Repugnant Laws; Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present

Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2019. First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xxi, [1], 410 pages. List of Figures and Tables, Appendix: Identifying Cases of Judicial Review; Notes. Index. Keith E. Whittington (born 12 July 1968) is an American political scientist. Whittington studied government, finance and business at the University of Texas at Austin, then earned a master's and doctoral degree in political science from Yale University. His teaching career began in 1995, with an assistant professorship at the Catholic University of America. He joined the Princeton University faculty in 1997. Whittington was promoted to associate professor in 2002, and became William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics by 2006. Whittington was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. In 2021, Whittington was appointed to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States. He has published widely on American constitutional theory, American political and constitutional history, the law and politics of impeachment, judicial politics, the presidency, and free speech. His work for a general audience has appeared in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Atlantic, Reason, and Lawfare. When the Supreme Court strikes down favored legislation, politicians cry judicial activism. When the law is one politicians oppose, the court is heroically righting a wrong. In our polarized moment of partisan fervor, the Supreme Courts routine work of judicial review is increasingly viewed through a political lens, decried by one side or the other as judicial overreach, or legislating from the bench. But is this really the case? Keith E. Whittington asks in Repugnant Laws, a first-of-its-kind history of judicial review. A thorough examination of the record of judicial review requires first a comprehensive inventory of relevant cases. To this end, Whittington revises the extant catalog of cases in which the court has struck down a federal statute and adds to this, for the first time, a complete catalog of cases upholding laws of Congress against constitutional challenges. With reference to this inventory, Whittington is then able to offer a reassessment of the prevalence of judicial review, an account of how the power of judicial review has evolved over time, and a persuasive challenge to the idea of an antidemocratic, heroic court. In this analysis, it becomes apparent that that the court is political and often partisan, operating as a political ally to dominant political coalitions; vulnerable and largely unable to sustain consistent opposition to the policy priorities of empowered political majorities; and quasi-independent, actively exercising the power of judicial review to pursue the justices' own priorities within bounds of what is politically tolerable. The court, Repugnant Laws suggests, is a political institution operating in a political environment to advance controversial principles, often with the aid of political leaders who sometimes encourage and generally tolerate the judicial nullification of federal laws because it serves their own interests to do so. In the midst of heated battles over partisan and activist Supreme Court justices, Keith Whittington's work reminds us that, for better or for worse, the court reflects the politics of its time. Condition: Very good / Very good.

Keywords: Judicial Review, Constitutional Law, Invalidating Statutes, Campaign Finance, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Civil War, War Powers, Countermajoritarian, Due Process, Federalism, Judiciary, Judicial Activism, John Marshall, Supreme Court

ISBN: 9780700627790

[Book #84201]

Price: $82.50