The Supreme Court System

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Summary: The court system plays an important role in American society. The court system is able to give orders and dismantle laws that are deemed unconstitutional. The belief that courts have the function as policy makers is predominantly seen within the history of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is able to be involved in policy making by exercising judicial review. Through judicial review, courts are able to strike down on policies made by elected officials or legislatures. The Supreme Court’s ability to do this can lead to the reshaping of laws and social change within the United States.

There is a common perception that change in policies and laws can only occur within the legislative branch. This belief is disputed by the notion
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This is known as judicial activism. However, the Supreme Court did not always play a vital role in policy making. During the Marshall Court (1801-1835), the Supreme Court upheld very few cases. However, as time progressed, the frequencies of the Supreme Court exercising their power of judicial review increased. Judicial review is when the Supreme Court holds “legislative statues and executive branch decisions and actions unconstitutional.” (Kagan p.22) The increase of judicial review is clearly seen in the Lochner Era. The Lochner Era was a “time from 1890 to 1937, in which the United States Supreme Court, using a broad interpretation of due process that protected economic rights...” (Cornell Law) Lochner v. NY sparked the beginning of an era where the Supreme Court exercised their power of judicial review and striking down …show more content…
Through judicial activism, courts can help to politicize issues that are often forgotten. Additionally, Courts can advocate for minority groups in society. The involvement of judiciaries in politics ensures that the democratic value of protecting every citizen’s rights and liberties is upheld. However, many politicians argue that judicial activism is anti-democratic because it is an act against the majority will. They also believe that unelected judges should not strike down on laws/policies that were created by an elected legislature. Politicians who oppose judicial activism also believe that courts should only be resolving internal conflicts within the branches and should only use judicial restraint when determining if a law is unconstitutional. (Jones 2016) However, these arguments against judicial activism are iniquitous. The function of the courts is to promote a democracy and ensure that the rights of citizens are not violated. If a law that a legislature has created violates a citizen’s individual liberty, judiciaries should be able to dismantle this

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