The separation of powers along functional lines - legislative, executive, and judicial - has been a core concept of American constitutionalism since the Revolution. However, assertions of the importance of keeping the powers separate do not capture the complexity of the task when it is seen as separating power flowing from a single source - the people. Popular sovereignty did not underlie early versions of the separation of powers doctrine. This book aims to illustrate some of the challenges faced by US presidents, and others in Congress, over the history of the state.
Gerhard Casper is President of Stanford University.
Part 1 The task of separating power: introduction; the separation of powers doctrine during the period of constitution-making; the separation of powers in state constitutions; the transition from the articles of confederation to the federal constitution. Part 2 The conduct of government during the Washington administration: communications between the executive and legislative branches; establishment of the departments of government; the conduct of foreign relations - the Algiers problem' 'A more effectual mode of administering'. Part 3 Appropriations of power: historical roots in English Appropriations law; fiscal constitutions; the first Appropriations bills; the heroic in the mundane. Part 4 Jefferson's "Shackles of power": Jefferson's changing roles - the challenge of consistency; the federal city as a symbol of the separation of powers; Jefferson's first annual message - a change in convention; the war power - the conflict at Tripoli; the spending power - specificity and deficiency of appropriations; the Louisiana purchase. Part 5 The Judiciary Act of 1789 and judicial independence: the judiciary in France, England, and the United States; the challenge of an independent judiciary; the Judiciary Act's limitations on judicial power.