Federalist No. 78 Analysis

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Since the establishment of the United States Supreme Court in 1789 the role and function of the court has varied depending on the need of the country. There are several different schools of thought when it comes to the purpose and the function that the Supreme Court should take, ranging from strictly ruling on constitutional matters up to weighing in on national policy cases. To evaluate what role the court actually takes, one must examine both the institutional function as well as the political function. Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 78 has been considered one of the most influential pieces of work in the field, as it lays the ground work of what he believed was the role of the court. Since then, many scholars such as Robert Dahl have weighed in on how that role has changed. In the Federalist No. 78, Hamilton lays out that the Supreme Court is designed to settle constitutional disputes as well as act as a check towards congress in order to ensure the minorities interest. This was accepted to be the primary role of the Judiciary branch for a long time. Critics of Hamilton argued that Supreme Court justices could use their own opinion to influence the interpretation of the constitution, and due to the life time appointments could run …show more content…

One of the main problems Dahl faces is limited data presented to support his claims of the relationship between the Court and Congress. There is a case selection problem, along with a small timeframe of cases which can skew the results. By only focusing on a short term data set, you face the problem of not being able to identify if the results are actually relevant or if there might be something else causing the relationship to function as Dahl claims it does. While he comes to a conclusion that might actually be relevant, his research does not adequately support his

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