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Term Paper: Judicial Review

639 words - 3 pages

Judicial review is the power of the Supreme Court to review, and if needed, determine if the actions of the legislative and executive branches are unconstitutional. This power is important for the judicial branch in keeping the balance among the three branches of government and keeping the executive and legislative branches in check. The power of judicial was not described directly in the Constitution but it has been implied and since this power is not clearly outlined, it has been subject to change and different interpretations. Many political figures, documents, and cases have contributed to the evolution of judicial review and how it should be practiced by the Supreme Court in regard of deciding whether a law is congruous with the Constitution. The examination of judicial review and examples of its use is essential when attempting to understand this power.
The power of judicial review is not directly outlined in the Constitution but is implied through Article III and VI. Article III and VI establish that a judicial court will be created and will be in charge of cases regarding laws and treaties under the Constitution. The articles further state that the Constitution is the “supreme law of the land” and that any future laws should be consistent with the Constitution; this implies that laws that are inconsistent with the Constitution are invalid. During conflict, the courts have to determine the law and under that power, must interpret and administer the Constitution and decide if a certain law is in line with the constitution. The Supreme Court has final jurisdiction on all cases involving the Constitution. Prior to Marbury v. Madison, the Judiciary Act of 1789 incorporated the concept of judicial review by giving the Supreme Court the power to evaluate court decisions made by a state court involving the constitutionality of federal and upholding state laws. This power would be exercised by both the federal...

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