6/10/2019

“Coequal” Is My Trigger Word

"The term coequal does appear several times in the Federalist Papers, but never to describe the relations between Congress and the president. Alexander Hamilton uses it in Federalist 20 to describe the different states as coequal with each other. James Madison does the same in Federalist 39. Hamilton also uses the term in Federalist 32 and 34 to describe a coequal state and federal power to tax. In Federalist 63 he describes the House and Senate as coequal within the Congress. And in Federalist 71 he uses the term in the course of describing attempts by the British House of Commons to wrestle power from the lords and the crown. So both Madison and Hamilton possessed this term in their vocabularies, and both had a lot to say about the relationship of Congress and the president, but neither described that relationship as involving coequal branches."