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Executive 2 7.69%
Legislative 9 34.62%
Judicial 11 42.31%
Other 4 15.38%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

 
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09:53 AM on 01/09/13 
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loveisdead
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I think doing a weekly discussion could be fun. I'll try and post a new one every Monday (hence the date I used in the thread title). If you have an idea for a weekly discussion topic, post it in the General Politics Forum

To get things started, Sean (CaveBear) brought this up... What is the most powerful branch of Government? When the topic was suggested: I immediately thought of this quote from Andrew Jackson regarding the case of Worcester v. Georgia

Quote:
In a popular quotation, President Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!". This derives from Jackson's consideration on the case in a letter to John Coffee, "...the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate," (that is, the Court's opinion was moot because it had no power to enforce its edict).

So what is it? The Legislative, Executive or Judicial? Anyone wanna argue a curveball like the mainstream media?
10:11 AM on 01/09/13 
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loveisdead
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I'm not an expert on the three branches, but regarding recent examples like the ACA, it seems like the judicial branch has more power. The legislative branch passed it into law, but when it was presented before the Supreme Court last summer, it could have been struck down and repealed, but instead it was ruled as the law of the land.

But there have been 30 some odd attempts from the Legislative to repeal the Court's decision. So if they successfully repealed it, wouldn't you be singing a different tune?
10:15 AM on 01/09/13 
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loveisdead
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All Romney could do was propose the repeal. He couldn't just do it. And it would have passed the house and not passed the Senate. So no, I don't think a President Romney could have forced a repeal.
11:59 AM on 01/09/13 
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loveisdead
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I'm going to argue legislative, to change it up. I could quote Hamilton but I'm on mobile.

The judicial can't actively do anything. It can only restrain the other two branchs. Legislative is harder to control and that's what gives it it's power. It also faces less public scrutiny than the executive.

Should be fun discussion.

Those are very good points.
12:14 PM on 01/09/13 
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loveisdead
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I'm voting executive branch because according to CNN and Biden, Obama is going to "act alone" to take away our guns.

There's that....and the whole Libya/Drones over Baghdad stuff.
12:39 PM on 01/09/13 
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Executive has the most powerful individuals, but they can only use that power if the Legislative will let them. Woo for checks and balances.

I ask again about Libya.
12:47 PM on 01/09/13 
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Foreign policy is a really good point.

It's not like Libya is the only example available. And that costs money and lives. That's a big deal.
02:06 PM on 01/09/13 
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Voted Judicial, because they rule on every law. Plus there seems to be an widely-held belief that when the Supreme Court rules on something, that's that, and there's no use arguing with it, whereas bills that the House and/or Senate pass continue to be debated after they go into effect.

The house has tried over 30 times to overrule ACA.
05:45 PM on 01/09/13 
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I run this bitch

-Chief Justice Roberts

Wild cardddd
07:09 PM on 01/09/13 
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This was way before the repurcussions of Marbury vs Madison which is where the court openly stated that it had the ability for judicial review. Hamilton was all for this if you read the federalist papers (also some people argue that the Court practiced it, but that that case was where they put it into writing), but the Supreme Court of Hamilton's days was far weaker no matter how you look at it.

As for how powerful the Judicial branch is it really comes down to the individual courts. Some of them have been tremendously powerful (ie the Marshal, Warren courts being the most famous in expanding the courts power) while others did little for decades. People tend to describe the Courts by their chief justice as they are the most prominent members of the court, even if they are the dissenting person every ruling.

Andrew Jackson was a populist president and it's generally agreed that if the population wants something by a sizable majority then the state will either carry out their will or collapse (this is massively generalized/simplified). The courts ruling against Jackson was powerless because the vast majority of the country backed Jackson's position - Jackson would have had to position troops to prevent the populace from doing what his troops did instead, and as he himself did not support the ruling would have been against that.

Anyways, the justices are probably the most powerful individual members in the government and the freest to express their actual opinions due to the lifetime appointment. The President is more powerful during wartime than the Court as a whole (and the president tends to have more influence during wartime with the Court) but I would say the current court is more powerful than the presidency when not at war

The executive branch itself is where it gets tricky because there's no way that the president can know every single member of his cabinet perfectly. A president with a weak, corrupt or ineffectual cabinet is going to be less powerful than one with a good cabinet regardless of their personal political prowess (though appointing a corrupt cabinet is a good sign that they don't have any political prowess - see Grant and other failed presidencies).

The legislative branch would be the most powerful if they worked together but that rarely happens. The legislative branch can make anything constitutional with sufficient votes. They can also give the president more power by declaring war.

edit -
The Dredd Scott decision was criticized by Lincoln for reasons of removing power from the hands of the people. It was a ruling that occurred mere decades after Jackson's decision (Lincoln made these comments well before becoming president).
This is a great post. Thanks for this. This is kind of what I was hoping for with this thread.
08:45 PM on 01/09/13 
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Would be more interested in your thoughts on nevuk's posts.



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