Question by coolcars09: What is judicial review and what are its origins in the US?
What are some of the criticisms of judicial review? Overall do you think judicial review is a good thing, or does the power grant too much authority to the federal courts?
Answer by Doctor P
When a court decision is appealed, it is known as an “appeal.” But there are many administrative agencies or tribunals which make decisions or deliver government services of one sort or another, the decisions of which can also be “appealed.” In many cases, the “appeal” from administrative agencies is known as “judicial review” which is essentially a process where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of the administrative agency or tribunal’s decision. Judicial review is a fundamental principle of administrative law. A distinctive feature of judicial review is that the “appeal” is not usually limited to errors in law but may be based on alleged errors on the part of the administrative agency on findings of fact.
Judicial Review became a precedent because of the landmark case Marbury v. Madison. This case established the right of the Judicial Branch of the government to declare a law unconstitutional. John Marshall, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court ruled that the portion of the Judiciary Act of 1789 allowing for the Writ of Mandamus was unconstitutional. This decision helped put the Judicial Branch on a more even footing with the Legislative Branch and later the Executive Branch as its power has grown of the years.
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