Also referred to as the highest court of appeal, the instance court, court of last resort, or judgment court, the Supreme Court is defined as the highest ranking court in a country. Although there are numerous courts within the legal jurisdiction formation, but the Supreme Court is the highly ranked of all of themselves. One of the distinctive elements with regards to the setting and functionality of the Supreme Court is presented in its power and decision making capabilities. Once a decision has been made by the Supreme Court, it is not subject to any form of review by any other legal institution in the land. Supreme Courts are also defined through their main function (Fisher, 2009). Within the various governmental settings, the Supreme Court is usually assigned the role of listening to and reviewing the decisions that have been made by intermediate-level appellate courts or lower trial courts (Fisher, 2009). The main aim of this paper is to conduct a review with regards to the functionality of the Supreme Court. Here, the analysis will be conducted so as to detail the functionality of the Supreme Court with regards to the interpretation of laws passed by congress as well as analysis on the actions undertaken by the executive branch (Fisher, 2009).
The history between congress and Supreme Court has been in existence since the establishment of the constitution. These two institutions of the government act as watchdogs with regards to each other’s activities (Ellis, 2009). The activities – especially legislative – are under constant scrutiny by the Supreme Court. The functionality of the Supreme Court involves exercising power in the process of effective decision making. Being an independent branch of the government, the powers of the Supreme Court are – occasionally – subjected to scrutiny by the congress. In the relationship fostered between the congress and the Supreme Court, the main responsibility of the Supreme Court is to ensure that the lawmaking activities are maintained within the constitutional borders. The congress’ main concern is to ensure that the Supreme Court does not overstep or function at a capacity other than what has been stipulated by law. There are various ways through which congress keeps the Supreme Court in check. The judges who work for the Supreme Court are approved by Senate. Other important judges such as federal judges also receive their appointment from the senate. Trail of impeachments is also overseen by congress. Constitutional amendments – which possess the power to undo the Supreme Court decisions – are vested on congress. Setting of the various courts which are of lesser power compared to the Supreme Court is done by congress. The power through which the jurisdiction of the courts is established is set by congress (Fisher, 2009).
In a nutshell, the executive is in possession of powers that allow him or her to alter the size – and thus affect the functionality – of the Supreme Court. The executive is also in possession of powers to swear in and demote judges from the Supreme Court bar of judges. The Supreme Court ensures that the executive is kept on check with regards to how they exercise their powers and how they undertake their oath of office. The various responsibilities attached to the executive post require an oversight authority. Here, the Supreme Court is assigned with the oversight authority over the executive office. The executive is assigned with the power to institute reforms with regards to the entire judicial system. This places the responsibility of reforms on the Supreme Court squarely on their shoulders (Ellis, 2009).
Ellis, R. (2009). Judging executive power: Sixteen Supreme Court cases that have shaped the
American presidency. Lanham Md.: Rowman & Littefield.
Fisher, L. (2009). The Supreme Court and Congress: Rival interpretations. Washington, D.C:
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