Checks Balances There is a system as with the two branches of government of

Checks balances there is a system as with the two

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Checks & Balances There is a system, as with the two branches of government, of checks and balances other on the courts. As stated previously, the Executive Branch carries out judicial rulings because the Court has no enforcement powers. Congress must authorize funding to implement court decisions, and can pass new laws in response to court decisions.
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Moreover, the Congress can, in some instances, determine the jurisdiction of the Court. The constitutional amendment process also provides a check on the Court when the Congress seeks to reverse a Court decision. Lastly, justices and judges can be impeached from office for malfeasance. Public Policy The appointment of Supreme Court justices for life assumes great importance, owing to the power of the highest court to determine public policy. The Supreme Court dominates policy-making in several areas: Civil rights and the treatment of women and minorities The procedural rights of criminal defendants Freedom of speech, press and religion The Supreme Court of the United States has become the final arbiter in many controversial situations. The Court exercise the power of “judicial review,” which is the power to check the constitutionality of a law or of a presidential action. Simply put, the Supreme Court has the last word. It’s the only branch of government empowered to render a final judgment on the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Judicial Review Article III, Section 2 The Supreme Court began its history with the power granted to it by Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution: inherent powers. Still, the Supreme Court accrued power over time. Two cases - Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) and McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) were examined in Lesson 1, and they were important because they added to the Court’s existing power of judicial review. Another earlier 19th century case, Marbury v. Madison (1801) was even more instrumental to the Court’s power of judicial review. Basically, the decision of the case (over a federal appointment) was that the Constitution is “the fundamental and paramount law of the nation.” In other words, when the Constitution conflicts with an act of the legislature, that act is invalid. This case solidified the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review. The Supreme Court consolidated its power of judicial review over time, but how the
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Court should use that power remains controversial – even among Supreme Court justices. Think About It... In what way is judicial review a “check” on the power of the legislative branch? "An act of the legislature repugnant to the Constitution is void — it is emphatically the province of the judicial department to say what the law is.” - John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison (1803) THE U.S. BILL OF RIGHTS The Preamble to The Bill of Rights Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
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  • Supreme Court of the United States

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