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The Judiciary Reviewed Should the Courts Be Bound By Original Intent The power of judicial review is an important feature of our federal court system It allows the courts to nullify laws that are not consistent with the present-day interpretation of the U S Constitution by deeming them unconstitutional This function grants the courts two major powers the power to overturn legislation and the authority to interpret the constitution and set a precedent that later courts will refer to The latter of the two powers is by far the most controversial The debate is centered on the most influential of courts the U S Supreme Court and its enormous influence on the way that the Constitution is interpreted today Some critics of the court contend that the original Framers of the Constitution would object to such and expansive power being levied by a branch of government that is largely unrepresentative because of the way in which justices are appointed by the president rather than elected by the people There are two schools of thought in regard to the way in which the Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution Former judge and Supreme Court nominee Robert H Bork argues in favor judicial self-restraint He believes that the Court should make every effort to ascertain what the original intent of the Framers was in a given part of the Constitution when it comes into question in the context of a court case On the other hand professor of history Leonard W Levy favors judicial activism It is his view that the original intent of the Framers is not clear cut Differences of opinion among the Framers themselves makes it impossible to accurately identify their intentions in many areas according to Levy And he goes on to argue even if those intentions could be found they would be out-dated today Bork starts out by saying that judges used to look upon it as their duty
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