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Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks

Separation of powers is a doctrinal element of both the federal and New York state constitutions. Derived from principles espoused by Montesquieu, the 18th century French philosopher, the United States from its very inception has strongly embraced this doctrine. Essentially, governmental authority is divided into legislative, executive, and judicial powers, with each assigned responsibilities and functions so that no one branch is omnipotent. Separation of powers was designed to bind governmental authority by creating tension among the branches, with each limiting the others. Nevertheless, to accomplish important goals and necessary reforms, the three branches of government frequently must collaborate and support one another to be successful.

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