The Public Interest

A modest remedy for judicial activism

Gary L. McDowell

Spring 1982

THE issue of judicial activism is hardly new to American politics. Every Court since Chisholm v. Georgia (1793)-the case which led to the Eleventh Amendment— has found itself immersed in the animating political issues of its age. While there is a strong tendency in American political thinking to view the judiciary as an institution “exterior to the state” and removed from the “sweaty crowd” and rancid stuff of everyday political life, the fact of the matter is that, by the nature of its business, the federal judiciary is preeminently a political institution.

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