What stops one branch of the U.S. government from becoming too powerful in the states?

That was a question at Quora. Here’s my answer:

Well the answer in Civics class is “Either or both of the other two branches.”

Problem is, the Legislative Branch has abdicated a lot of its lawmaking power to the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch has allowed it. Now we have multiple Executive Branch Bureaus, Departments and Services that serve to make regulations (Legislative), enforce regulations (Executive) and punish violations (Judicial) essentially without oversight. We don’t elect the people in these organizations. We have no power to remove them.

Our only hope is the Legislative Branch or the Judicial Branch will stomp on their excesses. The Supreme Court recently did that with the EPAs abuse of the “Clean Water Act” in Sackett v. EPA. The legislature failed to do so in their review of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s recent redefinition of pistol braces, making what was legal now a federal felony. Senate Democrats reject measure to block pistol brace rule.

Edited to add this:


The Executive Branch is not happy about the Judicial Branch doing its job. Odd, that.

3 thoughts on “What stops one branch of the U.S. government from becoming too powerful in the states?

  1. Oh, heavens! Judicial activism! I’m coming down with the vapors; please convey me to a fainting couch with due haste.

    This is long overdue, and unless a strong Republican wins the White House next term, we have only a limited amount of time to accomplish a little more hamstringing. I dread the day, should it come, when Clarence Thomas retires with a Democrat in the Oval Office. (BTW, there is no strong Republican candidate.)

  2. The problem is in the states when the Justices side with the legislature and/or governor. Then there are NO checks and balances.

  3. We no longer have three branches of government. We have ONE huge branch with three subdivisions…all of whom have sold out to the highest bidder.

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