NY Times: Somin on Judicial Review

In a “Room for Debate” forum discussion on the New York Times, Professor Ilya Somin joins six debaters on the question of whether the U.S. Supreme Court is too powerful. Somin’s opinion piece argues that the Supreme Court protects against big government and protects the rights of racial minorities.


The Supreme Court gets many things wrong. Yet America would be a far worse society without it. If judicial review were seriously curtailed, the executive and legislative branches of government could ignore most constitutional limits on their powers. This is a particularly grave danger in a world where government is as large and powerful as it is today – spending nearly 40 percent of our gross domestic product, and regulating almost every aspect of human activity. Without an independent judiciary to check their vast powers, federal and state governments would often be free to use their full might to censor opposition speech, confiscate property and otherwise persecute those they disapprove of. Avoiding that is well-worth the price of putting up with a good many flawed judicial rulings.

The Supreme Court Is a Check on Big Government, Protection for Minorities, New York Times, July 7, 2015. By Ilya Somin.

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