Judicial Supremacy and Federalism: A Closer Look at Danforth and Moore, By Edward J. Loya Jr.

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Following the close of the Supreme Court?s most recent term,

Seattle University law professor Andrew Siegel wrote:

To a degree that current political and judicial rhetoric masks, all of the current Justices share a conception of the judicial role that gives Courts the right and the obligation to independently assess the meaning of ambiguous constitutional rights guarantees and then follow their own best judgment, letting the chips fall where they may. The Justices have differed in their vision of the society that the Constitution?s rights provisions are designed to protect, not on their vision of the judicial role.1

Siegel went on to suggest that this shared vision of the Court?s role will eventually show that ??the gap between the reality of constitutional law (in which two groups of judges committed to a broad judicial role battle over the substance of the rights to be jealously protected) and the rhetoric of constitutional politics (in which liberal

?activists? battle conservatives committed to ?judicial restraint?) has grown untenable.??2 These observations may sound like high-minded academic talk to be appreciated only by tenured professors, but they accurately describe a fundamental (and very real) shift in the Court?s understanding of its constitutional role.

Please see full article for more information. This article is a part of the Cato Supreme Court Review 2007-2008.

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