Cover image for Congress confronts the court : the struggle for legitimacy and authority in lawmaking
Congress confronts the court : the struggle for legitimacy and authority in lawmaking
Campbell, Colton C., 1965-
Publication Information:
Lanham, MD : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, [2001]

Physical Description:
xiv, 144 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Diverging perspectives on lawmaking: the delicate balance between Congress and the Court / Colton C. Campbell and John F. Stack, Jr. -- Congressional checks on the judiciary / Louis Fisher -- Separation of powers and judicial impeachment / Mary L. Colcansek -- Congress and the Court: the strange case of Census 2000 / Thomas L. Brunell -- How the Republican war over "judicial activism" has cost congress / David M. O'Brien -- Congress, the Court, and religious liberty: the case of Employment Division of Oregon vs. Smith / Carolyn N. Long -- The least dangerous branch? the Supreme Court's new judicial activism / John F. Stack, Jr. and Colton C. Campbell -- When do courts "legislate"? reflections on Congress and the Court / Nicol C. Rae.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF8748 .C565 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Supreme Court is often portrayed as an isolated entity void of politics that reaches judgments by some unseen and unkowable logic. At the same time, Congress is cast as a singularly political enterprise with little regard for nuanced lawmaking. This volume of essays shows both branches in a new light. The essays explore the impact of sustained partisan politics, the reassertion of legislative power at the expense of judicial review and the sometimes stormy relationship between Congress and the Court.

Author Notes

Colton C. Campbell is assistant professor of political science at Florida International University and is currently a visiting assistant professor of political science at American University. He is the coeditor of New Majority or Old Minority? The Impact of Republicans on Congress. He served as an APSA Congressional Fellow in 1998-99 in the office of U.S. Senator Bob Graham (D-Fla.). John F. Stack, Jr. is professor of political science at Florida International University and director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship. He is the author of International Conflict in an American City: Boston's Irish, Italians, and Jews, 1935-1944, and editor of Ethnic Identities in Transnational World; Policy Choices: Critical Issues in American Foreign Policy; The Primordial Challenge: Ethnicity in the Contemporary World, and The Ethnic Entanglement.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This collection focuses on the dynamic relationship between Congress and the Supreme Court and attempts to transcend characterizations of Congress as singularly political and the Supreme Court as above the political fray. Louis Fisher notes that the Court is not always the final arbiter over the meaning of the Constitution; Congress, when disagreeing with Supreme Court decisions, has periodically imposed its own constitutional meanings. Mary Volcansek further refutes the idea of judicial supremacy by giving examples of Congress bringing unreliable judges to heel or impeaching them. David O'Brien and editors Stack and Campbell illustrate that in the Census 2000 dispute congressional Republicans wanted judicial activism, but they resent the Rehnquist Court's attempts to limit Congress's lawmaking authority to reinvigorate federalism. Carolyn Long's discussion of the spirited debate between Congress and the Court over religious liberty highlights the value of separation of powers. Whether the Court is the "least dangerous branch" or "the imperial judiciary" remains unresolved. As Nicol Rae notes, the Court is more likely to legislate when Congress is hopelessly deadlocked or far ahead of public opinion on a given issue. Arguing that both institutions are inherently conservative, Rae concludes that they each check the ambitions of the other, and both will effect major political change when demanded by the public. R. A. Strickland Appalachian State University