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Process Theory, Majoritarianism, And The Original Understanding, William Michael Treanor Jan 2007

Process Theory, Majoritarianism, And The Original Understanding, William Michael Treanor

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In Radicals in Robes, Cass Sunstein posits that there are four primary approaches to constitutional interpretation: perfectionism, majoritarianism, minimalism, and fundamentalism.' The purpose of his eloquent and compelling book is twofold: Sunstein argues for minimalism, an approach that he contends makes most sense for America today; and with even greater force, Sunstein argues against fundamentalism, which he finds "wrong, dangerous, radical, and occasionally hypocritical."' The "Radicals in Robes" who are the targets of Sunstein's book are judges who embrace fundamentalism, which, in his view, embodies "the views of the extreme wing of [the] Republican Party."'

In Securing Constitutional Democracy ...


A Goldilocks Account Of Judicial Review?, Mark V. Tushnet Jan 2002

A Goldilocks Account Of Judicial Review?, Mark V. Tushnet

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

According to Professor Christopher Eisgruber, judicial review of the sort embedded in United States constitutional practice is a practical mechanism for implementing the Constitution's commitment to self-government. "The justices ... make a distinctive contribution to representative democracy" because they are "better positioned [than elected officials] to represent the people's convictions about what is right." Judges can articulate "a conception of justice with which Americans in general [can] plausibly identify themselves. "

I will focus here on two themes in Professor Eisgruber's argument. The first theme can be found in many works of constitutional theory - the construction of a strong ...


Comment On Professor Carrington's Article "The Independence And Democratic Accountability Of The Supreme Court Of Ohio", Roy A. Schotland Jan 2002

Comment On Professor Carrington's Article "The Independence And Democratic Accountability Of The Supreme Court Of Ohio", Roy A. Schotland

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In my view, whether or not Article III is written as members of a new constitutional convention might write it, there is nothing more fundamental to the way our entire judicial system operates (including in many ways, although indirectly, our state courts) than federal judges being as independent as law can make them. Perhaps I suffer from Burkean skepticism about reform of long-standing institutions, or perhaps I am merely a supporter of the status quo. But I believe that, despite obvious drawbacks in giving anyone life tenure in any job, we gain far more than we lose by making federal ...


Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West Jan 1997

Integrity And Universality: A Comment On Dworkin's Freedom's Law, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Ronald Dworkin has done more than any other constitutional lawyer, past or present, to impress upon us the importance of integrity to constitutional law, and hence to our shared public life. Far from being merely a private virtue, Dworkin has shown that integrity imposes constraints upon and provides guidance to the work of judges in constitutional cases: Every constitutional case that comes before a court must be decided by recourse to the same moral principles that have dictated results in relevant similar cases in the past. Any group or individual challenging the constitutionality of legislation which adversely affects his or ...


Progressive And Conservative Constitutionalism, Robin West Jan 1990

Progressive And Conservative Constitutionalism, Robin West

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

American constitutional law in general, and fourteenth amendment jurisprudence in particular, is in a state of profound transformation. The "liberal-legalist" and purportedly politically neutral understanding of constitutional guarantees that dominated constitutional law and theory during the fifties, sixties, and seventies, is waning, both in the courts and in the academy. What is beginning to replace liberal legalism in the academy, and what has clearly replaced it on the Supreme Court, is a very different conception - a new paradigm - of the role of constitutionalism, constitutional adjudication, and constitutional guarantees in a democratic state. Unlike the liberal-legal paradigm it is replacing, the ...