The Courts

The Courts have the responsibility to prevent over-reach by either the Executive or the Congressional branches of the government. They can hear any case properly brought before them, lacking jurisdiction in the following instances:

  • Political Question Doctrine:
    • Premised on the separation of powers and the inherent limits of judicial abilities.
      • Separation of Powers: the court can not interject itself into the vested power of another branch.
        •  All the courts can do it to make sure that the branches are working together. It can not get in the middle of how they exercise their power.
        • NOT all Foreign Affairs questions are political questions.
      • Limits of judicial ability: the court does not have the ability to make a rational decision because of a lack of information and facts.
        •  There is a lack of ‘judicially manageable standards.’
  •    Ripeness:
    • The method by which the courts avoid giving advisory opinions.
    • Must have a case in controversy
      • Must be at a constitutional impasse
      • Requires the President to be in Tier 3 and the will of Congress to be clear.
        •  If the President is in the zone of twilight the issue is not ripe
  • Standing:
    • Two part test:
      • The plaintiff has personally suffered actual or threatened harm
      • The injury can be traced back to the challenged action and is likely to be redresses by a favorable decision.
    • Legislative Standing: actions of the executive will have to completely nullify the votes of the legislator.
      • Bare minimum: if congress votes and the president acts in direct opposition to the majority vote.
      • Congress must use their vested power to stop the president’s war time action; they can not rely on the court to stop him.
    • Standing ALWAYS exist for the person who will suffer due to the actions of the government.
      • ex) the solider being sent off to war
    • Must have a ripe dispute to have standing. 

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