Lincoln Checks And Balances Analysis

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Abstract This paper outlines an example of how our President Lincoln violated our Constitution on several occations. I've listed the events of the Habeas Corpus and the examples of how he tried to take complete control. Example of a Presidency's Checks and Balances The concept of "checks-and-balances" is fundamental to the form of the United States government. The system was implemented for the purpose of preventing one individual, or one small part of the government from exercising unlimited power by dividing key roles with respect to laws among three different branches of government. The legislative branch, consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives is responsible for making laws (Const. Art. 1). The Executive Branch,…show more content…
As such, the President, on numerous occasions, violated the provisions of the Constitution with the use of executive order. Executive Order refers to a command given to any branch of the military or federal law enforcement. Such a command is only meant to be given to enforce existing law, but that only occurs at the President's discretion. In Lincoln's case, he suspended habeas corpus (Lincoln, 1861) and ordered the arrest and detention of suspected Southern sympathizers who he determined were causing difficulties for the Federal troops moving through Maryland. The state of Maryland was had not seceded from the Union, and its citizens, therefore, were still protected under Constitutional law. Despite that fact, Lincoln issued his detainment orders in violation of warrant requirements outlined in the 4th amendment to the US constitution. Additionally, he had them held without charges for several months, also in violation of Constitutional Law (US Const. A1 S9 C2). The Supreme Court, well after the fact, declared Lincoln's actions to be illegal, (ex parte Milligan,1866) but was powerless to offer any consequences, since Congress was empowered to institute impeachment proceedings and had no intention of doing so, especially since the ruling came over a year after Lincoln's death. This illustrates the key weakness in the checks and balances system: all the "muscle" is under control of the executive, making it exceptionally difficult for the other branches to punish the executive for constitutional violations. Complicating the matter is the passage of numerous laws by congress that expanded the President's power during times of
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