Federalist paper 78 is a paper written by Alexander Hamilton in May 1778 and focuses on the independence of judges and the judicial review. This paper addresses three points. To start with, it looks at the mode of appointing judges. Secondly, it looks at the tenure of judges which should be passed on good behaviours while holding the positions. The third issue it focuses on is the separation of the judicial authority between different courts and how they are related to each other.
Hamilton starts by telling the readers the importance of an independent branch of the judiciary and the role of the judicial review. According to Hamilton, the constitution proposes that the federal judges hold their offices permanently, but this is subject to good conduct. The permanence in office is very vital because it frees the judges from the pressures of politics and it also prevents the president and the congress from invading judicial powers.
Judiciary is the weakest arm of the government meaning that political rights are not threatened by judicial powers. According to Hamilton, the constitution of United States of America imposes several restrictions on the congress which are meant to protect individual liberties, however, unless the courts are independent and have the power to prevent the violation of the constitution, then these protections are null and void. Hamilton also cites another reason why the judges should have a permanent tenure. He says that there are bound to be many laws in a free government.
Some of these laws may be complex and even contradictory. It takes very many years to fully comprehend the meaning of these laws and a short term in office would therefore discourage honest and able people from seeking appointments in courts. They would be reluctant to give up their lucrative practices in law to take up a temporary appointment. This means that a permanent tenure, accentuated by a good behaviour is a good way of ensuring judicial independence and protection of the rights of individuals.