Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The case for ending judicial review

It is interesting that liberals and conservatives have completely reversed their views of the Supreme Court. It used to be that conservatives considered SCOTUS to be the enemy of ALL GOOD THINGS. Now that the Court is dominated by Republicans, liberals are starting to adopt that position.

By Joel Mathis, The Week

Forget packing the court. What if the U.S. Supreme Court was neutered, instead?

It’s a possibility. A presidential commission considering reforms to the court last Wednesday heard from Nikolas Bowie, an associate professor at Harvard Law School. He argued that it is time to end the high court’s power of “judicial review,” which gives it the authority to declare a law unconstitutional and thus usually gives SCOTUS the last word in battles with the legislative and executive branches.

The Supreme Court’s “relationship to Congress is not that of an umpire overseeing a batter, but of a rider overseeing a horse,” Bowie told the commission in his written testimony. “Most of the time, the court gives Congress free rein to act as it pleases. But the court remains in the saddle, ready to pull on the reins when Congress moves to disrupt hierarchies of wealth or status.”

When President Biden appointed the commission in April, public and media attention focused mostly on progressive hopes to pack the court with additional justices — the new seats to be occupied by Democratic appointees, of course — and reverse the court’s conservative tilt. As Bowie’s testimony indicates, the commission is actually considering a much wider array of possible changes to the judicial branch.


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