Judicial Review: The Supreme Court

Improved Essays
“Everything can change at any moment, suddenly and forever” (“Paul”). American author Paul Auster expressed the famous idea of one moment shaping everything else in the future. On February 24, 1803, one mere Supreme Court case, Marbury v. Madison, changed the course of American history. From this ruling, the Supreme Court gained judicial review: the authority to give their opinions on the constitutionality of laws. This positively impacted America because it prohibited the government from abusing the Constitution. However, over the years, judicial review has spiraled into judicial supremacy and taken power away from the states. It has also led to the Supreme Court making laws, such as legalizing abortion and gay marriage, which is something …show more content…
Marbury v. Madison showed the limits of both Congress and the Supreme Court. Marshall intended this decision to positively influence America, and it has. If Congress passed a law banning newspapers from printing information about certain political matters, the Supreme Court would have the authority to say the law violated the First Amendment (Haas). Judicial review protects the interests and rights of Americans everywhere; however, the modern form of judicial review has had deleterious effects on America. Since Marbury v. Madison, judicial review has expanded and grown into judicial superiority or supremacy. While judicial review gives the Supreme Court a right to interpret the Constitution, judicial supremacy grants them the exclusive power and forces the other branches to yield to the court’s interpretation of the Constitution. Simple judicial review has a rightful place in a constitutional democracy, but judicial supremacy absolutely does not. Larry Kramer from the New York Times …show more content…
Furthermore, judicial supremacy has taken power away from the states. For example, the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people (“Tenth”). Article III of the Constitution, in granting power to the judiciary, extends judicial power to various types of cases, but never gives them the right to strike down a legislative or executive action (Kramer). However, since the decision in Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court has claimed the final word on what the Constitution means, so state provisions that conflict must yield to those interpretations (Dennison). Instead of the legislative branch, which represents the people, constructing important American laws, the court now holds the

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Meaning that power is divided between the national and state governments. Each have specific powers which the other cannot change or override. States not in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage claimed that the national government did not have the authority to overrule their laws. Nullification is “the historical idea that states can ignore federal laws, or pass laws that supersede them” (Graham) these states tried to nullify the Supreme Courts decision. Public officials in many states such as Ted Cruz support the idea that the Supreme Court’s ruling is not in fact the law of the land.…

    • 1472 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    Government Vs Constitution

    • 1410 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Acts of Congress that conflict with the Constitution are not law, and the Courts are bound to give way to the Constitution. The Constitution, in his view, is either a superior and unchangeable law, or is “on a level” with ordinary legislation. He also notes that “in declaring what shall be the supreme law of the land, the constitution itself is first mentioned”, rather than the laws…

    • 1410 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Great Essays

    Their original purpose was to explain the laws and determine if they were constitutional, nowhere in their job description does it say they are allowed to create laws. Through cases like Brown vs Board, Roe vs. Wade, and this upcoming same-sex marriage case, it is evident the Supreme Court has overstepped its boundaries. Thankfully there are documents like the Federalist paper 78 and Antifederalist paper 78-79 that offer a framework and even suggestions to an all too powerful court system. If the nation would follow what the framers had intended, the future they had planned would be one much brighter than the one America is living in today. The antifederalists were afraid of what is happening today and left many recommendations that should be put in place such as an authoritative body to keep the judicial branch in check.…

    • 1523 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The case established the the Supreme Court had the right to repeal laws that it dubbed unconstitutional, known as judicial review, and that went directly against the Republican ideas of state review, originally introduced in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions that Jefferson took part in. Furthermore, the Supreme Court was undeniably the supreme law of the land, with rulings that could over turn any legislation from congress, this set the Judicial Branch on an even playing field with the Legislative and Executive Branches in the game of checks and balances. This still impacts the government system to this day, when a case is brought the Supreme Court they are given the opportunity to overturn any laws they find unconstitutional and their rulings become precedent in all similar situations, almost like a law passed by the legislature that can’t be…

    • 1145 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    He did not give Madison the chance to ignore the Court's orders; causing it to look powerless. By acknowledging the Court’s power through the judicial review's principle, he made it known that the justices did not make their agreement out of fear. Instead, he had announced that the supreme law of the land is the Constitution, and established the Supreme Court as the final power for illustrating it. (Alex…

    • 708 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Lottery Case Analysis

    • 1913 Words
    • 8 Pages

    The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret law. They are not to make or rewrite laws. The creation of law is a job that is left up to congress just as the enforcement of laws is left to the executive. Clearly, SCOTUS went past the limits of its constitutional duties when it ruled the Individual Mandate as constitutional on the basis of…

    • 1913 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Because of that, a principle was established that included charters were contracts, so they could not be impaired. In the quote, “No states shall pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto, or law impairing the obligation of contracts.” (Document K), it emphasizes on prohibiting states from enacting any law that conflicts impairs contract rights. Another example is the case of Maryland v. McCulloch. In this case John Marshall knew that the federal government had more control over currency. In the document, it states “The powers of the general government, it has been said, are delegated by the States, who alone are truly sovereign; and must be exercised in subordination to the States, who alone possess supreme dominion.…

    • 702 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They had a multitude of points that were beneficial to the United States in the long run. For example, because of the Anti-Federalists, the Constitution was outfitted with a Bill of Rights shortly after it was ratified. There were also a variety of other topics that were not addressed in Federalist 10, such as whether or not a uniform code of laws could be applied to an area as diverse as the United States, if a republic could be that large and not be corrupt, and if the republic would thrive having a leader that was not intimately known, without military interference. The Anti-Federalists should not be labeled as the automatic villains who were completely wrong about everything. They were just people concerned for their country, and the supposed attacks to their liberty.…

    • 771 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    However, Chief Justice John Marshall didn’t follow through because he felt the Constitution didn’t grant the Supreme Court the power to do this, even though the Judiciary Act of 1789 did. Marshall realized that Congress had exceeded its power and, according to the Constitution, the decision was left to the Courts (History.com Staff, 2009). This inconsistency led to judicial review, which not only emphasized the Supreme Court’s power to be the final interpreter of the Constitution and “supreme law of the land”, but made the government recognize the Judicial Branch as equal and necessary (“Marbury v. Madison…

    • 1408 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The Supreme Court is a powerful and fundamental branch in the current United States government. The unelected justices of the Court are able to strike down legislation that is interpreted as unconstitutional. The Court is able to act as a policy maker and in turn acting as a branch of the legislative body in doing so. Another aspect of the current day Supreme Court is that the justices are able to interpret and make precedents on the “spirit” of the constitution to keep up with the present day social climate. The Supreme Courts use of Judicial Review as established in the case Marbury V Madison, has transformed a United States ruled by Judicial Supremacy.…

    • 863 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays