Please discuss and summarize the Federalist papers (79–82).

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Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Federalist Papers 79–82 discuss the necessity of having an independent judiciary branch of government. Since the judiciary performs several important "checks-and-balances" functions within the government of a constitutional republic, Hamilton believed it essential to protect its autonomy.

In "Federalist No. 79," Hamilton offers three mechanisms by which we can ensure that the judiciary operates as an independent and equal branch of government. First, he suggests that judges should be appointed for life. Second, he suggests that judges should be given a guaranteed and fixed income for their service and that Congress should not be able to decrease that amount. Finally, he encourages wide protections against forcing a judge to step down. In particular, he notes that age should not be considered reasonable grounds for dismissal and suggests that elderly judges might be valued as wiser and more learned than their junior counterparts.

In "Federalist No. 80," Hamilton outlines the scope of judicial powers in five broad categories. According to Hamilton, the federal judiciary should have power to decide cases related to any and all of the following: the Constitution, federal law, maritime law, and matters of war and peace. The judicial branch should also adjudicate in any and all cases in which the United States Government itself is represented as a party.

In "Federalist No. 81," Hamilton discusses the structure of the federal court system. At the apex of the system is the United States Supreme Court. Under the Supreme Court, a network of federal circuit courts would operate. Hamilton argues that the courts and the legislative branch should work together in order to produce, clarify, and enforce laws consistent with the principals and standards of the United States Constitution.

Finally, in "Federalist No. 82," Hamilton explicitly states that all judiciary powers not vested in the federal judiciary are retained by state judiciaries. The function of the federal judiciary, he claims, is to assist in the uniform and lawful enforcement of the law. He emphasizes that federal courts will not infringe upon states' rights to self-governance.