Wednesday, May 11, 2005

What Is a Check and Balance?

I've been posting more about baseball and Phillies instead of the judicial process lately. I assume this issue is of little interest to my readers. But true to my blog's name, I've been interested in jurisprudence at least since the time I wrote an undergraduate thesis on natural rights theories.

I've been noticing false assumptions in the current debate which must be clarified.

Most pundits, politicians, etc. assume the only check and balance on the judiciary is the President's ability to name justices and the Senate's role in advice and consent.

But doesn't this miss out on something huge? Checks and balances aren't just on people. They are on actions.

The President can veto legislative actions and Congress can override those vetos. You don't have to wait for a new Congress or President if there is an impasse.

Likewise, the Founders, as far as I can tell, intended for there to be a check and balance on the judicial branch. The judicial branch can order the other branches around as much as it wants, but the other two branches don't have to listen to the courts. It should be a balancing act.

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