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Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy:
The Presidency, the Supreme Court, and Constitutional Leadership in U.S. History
Keith E. Whittington

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Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF format]


"In his wonderfully written and insightful analysis of constitutional review and judicial supremacy in the United States, Keith Whittington takes the reader on a historical journey from the earliest years of the nation through the present day. Through his examination, Whittington provides ample evidence in support of his thesis that it is not so much the United States Supreme Court that has laid claim to judicial supremacy in constitutional interpretation as it is the elected branches of government and the executive, in particular, that have seen it in their own interest to assert that the Court is the ultimate authority on the Constitution."--Christine L. Nemacheck, Perspectives on Politics

"[T]his book stands out as the best and most sophisticated study of the problem of 'who interprets' in the American context."--Walter Murphy, Law and History Review

"Whittington's book is a perfect fit for both undergraduate and graduate courses on judicial process, constitutional law and theory, and jurisprudence. . . . Whittington continues to demonstrate why he is one of today's most important constitutional scholars. Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy is essential reading for anyone interested in American politics. Meticulously researched, grounded in the scholarly literature, yet accessible to the nonacademic, the author's arguments are important for anyone seeking an understanding of how the presidency, Congress, and the Supreme Court interact to construct constitutional meaning."--Artemus Ward, Congress & the Presidency

"Whittington's book explores a fascinating issue and provides a variety of insights into the relationship between presidents the Supreme Court."--R. Shep Melnick, Journal of Politics


"Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy takes us deeper than ever before into the changing structure and politics of inter-branch relations. Historically comprehensive and analytically astute, Whittington's sweeping reformulation of the role of the Supreme Court alters our entire view of American government."--Stephen Skowronek, Yale University

"This extremely important study lays out the ways in which the U.S. tradition of judicial supremacy receives support from elected representatives. Whittington's arguments are elegant, clearly presented, and persuasive."--Mark Tushnet, Harvard Law School

"This is a major work by a major scholar. Whittington highlights for the first time unnoticed patterns in the political construction of judicial power and the growth of judicial authority in the United States. The historical evidence is complete and compelling."--Mark Graber, University of Maryland

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File created: 4/21/2017

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