The Supreme Court explained in Baker v. Carr (1962) six features that make a legal question too "political" for courts to get involved. A legal question containing any of the following elements is "nonjusticiable":
- a textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department;
- a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it;
- the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion;
- the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government;
- an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made;
- the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question.
(page 217 of the opinion).