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The Judicial Branch in Regard to Separation of Powers The Doctrine of Separation of powers is that political power should be divided among several bodies as a precaution against tyranny The ideal is opposed the absolute sovereignty of the Crown Parliament or any other body The blueprint for United States separation of powers is laid out in the US Constitution and expanded upon in the Federalist Papers The checks and balances of the US government involve the horizontal separation of powers among the executive the Presidency the legislature the two houses of Congress themselves arranged to check and balance one another and the judiciary the federal courts There is also a vertical separation between the federal government and the states Defenders of separation of powers insist that it is needed against tyranny including the tyranny of the majority Its opponents argue that sovereignty must lie somewhere and that it is better and arguably more democratic to ensure that it always lies within the same body The United States wanted to instate a government structured in such a way that each branch was separate but equal We will see however that it is not always a black and white arrangement and that the judicial branch has often found itself in the gray area of sovereignty The theoretical reasoning behind the need for separation of powers is laid out by Publius Jefferson and Madison primarily in Federalist Papers 49 51 In American discourse separation of powers is more of a name than an accurate description In application none of the three branches is really separate from the others This was the argument that James Madison addressed in The Federalist no 47 The Anti- Federalist charge was that The several departments are blended in such a manner as at once to destroy all symmetry and beauty of form and to expose some of the essential parts of the edifice to the danger of being crushed by
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