Federalist Paper

1078 words - 5 pages

Throughout Federalist #78, Alexander Hamilton discusses the importance of having a judiciary branch and the power of judicial review.
An important consideration throughout the decision of having judiciary review was appointing the judges and deciding on the tenure in office. There was high concern about these judges being unelected and serving for life. People thought this would lead to them being more corrupt and less likely to base their decisions around what the people really want and need. There would not be a huge check on them, and they would never have to face re-election, so would not have to focus on keeping everyone happy with them in their position. However, Hamilton argued that ...view middle of the document...

The judicial branch has no power to act on its own, nor does it have the power to enforce what it does. Even when a law is quite clearly unconstitutional, they cannot just step forward and act upon it; they first have to wait to see if someone else takes action. On the chance that they do get to declare a law unconstitutional, they do not have the ability to enforce that declaration. They need the president and the executive branch to enforce the court’s ruling. When originally proposing the idea of a federal court system, opponents complained that this could endanger the power of the legislative branch. Hamilton reminds everyone that the highest law of the land is the Constitution, and that the Constitution will always hold power over the people and the law-making officials placed in that position. The courts would be there merely to interpret the laws and to place the Constitution higher than any laws that may be passed. Congress is who is allowed to pass laws and policies, while the court’s only job is to interpret and determine the Constitutionality of such laws. The judicial branch also does not hold the power of the purse or the power of the sword. They cannot declare war or impose taxes, as the other branches can do. In proving the lack of so many essential powers, Hamilton shows that the judicial branch would in no way be a threat to any other part of government, and would only be able to benefit everyone.
If the judicial branch is so powerless, then why do we need it? While this branch does not have many powers on its own, especially in comparison to the other two branches of government, it does play a very important role. The Constitution clearly establishes the need for courts outside of Congress, which would be these courts of the judiciary branch. Judicial review is also a barrier against the potential of too much democracy. Many people could believe that a law should be in place, but that does not make that law Constitutional, which judicial review would determine and act upon. In this regard, as it upholds the Constitutionality of various laws and policies, Hamilton proves that...

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