The Supreme Court is personified by the nine justices who sit on the High Court. They have life tenure, and their nominations today are often the result of epochal battles between Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals. Understanding why the Supreme Court has become the single most powerful judicial body in the world will help you understand just why the judicial branch is so important in the public policy arena. The Supreme Court has the power to decide what is constitutional and what is not. However, there are many more powers that the judicial branch possesses and uses to check and balance the other branches of government.
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As you review this week’s Learning Resources, pay attention to how the Supreme Court defines itself and its legal values in the exercise of its power. Also think about the constraints and powers of the judicial branch in relation to the executive and legislative branches.
Find a current events item that clearly shows how the power of the Supreme Court is being used in impacting policy.
With these thoughts in mind:
Write an explanation of how the power of the Supreme Court acts as checks and constraints on the other branches of government.
Discussion: Judicial Power and Constraint
The checks and balances system in government was established to ensure no one government branch would become too powerful. The division of power grants the judiciary certain powers over the executive and the legislature. According to Wiist (2011), one of the principal characteristics of the United States judiciary and judicial system is the specific role under the doctrine of the separation-of-powers. Under this doctrine, the legislature passes, and the executive enforces them. It is here that the power of the Supreme Court comes in handy as checks and constraints on other government departments. For instance, the Supreme Court has the power to interpret and apply the law, as well as adjudicate legal conflicts and administers justice, which comprises the authority of enforcing or voiding statutes when disputes in the executive or legislature arise regarding their constitutionality or scope (Cuello, 2013).
Accordingly, the Supreme Court, and the judicial unit by extension, can declare presidential actions unconstitutional in a process referred to as judicial | GET AN EXPERT FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT | Supreme Court also determines which laws Congress seeks to apply to specific cases, and determines ways in which Congress designs to apply disputes | GET AN EXPERT FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT | Supreme Court squashes executive and legislative powers by examining and determining whether statutes and provisions are | GET AN EXPERT FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT | according to the constitution. By declaring certain laws unconstitutional, the powers of the President and Congress are limited as was the case with 1792 cases, Bowman v. Middleton in South Carolina (Treanor, 2005). The | GET AN EXPERT FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT | that Congress had passed, and signed into law by the President was pronounced unconstitutional.
Cuello, L. (2013). The Supreme Court decision on health care reform. The Leadership Conference.
Treanor, W. M. (2005). Judicial review before Marbury. Stanford Law Review, 58(2), 455-562. http://www.stanfordlawreview.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2010/04/treanor.pdf
Wiist, W. H. (2011). Public health and democracy: Citizens united, public health, and democracy: the supreme court ruling, its implications, and proposed action. Government, Politics, and Law, 101(7), 1172-1179. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3110222/