2013-11-15 Why Separate
ACH Study Groups
Ben & Fran Gilmore – Cofounders
7659 Gingerblossom Drive
Citrus Heights, CA 95621
November 15, 2013
This is a mail-merge letter to our friends –
Why separation of powers?
You write a recipe. You take it to the kitchen, follow the directions and make the dish. That evening you serve the dish. How did it turn out?
When you wrote the recipe, you were making the rules. That is legislating.
When you made the dish, you were executing the directions (recipe, rules).
When you decided how you liked the dish, you were judging the dish.
Think about it. In just about everything you do, these three functions are in play. You wake up and plan your day. You do the things you have planned. At day’s end you consider how the plan worked out. Legislative, Executive, Judicial functions are almost always involved.
That is true in self-government, family government, church government, civil-government.
Our Constitution creates America’s civil-government – no Constitution – no American government.
The Constitution creates three branches. Everything going on in our national government is in one of these branches: Executive, Congress, Supreme Court. The “separation of powers”, “checks and balances”.
Our wise founding fathers wanted each of these branches to be independent of one another and to be protective of their own turf.
Think of it this way, “executive”, “lawmaker”, “judge”. Just one guy in each branch. Each guy has his specific responsibilities.
The “lawmaker” (legislator) is supposed to make the laws (rules of action).
The “executive” has the task of enacting those laws.
The “judge” has the task of evaluating the laws of the lawmaker, and the actions of the executive, according to some agreed upon standard. (In our case – Our Constitution.)
On a piece of note paper, please sketch an equilateral triangle – only – do not join the corners. Label each leg, executive, legislative, judicial. Notice that if any two legs are in the hands of one person, the authority of the third leg is eliminated.
All the tools for getting things done are in the hands of the “executive” (law enforcement, bureaucracies, leadership authority). However, the “executive” is not free to use those tools as he pleases. He is supposed to use them to carry out the laws the “lawmaker” writes. If the “executive” steps outside those laws, the “judge” steps in and rules his actions illegal, then joins the “lawmaker” to impeach the “executive”.
The checks and balances work the same way – any two legs can overrule the third.
Today, in America, all three branches are failing. The president is using his authority independent of what the law says. He is acting outside his presidential authority. The congress (lawmaker) is writing laws that violate the Constitution. The Supreme Court is neither evaluating the laws, nor the president’s actions, according to the Constitution.
We the people created the Constitution, which created the government, which is divided into three branches, which are failing to conform to our Constitution. In turn, by our collective votes, “We the people” authorized the president, the legislators, and through them, the Supreme Court to exercise authority over us within the limits set by our Constitution.
We the people have the God-given authority to consider any law outside of our Constitutional limits as no law at all. Further We the people have the duty, using our collective votes, to replace those who misuse the authority we gave them.
If we tacitly submit to this misuse of authority, we are submitting to authority we did not authorize.
“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.” [Isaiah 33:22]