Three Lifelines of the American Tree

957 Words Mar 15th, 2014 4 Pages
Three lifelines of the American tree

The political scenario in America consists of three institutions- the Congress (legislative), President (executive) and the Supreme Court (judiciary) which acts as safeguards to counterbalance each other. The appearance of the congress has changed significantly since Independence. At its beginning it consisted of a party of Federalists who believed in maintaining a strong central government while it now consists of the Republican and Democratic parties served by self-serving “career” politicians guided by the interest of their districts over the country.
“Government created because of the passion of men does not conform to dictates of reason and justice”. (Hamilton) Alexander Hamilton was a
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Supreme court (Judiciary)- During the federalist era the judiciary was considered as the weakest of the three branches with “no influence over either the sword or purse”.(Hamilton) But over a period of time the judiciary has strengthened its position as far as being a protector of constitutional rights. For example Marbury vs. Madison was a landmark case in which the judiciary defined a clear boundary between the executive and itself. It termed a law passed by government unconstitutional. Although it could not directly influence laws it’s judgment’s in the slavery case Dredd Scott vs. Sanford (1857) paved the way for the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments in the constitution written specifically to overturn the decision of giving people the right to own slaves. The Supreme Court flexed its muscles the most during Roosevelt’s time during which it opposed many of the “new deal” economic reforms he enacted. This was one of the examples where the decisions of the court had a wider impact on policy making. Although Roosevelt ultimately succeeded it showed how the courts could use the constitution to question the authority of the executive. The Supreme Court protects individual rights. For example in Roe vs. Wade the constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman's decision to have an abortion. The due process clause and 14th