• Brutus XI

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Essay XI Essay XI 1 Brutus Here Brutus criticizes the power granted by the Constitution to an independent judiciary. January 31, 1788 The nature and extent of the judicial power of the United States, proposed to be granted by this constitution, claims our particular attention. Much has been said and written upon the subject of this new system on both sides, but I have not met with any writer, who has discussed the judicial powers with any degree of accuracy. And yet it is obvious, that we can form but very imperfect ideas of the manner in which this government will work, or the effect it will have in changing the internal police and mode of distributing justice at present subsisting in the respective states, without a thorough investigation ...
  • Federalist 71

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 71 Federalist 71 1 Alexander Hamilton Publius continues his defense of the presidency under the Constitution. March 18, 1788 The Duration in Office of the Executive Duration in office has been mentioned as the second requisite to the energy of the executive authority. This has relation to two objects: to the personal firmness of the executive magistrate in the employment of his constitutional powers, and to the stability of the system of administration which may have been adopted under his auspices. With regard to the first, it must be evident that the longer the duration in office, the greater will be the probability of obtaining so important an advantage. It is a general principle of human nature that a man will be interested ...
  • Federalist 72

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 72 Federalist 72 1 Alexander Hamilton Anti-Federalists argued that an executive without term limits could, through demagoguery, keep office for as long as he could manipulate the public. Publius counters that re-eligibility will encourage good behavior. Subsequently, the Twenty-Second Amendment, enacted in 1951, limited the presidency to two terms. March 21, 1788 The Same Subject Continued, and Re-eligibility of the Executive Considered The administration of government, in its largest sense, comprehends all the operations of the body politic, whether legislative, executive, or judiciary; but in its most usual and perhaps its most precise signification, it is limited to executive details, and falls peculiarly within the province ...
  • Federalist 73

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 73 Federalist 73 1 Alexander Hamilton Although all legislation originates in Congress, the executive plays an integral role through the veto power. March 21, 1788 The Provision for the Support of the Executive, and the Veto Power The third ingredient towards constituting the vigor of the executive authority is an adequate provision for its support. It is evident that without proper attention to this article, the separation of the executive from the legislative department would be merely nominal and nugatory. The legislature, with a discretionary power over the salary and emoluments of the Chief Magistrate, could render him as obsequious to their will as they might think proper to make him. They might, in most cases, either reduce ...
  • Federalist 78

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 78 Federalist 78 1 Alexander Hamilton Defending the idea of judicial review—the authority of the courts to declare a law unconstitutional—Publius denies that it leads to judicial supremacy. The courts must never substitute "will" for "judgment," as all branches of government answer to the Constitution. June 14, 1788 The Judiciary Department We proceed now to an examination of the judiciary department of the proposed government. In unfolding the defects of the existing Confederation, the utility and necessity of a federal judicature have been clearly pointed out. It is the less necessary to recapitulate the considerations there urged as the propriety of the institution in the abstract is not disputed; the only questions which ...
  • Federalist 52

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 52 Federalist 52 1 James Madison The House of Representatives is designed, Publius explains, to be closest to the people. February 8, 1788 The House of Representatives From the more general inquiries pursued in the four last papers, I pass on to a more particular examination of the several parts of the government. I shall begin with the House of Representatives. The first view to be taken of this part of the government relates to the qualifications of the electors and the elected. Those of the former are to be the same with those of the electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures. The definition of the right of suffrage is very justly regarded as a fundamental article of republican government. It was incumbent ...
  • Federalist 53

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 53 Federalist 53 1 James Madison Publius often returns to the problem posed by majority tyranny. Here he expresses his preference for biennial over annual elections. February 9, 1788 The Same Subject Continued: The House of Representatives I shall here, perhaps, be reminded of a current observation "that where annual elections end, tyranny begins." If it be true, as has often been remarked, that sayings which become proverbial are generally founded in reason, it is not less true that when once established they are often applied to cases to which the reason of them does not extend. I need not look for a proof beyond the case before us. What is the reason on which this proverbial observation is founded? No man will subject himself ...
  • Federalist 55

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 55 Federalist 55 1 James Madison Under the Constitution's original formula, the House would have sixty-five members. This number was too small according to Anti-Federalists. Publius employs a number of arguments to demonstrate that the ratio of elected representatives to constituents is prudent. February 13, 1788 The Total Number of the House of Representatives The number of which the House of Representatives is to consist forms another and a very interesting point of view under which this branch of the federal legislature may be contemplated. Scarce any article, indeed, in the whole Constitution seems to be rendered more worthy of attention by the weight of character and the apparent force of argument with which it has been ...
  • Federalist 63

     |  Three Branches of Government

    Federalist 63 Federalist 63 1 James Madison To the Anti-Federalists, the Senate's six-year term and smaller number seemed too aristocratic. But to Publius, the selection of senators by state legislatures was a built-in protection for state interests. As a footnote to this argument, in making senatorial elections popular, the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913 changed not just the Senate, but the entire architecture of the Founders' Constitution. March 1, 1788 The Senate Continued A fifth desideratum, illustrating the utility of a senate, is the want of a due sense of national character. Without a select and stable member of the government, the esteem of foreign powers will not only be forfeited by an unenlightened and variable policy, proceeding ...
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