Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2244944
 


 



The Status of Unwritten Constitutional Conventions in the United States


Keith E. Whittington


Princeton University - Department of Politics

January 10, 2013

University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2013, No. 5, 2013

Abstract:     
Unwritten constitutional conventions have long been understood to be integral to the operation of Westminster parliamentary systems. The British legal scholar A.V. Dicey emphasized that "constitutional morality" supplemented legal rules in regulating the exercise of political power and limiting the discretion of government officials. The presence of a written constitution and judicially enforceable constitutional rules has sometimes been thought to render constitutional conventions superfluous, but these unwritten conventions have been common over the course of American history and have played an important role in defining the effective constitution of the polity. Constitutional law always threatens to displace constitutional morality, however, and unwritten conventions are often seen as in tension with the supremacy of the written text and the primacy of constitutional interpretation.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: constitutional conventions, dicey, amar, norms, unwritten constitution, construction

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Date posted: April 6, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Whittington, Keith E., The Status of Unwritten Constitutional Conventions in the United States (January 10, 2013). University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2013, No. 5, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2244944

Contact Information

Keith E. Whittington (Contact Author)
Princeton University - Department of Politics ( email )
Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-3453 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~kewhitt/
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