Independent Judiciary

Constitution Principles by Will, Alisa, Matthew, and Jessica

Definition and Points

Independent judiciary is defined as a system of judges and courts that is separate from other branches of government.

Some basic standards that most independent judiciaries should have include

1.)The judges don't base anything off of personal beliefs or opinions.

2.)Fairly similar to the last, is that the case is free from persuasion of those outside of the testimonies that the judges hear.

3.)The final decision is respected and carried out by the people.

4.)Federal judges are appointed by the President, but approved by the Senate

5.)The Constitution grants the Supreme Court original jurisdiction, an authority that Congress cannot strip.

How is Judicial Independence Maintained?

One of the ways independent judiciary is maintained is that federal judges are appointed. Another one would be the fact that once appointed the judges serve a life term. The final way to maintain independent judiciary is that the judges salary can't change.

Where in the Constitution Does it State the Creation of an Independent Judiciary?

Article III of the Constitution establishes the federal judiciary. Article III, Section I states that "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

Illustrations of Independent Judiciary

Why is an Independent Judiciary Important?

The importance of an independent judiciary

Checks the Judicial Branch Makes on the Other Branches


1.) Can declare executive acts unconstitutional

2.) Acts as an overseer of the President of the United States


1.) Can declare bills unconstitutional

2.) Congress can't change salaries of justices

Current and Past Events


An example of independent judiciary is the Elonis vs. U.S. case because it involves judges making a decision whether or not to allow first amendment rights on social media.


The Elian Gonzalez Affair was a heated dispute that involved the Cuban and U.S. government in which the U.S. Supreme Court had to determine whether or not to send Elian back to his father in Cuba in 1999.

Which Philosopher and Document Did We Gain Insight From?

  • Montesquieu thought of the concept of separation of powers in the government, as well as checks and balances. The judicial branch has checks on the other two branches, but the other branches have limits on their checks towards the judicial branch. Congress cannot change the salary of federal judges.
  • U.S. judicial system still follows concepts from the Magna Carta such as Habeas Corpus.