The Constitutional System: The Group Character of the Elected Institutions

Synopsis

"Merry's well-documented work proposes a somewhat unusual perspective on the American constitutional principle of separation of powers. Rather than accepting the likelihood of governmental deadlock inherent in the tripartite separation of functions, he suggests that the framers also intended a mixed constitution, representing democratic, aristocratic, and monocratic elements. Although history has modified the nature of the mix, he argues that the House, Senate, and President constitute a policymaking superstructure, sharing powers while representing different electoral constituencies. Acceptance of that reality could breed the neccessary cooperative spirit to avoid institutional stalemate. This work [promotes] reconsideration of the meaning of the separation of powers doctrine and inclues a useful review of the Philadelphia debates." - Choice

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