“Judicial overreach” is often seen as problematic by conservatives. They cite the Framers’ view that the power of the court would be “next to nothing,” as Publius reassured his readers of The Federalist. But if the Supreme Court is not to pass on the constitutionality of congressional laws, who should? Not the Congress, for they wrote the laws; and perhaps not the president, if Andrew Jackson is any model (“Chief Justice Marshall has made his ruling; now let him enforce it”). Briefly describe what is meant by “judicial review.”

On the other hand, liberals argue that certain social movements against injustice, such as the civil rights movement, were furthered by “judicial activism” at a time when the Congress was ineffective (they often cite Brown v. Board of Education, 1954). Briefly describe what is meant by judicial activism.

Should the judiciary defer to the legislative branch or do they have an independent responsibility to promote policies they believe are in the best interests of the country?

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