Montesquieu, Blackstone, and the Rise of Judicial Activism
Author: Paul O. Carrese
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
How did the US judiciary become so powerful—powerful enough that state and federal judges once vied to decide a presidential election? What does this prominence mean for the law, constitutionalism, and liberal democracy? In The Cloaking of Power, Paul O. Carrese provides a provocative analysis of the intellectual sources of today’s powerful judiciary, arguing that Montesquieu, in his Spirit of the Laws, first articulated a new conception of the separation of powers and strong but subtle courts. Montesquieu instructed statesmen to “cloak power” by placing judges at the center of politics, while concealing them behind juries and subtle reforms. Tracing this conception through Blackstone, Hamilton, and Tocqueville, Carrese shows how it led to the prominence of judges, courts, and lawyers in America today. But he places the blame for contemporary judicial activism squarely at the feet of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. and his jurisprudential revolution, which he believes to be the source of the now-prevalent view that judging is merely political. To address this crisis, Carrese argues for a rediscovery of an independent judiciary—one that blends prudence and natural law with common law and that observes the moderate jurisprudence of Montesquieu and Blackstone, balancing abstract principles with realistic views of human nature and institutions. He also advocates for a return to the complex constitutionalism of the American founders and Tocqueville and for judges who understand their responsibility to elevate citizens above individualism, instructing them in law and right.
Anläßlich des 250. Todestags des Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu veranstaltete die Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften ein Symposion, das auf die Aktualität seines Oeuvres abzielte. Namhafte französische und deutsche Sozial- und GeisteswissenschaftlerInnen diskutierten Potenzen und Grenzen des Operierens mit den Ideen dieses "philosophe" des 18. Jahrhunderts. Montesquieus Vorstellungen von der Teilung der Gewalten, vom Imperium, vom Verhältnis von Individuum und Gemeinschaft, seine Überzeugung von der Bedingtheit sozialer durch natürliche Phänomene oder die Annahme einer notwendigen Relation zwischen politischen Institutionen und der Kultur einer Gesellschaft wurden analysiert unter der Perspektive, wie sich damit Fragen beantworten lassen, vor denen die modernen Gesellschaften heute stehen. Einen besonderen Schwerpunkt bildeten die "Lettres persanes". Ging es zum einen um die Modellwirkung von Montesquieus Bestseller für das Genre des Brief- und Reiseromans, so verfaßten Berliner und Pariser Schüler "Lettres Berlinoises sur la France", in denen sie wechselseitige Vorurteile von Deutschen und Franzosen erörterten. Ergänzt wird der Band durch Dokumente, die Montesquieus Beziehungen zur Académie Royale des Sciences et Belles-Lettres bezeugen, wie z.B. sein Briefwechsel mit dem Akademiepräsidenten Maupertuis oder auch dessen Gedenkrede auf Montesquieu. Beigefügt ist dem Band eine neue deutsche Übersetzung der für die Imperien-Thematik zentralen "Réflexions sur la monarchie universelle en Europe".
A Seminal Text in National and International Contexts
Author: Wilfrid Prest
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This collection explores the remarkable impact and continuing influence of William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, from the work's original publication in the 1760s down to the present. Contributions by cultural and literary scholars, and intellectual and legal historians trace the manner in which this truly seminal text has established its authority well beyond the author's native shores or his own limited lifespan. In the first section, 'Words and Visions', Kathryn Temple, Simon Stern, Cristina S Martinez and Michael Meehan discuss the Commentaries' aesthetic and literary qualities as factors contributing to the work's unique status in Anglo-American legal culture. The second group of essays traces the nature and dimensions of Blackstone's impact in various jurisdictions outside England, namely Quebec (Michel Morin), Louisiana and the United States more generally (John W Cairns and Stephen M Sheppard), North Carolina (John V Orth) and Australasia (Wilfrid Prest). Finally Horst Dippel, Paul Halliday and Ruth Paley examine aspects of Blackstone's influential constitutional and political ideas, while Jessie Allen concludes the volume with a personal account of 'Reading Blackstone in the Twenty-First Century and the Twenty-First Century through Blackstone'. This volume is a sequel to the well-received collection Blackstone and his Commentaries: Biography, Law, History (Hart Publishing, 2009).
Author: Steven Kautz,Arthur Melzer,Jerry Weinberger,Richard Zinman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
From Brown v. Board of Education to Roe v. Wade to Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court has, over the past fifty years, assumed an increasingly controversial place in American national political life. As the recurring struggles over nominations to the Court illustrate, few questions today divide our political community more profoundly than those concerning the Court's proper role as protector of liberties and guardian of the Constitution. If the nation is today in the midst of a "culture war," the contest over the Supreme Court is certainly one of its principal battlefields. In this volume, distinguished constitutional scholars aim to move debate beyond the sound bites that divide the opposing parties to more fundamental discussions about the nature of constitutionalism. Toward this end, the volume includes chapters on the philosophical and historical origins of the idea of constitutionalism; on theories of constitutionalism in American history in particular; on the practices of constitutionalism around the globe; and on the parallel emergence of--and the persistent tensions between--constitutionalism and democracy throughout the modern world. In democracies, the primary point of having a constitution is to place some matters beyond politics and partisan contest. And yet it seems equally clear that constitutionalism of this kind results in a struggle over the meaning or proper interpretation of the constitution, a struggle that is itself deeply political. Although the volume represents a variety of viewpoints and approaches, this struggle, which is the central paradox of constitutionalism, is the ultimate theme of all the essays.
