Judicial Review Definition Government

Learn about judicial review in government, its definition, examples, case studies, and statistics. Discover how courts can check and balance the other branches of government.


When it comes to the concept of judicial review in government, it refers to the power of the judiciary to examine and potentially invalidate actions taken by the executive and legislative branches of government. This process ensures that these branches of government are acting within the limits set by the constitution.

What is Judicial Review?

Simply put, judicial review is the ability of courts to review the actions of the government and determine whether they are constitutional. This power allows the judiciary to check and balance the other branches of government.

Examples of Judicial Review

One famous example of judicial review is the landmark case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803. In this case, the Supreme Court established its power of judicial review and the authority to invalidate laws that were found to be unconstitutional.

  • Marbury v. Madison
  • Brown v. Board of Education
  • Roe v. Wade

Case Studies

In recent years, judicial review has played a crucial role in several high-profile cases. For example, the Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, a ruling that was based on the principles of equal protection and due process.


In 2019, the Supreme Court reviewed a total of 75 cases and issued 69 opinions. This demonstrates the significant role that judicial review plays in shaping government policies and upholding the principles of the constitution.


Overall, judicial review is a fundamental aspect of government that ensures the balance of power and protects the rights of citizens. By allowing the judiciary to review and potentially strike down unconstitutional actions, this process ensures that the government operates within the limits set by the constitution.

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