Courts of Many Minds
32 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 31 Jul 2010
Date Written: 2010
In A Constitution of Many Minds (Princeton UP 2009), Cass Sunstein argues that the three major approaches to constitutional interpretation all rely on some variation of a “Many Minds” argument:
-- “Traditionalists” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” on previous courts;
-- “Populists” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” in the electorate at large;
-- “Cosmopolitans” would have judges defer to the “Many Minds” on foreign benches.
Here we assess each of these claims through the lens of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. In the cases of the Traditionalist and Cosmopolitan approaches we explore the implications of partial interdependence among past and foreign courts, respectively. In the case of the Populist approach, we consider the influence of opinion leaders.
Keywords: epistemic democracy, Condorcet jury theorem, many minds
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