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Description - In Defense of a Political Court by Terri Jennings Peretti

Can the Supreme Court be free of politics? Do we want it to be? Normative constitutional theory has long concerned itself with the legitimate scope and limits of judicial review. Too often, theorists seek to resolve that issue by eliminating politics from constitutional decisionmaking. In contrast, Terri Peretti argues for an openly political role for the Supreme Court. Peretti asserts that politically motivated constitutional decisionmaking is not only inevitable, it is legitimate and desirable as well. When Supreme Court justices decide in accordance with their ideological values, or consider the likely political reaction to the Court's decisions, a number of benefits result. The Court's performance of political representation and consensus-building functions is enhanced, and the effectiveness of political checks on the Court is increased. Thus, political motive in constitutional decision making does not lead to judicial tyranny, as many claim, but goes far to prevent it. Using pluralist theory, Peretti further argues that a political Court possesses instrumental value in American democracy. As one of many diverse and redundant political institutions, the Court enhances both system stability and the quality of policymaking, particularly regarding the breadth of interests represented.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780691007182
ISBN-10: 0691007187
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 152mm x mm)
Pages: 272
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 29-Oct-2001
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Terri Jennings Peretti

Terri Jennings Peretti is Professor of Political Science at Santa Clara University.