ANSWERS: 5
  • I personally believe that the judiciary branch holds the most power. The ability to interpet the Constitution and how it applies to this situation or that situation is almost a trump card on the other branches, in my opinion.
  • The Legislative branch was designed to be a slightly more powerful/important branch of the US government. The voice of “We the people” is designed to be represented by the Congress. Once a law has been passed by the Congress, the Executive branch has only two choices: the president may accept (sign) or reject (veto) the law. A two thirds majority vote of the Congress will override a presidential veto. The Executive branch does not have the Constitutional power to accept only those provisions of the law with which the president agrees. The Judicial branch has the power to declare laws unconstitutional; however, they may not do this at their own discretion. The Judicial branch is limited by the fact that a case must first be brought before the court. The success of our democracy depends on a system of checks and balances. Checks and balances are designed to disperse and constrain power in order to maintain the desired balance between the powers of the three branches. The Constitutional system of checks and balances has been gradually corrupted over time. The critical balance between our economic system and our system of government has been lost. As a result, the careful balance between the three branches of government has been lost. Wealth currently equals power in the United States. Under the George W. Bush administration the reality is that the Executive branch holds unprecedented power and wields it in unprecedented ways. The result of this imbalance is that the Judicial and Legislative branches are having difficulty fulfilling their constitutional roles and our democracy is in danger of failure. It would be worthwhile to consider the words of James Madison: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” [“definition of tyranny”: James Madison, under the pseudonym “Publius,” Federalist Paper No. 47, New York Independent Journal, New-York Packet, New York Daily Advertiser, January 30, 1788.]
  • Theoretically they are considered co-equal branches of government. But I think the most powerful is the Executive. It's so powerful that we can remember the names of so many US presidents. I doubt we can even name 10 people who have been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or 10 people who have been Speaker of the House.
  • Judiciary. They answer to no one, are appointed for life and can overrule any enacted legislation.
  • They're all supposed to be equal. That was the point behind the tricameral system.

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