The third branch


I have no idea how the Supreme Court will rule on the national health bill, and my opinion doesn’t matter. What does fascinate me is seeing (or hearing) the proceedings in action.

The brilliant minds who fashioned the three-headed checks and balances concept consisting of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches understood the capacity of leaders to be human. Still stinging from the excesses that a monarchy can produce, they were also wary of putting excessive power – especially unchecked power – in the hands of a few.

Following the proceedings today reminded me of the feeling one gets during a major election. It is a special privilege to witness government in action, working the way it was conceived, when the beauty and power of the system itself is on full display.

A system devised over two centuries ago.


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