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USA Judicial Branch

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What Is the Judicial Branch of the U.S. Government? | History

This video provides the answers to questions such as what powers the Judicial branch has, as well as providing an in depth understanding of the branch.

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Definition:
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The judicial branch is in charge of deciding the meaning of laws, how to apply them to real situations where there is no precedent, and whether a law breaks the rules of the Constitution - hence being unconstitutional.

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Relevant Constitutional Sections:
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Article 3 Section 1

  • "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."


Article 3 Section 2

  • "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; between a State and Citizens of another State, between Citizens of different States..."

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Composure and Composition:
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The Judicial branch consists of a court hierarchy where the Supreme Court presides over all courts and is the final court of all disputes.


The hierarchy also consists of lower courts as the local courts in various states, State supreme courts, the U.S. District court, the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

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Checks to The Branch:
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The Executive branch nominates the supreme court and federal court judges (however, after this stage there is no influence of exec on judicial branch). This nomination means that the Executive can politically influence the composure of the Supreme court. 


The Legislative branch can impeach Supreme court justices for high crimes and treason. This allows a democratically elected branch to curb the powers of an unelected branch. 


The Legislative branch can suggest an amendment to the constitution, if it passes through both houses, then a 2/3rds majority of the states is required i.e., 34/50 states. This means that the Constitution can be changed without needing the interpretation of the Supreme Court. 

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