The Supreme Court as a Symbol in the Culture War
Repugnant Laws makes use of the Judicial Review of Congress database, a new, original, and publicly accessible database cataloging every case in which the U.S. Supreme Court substantially reviewed the constitutionality of the application of a provision of a federal statute. In doing so, it seeks to shed new light on how the Court has navigated the ever-changing political environment and how it has constrained, and empowered, Congress across American history. This still leaves a great deal of our constitutional landscape to be explored. Repugnant Laws provides only a passing glance at how the Court has interacted with the executive branch and the extent to which it has been an ally or foe of presidential power and particular presidents. This historical investigation also raises questions about the extent to which the Court has entered a new political era. Political battles over the federal judiciary have intensified in recent years, but it is not evident that the Court is a more significant political force now than it was in the past. Like many aspects of our modern politics, the Court has become a useful symbol in the culture war that can help heat up political passions and mobilize political activists, even if the stakes for public policy remain relatively small.
Subscribe to GJLPP