The Power of 'So-Called Judges'

93 N.Y.U. L. REV. ONLINE 14 (2018)

William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-385

7 Pages Posted: 6 Dec 2018 Last revised: 23 Jun 2022

See all articles by Tara Leigh Grove

Tara Leigh Grove

University of Texas School of Law

Date Written: November 27, 2018


The federal judiciary has been quite busy lately. In the past two years, lower federal courts have blocked the Trump administration from enforcing presidential directives on a string of topics — the travel ban, funding for sanctuary cities, transgender individuals in the military, and the rescission of DACA. How long, some commentators wonder, will the executive branch continue to accept these defeats? This brief essay, which is part of a symposium on judicial independence, makes a few observations. First, there is today a strong bipartisan norm that federal executive officials must comply with federal court orders. But that norm is of relatively recent vintage: it dates only from the mid-twentieth century. That fact alone underscores the fragility of this aspect of judicial independence. Second, notwithstanding that fragility, the essay argues that there are good reasons to expect continued compliance by the federal executive branch, at least for the foreseeable future.

Keywords: Judicial Independence, Federal Courts, Travel Ban, Court-Curbing, Administrative Law, Interpretation & Judicial Review, Rights & Liberties, Separation of Powers & Fed

Suggested Citation

Grove, Tara Leigh, The Power of 'So-Called Judges' (November 27, 2018). 93 N.Y.U. L. REV. ONLINE 14 (2018), William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-385, Available at SSRN:

Tara Leigh Grove (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics