Why Is the Judicial Branch so Important?

Kirby Hamilton/E+/Getty Images

The judicial branch is important because it interprets the laws of the nation. The judicial branch also has the power to compel the production of evidence. In the United States, the Supreme Court is the superior court of the judicial branch, and its decisions must be interpreted as law by the inferior courts.

In the United States, the judicial branch is one of the three main branches of the government, and it is endowed at the federal level with judging whether laws adhere to the principles of the U.S. Constitution. The judicial branch plays a crucial role in the checks and balances of power in the government.

The makeup of the Supreme Court and other federal courts is left to the discretion of the U.S. Congress. Even deciding the number of judges in the Supreme Court is a decision made by Congress, and at times the Court has had as few as six judges. The current makeup of nine judges with a chief justice and eight associate judges has been in place since 1869. Once appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, federal judges can only be removed through an impeachment process initiated by Congress and only under outstanding circumstances.