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Cato Supreme Court Review 2009-2010: Introduction

2009-2010 Cato Supreme Court Review, Vol. 163, 2010

12 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2010  

Ilya Shapiro

Cato Institute

Date Written: September 16, 2010


This is the ninth volume of the Cato Supreme Court Review, the nation’s first in-depth critique of the Supreme Court term just ended. We release this journal every year in conjunction with our annual Constitution Day symposium, about two and a half months after the previous term concludes and two weeks before the next one begins. We are proud of the speed with which we publish this tome - authors of articles about the last-decided cases have no more than a month to provide us full drafts - and of its accessibility, at least insofar as the Court’s opinions allow for that. This is not a typical law review, after all, whose prolix submissions use more space for obscure footnotes than for article text. Instead, this is a book of articles about law intended for everyone from lawyers and judges to educated laymen and interested citizens.

And we are happy to confess our biases: We approach our subject matter from a classical Madisonian perspective, with a focus on individual liberty, property rights, and federalism, and a vision of a government of delegated, enumerated, and thus limited powers. We also try to maintain a strict separation of politics (or policy) and law; just because something is good policy doesn’t mean it’s legal, and vice versa. Similarly, certain decisions must necessarily be left to the political process: We aim to be governed by laws, not lawyers, so just as a good lawyer will present all plausibly legal options to his client, a good public official will recognize that the ultimate buck stops with him.

Keywords: Supreme Court, Cato, introduction, Madison, constitutional law

Suggested Citation

Shapiro, Ilya, Cato Supreme Court Review 2009-2010: Introduction (September 16, 2010). 2009-2010 Cato Supreme Court Review, Vol. 163, 2010. Available at SSRN:

Ilya Shapiro (Contact Author)

Cato Institute ( email )

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Washington, DC 20001-5403
United States
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