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How Congress Checks the Supreme Court:

  • Senate approves federal judges, including Supreme Court justices (Advise and Consent Clause)
  • Impeachment power (House)
  • Trial of impeachments (Senate)
  • Power to initiate constitutional amendments (to undo supreme court decisions)
  • Power to set courts inferior to the Supreme Court
  • Power to set jurisdiction of courts (they can tell a court that they can not hear a case on a certain topic, which includes changing the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court)
  • Power to alter the size of the Supreme Court (if the size is drastically increased the President may select all the new justices and change the sway of power)

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Congress can check the power of the Supreme Court through the process of Constitutional Amendment. While the Supreme Court can rule that a particular law is unconstitutional, it cannot rule that the Constitution itself is unconstitutional. If the Congress (and 3/4 of the state legislatures) approve a constitutional amendment, it becomes the supreme law of the land, and the Supreme Court cannot overrule the Constitution.

Here is a typical example of how the Congress overcomes the rulings of the Supreme Court:

The 18th amendment was passed by Congress and ratified by the states. That made it illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport alcohol. The SC had no choice but to rule in favor of any law that specified penalties for manufacturing, selling, or transport of alcohol. Many people over the years (1919-1933) went to jail for violating those laws, based upon their constitutionality in light of the 18th amendment.

In 1933, the Congress simply repealed the 18th amendment with the 21st amendment, and the states ratified that amendment. The SC since then has had to rule against any blanket law that prohibits the manufacture, sale, or transport of alcohol.

Several times, the SC has struck down laws that prohibit desecration of the American flag. Their rulings are always based upon the 1st amendment which protects individuals' rights to express themselves, even when that expression is offensive to many, even most other citizens.

If Congress were to pass an amendment that prohibited desecration of the American flag, and it were to be ratified by the majority of the states, the SC would likely have to uphold any laws that provided penalties for said desecration.

Amending the Constitution is a difficult and time-consuming process. It was designed to be that way, so that people could not easily alter our form of government on a whim of the moment.

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โˆ™ 2011-11-15 21:52:11
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Q: How does Congress check the power of the US Supreme Court?
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Related questions

How can supreme court check he power of congress?

The Supreme Court can check the power of Congress by ruling legislation passed by Congress is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court can do this when they a presented with an opportunity to hear a case which disputes a law. The supreme court's decision is final because it is the highest court in America.


How can the supreme court check congress power to make laws?

The U.S. Supreme Court has the power to declare an act of Congress unconstitutional.


How congress can check the power of the supreme court?

It can make laws that can be passed of to the supreme court


What is the formal constitutional check on the supreme courts power of judicial review?

Congress can check the power of the Supreme Court by introducing amendments to the Constitution.


Job of Supreme Court justices?

The job of the Supreme Court Justices is to uphold the US Constitution. The Supreme Court has the power to check the actions of Congress and the President.


Is a constitutional check on the president's power?

The Congress and the Supreme Court provide a constitutional check on the President's powers


How does the supreme court control the power of the legislature?

The Supreme Court uses judicial review to check the actions of Congress. The Supreme Court will declare the actions not valid if these actions contradict the Constitution.


What branch of the US government has the power to act as a check on both the President and the Supreme Court?

The Congress can check the power of the President and the Supreme court. Congress can impeach and try the President and the Justices. Congress can pass laws even if the President vetoes them as long as they have sufficient votes (I think it's two thirds).


What is one war that the supreme court can check the power of congress?

Supreme Court interprets the law according to the constitution so they can stop, repeal, or support a law.


What government body checks the power of the President?

Both the Legislative (Congress) and the Judicial (Supreme Court), have the power to keep the President's power in check.


How does the supreme court affect the functioning of government?

The Supreme Court determines if acts of Congress are constitutional or not, thereby limiting the power of Congress.


How does the supreme court control power of the congress?

When a law is passed the Supreme Court can decide if it is constitutional.


How can Congress check the powers of the President and the Supreme Court?

Congress has the ability to overrule the President's veto power with a 2/3 majority vote. Furthermore, Congress has the power to impeach the President, and must confirm the President's choices (i.e. appointment of the Supreme Court, etc.). Congress checks the Supreme Court in a few ways as well. First of all, it has to confirm the President's appointments of Supreme Court judges. It also has the power, once again, of impeachment, and has the ability to amend the Constitution.


What powers do the president and congress have over the appointment of supreme court justices?

The President has the power to nominate or appoint a Supreme Court Justice. Congress has the power to confirm or deny the appointment.


What is one way the Supreme Court can check the power of the Supreme Court?

Why would they want to they are supreme there judgement is supreme.


How does congress check that power?

Congress can impeach the president, and Supreme court Justices. They can also override a president's veto with a 2/3 majority vote.


Can congress control the power of the supreme court?

I would say not really, but they do have one important power. The power they use is called the Interview, the congress is required to approve the presidential appointments of the Supreme Court Justices.


What check does the Senate have on the power of the US Supreme Court?

The Senate has the power to approve or reject nominations to the Supreme Court.


How does checks and balances protect you from check balance?

Checks and balances is when they wanted to separate the power by adding a congress and a supreme court.


How does the president check the power of the supreme court?

The President checks the power of the Supreme Court by appointing Supreme Court justices and the Chief Justice (subject to Senate confirmation).


What power does congress have over the supreme court?

to feed the neady


How does the Supreme Court use judicial review to check the power of Congress and the President?

Judicial review allows the Supreme Court to look at laws and make sure they agree with the Constitution. In this way, no one person or group can seize power.


How does the supreme court limit the power of congress?

The Supreme Court holds the power of judicial review, meaning it can declare a law unconstitutional. The law would then be repealed, checking the power of congress. (see Marbury V. Madison)


How does the President check the power of the US Supreme Court?

The President checks the power of the Supreme Court by appointing Supreme Court justices and the Chief Justice (subject to Senate confirmation).


What do we call the supreme court's power to declare war?

The Supreme Court does not possess the power to declare war. Only Congress has the power to officially declare war on another nation.

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