Thomas W. Merrill Reviews "The Political Foundations of Judicial Supremacy" by Keith Whittington

By Thomas W. Merrill
March 20, 2008
Princeton is probably the most esteemed university in America not to have a law school. It has made up for this deficiency, at least in part, by serving as the home of some of the most astute political scientists specialized in the study of the Supreme Court. The tradition began with Edward Corwin, perhaps the foremost constitutional scholar of the early decades of the twentieth century. Corwin was followed by Walter Murphy, a pioneer in the study of strategic interaction among the justices. The current heir to this title is Keith Whittington, the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics at Princeton. Whittington combines a superb knowledge of Supreme Court history with a sophisticated understanding of the history and dynamics of American political institutions. As a result, his scholarship situates the Court and its decisions in a much broader political context than most lawyers are able to offer. Yet, at the same time, it avoids the reductionism associated with many accounts of the Supreme Court produced by political scientists.....