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Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was one of the authors of The Federalist Papers and set the groundwork for the way the court system would be shaped by the U.S. Constitution. It was in Federalist Paper No. 78 that Hamilton formulated the justification for judicial review. Hamilton endorsed the idea of judicial review and offered a foundation for its acceptance.

In No. 78, Hamilton first discussed the issue of the mode of appointing judges, then the tenure by which they would serve in office, and then the division of the judiciary authority between the different courts to be created. Earlier, the writers of The Federalist Papers had considered the need for there to be three branches of government as part of a scheme of checks and balances, and each branch was to operate somewhat autonomously while at the same time serving as a check on the power of the other two branches. The overriding intent of the Framers was balance, to balance the rights of different groups, to balance the powers of the different branches of government, to balance the power of the states against the power of the federal government. The aristocratic Federalists believed that an elite was better suited to administer government and dispense justice, but justice was always seen as a matter of balancing the inherent rights of the individual as expressed by Locke and Rousseau, among others, and the requirements of society under the social contract. The concept of justice that drove the Framers made it necessary that both rights and responsibilities be spelled out clearly in the documents and institutions of society and that the means for deciding differences of viewpoint also be clearly delineated. The power structure that the Framers developed was one that was balanced, and this balance in itself indicated institutional methods for weighing differences and for finding a median course. The conception of liberty and the conception of justice are fused, upholding the beli...

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Alexander Hamilton. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:07, May 28, 2020, from