The Separation of powers in the US was developed to comply with a system of checks and balances. And the decision to divide the power into executive, legislative, and judicial power was not taken by chance. This separation of powers ensures parity between different representatives and allows to find solutions in situations when some politician behaves inappropriately. In an article for the NYT, Liptak (2019) cites the views of political experts on a hostile situation that has arisen in the relationship between President Trump and Congress.
Trump refused to comply with congressional demands; according to experts, this attitude shows that the President considers himself “above the law and the Constitution” (Liptak, 2019, par. 5). Although the Constitution does not explicitly oblige Congress to oversee the executive branch, oversight has historically been one of the critical functions of ensuring the country’s well-being. Liptak notes that the Supreme Court defines oversight as “inherent in the responsibilities the Constitution gave to the executive and legislative branches” (Liptak, 2019, par. 9). Therefore, the President’s lack of confidence in Congress and refusal to cooperate is unconstitutional.
Initially, Trump’s position seemed invulnerable, as historically there are few ways to enforce congressional oversight. However, experts have found a precedent associated with President Nixon and the Watergate scandal. It turned out that if an impeachment investigation were launched against Trump, obstruction of such an investigation could in itself become grounds for impeachment. In this way, lawyers and supporters of the separation of powers in the US managed to implement the basic principles of the checks and balances system. Moreover, Trump’s impeachment can become another historical precedent that will be used by lawyers in the future.
Liptak, A. (2019). “Clash between Trump and House democrats poses threat to constitutional order.” New York Times. Web.