Congress legislates (makes a law).
- The President executes the law.
- The Supreme Court judges the law against the Constitution (the standard).
Each department of government is independent of the others:
- The Congress is elected by the people.
- The President is elected by the states (Electoral College).
- The Supreme Court is appointed for life (i.e. independent of changing politics).
Our founders wanted each department to be jealous of its turf. They called it “Separation of Powers”.
Note to reader – I lack the computer savvy to insert a diagram. You do it below please.
Draw an equilateral triangle – but – DO NOT join the corners. Label the legs, “Legislative”, “Executive”, “Judicial”.
Now – Pause and consider how each department functions and “checks and balances” the others.
Next – Pause and think about what would happen if any two departments were in one person’s hands. Can you see how the combined departments would overrule the third.
When I was a boy, President Roosevelt was having trouble with the Supreme Court. He proposed adding three more judges (would have given him a favorable majority). Fortunately, it was not allowed.
Our governmental system is outstanding! There is nothing wrong with the mechanics! Today’s problem rests with those exercising the authority of each department. The Legislature is gridlocked in partisan battles. The President commits treason almost daily. The Supreme Court Justices are twisting the intent of our Constitution. Our unique system of government is imploding!
The solution to today’s problem rests in our hands. The ONLY authority those in government have is what we give them. The conflict between more or less power in government in unending. It is “we the people” who have neglected and forgotten governmental principles. It is “we the people” who have taken the lazy way out and permitted the statists to train up our children in the (unintelligent) way they should go. It is “we the people” who are the ONLY ones, with God’s help, who can stand up and take responsibility for our actions and the means of correcting the damage.
By the way – “judicial”, “legislative”, “executive”, functions are Biblical concepts!
“For the Lord is out judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.” [Isaiah 33:22]Ben Gilmore