Two questions guided the framers when dividing power among the branches of government: What were the limits and purposes of national power? What were the roles and responsibilities of the various branches in exercising the government’s authority? ‘Balance of powers’ explains that no single event resolved these questions. Each branch has made large claims of power; each has experienced stinging rebuffs to those claims. The struggle involving the balance of power is described, including the Supreme Court and the President seizing opportunities to define their own constitutional powers as equal to Congress. Today’s hyper-partisanship has weakened Congress, although both division and inaction serves as an informal set of checks and balances.