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What does the judicial branch do?

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As the previous educator mentioned, the US government is divided into three branches—a principle of governance derived from the Enlightenment-era legal scholar named Montesquieu, who promoted this system in his book TheSpirit of Laws

Parliamentary systems have a similar division of power, but the US government's three-part...

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As the previous educator mentioned, the US government is divided into three branches—a principle of governance derived from the Enlightenment-era legal scholar named Montesquieu, who promoted this system in his book The Spirit of Laws

Parliamentary systems have a similar division of power, but the US government's three-part system is unique for its "checks and balances." The judicial branch examines the legality of actions taken by the executive and legislative branches of government.

The Supreme Court case of Marbury v. Madison established judicial review, or constitutional review. Chief Justice John Marshall, fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, asserted that the Court did indeed have the power to invalidate acts of Congress. This decision was key, for the Court's assumed right of judicial review had not been outlined by the Constitution. Thus judicial review, or the right of the Court to determine the constitutionality of laws, was validated only by the Supreme Court's ruling regarding its own power and provided no effective challenge to its assumption of power. 

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In the United States, the government can be organized into three Branches- the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. The Judicial Branch has the power and responsibility for interpreting and applying the law, as well as making sure that the laws brought before them are constitutional. The highest authority in the Judicial Branch is the Supreme Court, made up of eight Justices and one Chief Justice. When the Supreme Court makes a ruling in interpreting the law, all inferior courts must act based on their ruling. A person who is unhappy with the ruling of their case at a common or state court may also appeal to the next superior court and ultimately the Supreme Court, in the effort of proving the unconstitutionality of the first ruling. 

On a day to day basis, the judicial branch interprets the law in hearing and deciding on cases. In the broader spectrum, their interpretation of the law creates and recreates the environment of legality and constitutionality in the United States. 

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