Judging from their conduct in recent years, the branches of our national government seem to be suffering a prolonged identity crisis. It used to be expected, roughly speaking, that the Congress would pass laws, the President would execute them, and the Supreme Court would interpret them in individual cases. This was the political framework established by the Constitution and adhered to for the greater part of our political history. Increasingly, however, it is not the way the federal government operates. And as departures from the Constitution’s plan grow more common, a permanent derangement of the American political system becomes more probable.