Why did the Founding Fathers make the Judiciary equal with the Executive and Legislative branches?
Aileen, The founders sought to build in to the new government a system of checks and balances. Each branch of the government would be able to balance the power of the others and provide a check on that power. That way no part of the government could get too powerful and become threaten freedom. By making the judiciary indepent of, and equal to, the political branches of government they made it impossible for preidents or members of congress to use political pressure to force judges to decide matters one way or the other. In recent times courts have been making decisions in which they assert that the constitution protects certain rights, or requires certain things, that it does not actually specifically mention. This has some people to be concerned that the judiciary might actually be too powerful. Perhaps it is not sufficiently checked by the other branches. If the courts can nullify laws or policies by declaring them unconstitutional, even when the constitution doesn't say anything about the subject then it is difficult to see where their power ends. This may become politically important in coming years. Michael Montagne
Of the three chief branches of government (executive, legislative, and judicial), the legislative and judicial branches are more often at odds, because the executive is constrained, and must work within the laws that these other two allow or disallow. The legislature can pass laws, or submit constitutional changes that limit the judiciary, and similarly the judiciary can disallow some laws.