The Impeachment of President Clinton Essay

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James Madison, in writing the US Constitution in 1787, intended that the system of checks and balances would separate the powers of the government branches and counter a “tyranny of the majority”. He carefully sought to distribute powers in a way that prevents any one faction from dominating. Under this system, the President can appoint federal judges, grant pardons, veto bills, propose laws, reject part of bills, etc. Equally, the Congress can override presidential veto, impeach the President, ratify treaties, etc., and the Courts can declare laws and executive orders unconstitutional. The contemporary system of checks and balances isn’t working as Madison intended as illustrated by the impeachment of President Clinton, the government…show more content…
Furthermore, none of the misconduct associated with President Clinton was an assault on the American form of government. The government shutdown of 1995 was yet another example of how the system of checks and balances wasn’t what Madison intended. In 1994, there was a shift in the control of Congress from Democrats to Republicans, with the intended goal of balancing the federal budget. Here, breaches of inter-branch accommodation occurred and resulted in the 1995 budget shutdown. The Congressional Republicans were threatening to withhold funding from the executive branch unless President Clinton conceded to a series of budget priorities. The power of the purse is given to Congress without any textual limitations that give them the authority to defund the executive branch. The danger in this would be sabotaging the Constitution’s central organizational structure, set up by Madison, that the government comprises of three equal branches. Regardless, the Republicans in Congress remained firm, which caused the two shutdowns of government agencies in 1995.The divided branches and impasse led to the expiration of federal funding. In 1996, the President and Congress agreed on appropriations for the Fiscal Year. At the time, majority of public opinion favored the President’s position. The illegal arms transfer to Iran was a violation of the checks and balances of the constitution. The crimes of the
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