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The Origins of Judicial Review: A Plea for New Contexts

Jack N. Rakove
Stanford Law Review
Vol. 49, No. 5 (May, 1997), pp. 1031-1064
Published by: Stanford Law Review
DOI: 10.2307/1229247
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1229247
Page Count: 34
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The Origins of Judicial Review: A Plea for New Contexts
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Abstract

In this article, Professor Rakove argues that a critical history of the origins of judicial review would begin by recognizing that far too much importance has been ascribed to the famous case of Marbury v. Madison and the handful of cases that anticipate it. He suggests that a better account would locate the origins of this crucial doctrine of American constitutionalism in three other contexts. First, judicial review has always been much more concerned with policing the boundaries of federalism than with the task of maintaining the separation of powers within the national government alone. Second, the original appeal of judicial review reflected a new appreciation and critique of the positive lawmaking activity of republican legislatures-an appreciation that would have been difficult to obtain before the Revolutionary era. Third, before Americans could accept the legitimacy of judicial review, they first had to form a new conception of the benefits of an independent, professional judiciary.

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