The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy
Zvi S. Rosen
George Washington University - Law School
The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy, 18 REGENT U. L. REV. 271 (2006).
"The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy" analyzes the shift in the role of the Supreme Court following the movement towards a democratic Senate which culminated in the Seventeenth Amendment. The Supreme Court's shift is presented as the inevitable result of the system of mixed government that underlies the constitutional order, which orders American Government into democratic, aristocratic, and monarchical parts. While in the original conception of the constitution the Senate was the aristocratic part, the Senate would become part of the democratic part with the Seventeenth Amendment and prior procedural changes. Into this aristocratic vacuum entered the Supreme Court, and it has remained there since. This shift helps to explain various trends and practices today, including most notably the legislating from the bench often termed "judicial activism." While various elements of this argument have been put forward in the past, they have never been brought forward in one coherent argument that the effects of the Seventeenth Amendment not only seriously impacted the role of the Senate and the States, but also the Senate and the Supreme Court
Number of Pages in PDF File: 29
Keywords: Seventeenth Amendment, Supreme Court
Date posted: January 20, 2007