The Constitution and the Separation of Powers

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One of the earliest ideas of separating powers came in the 1600’s and is evidenced by the idea that the parliament then is what we would consider today as being the Legislative branch of government since it was in charge of taxes. To be a king in those days would be similar to the Executive branch, as the king conducted wars and enforced the law. However, credit is often given to Baron de Montesquieu, a French philosopher. According to the authors of our text book, John Locke initially desired there to be to branches of government, a legislative branch to create the laws and an executive branch to enforce the laws. Montesquieu then supplemented Locke’s idea by adding a judiciary branch to resolve conflicts that the two branches by incur. When written, the Constitution laid out the basis for the separation of powers. In order to prevent any one branch of having complete control and power, each of the branches of government has certain powers and responsibilities in order to keep each other from exerting too much power. This is known as checks and balances. The first branch of government we will be looking at is the legislative branch. The legislative branch of government is responsible for making and passing laws and is more commonly known as Congress. Keeping in the nature of checks and balances, Congress has been granted certain powers to make sure that the judiciary branch and the executive branches do not abuse their power. One of the more robust powers that Congress
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