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Group #3 - Federalist No.78
Transcript of Group #3 - Federalist No.78
Why does Hamilton consider the independence of the judiciary to be a vital component of constitutional government?
The judiciary must be a separate entity from the other two branches of government in order for it to properly carry out its job of upholding the ideals of liberty
The judicial branch has little power when compared to the other two branches, and is therefore constantly influenced by the legislative and/or the executive branch. It must depend on either of the two other branches, especially the executive branch, to pass effective judgment.
According to Hamilton, the rights of liberty are safe when the judiciary acts independently (due to its relative weakness), and they are not when the judiciary acts alongside another branch. The judicial branch must use its powers of checks and balances to distance itself ,while at the same time, working in harmony with the rest of the government to ensure the continuity of this democracy
What was Hamilton’s position regarding the power of the judiciary to declare legislative acts unconstitutional?
Legislature is not their own judge on whether or not something is constitutional
Hamilton says the judiciary has that power
The judiciary acts as an intermediate
Blocks the Legislature from having an excess of power
Does not imply judiciary superiority
How will this affect the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches of government?
The permanent offices make the two branches more equal since a simple view of the federal government shows the judicial branch having a natural feebleness when compared to the other branches
The permanent offices and the courts’ rights to pronounce legislative acts void help keep the legislative branch within the limits assigned to their authority because it keeps the people’s intentions superior to both branches
Permanent offices give the judicial branch an uncommon fortitude and independent spirit that allows them to faithfully guard the constitution, whereas the major voice of the community has started legislative invasions of it
Why are Judiciary Offices Permanent?
The constitution holds that judges will hold their offices during good behavior, meaning permanently unless removed for some reason
A standard of good behavior is the most effective regulation against corruption
A permanent judiciary officer cannot be changed on a whim to enhance the power of another branch
A permanent officer will have a long term knowledge of the system and be capable of judging the government, whereas constantly changing members would not uphold a constant judgment
Permanent and knowledgeable officers are not capable of being bullied by the other branches
Why do you think Hamilton was so careful to point out the relative impotence of the judiciary?
Hamilton thought it was important to point out the relative impotence of the judiciary to assure the public that it could not be used to deny their rights, and that it would keep the legislative and executive branches from making unconstitutional decisions