Hollow Hopes and Exaggerated Fears: The Canon/Anticanon in Context
Harvard Law Review Forum, Vol. 125, No. 2, pp. 33-39, 2011
8 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012
Date Written: December 1, 2011
Students of American constitutionalism should add constitutional decisions made by elected officials to the constitutional canon and the constitutional anticanon. Neither the canonical nor the anticanonical constitutional decisions by the Supreme Court have produced the wonderful results or horrible evils sometimes attributed to them. In many cases, elected officials made contemporaneous constitutional decisions that had as much influence as the celebrated or condemned judicial rulings. More often than not, judicial rulings matter more as a result of changing the political dynamics than by directly changing public policy. Law students and others interested in constitutional change, for these reasons, need to explore the interactions between constitutional decisions inside and outside of courts, and not be exposed to a curriculum that consists of little more than good or bad judicial solos.
Keywords: Constitution, opinions, Supreme Court, judicial rulings
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