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University of Michigan Law School

Marbury v. Madison

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Dissing Congress, Ruth Colker, James J. Brudney Oct 2001

Dissing Congress, Ruth Colker, James J. Brudney

Michigan Law Review

The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Rehnquist's recent leadership has invalidated numerous federal laws, arguably departing from settled precedent to do so. The Rehnquist Court has held that Congress exceeded its constitutional authority in five instances during the 2000-01 Term, on four occasions during the 1999-2000 Term and in a total of twenty-nine cases since the 1994-95 Term. Commentators typically explain these decisions in federalism terms, focusing on the Court's use of its power to protect the States from an overreaching Congress. That explanation is incomplete and, in important respects, unpersuasive. The Rehnquist Court has not been as ...