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Pros and Cons of Judicial Review

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Pros and Cons of Judicial Review

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  • October 8, 1999
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Pros and Cons of Judicial Review

Adam Kimball
Pol. 1110
Instr. Madigan
12/10/96

Judicial Review is the power given to Supreme court justices in which a judge has the power to reason whether a law is unconstitutional or not. Chief Justice John Marshall initiated the Supreme Court's right to translate the Constitution in 1803 following the case of Marbury Vs. Madison, in which he declared the Supreme Court as the sole interpreters of Constitutional law. This is one of the sole purposes of the Supreme Court of the United States. Many Historical thinkers would find some difficulty in imagining a government set up to limit the power of itself,but others would argue that this form of government best works for the people, and not against them. The treatment of the Constitution by the Supreme Court as a "living" document that is able to be translated differently over time for the good of the people has as many skeptics as it does supporters. But, if we do not allow the Supreme Court to translate the Constitution who then, should the people chose to do such an important job.

If we were to look back at the ideas and thoughts of some of the greatest political thinkers of our time, we would find that individuals such as Plato, Niccolo Machiavelli, and John Locke, would share extremely different views as to whether or not Judicial review, and the Supreme Court as a whole, would be successful in their ideal government situations.

One of the earliest political philosophers Plato, would find our present day governmental setup of the Supreme Court to be the ideal group to deal with the United States' situation. Plato felt that government should be run by enlightened philosopher kings, that would rule for the good of the people, and not themselves. We today see the Supreme Court as a collection of the most "enlightened" thinkers of our day. They are chosen to make moral decisions about laws made by others in our society, and decide...