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									Liberty Under Law:
Separate Branches,
Balanced Powers
Law Day – May 1, 2006
THREE BRANCHES OF
GOVERNMENT
Branches Of Government
             If “the right of
             making and of
             enforcing the laws is
             vested in one and
             the same man, or the
             same body of men ...
             there can be no
             liberty.”
              Baron de Montesquieu
Branches Of Government
 The powers of state
 government shall be
 divided into
 legislative, executive
 and judicial branches.

 Article II, Section 4,
 Florida Constitution
Branches Of Government

 The Legislative Branch –
  makes the law;
 The Executive Branch –
  executes and enforces the law;
 The Judicial Branch –
  interprets and applies the law.
Branches Of Government

No person belonging to one branch shall
exercise any powers appertaining to either
of the other branches unless expressly
provided herein.

Article II, Section 4, Florida Constitution
THE JUDICIAL FUNCTION:
THE ROLE
OF THE
THIRD BRANCH
Judicial Branch
              Judicial power is the
              right only to
              determine actual
              controversies arising
              between adverse
              litigants, duly
              instituted in courts of
              proper jurisdiction.
Judicial Branch
“The judiciary has no influence over
sword or purse; no direction either of the
strength or of the wealth of society, and
can take no active resolution whatever. It
may truly be said to have neither force nor
will, but merely judgment…”

Alexander Hamilton
The Federalist Papers #78
Judicial Branch
              “Laws are a dead
              letter without courts
              to expound and
              define their true
              meaning and
              operation.”

              Alexander Hamilton
              The Federalist Papers #22
Judicial Branch
“It is emphatically the province
and duty of the judicial depart-
ment to say what the law is.
Those who apply the rule to particular
cases, must of necessity expound and
interpret that rule. If two laws conflict
with each other, the courts must decide
on the operation of each.”
Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 177 -178 (1803)
JUDICIAL
INDEPENDENCE
Judicial Independence
             “A judge is bound to
             decide each case fairly, in
             accord with the relevant
             facts and applicable law,
             even when the decision is
             not the one the home
             crowd wants.”

             Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
  Judicial Independence
“Judicial independence is the freedom we give
judges to act as principled decision-makers. [This]
independence is intended to allow judges to
consider the facts and the law of each case with an
open mind and unbiased judgment. When truly
independent, judges are not influenced by personal
interests or relationships, the identity or status of the
parties to a case, or external economic or political
pressures.”
Brennan Center for Justice Resources: Questions and Answers about Judicial
Independence
Judicial Independence
Independent courts protect:
(1) The Rule of Law – by ensuring that every
person enjoys the same protections and restrictions
under the law;
(2) Constitutional Integrity – by ensuring that one
societal institution has the power to overturn laws that
violate the Constitution;
(3) Enforcement of the Law – by guaranteeing that
legitimate laws can be enforced in daily life, not simply
stated in theory.
Prof. John Ferejohn, Stanford University
Judicial Independence

“The law makes a
promise – neutrality.
If the promise gets broken,
the law as we know it ceases to
exist. All that’s left is the
dictate of a tyrant, or perhaps
a mob.”
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy
Judicial Independence



How Judges Are Held Accountable:
The Appellate Process
The Disciplinary Process

The Election and Retention Processes

The Impeachment Process
CHECKS AND BALANCES
    Legislative Branch
    Examples of ways the legislature
    balances the exercise of judicial
    power:
   Clarifying judicial interpretation of the law
   Limiting judicial discretion
   Repealing rules of court procedure (2/3 vote)
   Appropriating the judicial branch budget
   Establishing county court and circuit         appellate
    jurisdiction
   Impeaching judicial officers
    Legislative Branch
    Examples of ways the legislature
    balances the exercise of executive
    power:
   Acting on the Governor’s budget proposal
   Re-enacting vetoed bills by 2/3 vote
   Impeaching Governor, Lt. Governor, and
    Cabinet Officers
   Confirming gubernatorial appointments
   Approving proposals for executive reorganization
    Executive Branch
    Examples of ways the executive
    balances the exercise of judicial
    power:
   Suspending public officers who serve the Judicial
    Branch but are not subject to impeachment
   Granting clemency
   Convening the Judicial Nominating
    Commissions and appointing judges
    from JNC nominees
   Appointing some of the Judicial Qualifications
    Commission members
    Executive Branch
    Examples of ways the
    executive balances the
    exercise of legislative
    power:
   Approving or vetoing legislation
   Preparing the state planning document
   Convening special sessions and determining the call
   Filling vacancies of unexpired terms of office of elected
    officials
   Establishing necessary budgetary reductions in order to
    balance the budget in times of revenue shortfall
    Judicial Branch
    Examples of ways the judicial
    balances the exercise of legislative
    power:
   Determining constitutionality
    of legislative enactments
   Interpreting statutes
   Reviewing legislative
    apportionment
   Issuing writs of habeas corpus, quo warranto, and
    mandamus
   Certifying the need for new judgeships
    Judicial Branch
    Examples of ways the judicial balances
    the exercise of executive power:
   Exercising appellate review of executive/agency
    action
   Issuing advisory opinions at the request of the
    Governor or Attorney General
   Issuing writs of habeas corpus,
    quo warranto, and mandamus
Liberty Under Law:
Separate Branches,
Balanced Powers
Law Day – May 1, 2006

								
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