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Hans A. von Spakovsky - Heritage Foundation
September 15, 2017

The Framers recognized both the benefits and the dangers of an efficient national government. To mitigate the danger, they divvied up power among three branches of government, the principle we call separation of powers.

It was genius—and the arrangement they came up with remains the gold standard for how governing should occur.

Having just fought a long war against what they considered a tyrannical government, the men at the Constitutional Convention were keen to prevent the establishment of what they termed “a democratic tyranny.”

In The Federalist No. 47, James Madison wrote that “the preservation of liberty requires that the three great departments of power should be separate and distinct.” Why? Because the “accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”…

Separation of Powers Prevents a Democratic Tyranny