Most Powerful Branch of Government?

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by TahoeHorn, May 4, 2008.

  1. TahoeHorn

    TahoeHorn 1,000+ Posts

    What is the most powerful branch of the US Government?

    I believe it's the Legislative Branch. In a walk. The founders clearly intended this to be so, and in spite of an increase in the balance over the years I think it's still clearly more powerful.

    The reason I ask is that so much of what goes on in government is the responsibility of the Legislative Branch. And they should get the credit or blame. But not only do people fail to understand which branch does what, they don't even know which branch is strongest.
  2. BattleshipTexas

    BattleshipTexas 1,000+ Posts

    1. You are assuming that the answer is set, and it isn't. It changes over time with judicial decisions, laws, executive branch usurptions, and other outside influences. For example, the NATIONAL CABLE & TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION et al. v. BRAND X INTERNET SERVICES Supreme Court case now requires requires a federal court to defer to an agency's rulemaking far more than in the past. This increases the executive branch's power. Same with the President deciding he has authority to interpret new laws with signing statements. Executive branch strategy ekeing out a bit more power.

    2. It seems to me that the Executive Branch tends to get more powerful when both Congress and the presidency are in the same hands, and the Executive Branch loses powers when fighting with Congress. Laws like the "War Powers Act" get passed only when the President is weak and Congress controlled by the other party. Yet when both are controlled by the same party, the President does what he wants to, and Congress meekly agrees. Including things that increase the President's power. Congress often flat gives this up, ceding powers to federal agencies. Would "fast track" authority have ever been taken away like pelosit just did if it was a D party President?

    3. I agree that Congress is ultimately the most powerful because of impeachment powers and the almost never used ability to remove jurisdiction from federal courts.
  3. LurkerintheDark

    LurkerintheDark 250+ Posts

  4. brandons87

    brandons87 250+ Posts

    This is an easy answer.

    SCOTUS can stop anythin the executive wants to do

    SCOTUS can stop anything Congress wants to do.

    The only "check" that Congress/Executive has on SCOTUS is to wait for members to die or retire and replace them with their appointees. That kind of "check" takes years and years to implement, whereas SCOTUS checks on Congress/Executive are instantaneous and cant be undone until the old geezers die off.

    SCOTUS is by far the most powerful branch of government
  5. RollingwoodHorn

    RollingwoodHorn 500+ Posts

  6. Kyrie Eleison

    Kyrie Eleison 500+ Posts

    No they cannot, brandon. Congress and the Executive both have the ability to limit the subject matter jurisdiction of the SCOTUS.

    IOW, the Congress could submit a bill that says "The SCOTUS review shall be limited in subject matter jurisdiction that concerns a piece of already been chewed gum and complete diversity between the parties. The SCOTUS shall not have the power to review anything else."

    Second, they only rule on the Constitutionality of legislative or executive acts. They do not simple "rule against."

    But that's okay....keep shouting the Republican myth of how our "activist liberal courts" will flip the switch of your kid's gheyness and b/c of the court you'll have to watch your daughter on the LPGA tour or your son on "Design on a Dime."

    We like it....the more you holler, the more folks figure out y'all are full of crap, and then you all become shrill, which means even more folks conclude y'all are chock full of crap, and then you all get even shriller, infinitum.
  7. fratboy_legend

    fratboy_legend 500+ Posts

    politically its the executive, constitutionally its the legislative. the Court just makes sure everybody plays by the rules.

    saying the court is the most powerful is in effect saying the constitution is the most powerful, which is of course correct but also obvious since the constitution beget all 3 branches.
  8. Fievel121

    Fievel121 2,500+ Posts

    Depends on the time. Look at Washington compared to FDR. Also, if you think the SC is the ultimate - check out what Jackson (and for that matter) FDR did.
  9. BattleshipTexas

    BattleshipTexas 1,000+ Posts


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