The Puzzling Resistance to Judicial Review of the Legislative Process
Bar-Ilan University Law Faculty; Columbia University - Law School
May 11, 2011
Boston University Law Review, Vol. 91, 2011
Columbia Public Law Research Paper No. 11-274
Should courts have the power to examine the legislature's enactment process and strike down statutes enacted contrary to procedural lawmaking requirements? This idea remains highly controversial. While substantive judicial review is well-established and often taken for granted, many judges and scholars see judicial review of the legislative process as utterly objectionable. This Article challenges that prevalent position and establishes the case for judicial review of the legislative process.
The Article contends that, ironically, some of the major arguments for substantive judicial review in constitutional theory, and even the arguments in Marbury v. Madison itself, are actually more persuasive when applied to judicial review of the legislative process. Furthermore, the Article claims that some of the arguments raised by leading critics of judicial review may actually be employed as arguments justifying judicial review of the lawmaking process. Therefore, countering the orthodoxy in American constitutional law and theory, the Article argues that judicial review of the enactment process is no less important and is, in fact, more justifiable than substantive judicial review.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 60
Keywords: Judicial review, legislative process, due process of lawmaking, constitutional theory, rule of law, rule of recognitionAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: May 18, 2011 ; Last revised: January 16, 2012
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