Grappling with the Government’s Place in Society with U.S. Senator for Nebraska, Ben Sasse
As part of our upcoming Constitution Day celebrations, BRI Chief Program Officer Stan Swim is joined by U.S. Senator for Nebraska, Ben Sasse, to explore how our government lives up to the ideals of the Founders and how we can achieve a healthy balance of civic obligation and personal achievements. Do the branches of government interact with each other today the way the Founders envisioned? Why is it important to understand the powers and limitations of each branch?
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Separation of Powers with Checks and Balances
The Founders understood the principle expressed by the British historian, Lord Acton, “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Through the complex system of checks and balances developed in the U.S. Constitution, they sought to assure that no person or branch of government could exercise unrestrained power. As James Madison advocated in Federalist No. 51, ambition should counteract ambition in a fashion that advances the public good.