Check and Balance

(Woll supplement)


Federalist 47, 48, 51


James Madison

1) Madison points out in Federalist 47 that the powers of the three branches of government are distributed and blended together in certain ways. How does Madison justify this intermixture of powers with his theory of the "separation of powers" ?






2) What is Madison's view of the inherent power potentials of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government ? To what does he attribute the potential power of these branches of government ? (Federalist 48)








3) What point was Madison making when he said ... "if angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary"... ? (Federalist 51)






4) What is the main point of Madison's argument in Federalist 47, 48, and 51 regarding governmental power ? (choose one and explain)

a. The power of the government should be restrained.

b. It is essential to have effective political leadership.








How Not to Read the Constitution


Lawrence Tribe and Michael Dorf


1) What do the authors mean when they say "the Constitution is a framework, not a blueprint" ?






2) How does the phrasing of the Commerce Clause in Article I of the Constitution illustrate their quote ?






3) (complete the sentence) From its creation, the Constitution was perceived as a document that sought to ...