The Myth of Coequal Branches: Restoring the Constitution’s Separation of Functions
by David J. Siemers
University of Missouri Press, 2018
Cloth: 978-0-8262-2169-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8262-7421-2

The idea that the three branches of U.S. government are equal in power is taught in classrooms, proclaimed by politicians, and referenced in the media. But, as David Siemers shows, that idea is a myth, neither intended by the Founders nor true in practice. Siemers explains how adherence to this myth normalizes a politics of gridlock, in which the action of any branch can be checked by the reaction of any other. The Founders, however, envisioned a separation of functions rather than a separation of powers. Siemers argues that this view needs to replace our current view, so that the goals set out in the Constitution’s Preamble may be better achieved.

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