The United States Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution, Democracy, and the Rule of Law: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The United States Supreme Court's Assault on the Constitution, Democracy, and the Rule of Law

1st Edition

By Adam Lamparello, Cynthia Swann


248 pages

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Paperback: 9781138222441
pub: 2016-12-12
Hardback: 9781138222434
pub: 2016-12-12
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315407784
pub: 2016-12-01
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This book argues that the judiciary, particularly the Supreme Court, should embrace an interpretive framework that promotes equal participation in the democratic process, fosters accountability, and facilitates robust public discourse among citizens of all backgrounds. The authors propose a solution that strives to restore integrity to the Court’s decision-making process by eschewing ideology and a focus on the utility of outcomes in favor of an intellectually honest jurisprudence that gives all citizens a meaningful voice in governance.

The work is divided into seven parts. Parts I–V identify the worst decisions in the Court history and the common themes that helped produce them. The chapters within each part are dedicated to a single Supreme Court decision, in which the authors analyze the Court’s reasoning and explain why it undermined federalism, separation of powers, and democratic governance. Additionally, the authors explain why these decisions compromised the relationship between the Court and coordinate branches, the federal government and the states, and citizens and their elected representatives. Part VI identifies several of the best Supreme Court decisions, and explains why they provide a principled framework that can be applied in other cases and result in a pro-democracy jurisprudence. Finally, in Part VII the authors propose a comprehensive solution that should inform the Justices’ judicial philosophies, regardless of ideology, and strive to promote an equal and participatory democracy. The final chapter offers concluding thoughts and argues that a healthy democracy is the foundation upon which equality rests, and that a collective view of rights is the path by which to restore liberty for all citizens.

Table of Contents


Part 1: The Cases that Prohibited the Legislative and Executive Branches from Remedying Inequalities in the Political and Democratic Process

1. Citizens United v. FEC

2. McCutcheon v. FEC

3. Clinton v. New York

4. U.S. Term Limits v. Thornton

Part 2: The Cases in which the Court Inappropriately Deferred to the Legislative and Executive Branches

5. Chevron, Inc., v. Natural Resources Defense Council

6. Korematsu v. U.S

Part 3: The Cases that Expanded Judicial Review at the Expense of Democratic Governance

7. Griswold v. Connecticut

8. Roe v. Wade

9. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

10. Lawrence v. Texas

11. Obergefell v. Hodges

Part 4: The Cases that Weakened Individual Rights and Promoted Inequality

12. The Slaughterhouse Cases

13. Milliken v. Bradley

14. San Antonio School District Rodriguez

15. McClesky v. Kemp

16. General Elec. Co. v. Gilbert

17. Kelo v. City of New London

Part 5: The Cases that Encroached on State Authority and Individual Autonomy

18. Lochner v. New York

19. Wickard v. Filburn

20. Important Cases that Did Not Make the List

Part 5: The Landmark cases that Strengthened Democracy, Promoted Federalism and the Rule of Law, and Preserved the Court’s Institutional Legitimacy

21. Brown v. Board of Education

22. Washington v. Glucksberg

23. Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce

24. United States v. Nixon

25. United States v. Lopez

26. Texas v. Johnson

27. Gideon v. Wainwright

Part 6: An Interpretive Theory that Promotes Federal, Separation of Powers, and Principled Judicial Review

28. Is Democracy a Good Thing? The Arguments – and the Practicalities

29. Foundational Principles for A Pro-Democracy and Process-Oriented Jurisprudence

30. Applying the Foundational Principles To the "Worst" Supreme Court Decisions and Arriving At Non-Ideological, Process-Oriented, and Pro-Democracy Outcomes

Concluding Thoughts

About the Authors

Adam Lamparello is a law professor and attorney who has taught at Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans, Louisiana and Mercer University School of Law in Macon, Georgia.

Cynthia Swann is a law professor and attorney who has over twenty years of practice experience in Washington, D.C., and who has taught at the Appalachian School of Law.

About the Series

Controversies in American Constitutional Law

Controversies in American Constitutional Law

Controversies in American Constitutional Law presents and engages with the contemporary developments and policies which mould and challenge U.S. constitutional law and practice. It deals with the full spectrum of constitutional issues, publishing work by scholars from a range of disciplines who tackle current legal issues by reference to their underlying legal and political histories and the philosophical perspectives that they represent. Its cross-disciplinary approach encourages analysis of past, present and future challenges to the idea of U.S. constitutionalism and the power structures upon which it rests. The series provides a forum for scholars to challenge the boundaries of U.S. constitutional law and engages with the continual process of constitutional refinement for the protection of individual rights and liberties, within an evolving framework of legitimate government. CALS promotes research, scholarship, and educative programs in all areas of U.S. law, and is the home of the British Journal of American Legal Studies. Faculty members have extensive experience in submitting amicus curiae briefs to the United States Supreme Court and lower federal courts, and advising on criminal justice issues in many states. CALS coordinates the largest British law undergraduate internship program to the United States. Through this program, and members' research, CALS has created relationships with over one hundred partners in over twenty-five states. CALS faculty advise public bodies and provides professional training and speakers at conferences across the USA.

Series Editors, Dr Jon Yorke and Dr Anne Richardson Oakes, Centre for American Legal Studies, School of Law, Birmingham City University, UK

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Constitutional
LAW / Courts
LAW / Jurisprudence