Political Question Law and Legal Definition

A political question signifies a determination by a court, especially the Supreme Court, that an issue raised about the conduct of public business is a "political" issue to be determined by the legislature or the executive branch and not by the courts. It is a way of declining to decide a case based on deference to other decisionmakers. In modern times, the U.S. Supreme Court has been willing to look at some questions previously considered "political," such as "one-man-one-vote," as constitutional issues. Congress' impeachment procedures and the President's authority over foreign affairs, particularly the President's powers to abrogate treaties and commit troops, haved been ruled political questions.

It is a statement by a federal court, declining to rule in a case because:

1) The Constitution of a given organization defines its form, structure, activities, character, and fundamental rules. has committed decision making on this subject to another branch of the federal government; 2) there are inadequate standards for the court to apply; or 3) the court decides it's best not to interfere. Critics of the doctrine believe it is used to toss a "hot potato"