ERIC Number: ED328506
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Publius and the Contemporary Court.
The proper role and function of the Supreme Court in the United States' system of government has been a matter of great controversy in recent years. "The Federalist Papers," specifically the documents written by "Publius," have much insight to contribute to this debate. In "Federalist #78," Publius makes the case for the power of judicial review, the power to nullify acts of the legislature that are contrary to the provisions of the U.S. Constitution. This is a significant power to rest in the hands of the Supreme Court, yet Publius sees the proper role of judges as quite circumscribed--limited to the enforcement of the constituent will of the people as that will finds expression in the Constitution. Publius's constitutional morality thus distinguished between "judgment" and"will," with will and its decision making according to subjective preferences being the peculiar province of the legislature--a place forbidden to courts. By examining the views of Publius, citizens see that the judicial activism of recent decades rests upon a fundamentally different view of the responsibilities and powers of the nation's institutions, particularly the judiciary. One concern that stands out above all others is whether judicial activism of any variety is compatible with the republicanism bequeathed to the nation by the Founding Fathers. (DB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Boston Univ., MA. National Center for America's Founding Documents.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Federalist Papers; Supreme Court; United States Constitution
Note: Paper presented at the Symposium: The Federalist Papers. (Cambridge, MA, September 17, 1990). For a related document, see SO 030 465.