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The People's Court: On The Intellectual Origins Of American Judicial Power, Ian C. Bartrum Jan 2021

The People's Court: On The Intellectual Origins Of American Judicial Power, Ian C. Bartrum

Dickinson Law Review (2017-Present)

This article enters into the modern debate between “consti- tutional departmentalists”—who contend that the executive and legislative branches share constitutional interpretive authority with the courts—and what are sometimes called “judicial supremacists.” After exploring the relevant history of political ideas, I join the modern minority of voices in the latter camp.

This is an intellectual history of two evolving political ideas—popular sovereignty and the separation of powers—which merged in the making of American judicial power, and I argue we can only understand the structural function of judicial review by bringing these ideas together into an integrated whole. Or, put another way, …