Question: How In The World Did The Justice Department And Its Law Enforcement Divisions Like the FBI End Up In The Executive Branch Of The Government?

Of the three branches of government — the executive, the legislative and judicial — it would seem that the justice department’s natural and most fitting home would be with the judicial. I’m sure that the founding fathers looked very carefully at the placement of the justice department and likely concluded that whichever branch of the government it was placed it was bound to give that branch unfair advantage.

Yet, I suspect if the designers of our federal system had had the power to look into the future they likely would have placed the justice department in the same branch as the Federal courts, as it should be with the theoretically least politicized part of the government. On the other hand since it’s a day-to-day very active part of the government, I suppose it was just assumed to naturally fall under the executive branch, though in regard to checks and balances that becomes awkwardness personified.

In any event I would love to see some opinions of Constitutional lawyers and scholars on this point.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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