This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Does The Supreme Court Abuse Its Power?

2173 words - 9 pages

Does The Supreme Court Abuse Its Power?

There have been many complaints and theories of how the Supreme Court has a tendency to act as a "supra-legislature" (Woll 153). It is proposed that the Supreme Court takes the
power to make laws and set policies which rightfully belongs to the Congress and state legislatures. They state that Justices exceed their authorized powers of judicial review
and read their own opinions and views into the Constitution and are in fact "politicians in robes" (Woll 533, Sheldon xi).

Alexander Hamilton's definiton of the Supreme Court's power of judicial review was argued in Federalist No. 78.

He states that the main purpose of this power is a check ont he legislature where the Supreme Court is an "excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of therepresentative body ... to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws." He also gives the Supreme Court the power to rule on state laws by judging them against the Constitution: "But the act of an original and superior authority takes precedence over that of a derivative and subordinate one, and so judges must adhere to the Constitution before a statute" (Wolfe 74-75). Hamilton sets the power definition of the Court with those lines.

Many feel that the fears of the Court taking power from the legislative and executive branches are unfounded on the basis that the Court is too weak to do so. Hamilton argued that since that it was dependent upon the executive for the enforcement of its decisions and had to be wary of the legislative check of impeachment, there could not be any "series of deliberate usurpations" of power (Wolfe 76).

They are also limited in that they cannot initiate laws, only judge cases that are brought before them (Woll 515). Another executive check is the President's power to select the appointees to fill in vacant slots for Justice positions. All these checks on the judicial branch lead to a policy of what is known as judicial self-restraint --where the Court never hands down a decision so controversial that the other two branches seek to reduce the Court's power (Woll 515). On the opposite side, Wolfe and many others feel that this power grabbing has occured:

"This expansion was possible partly because 'seeds'
of a more expansive judicial power were sown in
early American history; ... partly because it was
carried out by a federal judiciary that was on the
whole, characterized by considerable personal and
professional integrity; and partly because such a
change happened to fit nicely the political agenda
of influential groups during the period" (Wolfe 116
-117).

It is true that the Court cannot enforce its decision but must leave this to the executive and legislative branches. For example, when the decision to...

Find Another Essay On Does The Supreme Court Abuse Its Power?

The Supreme Court Essay

1106 words - 4 pages maintain the uniformity of the federal law. Article III vested the judicial power in "one Supreme Court" , and such inferior courts as the Congress may form from time to time…" The Supreme Court of the United States has several different types of cases which they generally hear. The first of these are controversies in which the United States is a party. Another categories of cases are ones in which there is a conflict between

The Supreme Court Essay

1067 words - 4 pages In 1787 Article three of the constitution created the Supreme Court, but not until 1789 was it configured. The way it was originally set up was with one Chief Justice and five associate judges, with all six members being appointed for life. This court serves as the “supreme law of the land”, it has the power to determine if state or federal laws are in conflict with how the Court interprets the constitution.      Presently the supreme

The Political Supreme Court

587 words - 2 pages The Political Supreme Court      It is nearly impossible to avoid politics during the appointments of high profile positions; therefore, the idea that Supreme Court is above politics when referring to its appointments is giving to much credit to that entity. The appointments of the Supreme Court, as with any political body, correlate no only to the media's portraying, but also to interest group the President wishes to

The United States Supreme Court

1975 words - 8 pages vesting judicial power in a Supreme Court and other lower courts to be established by congressional legislation, Section 1 of this article states that federal judges 'shall hold their offices during good behavior'--they can only be removed by impeachment procedures. The Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, that is, the authority to hear a case without that case being first heard elsewhere.Justices are appointed by the president and confirmed

The United States Supreme Court

670 words - 3 pages the law is constitutional or not.The Supreme Court of the United States, composed of a chief justice and eight associate justices, is at the apex of the U.S. judicial system. Provisions for the making of the Supreme Court were made in Article III of the U.S. Constitution. Justices are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The Constitution does not stipulate the size of the Court, leaving that determination to congressional statute

