Tuesday, December 15, 2009

DBQ Questions

Document A
Brutus' main argument against the ratification of the Constitution and the proposed court system is the unchecked power of the judges and the judiciary branch. He says that it is an amount of power never seen in the judiciary before.

Document B
Hamilton calls the judiciary branch the "least dangerous" because it has the least ability to do harm to or to even annoy the other branches. The judiciary lacks force and will. It can only pass judgments and it even needs help from the executive branch for the enforcement of its judgments.

Document C
No law can be valid if is contradicts the Constitution. This gives complete freedom for laws as long as they are constitutional.

Document D
Hamilton asserts that the judges have the authority to judge the constitutionality of federal laws because they are the ones who hold the Constitution to be fundamental law and it is their job to interpret it.

Document E
Hamilton denies that the Constitution gives power to interpret the Constitution to the Supreme Court because no where in the Constitution does it specifically give that power to any body of government. Hamilton also states that the Constitution should be the standard by which laws are determined even though there isn't a designated body to judge the Constitutionality of the laws.

Document F
The Supreme Court has the power to, in all cases, rule on issues of law and equity, the laws of the United States, and the treaties made within the regulations that Congress sets.

Document G
This document supports Hamilton's argument because it recognizes that the judges are subject to the laws of the land and of the Constitution. Under those restrictions, they do not have many powers and are therefore the least dangerous branch.

Document H
Section 13 gives the court power to call forth anyone in the United States, even people holding office, before the court under a writ of mandamus.

Document I
Thomas Jefferson asserts that the sovereign states that created have the power to nullify any laws that contradict the Constitution.

Document J
This ruling says that the judicial branch has the responsibility to interpret the Constitution because it is thier job to judge what the law is. Because laws created by the legislature must adhere to the principles of the Constitution, the judicial branch must interpret the Constitution in order to determine the validity of the laws created by the legislature. Marshall identifies the "very essence of judicial duty" to be the job of deterimining, on a case by case basis, whether the law or the Constitution should determine the rules of the case.

Document K
Jefferson's reaction to the decision of Marbury vs. Madison was that the judicial branch was created to be equal to the other branches so that there would be checks and balances. They are an equal branch except for their ability to perscribe the rules for the governing of the counrty and the other branches. They are able to mold these rules to fit their fancy for the Constitution is "a mere thing of wax" which can be interpretted and twisted any number of ways. This opinion is drastically different from that of Hamilton's in Document B because Jefferson believes that the judiciary have the power to dictate how the country functions whereas Hamilton believes that it is the least dangerous branch of government without the will or power to affect laws or policies.

Should the Supreme Court Have the power to overturn unconstitutional federal laws?
The Supreme Court should have the power to overturn unconstitutional federal laws. The court is the interpretted of the Constitution in cases broght forth between different levels of government. If it doesn't have the power to exert its Constitutional-interpretting skills upon the creation of laws, no other branch or body of the government will. While it is the court's primary duty to uphold the Constitution, the legislative branch simply acts in what it feels is in the best interests of the country, without the hinderance of consideration for how their actions adhere to the Constitution. A separate body, the judicial branch, must check that the federal laws are in-line with the most basic principles and document of the United States.

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