Constitutional Forbearance

61 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2011

See all articles by A. Christopher Bryant

A. Christopher Bryant

University of Cincinnati - College of Law

Date Written: November 15, 2011


This essay begins by developing the concept of constitutional forbearance and exploring the role it plays in the craft of good judging. This first Part also illustrates what is meant by constitutional forbearance by recovering a forgotten but illustrative example from a century ago. Part II then argues that the need for forbearance has at present become unusually acute. Finally, in Part III this essay identifies some of the qualities of the Obama care cases that make them such singular opportunities for the exercise of this much needed judicial virtue and answers some anticipated objections to thinking about the cases in this way.

Keywords: obamacare, health care, constitutional forbearance, constitutional law, judging, Supreme Court

JEL Classification: K10, K19

Suggested Citation

Bryant, A. Christopher, Constitutional Forbearance (November 15, 2011). University of Richmond Law Review, Forthcoming; U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 11-11. Available at SSRN:

A. Christopher Bryant (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati - College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States
513-556-6805 (Phone)
513-556-1236 (Fax)

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