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Document Type

Comment

Abstract

The United States Constitution created an internally dependent tripartite governing scheme which relied upon a carefully drafted system of checks and balances as a means of self-regulation. Recent years have seen increased conflicts between the separate branches, the most recent of which is the occasion for this article. The article traces the rise and fall of the power exercised by the various branches and then focuses on the recent confrontation between Congress and the executive branch concerning the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency and the subsequent resignation of Anne McGill Burford. Of particular interest to this inquiry is the role of the Attorney General of the United States during inter-branch confrontations. The article concludes that congressional inertia has led to a distortion of both the roles of the President and the Attorney General and then examines methods for restoring the branches to their proper constitutional roles.