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Saturday, December 03, 2005

American Exceptionalism- to the Extreme!

The American political system is unique. When analyzing the many characteristics that define the American system, it must first be understood how it compares and contrasts from other nations’ governing systems.

The constitution gave the American political system checks and balances. Under this system, powers of legislation and execution are separated between three branches of government so as to dilute their power and ensure that no one branch has too many powers.

In truth, the emergence of the court system as an equal branch of government in the late 18th century has become a unique part of the American political system. The Supreme Court has the power to strike down acts of Congress, something that national courts in other countries can only dream about. Indeed, the Rehnquist Court struck down over 30 acts of Congress before Chief Justice Rehnquist succumbed to cancer. By striking down specific laws, and by interpreting and reinterpreting the constitution, the Supreme Court is, in effect, making law. It has done this in the past in several landmark cases, and still creates law, such as its ruling this year on eminent domain.

Yes, the Supreme Court plays a huge role in American politics. But even more unique (or, at least, more well known) is the executive branch. Unlike parliamentary systems, the executive branchy is completely independent of the legislative branch. In parliamentary systems, the national legislature selects a national executive from among its own members. Under the American political system, members of the executive branch cannot also be members of the legislature. While this fits into the “separation of powers” concept, it does create some problems. Legislators have constituents. They have to answer to these constituents, and provide for them. The executive branch has no such constituency. This leaves members of the executive branch “out of touch” with the needs of the people.

The entire American political system is centered on a strict separation of powers. Whether it be an independent judiciary, or a constituent-less executive branch, it is all part of a single concept. Without these defining components, the American political system would simply not be what is today.

There have been 5 Cries of Anguish:

Blogger Cabe maliciously intimated...

Judicial Review has both hurt and helped America. It has yet to be challenged.

12/04/2005 5:13 AM  
Blogger Gyrobo maliciously intimated...

If judicial review hasn't been challenged in over 200 years, then it must work.

If it didn't work, there would've been a constitutional amendment against it centuries ago.

12/04/2005 12:26 PM  
Blogger Cabe maliciously intimated...

Believe it or not, I have mixed feelings about judicial review. It's the only issue that I am mixed about, which is odd because I seem to have my mind made up about everything.

This just in: President Bush nominates Gyrobo as his Chief of Robots. Gyrobo will replace long standing Chief Adolf Bitbot nominated by Jimmy Carter.

12/04/2005 4:59 PM  
Blogger Stan maliciously intimated...

I am for the most part for judicial review, otherwise this country would be out of hand with a laundry list of horrible laws.

But there have been numerous occasions where SCOTUS abused their power of judicial review, that is when the justices are faulty not their duty.

12/04/2005 5:43 PM  
Blogger Gyrobo maliciously intimated...

Yes, I read about that in this article.

12/05/2005 9:11 AM  

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