Political Questions Law and Legal Definition

Political questions are issues which the federal courts refuse to decide because they are regarded as nonjusticiable and inappropriate for judicial resolution. It is left to be resolved by the political branches of government. The rule preventing federal courts from deciding such cases is called the political question doctrine. The doctrine comes from the federal judiciary's desire to avoid inserting itself into conflicts between branches of the federal government. The U.S. constitution has given the decision making power on political questions to a coordinate branch of the federal government. Usually, courts refuse to take note of matters on political questions as there are inadequate standards for the court to apply, or the court feels that court’s interference will cause encroachment upon legislative or executive powers. Political questions include areas like conduct of foreign policy, ratification of constitutional amendments, and organization of each state's government.