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The Role of Courts in American Politics

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Julia Gaan (jgaan7@yahoo.com) Dr. Sell Political Science 120 The Role of Courts in American Politics The third branch of the federal government is the judicial branch. Before the existence of the Constitution, a system of state courts was in place. Through much controversy and compromise a decision was accomplished, which put in place the Supreme Court. In Article III, Section 1, "The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court and such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The Supreme Court was initially set up as a part of the separation of powers in the American political system. ...read more.


Once appointed, federal Judges are in the seat until they resign or die and are independent of the President's influence. (Burns, 360-361) For example, the chief justice of the United States is appointed and holds tenure for life. He is one of nine Justices, and has the major role of interpreting the Constitution. This allows the Supreme Court to strike down any law passed in the country if, in the view of the Court, it is not constitutional. (Burns, 371-372) The Constitution is very ambiguous in the wording and gives the Court considerable room in the interpretation, thus giving It power. ...read more.


The Supreme Court fills many roles in American politics; interpreter of the Constitution, legislator, arbiter, and maker of public policy. The Court's unelected role enables them to remain out of the day-to-day issues associated with politics, and capable of judging from a position where they do not need to satisfy the public. The life tenures make it possible for them to be independent of a party and make an impartial decision. What makes it different from other Courts in the world as stated in Burns, p. 353, "Foreign visitors are often amazed at the power Americans give their judges." Along with the system that are put into position, non-elected, and the fact that every law passed in the country is allowed their scrutiny differs greatly from other countries. ...read more.

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