Judicial Review

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The idea that the Supreme Court of the United States has the final authority to decide the constitutionality of a law, and that any court may determine if a law is constitutional.


The power of Judicial Review was given to the Supreme Court, by itself and the judicary more generally, in deciding the case Marbury v. Madison. Most historical scholars, however, agree that Judicial Review was intended to be included in the judicial power by the framers. This is implied with respect to state laws by the Supremacy Clause and with respect to federal laws by the very notion of a written constitution that limits the powers of Congress. Alexander Hamilton, for example, alluded to the power in the Federalist Papers.

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