The Volokh Conspiracy

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Supreme Court

Symposium on my Book, "Repugnant Laws"

Symposium issue in Constitutional Commentary now publicly accessible


I am pleased to see that the symposium issue of Constitutional Commentary focusing on my book, Repugnant Laws: Judicial Review of Acts of Congress from the Founding to the Present, is now publicly available. The symposium fills Issue 1 of Volume 35 of the interdisciplinary journal, and it can be accessed here. It features contributions by Sandy Levinson, Leslie Friedman Goldstein, Julie Novkov, Mark Graber, John Compton, and me.

Repugnant Laws provides a comprehensive political history of how the U.S. Supreme Court has used the power of judicial review to refuse to apply, to hem in, and (most often) to uphold federal statutory provisions across American history. The book makes use of an original dataset of cases in which the Court has substantively evaluated the constitutionality of a federal statute. The Judicial Review of Congress Database is now publicly available, and I periodically update and revise the dataset. I believe it provides the most comprehensive inventory in existence of cases in which the Court resolved a constitutional challenge to the legislative authority of Congress.

The essays in the symposium not only provide an illuminating discussion of the book but also examine broader issues in the history and politics of judicial review.  Check it out.