Constitutional Theory and the Faces of Power

THE JUDICIARY IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: ALEXANDER BICKEL, THE COUNTER-MAJORITARIAN DIFFICULTY, AND CONTEMPORARY CONSTITUTIONAL THEORY, Kenneth Ward, ed., Albany: SUNY Press, 2005

Posted: 9 Sep 2005

See all articles by Keith E. Whittington

Keith E. Whittington

Princeton University - Department of Political Science

Abstract

Constitutional theory has been decisively shaped by the image of the conflict between the Supreme Court and the political branches during the New Deal. Constitutional scholars have focused their attention on the ways in which the Constitution acts as a higher law constraining political actors and the pros and cons of a countermajoritarian Court armed with judicial veto. Like political scientists who studied the "first face of power," constitutional scholars have been most interested in explicit decisions that block others from exercising their political will. Constitutions shape political outcomes by other means, however, and constitutional scholars need to examine these other faces of constitutionalism. Notably, constitutions also help structure how political preferences are expressed and help constitute political preferences.

Keywords: constitutionalism, constitutional theory, judicial review, Bickel

Suggested Citation

Whittington, Keith E., Constitutional Theory and the Faces of Power. THE JUDICIARY IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: ALEXANDER BICKEL, THE COUNTER-MAJORITARIAN DIFFICULTY, AND CONTEMPORARY CONSTITUTIONAL THEORY, Kenneth Ward, ed., Albany: SUNY Press, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=800530

Keith E. Whittington (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Corwin Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544-1012
United States
609-258-3453 (Phone)
609-258-1110 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~kewhitt/

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