The Myth of Three Co-Equal Branches of Government


In today’s delicate, thin-skinned and ultra-sensitive world where the gospel of “equality of outcomes” is paramount, it should come as no surprise that most Americans favor the unconstitutional myth of three co-equal branches of government.

Well, unfortunately for America, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Last month at an MSNBC Town Hall, Nancy Pelosi, a self-proclaimed Constitutional Scholar and current Speaker of the House of Representatives, stated: “Our Founders envisioned three co-equal branches of government. There’s little excuse for one chamber of Congress refusing to do its job and simply giving power over to the President.”

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My good friend and Institute on the Constitution Chapter Leader, Gary Porter, made the following observation in his recent presentation on the topic. “Speaker Pelosi is not alone in her confusion as to our government’s design, the ‘Three Co-Equal Branches’ myth has been drummed into millions upon millions of public school children’s heads for probably the last one-hundred years.  A simple Google search finds people ranging from reporters to sitting Congressmen, to lawyers groups and, of course, educational websites repeating this patent untruth.”

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So just what is it that these zealously uninformed crusaders of equality “know for certain that just ain’t so”?

First of all, we need to consult the architects of our Republic – the Founding Fathers – to see how closely this belief conforms to the Framers’ design.

James Madison, known as the father of the Constitution, stated in Federalist Paper 51, “In republican government, the legislative authority necessarily predominates. The remedy for this inconvenience is to divide the legislature into different branches.”

By consulting with Madison we discover that in actuality, Congress’ authority predominates, which is why we have divided the power into two branches.

By simple mathematics we see this reality to be true.

If we place the number of authorities of each Branch found in the Constitution, we see the scale disproportionate with the Legislative Branch having roughly forty-eight powers, followed by the Executive Branch with roughly twelve powers, and in last place the Judicial Branch with roughly three powers.

This, of course, correlates with the number of Federalist Papers written by our Founders. These Papers explained the functioning jobs of each of our three Constitutional branches of government. There are fifteen Papers for Congress, nine for the President, and six for the Courts.

To add further credibility to the discriminate powers of Congress, we find they have power to impeach ANY member of the other two branches!

For the Speaker of the House to be unaware of the proper balance of power is very problematic. Perhaps she ought to read Madison and get more acquainted with the document she swore before Almighty God to uphold and defend.

Better yet, the American people ought to read Madison, learn the Constitution for themselves, and avoid ignorance in office.

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