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POLS 110 (391)
Lecture

March 21, 2013- Parliamentary Sovereignty.docx

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Department
Political Studies
Course
POLS 110
Professor
Jonathan W Rose
Semester
Winter

Description
Parliamentary Sovereignty  Link between popular sovereignty (the idea that supreme political authority derives from “the people”) and the power of legislature  Parliamentary supremacy- the related ideas that: o Parliament can make laws on any matter o No body of law to which parliamentary decisions must conform o No Parliament can bind a future Parliament  Once a Parliament goes out of existence, the new Parliament can go against any law of the past o Parliament has the last word: no other political institution (the monarch or the courts) can overturn its decisions Legislative Supremacy and the Courts  Limiting parliamentary supremacy by allowing the decisions of the legislature to be reviewed by the courts- judicial review Judicial Review  Empowers the courts to assess and pass judgment on the laws passed by the legislature, and nullify them if they decide that these laws are not in keeping with the constitution o Only way to assess is with a written constitution  Importance of the constitution in judicial review o Shapes legislation o Binds the legislature o Designed to be supreme  Judicial involvement in the political process is not automatic o Judicial activism: the willingness of the courts to disallow or veto laws or policies of the legislature or the executive on constitutional grounds o Judicial restraint: leave law-making to the elected politicians; allow a more flexible interpretation of the constitution; not as vigorous  Difference between activism and restraint has to do with legitimacy o Judges are appointed, not elected o Legislatures are elected, not appointed o Therefore: elected legislatures have more legitimacy than appointed judges; judges should not be second-guessing elected politicians Judicial review: the US  Justiciable bill of rights  Role of the Supreme Court in adjudicating federalism o Disputes between the various levels of government  There was not full judicial review until 1803 o Marbury vs. Madison  A signal case in which the Supreme Court reinterpreted their political role in politics  Marbury told by the outgoing president he had been appointed and given a commission, but the new government decided he would not get the commission or ro
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