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- Brian Fitzpatrick - Professor, Vanderbilt School of Law
What is the proper role of the Supreme Court in the government and in society? Adam White, research fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton's take on the role of the Supreme Court, and what judicial independence means for America today.
Stolen Sovereignty: How to Stop Unelected Judges from Transforming America, by Daniel Horowitz, discusses the possible political repercussions of President Obama’s judicial appointments. President Obama has filled roughly 30% of the federal judicial seats in his tenure as President. In this Teleforum, Daniel Horowitz will discuss his book and how he believes the will of the people is being usurped by activist judges.
The Federalist Society's Teleforum series, Legal Classics Revisited, will consider Professor Alexander Bickel's 1962 book, The Least Dangerous Branch. In a life cut short just before his 50th birthday, Professor Bickel contributed to our understanding of American constitutional law. Among his more provocative concepts was the "counter-majoritarian difficulty." It is not unique to observe that in a nation governed by elected representatives, an unelected Federal judiciary with lifetime tenure represents an anomaly. Alexander Hamilton penned Federalist No. 78 to explain and defend the idea. Professor Bickel takes Hamilton's idea and his title and spends his book exploring the questions: How can an unelected branch of government be a co-equal branch of government? How can society enjoy the benefits of an impartial judiciary without seismic jolting along the fault line between majoritarian and counter-majoritarian institutions? Professor Bickel's questions are still extremely relevant today.
Steven G. Calabresi, Professor of Law at Northwestern University, discusses the number of Justices who sit on the Supreme Court. He contrasts our current Court of nine Justices with earlier periods in US history, international Courts, and state Supreme Courts. He also explains what happens when a case gets a 4-4 vote.