Judicial Review and the Rights and Laws of Nature

The Supreme Court Review 1982, (1982), 49–83; reprinted in Walter Berns, In Defense of Liberal Democracy (Regnery Gateway, 1984).


The current controversy over the proper role of the judiciary can be said to have begun twenty years ago with Herbert Wechsler’s appeal for Supreme Court decisions resting on “neutral principles of constitutional law.” More recently, Alexander Bickel and Philip Kurland charged that the Court had become brazenly political yet lacked political competence.  This provoked one well-known federal judge not only to defend the Court but contemptuously to dismiss its critics—Wechsler as well as Bickel and Kurland—as “self-appointed scholastic mandarins.” Since then there has been a further “explosion of judicial power.”

American Enterprise Institute