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The Supreme Court The Supreme Court - Image of hands holding a gavel.
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Bonus Interview Footage
Glossary

On the role of the Court in preserving the separation of powers

Transcript
The Supreme Court in the United States plays a very important role in preserving, I think, the structure of government that the framers of our Constitution had in mind. The unusual thing that the framers achieved in drafting the Constitution was to set up three separate branches of government each with some power over the other two but no one branch being supreme in the final sense. It was this balance that they achieved among the three branches that was different than what any other country had achieved that made the difference in the long run. Now, the system the framers created with the three branches is not designed for maximum efficiency in government. It makes it a lot harder to get anything accomplished. The British model, the Parliamentary system, where the party who gets the motes most members in the Parliament can do anything it wants. And that party is the one that then selects the Prime Minister and is in control of what happens in terms of legislation. And under the British model it's not it was not possible, until recently, for Britain's highest court to declare a law passed by the Parliament as unconstitutional. That model was rejected by the framers of our Constitution.


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