Judicial Review as the U.S. Supreme Court's main power.

Essay by mrbl0ndeUniversity, Bachelor'sB, June 2006

download word file, 6 pages 4.6

In a nation of democratic governance, the United States has unquestionably succeeded in its own development and potency since the establishment of the Constitution. The United States was founded in hopes of having a truly free, full functioning society. In order to achieve such a goal, the framers of this country drafted the Constitution brilliantly and attentively. With the creation of the three branches, Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, the Constitution also created checks and balances, the capability for each branch to check the power of the others. To ensure the continuing proficiency of our democratic nation and "checks and balances" system, it is crucial to equalize the branches by separating, and equally distributing power among the three branches. However, before 1803, the judicial branch was lacking such said power over the legislative and executive branches. It was not until the case of Marbury v. Madison that Chief Justice Marshall justified the power of judicial review to the judiciary branch, finally obtaining equal leverage among the legislative and executive branches.

With the implementation of judicial review, the U.S. Supreme Court has jurisdiction and authority to strike down law, overturn executive acts, and legally bind a public official to properly carry out constitutional duties. Indisputably, the practice of judicial review is the main power of the United States Supreme Court to date.

Many claim that judicial review was never "spelled" out in the Constitution; however, Chief Justice John Marshall saw the controversy of Marbury v. Madison as an unacceptable instance of unconstitutional applied laws. In Marbury v. Madison, the issue of whether or not the U.S. Supreme Court could hear William Marbury's suit against Secretary of State, James Madison, was questioned. The Constitution defines the U.S. Supreme Court jurisdiction:

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in...