The Controversy Of Judicial Reviews Role In Democracy

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Judicial review is defined as the ability of the courts to render any governmental actions or laws in which the courts believe are in conflict with the constitution (Masilamani 255). Though it is a very controversial topic, judicial review holds a very important spot in a democracy. The main controversies come from the issues of judicial review not being originally explicit in the constitution and if judicial review gives the courts too much power. This paper will argue judicial reviews role in democracy and how it is important. Its importance being demonstrated by keeping the executive and legislative branches in line and protect human rights. It will also discuss the main controversies of judicial review in the courts. It will look into three…show more content…
It is known as a “structural element of Canadian and comparative federalism”(Baier 2). This is important protection for people under governmental power. Judicial review was first created by the Madbury v. Madison case from 1803 (Orren). The Supreme Court was lead by Chief Justice John Marshall, where during this case he stated the legal principle of judicial review. Similarly in Canada, the role of judicial review was set during the making of laws between Parliament and provincial legislatures (Masilamani 255). Even though it wasn’t explicitly stated in the Canadian Constitution, from there on out its role in democracy was attained. Judicial review is the process where the court can review cases involving laws and stop them if they are in conflict with the constitution. Judicial review is an important characteristic of government and holds an important role in…show more content…
Virgina Board of Elections case in 1966 dealt with a woman named Annie Harper. Harper wanted to vote in the state election, but to do so, you had to pay 1.50$ poll tax. Harper was unable to pay the poll tax and sued the Virginia Board of Elections. It was there where judicial review came through and the supreme court decided the Virginia poll tax was unconstitutional. The reasons the judiciary ruled it unconstitutional come from the view that people who were poor were unable to vote. The poll tax also violated the 14th amendment of right to equal protection (Lesniak). It was also unconstitutional because it went against the democratic right to vote. Voting should be accessible to all citizens. Whether they are rich or poor it should not affect a citizen’s right to vote, “A State violates the Equal Protection Clause whenever it makes the affluence of the voter or payment of any fee an electoral standard. Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth.” (Lesniak). Money should not be in correlation with your right to vote as a

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