The lawyers and judges of the United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, through the Middle District Bench Bar Fund, and the members of the Jacksonville Chapter of the Federal Bar Association are pleased to invite students currently in grades 10 through 12 in counties in the Jacksonville Division of the Middle District of Florida (Baker, Bradford, Clay, Columbia, Duval, Flagler, Hamilton, Nassau, Putnam, St. Johns, Suwannee, and Union) to participate in an essay contest.
The Founding Fathers created a "divided government" by separating important powers among each of the three branches – executive, legislative, and judicial. To prevent any one branch from becoming too powerful, the Framers established a system of checks and balances. Some argue, however, the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances undermine the government's ability to swiftly and decisively respond to problems facing the nation.
Identify a historical or current event that exemplifies the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances. Drawing on primary sources, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a "divided government."