Path to the Supreme Court

1145 words - 5 pages Article III of the Constitution of the United States vests judicial power in “one supreme Court”. With incredible adaptability, the Constitution has stood the test of time. Largely due to the limited specificity as to the application of its words, the Constitution has allowed the character of the Court to be historically defined by the individuals who have held the position of “Chief Justice of the United States”. The ideology and individual

The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court

1455 words - 6 pages . Another strength of the book is its description of how cases are decided, and how a court is "built" (a majority opinion). Further, the reader gets an understanding of the factors that influence a court's opinions such as ideology, compromise, persuasive arguments, and even interaction with the clerks. It could be used as a textbook for a course on the Supreme Court. Trust in the political system was both strengthened and weakened by this book. I was

The Supreme Court in American Politics

1386 words - 6 pages : Does the Supreme Court use its authority wisely? The answer, for the most part, is yes. Every person and governing entity will make mistakes, surely, and the Supreme Court has mostly likely made theirs, but overall the United States Supreme Court uses its power of law and appeals to govern the American court system in a wise fashion. Evidence of this can be seen in many of the Supreme Court Cases involving Americans’ first right: The Freedom

John Marshall and the Supreme Court

843 words - 3 pages and power it deserves. Marshall realized the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction over this case. Article 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, the article that provides the court with the power to issue a writ of mandamus, is unconstitutional. This article is unconstitutional because original jurisdiction is defined in the Constitution and Congress does not have the power to add to it unless through a constitutional amendment. " The court

Judicial Process of the Supreme Court

1167 words - 5 pages Nature’s Judicial Process in the Supreme Court consists of decision-making; based on the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court has the capability to decide all extended cases; it also has the power to ascend under the Constitution, which allows the Supreme Court its jurisdiction in the Judicial Branch of government. The Judicial Process interpret the laws that are established in the Supreme Court; thus, allowing the

The Supreme Court and Personal Civil Rights

1224 words - 5 pages the Supreme Court has promoted personal civil rights is its decisions relating to school segregation. a. Under Chief Justice Earl Warren, the Supreme Court consistently upheld the rights of African-American students who faced discrimination when pursuing their education. i. In 1950, the Court ruled that universities could not force black students to eat meals separately from white students in McLaurin v. Oklahoma Board of Regents. (History of

Similar Essays

The Judicial Branch And Its Supreme Court History

1301 words - 5 pages Amendment was placed into effect. This amendment state that "The Judicial power of the United States shall not be constructed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state."The Supreme Court in its early years was the weakest power in our government so its Justices were granted unlimited terms. This was done so that the

The Supreme Court And Its Effects On The Balance Of Power Between Federal And State. (Mc Cullogh V Maryland, Lochner V Ny, Nebbia V Ny) The Role Of Supreme Court In Relation To Federalism

2020 words - 8 pages characteristics, yet a common ground needs to remain to keep the states tied together for political integrity. The Supreme Court does have a right to help this happen. They do not just look at the case alone, but view history, the majority, and past court cases on a specific case before making a decision. The justices try to make the right decision when state rights are in question. I think they do their research and decide what is right during that specific time. I give the Supreme Court the power they have. It is not a question of the balance of power. They keep the power balanced.

The Nomination Of William Rehnquist To The Supreme Court And The Power Of A Supreme Court Chief Justice

1102 words - 4 pages Established in Article III of the United States constitution, The U.S. Supreme Court is the only federal branch that is comprised of non-elected members. Justices are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of Congress. The court adjudicates cases that arise through U.S. Constitutional issues (as opposed to state issues), U.S. laws and treaties, interstate cases and cases where a state itself or the U.S. is a party in the case

Does The Supreme Court Protect The Individual? (30 Marks) Government And Politics Aqa Exam Board Question

1194 words - 5 pages Harriet Dixon 20/01/18 Does the Supreme Court protect the individual? (30 marks) There have been arguments on whether the Supreme Court acts to protect individual rights or actually hinders. It appears to de dependent on who, when and where the individual is, it also depends on the right that they have asked