The Supreme Court and the Constitutional System

The Supreme Court and the Constitutional System

Learn about the Supreme Court’s role in our constitutional system and the source of its authority to not only interpret federal and state laws and federal and state executive actions, but to invalidate those of them that are unconstitutional, as well.


This lesson provides an overview of the structure of the federal legal system, the Supreme Court’s unique role at the apex of that system, and the key precedents explaining how the Constitution both outlines and enshrines that role.

I. Federal Legal System

Like all constitutional law courses, this course devotes most of its time to studying how the U.S. Supreme Court has interpreted the federal Constitution, including both the original Constitution ratified in 1788 and the 27 amendments to the...