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The Importance Of Judicial Review

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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…show more content…
The question on the constitutionality of having supreme court justices, who are appointed and not elected by the people, deciding on the constitutionality of laws and legislation is questionable. When the Marshall court handed down the Marbury v. Madison decision claiming the right to judicial review, everything changed, for better or worse. Dworkin’s writings attempt to reiterate what a democracy is and its purpose in serving the people. His statements are almost contradictory in that he says there is a need to avoid the moral reading of the constitution, for it gives too much power to the judges. Yet he also says that the originalism readings will date the constitution and make it less relevant. This is all in the same vein as calling for an institution that protects the rights the people and limits the majoritarian aspects of democracy, so in an essence, creating a working constitutional democracy. I feel that the answer that Dworkin is searching for is the judicial branch. Waldron feels the same, noting the differences in Dworkin’s essay as well. Dworkin says that “legislature is not the safest vessel for protecting the rights of policy unpopular groups,” and this is where I can understand some point that he trying to make, because legislature is not the safest vessel for protecting minority groups, the judicial branch is. Waldron, too sates the example, that the most notable philosopher to inspire the constitution, John Locke, wrote about the need for a branch to limit the legislative powers, but was also reluctant to name the judicial branch. This fact remains a mystery to me, but at least Dworkin explains the potential corruption that can come from putting so much power in the hands of the
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