Has Modern Government Destroyed the Separation of Powers?
Grab a cup of coffee and join us on a Saturday morning to discuss some of the enduring questions of American history and politics.
The U.S. Constitution defines three branches of government: the legislative, executive and judicial. Even during the Federal Convention of 1787, delegates disagreed on the structure, powers, and responsibilities of these branches. The Federalist/Antifederalist battles during ratification; the controversy over Lincoln’s use of executive power during the Civil War; and the modern debates around an “imperial presidency,” “congressional do-nothings,” and “activist judges” illustrate that our conception of three branches is still problematic. To what extent can power be shared among coequal branches of government? Are the three branches actually coequal? And if they are coequal, is the act of governing too hard under the U.S. Constitution? Or has modern government destroyed the separation of powers?
Teaching American History’s Saturday webinar series provides educators with a chance to participate in a text-based roundtable discussion of American history and politics. For the 2022-2023 season we’ve chosen to highlight controversial topics from America’s past. These webinars are open to social studies, history, government, civics and humanities educators.
Readings: Click on “Agenda” below. Packet includes excerpts from:
- Federalist 51
- “Fireside Chat” on the Plan for Reorganization of the Judiciary
- Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha
- Morrison v. Olson