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The Judicial Branch - The Judicial Branch The Constitution...

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The Judicial Branch The Constitution says little about the judicial branch. It names the Supreme Court as the highest court in the land and declares that the head of the court should be the chief justice. But Congress, and not the Constitution, determines the size and structure of the rest of the federal court system. Appointment to the Bench To become a federal judge, a person must be appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. Once in office, a judge can only be forced to leave if impeached and convicted. Otherwise, federal judges serve life terms. Judicial Review The courts’ power of judicial review —the power to declare laws and presidential actions unconstitutional—is not actually specified in the Constitution. The Supreme Court gave itself this power in the landmark case Marbury v. Madison (1803). Example: The courts have exercised their power of judicial review throughout American history. The Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954), for example, ended segregation in public schools.
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