In exercise of its powers of its judicial review; time and again it has been pointed out by various Courts that certain powers are vested in the legislative or executive departments of the Government to be exercised in a purely discretionary manner, and that whether they have been constitutionally exercised or not is a “political question” which the Court is not expected to undertake to decide, [see Luther vs. Borden, 7 Harward 1:12 L.Ed. 581 (1849)]
The political question doctrine limits the exorcise, not the existence, of judicial power, thus, even though a dispute may constitutionally be subject to judicial power, if a political question is present, a Court should decline to reach the merits. However, the simple fact that a conflict exists between the legislative and executive branches of government does not preclude judicial resolution under the political question doctrine, and the fact that a case is viewed as a political case, or involves political controversy, does not mean that it presents only political questions beyond the jurisdiction or proper role of the Courts. The application of the political question doctrine is not appropriate where neither of the conflicting political branches has clear and unequivocal title and it is or may be possible to establish effective judicial settlement.
It is not easy to define the phrase “political question”, nor to determine what matters fall within its scope. It is frequently used to designate all questions that lie outside the scope of the judicial power. More properly, however, it means those questions which under the constitution, are to be decided by the people in their sovereign capacity, or in regard to which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the government. A political question encompasses more than a question about politics, but the mere fact that litigation seeks protection of a political consequences does not mean it presents a political question.
In any event, in determining whether a particular case presents a political question, the fact of such case are controlling. In order to understand which questions are political and not available for judicial determination and which are available to the Courts to determine, let us examine the same by taking concrete example. As to whether or not a new Constitution has been adopted would be a political question, not one for judicial determination. Whether an amendment to the existing Constitution has been duly proposed, adopted and satisfied in the manner required by the Constitution, so as to become part thereof is ordinarily considered to be a question for the Courts to determine. Where the Governor is vested with the sole right and duty of ascertaining and declaring the result, in which case the Courts have no jurisdiction to revise his decision but decision making process could certainly be subjected to judicial review.