Does judicial review really strengthen the constitutional principal of checks and balances or not?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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While others could disagree, my view is that judicial review really does strengthen the system of checks and balances that was set up by our Constitution.

Judicial review is the practice whereby courts can declare that laws made by Congress or by the state legislatures are invalid because they violate the Constitution.  A law that is declared unconstitutional can no longer be enforced.  This has led to such advances in our society as the banning of segregation in schools.

If there were no judicial review, there would be much less of a check on Congress’s ability to pass laws.  Congress would be able to pass any law that it liked and, so long as the president did not veto the law, that law would stand.  That would make it much easier to pass unconstitutional laws that take away our freedoms.  Whenever Congress and the president were from the same party, there would be nothing to stand in the way of them making any laws they liked.

For this reason, I would argue that judicial review does in fact strengthen our system of checks and balances.

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