Last Updated on September 17, 2021 by Constitutional Militia
Constitution: By definition a charter of defined and therefore limited government.
The Constitution’s purposes are set out in the Preamble. The Constitution’s structure is designed to ensure that public officials employ their powers for those purposes alone. America’s Founders knew that “great difficulty” in politics is that “you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself”. to “oblige [the government, at every level,] to control itself”, they constructed the Constitution around a latticework of “checks and balances”. Two of these standout: namely, separation of powers within the General Government (as well as within the governments of the several States); and the federal system among the General Government, the States, and WE THE PEOPLE.
The Founders knew that “[n]o political truth * * * is stamped with the authority of enlightened patrons of liberty then that * * * [t]he accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, many, and whether hereditary, self appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny“. at the level of the General Government (and within the several states as well), a separation of powers is the specific “check and balance” that prevents “[t]he accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands” within the governmental apparatus.
The federal system is a system of separation of powers, which in its case establishes “checks and balances” that distribute and control the exercise of all political authority and responsibility among America’s three great governmental institutions: namely, the General Government, the several States, and the ultimate sovereigns, WE THE PEOPLE. The federal system consists of:
(i) the General Government—usually differentiated into three components: Congress, the President, and the Judiciary;
(ii) the several States—usually treated as unitary entities, although their governments as well are composed of separate legislative, executive, and judicial branches; and
(iii) WE THE PEOPLE—in their capacities as the ultimate sovereigns who “ordain[ed] and establish[ed] th[e] Constitution”, as the defenders and executors of their sovereignty through “the Militia of the several States”, and as the electors implement that sovereignty through the regular selection of various “representatives”.