The Activist: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review

The Activist: John Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, and the Myth of Judicial Review

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by Lawrence Goldstone
     
 

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"A valuable review of a complex subject. It also has relevance for today, when...judges, in the name of adhering strictly to the words of the Constitution, use judicial review, which is not in the Constitution, to inconsistently strike down laws."-Publishers Weekly See more details below

Overview

"A valuable review of a complex subject. It also has relevance for today, when...judges, in the name of adhering strictly to the words of the Constitution, use judicial review, which is not in the Constitution, to inconsistently strike down laws."-Publishers Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Harvard Law Review
The Activist begins with a telling quotation in which Justice Scalia concedes that the Supreme Court's power to pass judgment on the constitutionality of statutes was "made . . . up" (p. 1). Justice Scalia was referring to Marbury v. Madison, which Lawrence Goldstone offers as the "seminal case in American jurisprudence" (p. 2). Dr. Goldstone begins by sketching the background context of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the personal history of Chief Justice Marshall, whose opinion in Marbury is described as "perhaps the most adroit exhibition of judicial legerdemain by any judge in the nation's history" (p. 216). Dr. Goldstone then explicates Marbury's role in establishing the power of judicial review, asking whether the Founders would have intended the Court to enjoy the power it wields as the ultimate arbiter of constitutionality. He concludes that the answer is no—to him, the Marbury decision represented little more than "constitutional amendment by fiat, a de facto addition to Article III itself" (p. 224). Although its central claims break little new ground, The Activist presents a vivid account of a pivotal moment in American constitutional history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802777638
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
07/23/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
3 MB

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