"Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy."
- Louis Brandeis, Olmstead v. United States
When a president pledges to defend the Constitution, does this include its system of checks and balances even if it becomes a hindrance to protecting Americans and democracy? The Reagan Administration encountered laws which constrained its political goals, explored ways to evade them, and used institutional role exchanges as its conduit. The Iran-Contra affair involved executive officials clandestinely using proceeds from arms-for-hostage deals with Iran and other illegal funds to undermine the leftist Nicaraguan government.
The executive branch must always uphold the constitution to preserve its integrity and our democratic lifestyle. The 1980s Iran-Contra affair exemplifies the detrimental consequences that occur when the executive branch isn’t held accountable for circumventing our constitutional system of checks and balances.