Perspective: More Perfect?

May 15, 2019

Recently I subscribed to the More Perfect podcast. Across its three seasons, the podcast takes a deep dive into the Supreme Court and the Constitution. When was the last time you read the Constitution? In all its flaws, like the 3/5 Compromise, it is nonetheless a brilliant document. 

 


In the Framers’ attempt to form a more perfect union, they assembled a document with clear intention in its structure. For example, the order of the first three Articles declaring the branches of government: the legislative, the executive, and the judicial. The branches were designed to be equals with checks and balances to the other branches, but why put the legislature first, instead of, say, the executive branch? 

 

Historians show that both the Framers and the public were deeply concerned with too strong of an executive branch in light of their history with autocratic rule. It was also logical. The legislature makes law and validates the election of the president, who then appoints Supreme Court justices. But most importantly, the whole enterprise is dependent upon each fully executing its duties, even and especially when another branch is resistant. 

 

Today we find ourselves at the point of a Constitutional crisis because the executive branch has decided to disregard legislative oversight, constructing oversight as just politics. You may be supportive of what the executive branch is doing today and that is a matter of politics, but what if the executive branch successfully obscures the legislature’s oversight responsibility? Your politic may win, but then we the people, as enshrined in the Constitution, may lose, and if the Constitution loses then where will we be?  

 

I am Joseph Flynn and that is my perspective.