Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/480

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336
The Fœderalist.

he did not mean that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or no control over the acts of each other. His meaning, as his own words import, and still more conclusively as illustrated by the example in his eye, can amount to no more than this, that where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department, the fundamental principles of a free Constitution are subverted. This would have been the case in the Constitution examined by him, if the King, who is the sole Executive magistrate, had possessed also the complete Legislative power, or the supreme administration of Justice; or if the entire Legislative body had possessed the supreme Judiciary, or the supreme Executive authority. This, however, is not among the vices of that Constitution. The magistrate in whom the whole Executive power resides cannot of himself make a law, though he can put a negative on every law; nor administer justice in person, though he has the appointment of those who do administer it. The judges can exercise no Executive prerogative, though they are shoots from the Executive stock; nor any Legislative function, though they may be advised with by the Legislative Councils. The entire Legislature can perform no Judiciary act; though by the joint act of two of its branches the judges may be removed from their offices; and though one of its branches is possessed of the Judicial power in the last resort. The entire Legislature again can exercise no Executive prerogative, though one of its branches constitutes the supreme Executive magistracy, and another, on the impeachment of a third, can try and condemn all the subordinate officers in the Executive department.

The reasons on which Montesquieu grounds his maxim are a further demonstration of his meaning. "When the Legislative and Executive powers are united