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The Second American Revolution in the Separation of Powers

22 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2009 Last revised: 3 Mar 2010

David Fontana

George Washington University Law School

Date Written: December 14, 2009

Abstract

The American Constitution creates three branches of government and ensures that there will be sufficiently great amounts of ideological diversity among these branches of government. Despite this regime ensuring external heterogeneity, the American system, uniquely among the world's major constitutional democracies, rarely creates the same degree of heterogeneity at the highest levels of the Executive Branch that it does among the highest levels of the various branches of government. This Article discusses the distinctiveness of the homogeneous high-level American Executive Branch and the events that led to such a situation. At the first key moment defining the separation of powers in the new American Constitution, the time of the creation of the Constitution, there was still support for an Executive Branch composed of a diverse range of leaders, and the rules of the new Constitution did not hinder this ambition. At the second key moment defining the separation of powers in the new Constitution, the creation of the Twelfth Amendment in 1804, a series of new rules and the political and legal realities that followed resulted in the highest levels of the Executive Branch becoming far more homogeneous than the one that preceded the Twelfth Amendment.

Suggested Citation

Fontana, David, The Second American Revolution in the Separation of Powers (December 14, 2009). Texas Law Review, Vol. 87, p. 1409, 2009; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 489; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 489. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1523232

David Fontana (Contact Author)

George Washington University Law School ( email )

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202-994-0577 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/Faculty/profile.aspx?id=9950

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