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Articles on Checks and balances

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King Mswati III of eSwatini, Africa’s last absolute monarch, is facing growing demands for democracy and rule of law. EPA-EFE/Yeshiel Panchia

Africans want consensual democracy – why is that reality so hard to accept?

There is more support for democracy among African people than is often recognised. Yet this can be undermined by election rigging and is lower in countries like Lesotho, Mozambique and South Africa.
The three branches of U.S. government often find themselves in tension. White House, Eric Kiser; Capitol, John Xavier; Supreme Court, Architect of the Capitol

Why disputes between Congress and the White House so often end up in court

When presidents have tried to address pressing issues through executive action, members of Congress are quick to ask the courts to step in.
Marines at Camp Post, Afghanistan, Sept. 11, 2020, on the 19th anniversary of the terror attacks that began the U.S. war there. Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Trump’s purge of defense agencies comes at a vulnerable time for US national security

Investigations of the 9/11 attacks show that a short, unstable transition between two presidents can weaken US security. Trump’s sweeping staff changes compound the risk, experts say.
Congress holds the power to propose and approve the federal budget. Patsy Lynch/ MediaPunch /IPX

Why Congress would keep working during a government shutdown

Even if other parts of the federal government shut down, Congress could – and would have to – keep working. A legal scholar explains why and how that is possible.
U.S. forces are still in Syria, but their role has changed substantially in recent weeks. AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad

Could Congress reverse Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria?

Since the 1940s, Congress has largely let the president make decisions, while members of the House and Senate endorse or condemn those actions from the sidelines.
The failure of senior ministers of government to observe basic protocols of respect for the Human Rights Commission and its president, Gillian Triggs, gives the nation a signal that the institutions of democracy are dispensable. AAP/Lukas Coch

Respect independent statutory bodies as central to democracy

In his incautious remarks about the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) report into children in detention, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has shown a disregard for basic institutions of democracy that…

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