Welcome to Judiciary week. We are getting all legal, all the time. For this week, the focus is on Article Three of the Constitution, the assigned Federalist Papers, and Marbury vs. Madison. This Supreme Court case was the first time they flexed their muscle, so to speak, by interpreting and thereby setting a legal precedent enforcing their jurisdiction. The Supreme Court has two, as you will read in Article III of the Constitution of the United States: original jurisdiction, and appellate jurisdiction. This case hinged on that distinction. They also established Judicial Review. Make sure you note that fully. The Federalist papers assigned on the syllabus for this week, written by Alexander Hamilton, may be interesting in terms of how he framed the discussion of the Judicial Branch. How much power did he give it credit for, and does that still in this day and age? Included here also is a more recent Supreme Court case that is very applicable to our times. Clinton vs. Jones. Note not only the structure and precedents cited in the case, but note also the question this case established: are sitting presidents immune to criminal or civil prosecution? Can we relate this to current circumstances?
For this week’s reflection paper, there will be one question: Is the Judiciary as weak as Hamilton claims in Federalist 78?
The best answers will include an analysis of the assigned Federalist Papers, and two examples supporting your view. Those examples can take the form of any Supreme Court case, any Federal Court case, and anything from the uploaded assigned readings of course. This paper is, as always, due by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday. Current events relating to this topic are always welcome in your paper. We are, unfortunately, living in very interesting times. Include a current event in your paper this time. Let us use our tools to analyze what is happening right now.
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