The major power of the Court is judicial review.
•Courts review laws, executive actions, and rules, and if necessary can declare them invalid or unconstitutional.
The U.S. Constitution does not mention judicial review.
•The power comes from Marbury v. Madison (1803).
•In more than two centuries, the Court has declared fewer than 160 acts of Congress to be unconstitutional.
The U.S. Supreme Court can review the constitutionality of state laws.
The power of judicial review comes from the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.
•It states that laws passed by the national government and all treaties are the supreme law of land.
•The Court has used judicial review to strike down state laws that violated rights or privileges guaranteed by the Constitution or federal statutes.
Judicial review of federal agency actions
Federal agencies often make critical decisions about how to administer and implement federal laws.
•The delegation of power to federal agencies can lead to conflicts.
•The Court has had to rule on the scope of the delegation of power to federal agencies.
•The Court also has had to rule on whether federal agency actions are consistent with Congress's intent.
•The Court does give deference to administrative agencies.
Federal courts have upheld presidential power in foreign policy, as well as war and emergency powers.
•However, in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, the Court ruled that a U.S.-born Taliban soldier was entitled to a lawyer.
•The Court therefore asserted that presidential actions were subject to judicial scrutiny.
•In a later case, Boumediene v. Bush, the Court declared habeas corpus to be a fundamental right.
Some judicial interpretations are based on common law
•Common law: a body of law stemming from judges and court precedent, and not from legislative statutes.
•used for tort cases, which determine whether one person is liable for causing harm to another.
Appellate rulings can be considered laws.
•Written opinions are halfway between common law and statutory law.