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Federalist Questions

In Federalist #78, the framers argued that the “judiciary” branch of the proposed U.S. government would be “beyond comparison the weakest of the three departments of power” (Hamilton 2). The framers viewed the position of the judiciary as the leas threatening branch of the U.S. government because it was the branch with “least in a capacity to annoy or injure” Constitutional rights (Hamilton 2). The framers viewed the judiciary branch in this manner because the judiciary had no claim to the sword of the community like the executive branch nor the purse of the community as the legislative branch did. Instead, the only power granted to the judiciary branch was judgment, the determination of whether or not any act of the U.S. government was in keeping with the Constitution. As Hamilton writes the judiciary “duty...must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void” (2). As such, the framers viewed the judiciary as the branch of government with the least potential to pose a threat to U.S. society. Federalist #78 also makes provisions that will bolster the efficacy and remove personal motive in justices when it comes to determining Constitutionality of legislation, such as advocating “permanent tenure” (Hamilton 4).

The Supreme Court has adopted powers over the past century that have not necessarily been granted it by the Constitution. In the case of Marbury v. Madison (1803), Chief Justice John Marshall approached the problem of the Constitution as if it were a simple legal instrument – a contract or will – of private parties. Judicial review became a major power assumed by and vested in the Supreme Court. Thomas Jefferson, among others, look upon judicial review unfavorably. The Court in assuming the power of judicial review may have overstepped the boundaries proposed by the framers for the Court and outlined in the Constitution. Many believe this principle invests ext...

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Federalist Questions. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 16:30, December 07, 2021, from