Chapter

Law and Politics on the Rehnquist Court

in The Most Activist Supreme Court in History

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226428840
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226428864 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226428864.003.0008
Law and Politics on the Rehnquist Court

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This chapter finds out the striking pattern of liberal and conservative activism on the late Rehnquist Court. The most recent accounts dismissed the Rehnquist Court's continued pattern of liberal decisions (in certain contexts) as either inconsequential or the product simply of stare decisis. Those constitutional conservatives who have insisted that the apparent tension between their activism and their demand for restraint is resolved by a set of disembodied legal categories have ignored the very clear political roots of their own constitutional ideas. The Rehnquist Court has developed a distinctive, post-Warren Court jurisprudence, the most significant feature of which is an utter lack of deference to Congress. If the constitutional jurisprudence of the Rehnquist Court is failing to serve the needs of the modern American polity, then that jurisprudence can and should be abandoned.

Keywords: conservative activism; Rehnquist Court; stare decisis; American polity; jurisprudence

Chapter.  12572 words. 

Subjects: US Politics

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