In 1787, the United States Constitution was written to create three branches of government – judicial, legislative, and executive (Fontana 1409). The judicial power was vested in the Supreme Court, the legislative powers were vested with Congress, and the executive power was vested with the President of the United States (Doerfer et al. 207). These three branches were established to ensure ideological diversity among each (Fontana 1409). The purpose of this paper is to determine if power is divided equally among the three branches of government.

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There is a variety of opinions regarding the separation of power between the three branches. This system of government has been said to be both successful and unsuccessful (Yarwood 650). The Constitution states that no branch may exercise powers belonging to the other two branches. It has been noted that better communication between the three branches could help improve the respect and understanding of the other branches (“Separation of Powers” 217). Some political experts have argued that the degree of heterogeneity at the executive branch is not the same as the other two branches (Fontana 1410). The three branches were established to engage in a system of checks and balances (Doerfer et al. 211). However, after the creation of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, the executive branch become much more homogeneous (Fontana 1409). In addition, the President of the United States was given the power to veto (Doerfer et al. 211) Other political experts have argued that the court decisions made by the judicial branch are based on personal preferences rather than legal principles (“Separation of Powers” 217).

Despite the above mention arguments, many political experts state that the three branches are balanced since the constitution has never failed. To date the United States government has not denied its citizens liberty, property, and commerce. Their conclusion is that despite various hurdles, the three branch system has been successful (Yarwood 663).

  • Doerfer, Gordon, Lawrence L. Piersol, and Clark N. Dawn. “The COURTS, the LEGISLATURE, and the EXECUTIVE: Separate and Equal?” Judicature, vol. 87, no. 5, 2004, pp. 207-218,220-240,243,259
  • Fontana, David. “The Second American Revolution in the Separation of Powers.” Texas Law Review, vol. 87, no. 7, 2009., pp. 1409-1429
  • “Separation of Powers does Not Require Isolated Silos.” Judicature, vol. 97, no. 5, 2014., pp. 217-218
  • Yarwood, D. “The Federalist Authors and the Problem of Equality between the Branches of Government: A Study in Institutional Development.”. Social Science Quarterly, vol. 74, no.3, 1993, pp 645-663.