Judicial Review : The United States

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Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. A court with judicial review power may invalidate laws and decisions that are incompatible with a higher authority, such as the terms of a written constitution. Judicial review allows the Supreme Court to take an active role in ensuring that the other branches of government abide by the constitution. The review is fundamental to the U.S. government. In the readings for this week, judicial review, its constitutionality, and its necessity were examined in several different context, largely in modern states like America, Canada, the U.K., and Australia. There were many international comparisons and questions raised, but the most relevant topic of discussion in the class readings was the constitutionality and necessity of judicial review, here in the United States. These essays reviewed the constitutionality of judicial review and whether it had a legitimate place in society, large constitution or small constitution aside. There is always a question of constitutionality itself and if it undermines the very idea of liberty, but there can be no doubt that in order to maintain liberty, there must be accurate and enforced provisions of the constitution. In fact, both authors writing on American judicial review examine and accept that in order for the most liberty to be maintained by the people an organization that limits the legislative powers must exist to ensure their basic rights. When reading Dworkin’s Freedom’s Law he discusses an institution that would hold the legislature accountable and look out for the rights of the people, hinting at, but never explicitly stating the courts power or judicial review. Waldron’s La... ... middle of paper ... ... upheld by the Supreme Court, I feel as though this is the institution we should be looking to and judicial review has kept the democracy constitutional. The American constitution as a living document has only retained this status though the many interpretations that the court has given it, so that laws that were written and amendment could be used for as long as possible. This flexibility, that interpretations may be upheld, precedents set, and basic rights protect, transforms a 7000 word document into one of the most overused references in constitution framing around the world. The precedent of American judicial review has inspired many nations that seek to enforce a constitutional democracy to implement judicial review, and while there success may not reach the levels of America, they are taking the right provisions in order to ensure the rights of their people.

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