Does the President have too much power, or does another branch have more power than the President?

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When speaking about the Separation of Powers, it has to be understood that the Constitution was originally devised for an pre-industrial society and economy, and as we've moved through the 1800's and 1900's into the early 21st century, the country has changed in ways so vast that it would have...

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When speaking about the Separation of Powers, it has to be understood that the Constitution was originally devised for an pre-industrial society and economy, and as we've moved through the 1800's and 1900's into the early 21st century, the country has changed in ways so vast that it would have seemed alien to the original Framers of the Constitution.

With this in mind, we have to understand that the balance of powers tends to evolve across time, rather than existing in a strict and permanent status-quo. We have had periods marked by a strong Congress (most notably in the span before the Civil War for example) and also periods marked by strong Presidents. This same pattern applies to the Supreme Court as well, as reflected in the role that Justices such as John Marshall or Earl Warren have played in expanding the Court's power. Nevertheless, in general, the trend does seem to be moving more and more towards a consolidation of power on the part of Presidency, especially when looked at specifically through the lens of the twentieth century into the present. The balance of power has swung sharply in favor of the executive, and in modern politics, the office of the President tends to loom large as the dominant voice in the U.S. government.

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The power of each branch of the government to a degree fluctuates over time. Currently, one could argue that the President has too much power and there's no other branch that has more power than him. Congress seems to have allowed the executive to make laws and enforce them. This is evident in the continued use of executive orders by the President. For example, critics claim that if Trump stays in office for two terms, he will issue a total of 416 executive orders. Even though the Constitution doesn't talk about executive orders, the directives become law once the President signs them. Another observation that shows that the presidency has gained too much power over the years is the declaration of war. Although the President is the commander-in-chief, the law demands that he or she gets approval from Congress before sending out troops. The last time that happened was in 1942. However, since then the troops have been involved in more than 13 international conflicts without any formal approval from Congress.

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When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they created three branches of government. They also relied on the principles of separation of powers and checks and balances.

Separation of powers refers to the idea that each branch of government has a different job to do. The legislative branch makes the laws. The executive branch carries out the laws. The judicial branch interprets the laws. Each branch is also able to control the other branches. The President can veto a law. Congress can override the veto. The Supreme Court can declare a law unconstitutional or illegal.

Because of these principles, the President doesn’t have too much power. Neither do the other branches. There are a few examples to support this point of view. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland in March to fill an open seat on the Supreme Court. However, the Senate must approve this nomination. There are many senators who believe this appointment should wait until after the election is decided. There has been no action taken regarding the confirmation of Justice Garland.

President Obama issued several executive orders in 2014 telling the Office of Homeland Security and other government agencies to not deport about four million adult illegal immigrants who have children living in the United States and also hold a job and have a high school diploma. The President didn’t need to get the approval of Congress to issues these executive orders. Thus, the President, through executive orders, may be able to circumvent the wishes of Congress. In fact, several states and the House of Representatives are suing the President over these executive orders.

Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that no branch of government has too much power because of the effectiveness of the system of checks and balances and the concept of separation of powers.

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