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The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy

29 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2007  

Zvi S. Rosen

George Washington University - Law School

Abstract

"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

Keywords: Seventeenth Amendment, Supreme Court

Suggested Citation

Rosen, Zvi S., The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy. The Irony of Populism: The Republican Shift and the Inevitability of American Aristocracy, 18 REGENT U. L. REV. 271 (2006).. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=957933

Zvi S. Rosen (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

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