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Much is said about the separation of powers by liberals and conservatives alike. It is high on the list of sacred cows in American political life. On the one hand, everybody is for it, and nobody is against it. On the other hand, nobody ever seems to be able to articulate precisely why this vague, almost ritualistic incantation is entitled to the veneration it appears to receive. This lack of provenance feeds upon itself because people all along the political spectrum are able to justify whatever political outcome they prefer simply by claiming that those views somehow are mandated by the separation of powers.

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