Manual The US Constitution and Money: Corruption and Decline

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Many of the framers of the U. Constitution, such as Madison, studied history and political philosophy. They greatly appreciated the idea of separation of power on the grounds of their complex views of governmental power. Their experience with the Articles of Confederation taught them that the national government must have the power needed to achieve the purposes for which it was to be established.

It is his business to contrive his plan in such a manner that such unlimited influence, confidence, and power, shall never be obtained by any man.

Two political theorists had great influence on the creation of the Constitution. John Locke, an important British political philosopher, had a large impact through his Second Treatise of Government Locke argued that sovereignty resides in individuals, not rulers. A political state, he theorized, emerged from a social contract among the people, who consent to government in order to preserve their lives, liberties, and property.

The French political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, another major intellectual influence on the Constitution, further developed the concept of separation of powers in his treatise The Spirit of the Laws , which was highly regarded by the framers of the U.

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In its usual operational form, one branch of government the legislative is entrusted with making laws, a second the executive with executing them, and a third the judiciary with resolving disputes in accordance with the law. Based on the theory of Baron de Montesquieu and John Locke, the framers carefully spelled out the independence of the three branches of government: executive, legislative, and judicial.

At the same time, however, they provided for a system in which some powers should be shared: Congress may pass laws, but the president can veto them; the president nominates certain public officials, but Congress must approve the appointments; and laws passed by Congress as well as executive actions are subject to judicial review. Thus the separation of powers is offset by what are called checks and balances. Constitution serves the goals: to prevent concentration of power and provide each branch with weapons to fight off encroachment by the other two branches.

In the Constitution of the United States, the Legislative, composed of the House and Senate, is set up in Article 1; the Executive, composed of the President, Vice-President, and the Departments, is set up in Article 2; the Judicial, composed of the federal courts and the Supreme Court, is set up in Article 3. Each of these branches has certain powers, and each of these powers is limited. The First Article of the U. At the same time, the framers granted some specific powers to Congress.

Congress has the power to impeach both executive officials and judges. The Senate tries all impeachments. Besides, Congress can override a Presidential veto. Congress may also influence the composition of the judicial branch. It may establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court and set their jurisdiction. Furthermore, Congress regulates the size of the courts. Judges are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The compensation of executive officials and judges is determined by Congress, but Congress may not increase or diminish the compensation of a President, or diminish the compensation of a judge, during his term in office.

In short, the main powers of the Legislature include: Legislating all federal laws; establishing all lower federal courts; being able to override a Presidential veto; being able to impeach the President as well as other executive officials. Executive Power Executive power is vested in the President by the U. Constitution in Article 2. The principal responsibility of the President is to ensure that all laws are faithfully carried out.

The President is the chief executive officer of the federal government. He is the leader of the executive branch and the commander in chief of the armed forces. He has the power to make treaties with other nations, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senate. The President also appoints, with Senate consent, diplomatic representatives, Supreme Court judges, and many other officials. Except impeachment, he also has the power to issue pardons and reprieves.

Such pardons are not subject to confirmation by either house of Congress, or even to acceptance by the recipient.

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Another important power granted to the President is veto power over all bills, but Congress, as noted above, may override any veto except for a pocket veto by a two-thirds majority in each house. When the two houses of Congress cannot agree on a date for adjournment, the President may settle the dispute. Either house or both houses may be called into emergency session by the President. The judicial power—the power to decide cases and controversies—is vested in the Supreme Court and inferior court established by Congress.

The following are the powers of the Judiciary: the power to try federal cases and interpret the laws of the nation in those cases; the power to declare any law or executive act unconstitutional. The power granted to the courts to determine whether legislation is consistent with the Constitution is called judicial review. The concept of judicial review is not written into the Constitution, but was envisioned by many of the framers. The Supreme Court established a precedent for judicial review in Marbury v.

The precedent established the principle that a court may strike down a law it deems unconstitutional. Checks and Balances The framers of the U. Constitution saw checks and balances as essential for the security of liberty under the Constitution. They believed that by balancing the powers of the three governmental branches, the efforts in human nature toward tyranny could be checked and restrained. With checks and balances, each of the three branches of government can limit the powers of the others. This way, no one branch is too powerful. The major checks possessed by each branch are listed below.

Allocating governmental authority among three separate branches also prevented the formation of too strong a national government capable of overpowering the individual state governments. In order to modify the separation of powers, the framers created a best-known system—checks and balances. The need for such huge war chests effectively excludes many would-be candidates from the democratic process and places others in hock to their financial backers. Again, worries over excessive, non-transparent or illegal campaign financing long precede Trump.

Despite many reform efforts, a growing proportion of funding comes from anonymous sources. Mounting evidence of Russian influence-peddling and meddling has added to the sense of a gathering crisis of democracy.

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This is unknown, scary territory. It seems unlikely. In nominating a prominent conservative, Brett Kavanaugh , for the latest court vacancy, Trump followed recent practice in shaping the court to suit his political outlook.

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It has not always worked this way. As the author David Greenberg has pointed out, supreme court nominations used to be mostly apolitical.

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This is not the constitution envisaged when they wrote the rules in Philadelphia in Yet, that aside, his rogue presidency is uniquely corrosive, right now, of democracy everywhere. His encouragement of ultranationalist, racist and neo-fascist forces from Warsaw to Charlottesville, divisive demagoguery, relentless vilification of independent journalism, contempt for the western European democracies, coddling of dictators and rejection of the established, rules-based international order all reinforce perceptions that the global role of the US as shining democratic beacon is dimming rapidly.

Trump did this all by himself.

History of the United States Constitution - Wikipedia

So what is to be done? The U. Courts maintains the second site on behalf of the federal judiciary.