Constitution

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FAQ Option 2

“I shall undertake, in the next place, to show that unless these departments are so far connected and blended as to give to each a constitutional control over the others, the degree of separation which the maxim requires, as essential to a free government, can never in practice be duly maintained. It is agreed on all sides, that the powers properly belonging to one of the departments ought not to be directly and completely administered by either of the other departments. It is equally evident, that none of them ought to possess, directly or indirectly, an overruling influence over the others, in the administration of their respective powers. It will not be denied, that power is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is to provide some practical security for each, against the invasion of the others.
What this security ought to be, is a great problem to be solved. Will it be sufficient to mark, with precision, the boundaries of these departments, in the constitution of the government, and to trust to these parchment barriers against the encroaching spirit of power?. . But experience assures us, that the efficacy of the provision has been greatly overrated; and that some more adequate defense is indispensably necessary for the more feeble, against the more powerful, members of the government.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 48 A. The constitutional principle common to both Federalists 51 and 48 would be the separation of powers.
B. Based on the constitutional principle identified in part (A), explain how the perspective in this excerpt compares with the perspective in Federalist No. 51.
Federalist 48 suggests that the branches of government should be “separate and distinct” and should have clear boundaries and rules to that effect, but bt did not go so far as Federalist 51, which articulates the idea of checks and balances by fully separating the legislature into three separate branches.
C. Explain how the constitutional principle identified in part (A) is reflected in the Constitution, including two examples to explain how it affects the U.S. political system.

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