This is an essay on Judicial review. It talks about the origins of it and what the forefathers thought, etc.

Essay by mymusikrawksHigh School, 12th gradeA+, March 2007

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The power of judicial review is the ability of the Supreme Court to decide if acts of the Legislative or Executive branches of the government violate the Constitution. The Founders were familiar with the idea that one part of the government could have the power to determine whether the acts of other sections of the government violated the “higher law”. The Privy Council of the British government was a group that advised the monarch. The Privy Council had the power to veto laws passed by colonial legislatures if they violated British laws. The first time that judicial review was discussed was in the Philadelphia Convention or the Constitutional Convention. Though it’s never stated in the Constitution that the Supreme Court has the power of judicial review, it was assumed by the Framers that the federal courts would have the power. In the Federalist# 78, Alexander Hamilton made the following assumption:“The courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things, to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their authority….

When the will of the Legislature declared in its statutes stands in opposition to that of the people, declared in the Constitution, the judges ought to be governed by the latter rather than the former”(Hamilton).

So in essence, the Supreme Court “check” on the constitutionality of the other branches, to make sure that they are being governed by the Constitution. This is congruent with the theory of "checks and balances”, which was first proposed by James Madison, in order to keep one branch of the government from becoming more influential than another. And although this theory is naturally agreeable, it becomes controversial when discussing judicial review. Judicial review was established simply by the exercising of it by the Supreme Court.