Political Question Definition Definition

A political question—as distinguished from a legal question—is one that's best left for decision by the political branches (the executive or legislative branches) of the government. The political question doctrine traces its roots back to the country's earliest days. (See Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137, 170 (1803) ("Questions, in their nature political, or which are, by the constitution and laws, submitted to the executive, can never be made in this court.").)

When a political question is found to exist, it's nonjusticiable, meaning that a federal court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to decide the question. (See, for example, Rucho v. Common Cause, 588 U.S. ___ (2019) (political gerrymanders raise a nonjusticiable political question).)