Should one branch have more power than the others? Why? Give evidence.

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The writers of the Constitution created a system of government that had three branches of government for a reason. We were very concerned about having a government that had too much power. We experienced that problem firsthand under British rule. Thus, the writers gave each branch of government a specific job to do. It also set up a system where no branch could function without the other two. To prevent any branch from getting too much power, not only did each branch have a different job, each branch could control the actions of the other branches. It is important to keep this balance of power in order.

During the Great Depression, people became upset when President Roosevelt wanted to influence and control the Supreme Court with his court-packing plan. People viewed that action as a grab for power. When Congress handed President Johnson full control in dealing with the Vietnam War with the passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, it has tried to get that power back ever since with limited success. It is best when each branch does what it is supposed to do and allows the other branches to do what they are supposed to do. The writers of the Constitution had the right idea when they created the separation of powers and the checks and balances concepts.

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