"Interpose Your Friendly Hand": Political Supports for the Exercise of Judicial Review by the United States Supreme Court

Citation:

Whittington, Keith E. “"Interpose Your Friendly Hand": Political Supports for the Exercise of Judicial Review by the United States Supreme Court”. American Political Science Review 99.4 (2005): , 99, 4, 583-596. Print.

Tertiary Authors:

The creation and maintenance of independent courts willing and able to actively use a power of constitutional review is commonly regarded as against the interest of current government officials. If active judicial review is to be sustained, it is thought, those officials must be tricked, bribed, or coerced into accepting it. The active use of judicial review may also have political value to current officeholders, however. When current elected officials are obstructed from fully implementing their own policy agenda, they may favor the active exercise of constitutional review by a sympathetic judiciary to overcome those obstructions and disrupt the status quo. This provides an explanation for why current officeholders might tolerate an activist judiciary. This dynamic is illustrated with important episodes of judicial review by the U.S. Supreme Court and in relation to obstructions created by federalism, entrenched interests, and fragmented and cross-pressured political coalitions.

Last updated on 07/11/2014