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Can one talk about a strict separation of the capacities in the United States?

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"Everything would be lost if the same man or same body exercised these three powers: that of making laws, that of executing the public resolutions and that of judging the crimes or differences of individuals," wrote Montesquieu. This means that the separation of powers is something essential in a society where it is necessary for harmony and not chaos to reign. The separation of powers is the most famous constitutional theory. It was disseminated by Montesquieu in the eighteenth century. This is the principle that the three authorities of judiciary, executive and legislature, should perform through different agencies. This form of power is organized against another established authority.

Thus the three branches balance each other out and it ensures the freedom of citizens and prevent any form of despotism, or even an arbitrary and authoritarian government of a sovereign who would then be vested with all the powers. This theory has been, in history, difficult to apply. It has sometimes been applied too strictly, that is to say without any communication between authorities, and sometimes empirically, that is to say with no real separation. The United States of America was inspired by the theory of Montesquieu. In 1787, the founding fathers drafted a constitution that is still in force today.

This constitution is more liberal than the Democratic one because they had an obsession with the balance of power, that is to say, liberalism. They also implemented a federalist system. The United States is based on fifty states, federated, in other words, and is a way of grouping of local structural policies aimed at strengthening their solidarity while respecting their particularities. To mark independence with the British regime, the Americans wanted to create a different regime. The British regime was a regime that began to strip the king in favor of parliament, the movement of dispossession of the executive in favor of the legislation. Americans have done the reverse with an independent and real executive.

Thus they created a presidency with a president elected by popular vote, which stands up to a parliament that could potentially emerge as too powerful. At this juncture one can then speak of a "presidential system". Components have been created for a strict regime of separation of powers with a strict separation of functions: the Government governs and executes the laws, Parliament legislates and the Supreme Court settles legal disputes. But the practice is not entirely governed by the strict separation.

The question here is whether the practice of separation of powers, the latter dictated by the Constitution of 1787 in the United States, is well respected. The Constitution drafted by the Founding Fathers provided a balanced separation of powers, however, with its introduction this separation is not as strict as that which was expected at the time of its creation.

Tags: Practice of separation of powers; The United States Constitution of 1787; strict regime of separation of powers; Founding Fathers

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