Barber shows that New Right theorists, such as Bork, and establishment liberals, such as Ronald Dworkin, are moral relativists who cannot escape conclusions ("might makes right," for example) that could destroy constitutionalism in America. The best hope for American freedoms, Barber argues, is to revive classical constitutionalism - and he explains how new movements in philosophy today allow the Court's friends to do just that. Written in a lively and engaging style.
Murray P. Dry and the Nexus of Liberal Education and Politics
Author: Giorgi Areshidze,Paul O. Carrese ,Suzanna Sherry
Publisher: SUNY Press
Category: Political Science
Leading scholars and legal practitioners explore constitutional, legal, and philosophical topics. In Constitutionalism, Executive Power, and the Spirit of Moderation, contributors ranging from scholars to practitioners in the federal executive and judicial branches blend philosophical and political modes of analysis to examine a variety of constitutional, legal, and philosophical topics. Part 1, “The Role of Courts in Constitutional Democracy,” analyzes the proper functions and limits of the judiciary and judicial decision making in constitutional government. Part 2, “Law and Executive Authority,” reflects on the tensions between constitutionalism and presidential leadership in both domestic and international arenas. Part 3, “Liberal Education, Constitutionalism, and Philosophic Moderation,” shifts the focus to the relationship between constitutionalism and political philosophy, and especially to the modern modes of philosophy that most directly influenced the American Founders. A valuable resource for specialists, the book also will be of use in political science and law school classes.
Originalism, Constitutional Interpretation, and Judicial Power
Author: Christopher Wolfe
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This text challenges popular opinions held by many legal scholars by presenting a defence of originalist interpretations of the US Constitution. The author's controversial conclusions expand the debate over the understanding of original intention.
The Encyclopedia of Law and Society is the largest comprehensive and international treatment of the law and society field. With an Advisory Board of 62 members from 20 countries and six continents, the three volumes of this state-of-the-art resource represent interdisciplinary perspectives on law from sociology, criminology, cultural anthropology, political science, social psychology, and economics. By globalizing the Encyclopedia's coverage, American and international law and society will be better understood within its historical and comparative context.
This text studies the inextricable links between law, society, and politics through an in-depth examination of the institutions for law-making in the United States, focusing on the function, structure, and participants in the process. The institutions-oriented approach focuses on contemporary coverage of the interrelationship between law and society, and includes discussion of controversial topics, such as the influence of race, class, gender, and corporate governance on the law. Law, Politics, and Society also looks at the theoretical and philosophical foundations of American law and provides comparative and international perspectives. Diversity is embedded into each chapter within the readings—drawn from a broad range of interdisciplinary sources such as sociology, history, and medicine—as well as in activities, which encourage discussion about law and race, national origin, gender, and class. In addition, excellent coverage of how the law has changed since September 11, 2001 helps students understand these complex relationships in a tangible way. Popular Culture features use a series of photographs to help students understand how law both informs and is informed by popular culture. Law in Action features apply the concepts of each chapter to an actual law in order to illustrate the central point and to help students better understand theoretical concepts.
Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies (U.S.). Practice Group,Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies (U.S.). Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter,University of Texas at Austin. School of Law
Author: Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies (U.S.). Practice Group,Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies (U.S.). Milwaukee Lawyers Chapter,University of Texas at Austin. School of Law
Today, we think of constitutional questions as being settled by the Supreme Court.But that is not always the case, nor is it what the framers intended in constructing the three-branch federal government. This volume examines four crucial moments in the United States' political history -- the Civil War and Reconstruction, the Progressive Era, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's presidency and the New Deal, and the Reagan revolution -- to illustrate the Madisonian view that the present rise of judicial supremacy actually runs counter to the Constitution as established at the nation's founding. George Thomas opens by discussing how the Constitution encourages an antagonistic approach to settling disputes, thereby preserving itself as the nation's fundamental law rather then ceding that role to the president, Congress, or Supreme Court. In considering the four historical case studies, he focuses on judicial interpretations and the political branches' responses to them to demonstrate that competing conceptions of constitutional authority and meaning, as well as intergovernmental disputes themselves -- rather than any specific outcome -- strengthen the nature of the nation's founding document as a political instrument. Engagingly written and soundly argued, this study clarifies and highlights the political origins of the nation's foundational document and argues that American constitutionalism is primarily about countervailing power not legal limits enforced by courts. -- Michael P. Zuckert
Examines both the peril and the promise of presidential power to clarify that what can destroy our Constitution can--if the threat is dire--also save it. An unusually balanced study that argues for a middle path whereby presidents choose consciously to act temporarily outside or even against the laws in serving the nation's best interest.