17.2h Supreme Court Flashcards Preview

XVII Politics Comparing Democracies > 17.2h Supreme Court > Flashcards

Flashcards in 17.2h Supreme Court Deck (6)
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Basis of Powers: US

The US Supreme Court’s main power is judicial review, which is the power to declare acts by the executive or Congress as unconstitutional.

Judicial review is not in the Constitution and was granted to the court by itself in the 1803 Marbury v Madison case.


Basis of Powers: UK

The UK Supreme Court’s powers include defending the rights and liberties of UK citizens, being the UK’s final court of appeal on issues of public significance and arguable points of law and interpreting statute law.

The UK Supreme Court makes rulings based on the
principles of judicial review (ultra vires), natural justice and precedent from past rulings.

The UK Supreme Court uses the Human Rights Act (1998) to protect UK citizens’ rights.

The UK Supreme Court protects EU laws outlined in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).



The US Supreme Court is made up of 9 judges who must be nominated by the president and confirmed by a Senate vote.

US Supreme Court justices serve for life.

The UK Supreme Court is made up of 12 judges who are appointed by the Judicial Appointments Commission.

UK Supreme Court judges retire at 70 if appointed after 1995, and 75 if appointed before.


US Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court rules on the Constitution’s meaning in its decisions.

Loose constructionist judges view the Constitution as a document that should adapt to changes in modern society.

Strict constructionist judges have a strict interpretation of the Constitution and look at the original intent of the Founding Fathers when they wrote it.

The US Supreme Court is the final court of appeal for federal and state cases.

The US Supreme Court uses its judicial review power to rule laws and actions of the executive and legislature as unconstitutional.


UK Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court interprets Parliament’s laws but cannot overrule Acts of Parliament.

The UK Supreme Court rules on whether the actions of ministers are ultra vires.


Similar powers

The US and UK Supreme Court’s both have power over the executive branch of government.

The US Supreme Court can use the power of judicial review to rule executive actions as unconstitutional.

The UK Supreme Court can rule ministers actions as ultra vires, meaning they have acted beyond their legal authority.

Neither courts have the ability to make legislation.