Judicial Branch Essay

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Unlike the other two branches of government, the judicial branch does not have very well-defined powers under the Constitution. While the Constitution established a Supreme Court and gave it “original jurisdiction in all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and those in which a state shall be a party” and appellate jurisdiction in all other cases, the Supreme Court was not viewed as an important body (US Const. art. III, sec. 2). Over time, however, the Supreme Court has evolved into a powerful government entity primarily through judicial review, the “power of a court to declare acts of governmental bodies contrary to the Constitution null and void” (Neubauer, 492). Although this power is what allows the judicial branch to remain influential, judicial review is not explicitly stated anywhere within the Constitution. The power of judicial review originated from the Supreme Court’s…show more content…
The Court is able to check both the legislative and executive branches by overturning laws or actions taken by either branch if the justices believe that the branch is not acting in accordance with the Constitution or if an act contradicts the words of the Constitution (“The Constitution,” 27). Although this could make the judicial branch appear superior to the other branches of government, Rosenberg’s arguments in The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? show that this is not the case, especially when it comes to social reform. With judicial review, the Supreme Court can freely make important and sometimes controversial decisions with its interpretations of the law. However, the decisions are almost meaningless unless one of the other branches takes action to implement the Court’s rulings, which serves as a check on the
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