Judicial Supremacy, Departmentalism, and the Rule of Law in a Populist Age

From the abstract for  Richard H. Fallon, Jr., Judicial Supremacy, Departmentalism, and the Rule of Law in a Populist Age, 96 Texas Law Review 487 (2018):

This Article probes the concepts of judicial supremacy, departmentalism, popular constitutionalism, and the rule of law, all of which possess relatively timeless importance. In doing so, it sheds light on issues of immediate practical urgency. The truth, terrifyingly enough under current circumstances, is that our system is not, never has been, and probably never could be one of pure judicial supremacy. In principle, moreover, a regime in which judicial review operates within “politically constructed bounds”—and judicial rulings on constitutional issues are at risk of occasional defiance—is entirely compatible with rule-of-law ideals.

In our current political context, there is abundant ground for anxiety about the future of rule-of-law constitutionalism. But judicial supremacy is not the answer to any significant legal, constitutional, or political problem. An adequate response will require repair of the ethical commitments—among elected officials and the public, as well as the Judicial Branch—that the rule of law requires.

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