Post a 2 page explanation of the importance of the judicial branch in the creation and execution of law and public policy.
The judicial branch of government is a system of courts that adhere to American jurisprudence; the philosophical underpinnings of the justice system. Courts are apolitical and have the responsibility of interpreting laws as they apply in each case. Public policies often are challenged in the court system. A judicial review is a specific process enacted by the courts to resolve disputes between branches of government, administrative agencies, or the public. You learn more about administrative agencies next week. However, the courts play a vital role in resolving disputes that impact the creation and execution of law and public policy.
In the readings this week, you explore historical cases that set a 40-year precedent of how the Supreme Courts ruled on public cases. You also consider how courts evolved and challenges that make the role of the judicial branch in law and public policy vital.
The importance of the Judicial Branch in the creation and execution of law and public policy – Sample Answer
In the case of a strong conflict between the constitution and a law, the doctrine of ‘Judicial Modesty,’ says that -in a democracy- the least democratic branch should overrule the policy preferences of the more democratic branches(Funk, 1997). This doctrine is never applied when the justices have a different policy preference from the legislators. The definition and enforcement of the limits involved in such instances is the responsibility of the justices(University of Missouri-Kansas City). In respect to the topics covered in the constitution, the U.S constitution has fewer topics and thus on average is shorter in length than other constitutions of recent times, which leaves greaterlatitude in the new areas that arise since the earlier constitution of 1787,for the Supreme Court to fill in the gaps. This among other factors makes the United States Supreme Court one of the most powerful Supreme Courts in the world.
Read also Discussion – Politics, Judge Selection, and Judicial Outcomes
This empowered nature of the Supreme Court makes it a lot more likely for the court to engage in public policy. In the separation of legal and policy elements it was found by Bailey & Maltzman (2008), that legal principles are influential in opinions or decisions of judges and that the importance of legal doctrines vary across judges. In their conclusion Bailey & Maltzman (2008) assert that policy preferences are important in Supreme Court decision-making where adherence to precedent is employed as a tool in the achievement of desired policy goals. Be that as it may, judges are not to be perceived merely as the maximizers of policy.
In the case of Lochner v. New York, the test was to determine whether under the Due Process Clause of the14th Amendment, legislation that seeks the imposition of limitations on the general right of an individual to make a contract in relation to a business owned by the individual is valid. In this case, it was found that to prohibit or interfere with liberty of contract’; the freedom of master and employee to contract with each other in relation to their employment, was in fact in contravention to the constitution. As per the protections of the 14thAmendment, the general right to make a contract in relation to one’s business is considered an individual liberty(Harrington & Carter, 2015). In this regard, this case formed precedence of the protection of personal rights as protected by the liberty clause of the 14th Amendment. In the case of Munn v. Illinois, the Supreme Court upheld the Granger laws establishing that the public regulation of private businesses involved in serving the interests of the public is constitutional. The test in this case was finding the legal basis for regulating the private property in question without setting precedence for the regulation of all other private properties. In this case, it was found that property that affects public interest no longer remains an object of private law alone but enters the domain of public regulation(Harrington & Carter, 2015).
While Congress in charged with making laws, the president is charged with, enforcing them and the Supreme Court is charged with deciding cases that arise under them with the inclusion of cases where the constitutional guarantees may conflict with law(Rosenbloom, 1983). A lively interaction of law and politics in the U.S. Supreme Court is encouraged since the judicial branch plays an important in applying legal rules in the process of decision-making. The judicial branch is important in that it applies the law in the production of the best solution for a problematic circumstance.
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