Pre-University (CIE) Comparative Government: Specimen Questions with Answers 19 - 19 of 53

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Question 19


Describe in Detail


Discuss the importance of Supreme Court as third chamber of American Federal System.


  • The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the United States of America. It can entertain appeals from the state high courts and lower federal courts. Though its appellate authority is limited as not all cases may be appealed but there is no appeal against its judgment. Its opinion on a question of law is final. It has been termed as “super legislature” or a “third chamber” . It stands above both the president and Congress.
  • Unlike acts of the Congress, it is immune to presidential veto and unlike presidential veto, it is immune to overriding by congress. In a sense, it may be called the most autocratic political institution of America. It is thus clear that the Supreme Court is an institution of great importance in American federal system. It has been, according to Finer, “the cement which has fixed from the whole federal structure” . Despite the fact that its decisions have sometimes been critised raising fingers at its impartiality as in case of Gore V/S.
  • Bush presidential election case, Laski remarks about the apex court “as one of the most successful institutions not surpassed by any other institution in its influence in the life of the United States” - may not be treated as exaggeration.
  • The Supreme Court is expected to be the savior of the constitution it can declare null and void a law passed by the legislature or any order issued by the executive organ in the United States, if it is repugnant to the constitution. Its power of judicial review has at times protected the constitution from being violated and has checkmated the monarchy and ambitions of the president and the democratic recklessness of the Congress. The Supreme Court also functions as a protector of federation and the guardian of the rights of the people.

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