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Pros And Cons Of Judicial Review

Term Paper Title: Pros And Cons Of Judicial Review
Word Count: 960
Page Count: 3.84 (250 words per page double spaced)

Pros and Cons of Judicial Review


        Adam Kimball
        Pol. 1110
        Instr. Madigan
        12/10/96

     Judicial Review is the power given to Supreme court justices in which a
judge has the power to reason whether a law is unconstitutional or not. Chief
Justice John Marshall initiated the Supreme Court's right to translate the
Constitution in 1803 following the case of Marbury Vs. Madison, in which he
declared the Supreme Court as the sole interpreters of Constitutional law. This
is one of the sole purposes of the Supreme Court of the United States. Many
Historical thinkers would find some difficulty in imagining a government set up
to limit the power of itself,but others would argue that this form of government
best works for the people, and not against  them. The treatment of the
Constitution by the Supreme Court as a "living" document that is able to be
translated differently over time for the good of the people has as many skeptics
as it does supporters. But, if we do not allow the Supreme Court to translate
the Constitution who then, should the people chose to do such an important job.
     If we were to look back at the ideas and thoughts of some of the
greatest political thinkers of our time, we would find that individuals such as
Plato, Niccolo Machiavelli, and John Locke, would share extremely different
views as to whether or not Judicial review, and the Supreme Court as a whole,
would be successful in their ideal government situations.
     One of the earliest  political philosophers Plato, would find our
present day governmental setup of the Supreme Court to be the ideal group to
deal with the United States' situation. Plato felt that government should be run
by enlightened philosopher kings, that would rule for the good of the people,
and not themselves. We today see the Supreme Court as a collection of the most
"enlightened" thinkers of our day. They are chosen to make moral decisions about
laws made by others in our society, and decide whether or not the laws we make
are in the best interest of our nation as a whole. Plato knew that within any
political State their would be corruption, to stop the corruption Plato felt
that the philosopher kings would best rule because they would not indulge
themselves in a corrupt society. They only believed in the truth, and justice
that government is supposed to protect its people with.
     Although Plato would not totally agree with the Democratic structure of
our government, I believe that he would chose for our society, a state that is
ruled by a similar group to that of our Supreme Court because, the members of
the Supreme Court are chosen because of their ability to make sensible, moral
decisions about issues that may contradict our Constitution.
     Niccolo Machiavelli on the other hand, would find a great many problems
with giving the Power to translate Constitutional law to anyone other than the
President of the United States. Machiavelli would also totally disagree with the
idea of having anyone make decisions about laws because they are mor...

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