1. Separation of Powers: The founding fathers divided our system of government into three distinct branches. What are these branches and how did the founding fathers justify each branch of government as necessary for a healthy republic? What is the purpose of separation of powers? Do you think that the founding fathers reflected on the notion of partisan gridlock as they explored the checks and balances built into the three branches? How does this relate to rules and norms that are designed to safeguard the minority from the will of the majority? Is gridlock ever beneficial? Is this something that the founding fathers were concerned with as they negotiated our founding principles? Why or why not?
2. Powers of Congress: Why did the framers of the Constitution provide the legislative branch with so much power? How is the Congress different from the president or the courts? What are some of the checks on the legislature? The framers of the Constitution designed the Senate to filter the output of the sometimes hasty House. Do you think this was a wise idea? Why or why not?
3. Powers of the Presidency: The framers of the Constitution intended that the President share power with the other branches of the government. Is that true today? Does the President have more power today than the framers intended? Why or why not?
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