Judicial Review (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A court's authority to examine an executive or legislative act and to invalidate that act if it is contrary to constitutional principles.
The power of courts of law to review the actions of the executive and legislative branches is called judicial review. Though judicial review is usually associated with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has ultimate judicial authority, it is a power possessed by most federal and state courts of law in the United States. The concept is an American invention. Prior to the early 1800s, no country in the world gave its judicial branch such authority.
In the United States, the supremacy of national law is established by Article VI, Clause 2, of the U.S. Constitution. Called the SUPREMACY CLAUSE, it states that "This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land." It goes on to say that, "judges in every state shall be bound thereby." This means that state laws may not violate the U.S. constitution and that all state courts must uphold the national law. State courts uphold the national law through judicial review.
Through judicial review, state courts determine whether or not state executive acts or state statutes are valid. They base such rulings on the principle that a state law that...
(The entire section is 1604 words.)
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Judicial Review (Great American Court Cases)
The term judicial review refers to a court's review of a decision of a lower court in order to determine whether an error was made. When speaking of the Supreme Court, the term also refers to the Court's power to pass judgment on the constitutionality of actions of state and federal legislatures and courts. The most common form of judicial review is the review of a lower court decision by a higher court, whether it be state or federal. Courts usually review these decisions in the appeals process, when a losing party in a case claims an error was made and appeals to the higher court to examine the decision.
The Functions of Judicial Review
Judicial review has three functions. First, it allows justice to be served by striking down erroneous decisions by lower courts. Second, appellate courts monitor the performance of lower courts; lower courts have an incentive to apply the law correctly if the possibility exists that their decisions may be overturned. Third, important controversies regarding the law are examined and resolved for the future guidance of courts and individuals. This third function is the primary concern of the highest courts, which in most cases agree to hear appeals only at their discretion.
There is no right to appeal guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. The right to appeal is created by...
(The entire section is 1620 words.)