Research Paper on the Judicial Branch

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On May 28, 1788 Alexander Hamilton wrote the Federalist 78. He stated “The Judiciary…has no influence over the sword or the purse… it may be truly said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment… the judiciary is beyond comparison, the weakest of the three departments of power…” This statement has only grown more valid with each passing year due to biases and inefficiency. The United States Judicial branch is an inefficient branch of government. It consists of one chief justice, eight associate justices. Once appointed by the president they can only be removed from office by death, impeachment, or retirement. The current system today is still the slow inefficient branch that it was when it was founded over 223 years ago. The duties include the following: “Interpreting state laws, settling legal disputes, determining the innocence of an individual, punishing violators of the law, hearing civil cases, and checking the powers of the legislative and executive branch”(The White House).

The speed and presence of bias causes the Judicial Branch to be a weak and inefficient branch of government. The process takes roughly a year for the Supreme Court to make a decision on a case. During the year, they are influenced by social media, as well as others in the court. This makes some of the courts decisions to be biased or influenced which causes some cases to not be fairly tried. The courts often go into gridlock because they often cannot come to a consensus, which causes the process to take even longer. The Chief Justice John Roberts is a considered a liberal conservative. However the Supreme Court is has a conservative slant, causing John Roberts’s job to be a hard one. Thus causing the Supreme Court to come to a consensus, increasing the time it takes to come to a decision and sometimes forcing the court into gridlock. (Gibson) Alexander Hamilton predicted such faults within the Supreme Court some 200 years ago. From the very beginning of our democratic nation the interpretation of the Constitution was an issue of differing views. It was these differing views that separated the government in the beginning; there were now loose and strict constitutionalists. There were those who believed that anything was permitted as long as the Constitution didn't specifically say it was banned, these were the loose constitutionalists. The strict constitutionalists, on the other hand, saw the Constitution as guidelines; if it wasn't specifically stated in the document it was not to be done. This was an example of the contrasting interpretations of the Constitution (Faragher). This is now known as judicial activism and judicial restraint.

The federal courts were finally authorized to officially judge laws put in place in 1803 in the Marbury v. Madison case. It was at this time that the Supreme Court was given the power of Judicial Review. Although, this is not an immediate act, the Legislative and Executive branch would have already passed the law and instilled it within the public before it would be discussed in the federal courts to determine its constitutionality (McBride). The judiciary "ultimately depends on the aid of the executive [branch]" (Hamilton). As Hamilton said in his papers, "[ the judiciary] has no influence over the sword or the purse...merely judgment" (Hamilton).

As a result of the constitution being interpreted by the Supreme Court on law constitutionality, many presidents voiced their opinion on the power of the courts. In the after math of the Depression, in 1937, Roosevelt stated that "he considered a proposal to amend the Constitution and add explicit authority for government intervention in the economy, but he chose the more moderate plan of altering the makeup of the Court because he ‘was consistent in his belief that the real problem was not one of law per se, but of law being twisted by ideologically driven, outcome-oriented judges”'(Toobin). This goes back to judicial restraint and advocates not...
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