Constitutional Statutes or Overriding the Court

Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 1 (2016)

13 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2015 Last revised: 31 Jul 2017

See all articles by Rivka Weill

Rivka Weill

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law; University of Chicago Law School; Yale Law School

Date Written: March 2, 2015


This comment reviews Bruce Ackerman's We the People: The Civil Rights Revolution. It traces the major innovations suggested in the book and explains the motivation for writing the book. It then looks at Ackerman's work through the eyes of comparative constitutional law. It suggests that while Ackerman embarked on an American historical journey, his work makes the U.S. Constitution less "exceptional" and more accessible and even relevant in comparative terms. Ackerman's work blurs the fundamental distinctions between the "formal" and the "material" constitution. The comment argues that this blurring results from the need to supplement formal mechanisms of constitutional amendment with commonlaw ones that may exist in any constitutional system that is based on popular sovereignty. But while accepting that the U.S. Constitution may be amended via extra-constitutional means, the comment questions whether the landmark statutes identified by Ackerman are amendments to the Constitution or present mere override of judicial decisions.

Keywords: constitutional statutes, super-statutes, landmark statutes, override, notwithstanding clause

Suggested Citation

Weill, Rivka, Constitutional Statutes or Overriding the Court (March 2, 2015). Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies 1 (2016). Available at SSRN:

Rivka Weill (Contact Author)

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150

University of Chicago Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Yale Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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