In this discussion please examine the Supreme Court’s use of judicial review. One reason the Supreme Court is unique is the practice of judicial review. Judicial review is the power of a court to decide the constitutionality of laws or of the acts of a government official. In other words, the Court’s power of “judicial review” refers to its authority to review laws and executive action and strike them down when it deems them unconstitutional. This power insures that the Court is well positioned to protect individual rights and to apply the Constitution to new situations as they arise.
In 1803, Marbury v. Madison made clear this power of judicial review. Please be sure to review the content for week 2 where you will see a thorough outline of Marbury v. Madison and more explanation of judicial review.
In the decision, Chief Justice John Marshall wrote that it was the duty of the Supreme Court to strike down unconstitutional laws. Ironically, the practice of judicial review is not outlined in the Constitution, but the Court is expected to assume this role.
Hamilton argued that judicial review made sure that the people, through the Constitution, would have power over legislatures. Madison argued that independent judges would be more appropriate arbiters of the Constitution than the chaos and factionalism of the political process.
Do you think it is a problem for the Court to have such an immense power even though it is not specifically granted to them in the Constitution? If the origins of judicial review are not found in the Constitution, what grants the Court this power? Did the framers intend the Supreme Court to possess the power of judicial review?
How has the Court done with this role of exercising judicial review? Please choose one of these three recent cases cases involving judicial review. Review the summary of the case at the link below and discuss in your initial forum post how the Court exercised judicial review specifically in this case and if you believe it was a proper execution of this power.
CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION
BURWELL V. HOBBY LOBBY STORES