What is judicial review?
The supreme courts of the United States and Virginia determine the constitutionality of laws and acts of the executive branch of government. This power is called “judicial review.”
Marbury v. Madison established the principle of judicial review at the national level.
In Marbury vs. Madison, the Supreme court exercised judicial review by denying congress something it believed had been in clear violation of the constitution. Marbury was supposed to be the commissioned justice of the peace but to avoid having members of a different party in Jeffersons' cabinet that were newly appointed to John Adams' cabinet upon the end of his term, he told James Madison to not deliver the commission papers to Marbury. As a result, Marbury sued Madison because he was to be commissioned for the justice of the peace. However, the court ruled that they had no jurisdiction in the case and therefore couldn't force Jefferson and Madison to seat Marbury.
The supreme court did however deem Madison's actions illegal and correctable which checked the executive branch's power and the constitutionality of their actions but with no real grounds to force. The supreme court also acknowledged that they too couldn't overstep their reach.
Another more modern instance of judicial review was in Harper vs. Virginia in 1966. Annie Harper wasn't allowed to register to vote in Virginia because she wasn't able to pay the states' poll tax of $1.50 with the money funding the public school system. As a result, she sued the Virginia board of elections and claiming that her 14th amendment right had been violated because of equal protection.
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