The Courts in Foreign Affairs

Louis Henkin

in Foreign Affairs and the United States Constitution

Second edition

Published in print November 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260981
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682193 | DOI:
The Courts in Foreign Affairs

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Foreign relations are political relations conducted by the political branches of the federal government. At times, however, they come into court. The ordinary business of courts, too, sometimes involves or affects U.S. foreign relations. An independent judiciary applying the written constitution is a hallmark of government in the United States. The courts have successfully established ‘judicial review’ and ‘judicial supremacy’, their final and ‘infallible’ authority to impose their readings of the constitution on the political branches of the federal government as well as on the states, to monitor the separation of powers and the divisions of federalism, and to protect individuals, minorities, even majorities, against governmental excesses. Judicial review is the most dramatic function of U.S. courts, but it is not their principal or their most important activity.

Keywords: United States; foreign relations; federal government; judiciary; constitution; judicial review; federalism; judicial supremacy; separation of powers

Chapter.  7651 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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