judicial power and constraints

The Supreme Court is personified by the nine justices who sit on the High Court. They have life tenure, and their nominations today are often the result of epochal battles between Republicans and Democrats and conservatives and liberals. Understanding why the Supreme Court has become the single most powerful judicial body in the world will help you understand just why the judicial branch is so important in the public policy arena. The Supreme Court has the power to decide what is constitutional and what is not. However, there are many more powers that the judicial branch possesses and uses to check and balance the other branches of government.

As you review this week’s Learning Resources, pay attention to how the Supreme Court defines itself and its legal values in the exercise of its power. Also think about the constraints and powers of the judicial branch in relation to the executive and legislative branches.

The Assignment 1-1.5 pages using the provided resources:

1.Post an explanation of how the power of the Supreme Court acts as checks and constraints on the other branches of government.

2. Find a current events item that clearly shows how the power of the Supreme Court is being used in impacting policy.


Blackstone, B. (2013). An analysis of policy-based congressional responses to the U.S. Supreme Court’s constitutional decisions. Law & Society Review, 47(1), 199–228.

Treanor, W. M. (2005). Judicial review before Marbury. Stanford Law Review, 58(2), 455–562.

Unah, I. (1996). The Supreme Court’s institutional stature and role in public policymaking. Policy Studies Journal, 24(4), 679–685.

Wiist, W. H. (2011). Citizens united, public health, and democracy: The Supreme Court ruling, its implications, and proposed action. American Journal of Public Health, 101(7), 1172–1179.







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