Conservatives and the Courts

Michael Greve

in Crisis of Conservatism?

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199764013
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199897186 | DOI:
Conservatives and the Courts

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This chapter inventories the accomplishments and defeats of the conservative legal movement. It argues that the conservative legal movement has a high degree of professionalism, financial stability and intellectual capital. The question now is whether it possesses sufficient intellectual and organizational resources to adapt successfully to a changed environment of institutional and political hostility. The chapter concludes that it does, although it will be severely tested in the process. The chapter examines the conservative legal movement's record in four areas: court appointments, litigation, administration, and institutionalization. It then goes on to analyze the movement's foundational commitment—originalism—and predicts a reformulations of the concept with a keener appreciation of originalism's limitations and a greater emphasis on complementary legal values of constitutional rights, structure, and limited government.

Keywords: Originalism; conservative legal movement; Federalist Society; Supreme Court; judicial politics; Judicial Minimalism; federal courts; Justice Department; institutionalization; New Deal; civil rights revolution; Bill of Rights; Commerce Clause

Chapter.  10572 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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