Judicial review is the idea, fundamental to the US system of government, that the actions of the executive and legislative branches of government are subject to review and possible invalidation by the judiciary. Judicial review allows the Supreme Court to take an active role in ensuring that the other branches of government abide by the constitution.
The text of the Constitution does not contain a specific provision for the power of judicial review. Rather, the power to declare laws unconstitutional has been deemed an implied power, derived from Article III and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution. Judicial review of the government was established in the landmark decision of Marbury v. Madison, the first Supreme Court decision to strike down the act of Congress as unconstitutional, with the famous line from Chief Justice John Marshall: "It is emphatically the duty of the Judicial Department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret the rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Court must decide on the operation of each."
Last updated in June of 2017 by Stephanie Jurkowski
Last updated June 10, 2019 by Krystyna Blokhina