All Volumes (2001-2008)


Volume IV, 2004

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Defined as the function of the court to interpret and apply the constitution to particular circumstances and legal issues, judicial review has become a noteworthy expression of the power of the judiciary. Nearly 200 years old, this seemingly simple doctrine has instigated a substantial amount of political controversy and debate from which three individuals should be recognized for their contributions. Ronald Dworkin, a proponent of judicial activism, believes in “leaving issues to the court’s judgment” and investing our faith in their decisions (Dworkin 526). Supporting Dworkin, John Arthur asserts that judicial review promotes democracy, and more importantly, imposes safeguards against unauthorized decisions made by the legislative branch. Staunch opposition to support for judicial review is apparent in arguments from Jeremy Waldron. Affirming that external authority is unreliable and consistently fluctuating, Waldron alleges that judicial review is just a social construction … a façade used by the masses to fool themselves into believing that culture is legally self-binding. Careful review of the strengths and weaknesses of judicial review, however, prove that a legal system possessing such a function allows one to feel more secure and safe. Albeit judicial review may be a charade, it comforts the common man in the confusing land of legal studies.

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