Separation of powers under the United States Constitution

Separation Of Powers Under The United States Constitution

Separation of powers under the United States Constitution

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:This article refers to the separation of powers specifically in the United States. For the article on the theory of separation of powers, see: separation of powers
Separation of powerspolitical doctrine originating from the United States Constitution, according to which the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power. This U.S. form of separation of powers is associated with a system of checks and balances.

During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as John Locke advocated the principle in their writings, whereas others, such as Thomas Hobbes, strongly opposed it. Montesquieu was one of the foremost supporters of separating the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. His writings considerably influenced the opinions of the framers of the United States Constitution.

Strict separation of powers does not operate in Britain, whose political structure served in most instances as a model for the government created by the U.S. Constitution. Under the British Westminster system, based on parliamentary sovereignty and responsible government, Parliament (consisting of the Sovereign (King-in-Parliament), House of Lords and House of Commons) was the supreme lawmaking authority. The executive branch acted in the name of the King ("His Majesty's Government"), as did the judiciary. The King's Ministers were in most cases members of one of the two Houses of Parliament, and the...
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