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courts settle civil disputes between private parties, a party and the government, or the united states and a state or local government, by applying the law and deciding in favor of one or the other after they present their sides.
prosecuting the accused
witnesses present evidence and a jury or a judge delivers a verdict of guilt or innocence
marbury v. madison
the constitution does not give the supreme court the power of the judicial review
power of judicial review
1. constitution is the supreme law of the land
2. if a law conflicts with the const. the const. rules
3. judicial branch must be able to determine when a law conflicts with the const. and nullify that law
limits on the courts' power
1. court usually depends on executive branch and state/local officials to enforce its decisions
2. court can amend the constitution
3. president has power to appoint justices and impeach them
4. court cannot that decide law is unconstitutional unless case comes on appeal (only deals with federal questions)
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