Your papers will be graded on the following criteria:
Responsiveness to the questions: reading questions carefully and answering them directly.
Command of information: demonstrated knowledge of the relevant concepts and facts.
Analysis: explaining concepts and facts with logical cause-and-effect relationships.
Specificity: presenting concepts and facts exactly.
Organization: clarity and coherence of paper.
2-3 pages (minimum), double spaced, size 12 font
Prompt: Separation of Powers
One can hardly fail to notice that the Constitution is organized according to a principle known as the separation of powers. Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke and the Baron de Montesquieu argued that governmental power could be divided into three types:
Legislative —the power to make law.
Executive —the power to enforce law.
Judicial —the power to interpret law, both generally and in particular cases
Not only does the Constitution separate governmental powers, but it adds a twist in the form of checks and balances. The separate institutions are allowed to meddle in each other’s business. Key checks and balances include the following:
Congress passes legislation, but the president can veto it.
Congress can override the president’s veto with a super majority in both chambers.
Legislation passed by Congress and signed by the president can be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Presidential or executive branch actions can be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court decisions can be undone if Congress and the states pass a constitutional amendment.
Presidential appointments to the judicial and executive branches require Senate approval.
Treaties signed by the president require Senate approval.
The president can pardon those convicted by overzealous federal courts.
Executive officials and federal judges who violate the law can be impeached and removed from office by the Congress
For your second paper:
Find ONE example in the history of the United States where separation of powers has helped the US in crucial times, or how it has failed us.
Make sure you explain how the three branches of government reacted (or acted) and how checks and balances were evident in this instance.
This is not purely an opinion paper; I need examples and references for your arguments.