Share this
PREVIOUS ARTICLE ALL CONTENTS Next ARTICLE

The Political Constitution: The Case against Judicial Supremacy, Greg Weiner

Reviewed by Rob Robinson

BUY

 

Ideological shifts on the U.S. Supreme Court often lead to reexaminations of its role in American politics. Into the coming torrent of motivated reasoning on how the court should act steps this book: a timely, nonpartisan critique of the Supreme Court’s supremacy over constitutional meaning.

Greg Weiner has two primary aims in The Political Constitution. First, he would rehabilitate politics as a noble pursuit, central to human flourishing. He grounds this vision in a Burkean milieu that he calls “the politics of obligation,” where a community governs itself with an eye toward tradition and custom as well as future generations. Second, he contends that judicial supremacy has crippled our capacity for self-government. In essence, Weiner rejects judicial supremacy—what he labels “judicial engagement” (p. 11)—in favor of departmentalism, where authoritative constitutional meaning is instead developed over time in iterative conflicts and compromises between institutions. While Weiner’s argument could be directed toward any advocate of judicial supremacy, he primarily critiques libertarian legal theorists, such as Randy Barnett or Richard Epstein, who view the Supreme Court as a bulwark against majority rule.

The book’s chapters present self-contained but interrelated arguments that advance th

To continue reading, see options above.

About PSQ's Editor

ROBERT Y. SHAPIRO

Full Access

Join the Academy of Political Science and automatically receive Political Science Quarterly.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

WEBINAR
Bridging America's Divisions

December 9, 2021

MORE ABOUT THIS EVENT VIEW ALL EVENTS

Editor’s spotlight

The Powell Doctrine

The Rise and Fall of Colin Powell and the Powell Doctrine
Walter LaFeber

MORE ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Search the Archives

Publishing since 1886, PSQ is the most widely read and accessible scholarly journal with distinguished contributors such as: Lisa Anderson, Robert A. Dahl, Samuel P. Huntington, Robert Jervis, Joseph S. Nye, Jr., Theda Skocpol, Woodrow Wilson

view additional issues

Most read

Articles | Book reviews

Understanding the Bush Doctrine
Robert Jervis

The Study of Administration
Woodrow Wilson

Notes on Roosevelt's "Quarantine" Speech
Dorothy Borg

view all

New APS Book

Perspectives on Presidential Elections, 1992–2020   PERSPECTIVES ON PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, 1992–2020

About US

Academy of Political Science

The Academy of Political Science, promotes objective, scholarly analyses of political, social, and economic issues. Through its conferences and publications APS provides analysis and insight into both domestic and foreign policy issues.

Political Science Quarterly

With neither an ideological nor a partisan bias, PSQ looks at facts and analyzes data objectively to help readers understand what is really going on in national and world affairs.

Stay Connected

newsstand locator
About APS