Nfib vs. Sebelius

Topics: Supreme Court of the United States, United States Constitution, United States Congress Pages: 3 (888 words) Published: December 10, 2012
In the Supreme Court case NFIB v. Sebelius, Roberts establishes his opinion on the role of the court, taking in consideration John Marshall’s opinion of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison; judicial review is present in both cases but in different ways. Roberts was aware that allowing Congress the power to control the purchase of healthcare services under the Commerce Clause was overstepping its boundaries, and so his opinion stating that Congress cannot control inactivity created precedential value. When Chief Justice Marshall first established the important principle of judicial review in Marbury v. Madison, his goal was to give the judicial branch a safeguard by expanding the Court’s power and legitimizing the weakest branch of government. As Hamilton pointed out in Federalist 78, the judicial branch “will always be the least dangerous to the political rights of the Constitution” because it “has no influence over the either the sword or the purse, no direction of either the strength or the wealth of society, and can take no action whatsoever.” He says the Court does not have “FORCE nor WILL, but merely judgment, and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm for the efficacy of its judgments” (Fed. 78). The Court has the authority to say whether a law is constitutional, and Marshall gives himself that final authority without addressing enforcement, because the power to enforce belongs to the executive. The Court simply writes the opinion. In Marshall’s opinion in Marbury v. Madison, he says, “if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution, disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty” (317). Judicial review for Marshall was to balance the powers of the branches of government and to establish...
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