Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Doctrine of Judicial Review

The Constitution did not grant to the Supreme Court the authority to interpret the meaning of the Constitution. The Doctrine of Judicial Review was a power that the court granted to itself in 1801. Chief Justice John Marshall was a political ally of Alexander Hamilton and they both believed in the notion that the Constitution had implied powers.

The Constitution was written as a rule book that the government was expected to follow. The framers of the Constitution knew that only if the Constitution was strictly obeyed could it prevent the government from abusing the rights of the people.
The states delegated to the Constitution a short list of delegated powers and anything that was not delegated to the central government was prohibited. Hamilton wanted the Constitution to be interpreted loosely so that the government could assume powers that were not specifically enumerated. Those that favored a strong central government were constrained by the Constitution in order for the Federalists to achieve their objectives they needed to sell the idea that Congress could do whatever they deemed was necessary and proper.


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