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Free «Institution of the State» Essay Sample

The two questions concerning how the American constitution protect against the abuse of power as well as protecting individual citizen against the abuse of power by those holding office are closely linked. Those who drafted the constitution back in 1777 seemed to be victims of such abuse and tried their best in ensuring that those in authority do not abuse power bestowed to them.

Broadly speaking, the U.S constitution one of the oldest written constitution did adopt separation of power as one way of preventing abuse of power. Checks and balances brought about by keeping the three arms of the government (legislative, judiciary and executive) did and continue to play significant role ensuring that power is not abused (Kunhardt, 1999). According to Article I section 1; legislative powers are vested in congress made up of senate as well as a house of representatives (Tedford, 1993). The separation of power has also ensured that laws that are passed by the senate and the representatives are largely agreed upon before being signed or rejected by the president.

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Additionally, the constitution Article I Section 6 clause 2 clearly stipulates that a representative or a senator will not hold a civil office when such individuals are elected, similarly no person that hold any office in U.S will be elected to be a member in senate or house of representative (The Constitution of the United States of America) (Gpoaccess, 2010). All these are counter measures that hinders one to use his/her influence unethically.

Similarly provisions in Article I Section 8 call for equal distribution of resources. It is also worth noting that the voting systems in place and terms of office coupled with American citizen being given voice (through bills of rights) leaves no room for those in authority to abuse power against them. If the citizen is of the opinion that those in authority are using their powers to oppress them, then Article II Section 4 calls for impeachment of the President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States (Irons, 1999).
From the review of the U.S Constitution separation of power, provisions of bills of rights coupled with checks and balances ensures that those in authority do not abuse power.

   

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