Should the Supreme Court's power of judicial review be strictly limited by a constitutional amendment?  

Asked on by ziendj33

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I suppose that the answer to this could vary to some degree upon the exact wording of the amendment.  It would be very interesting to see what specific limits on judicial review would be suggested.  However, it really does not seem at all likely that I would ever support such an amendment.

The thinking behind such an amendment is, presumably, that the Supreme Court acts in an excessively activist way.  An amendment would seek to curtail the Court’s ability to hear cases so as to force it to exercise judicial restraint.  I would argue, however, that this would upset our system of checks and balances.

Although it is not perfect, the Supreme Court does act as a check on the elected branches.  If there were no Supreme Court, or if the Court’s powers of judicial review were strictly limited, it would be much easier for the elected branches to pass laws that infringe on our liberties.  In a system without strong judicial review, the elected branches would not be sufficiently checked.

Therefore, although I would be open to thinking about this after I saw the exact wording of the amendment, I generally think it would be a bad idea to restrict the Supreme Court’s power of judicial review.

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