Judicial Review Law and Legal Definition

Judicial review refers to the power of a court to review a statute, treaty or administrative regulation for constitutionality or consistency with a a superior law. It is the power of the judicial branch of government to decide whether or not acts of government are constitutional. Judicial review is a means of oversight and balance amongst the branches of government. All courts in the United States, federal and state, may use the power of judicial review. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, has the final decision about the constitutionality of governmental actions. The Supreme Court has power to consider or overturn any congressional and state legislation or other official governmental action deemed inconsistent with the constitution, bill of rights or federal law. Judges use their power of judicial review only in cases brought before them in a court of law. Judicial review does not include or allow judges to offer advice to government officials about the constitutionality of their actions outside the proceedings in a court of law.