Scholars argue that the Roberts Court has been engaged in a judicial “power grab.” Some scholars describe the Court as “juristocratic,” others “aggrandizing.” The Court’s supporters argue that these critics’ charges only thinly veil the critics’ policy differences with the Court. Is the Roberts Court’s power materially different from other Courts? If the charge is about “judicial activism,” do the critics hold the Warren Court to the same standard?
Scholarship about the Roberts Court has encountered a long-running difficulty; “judicial power” is an amorphous braid of norms, ideas, and institutional arrangements. We advance a taxonomy for understanding different aspects of contemporary judicial power by untangling several concepts: judicial supremacy, juristocracy, judicial activism, and judicial self-aggrandizement. Of these criteria, the Roberts Court’s exceptional feature is judicial self-aggrandizement, its demeaning rhetoric about other constitutional actors and vague judicial standards that together reify judicial importance and justify centralized power in the judiciary.
Allen Sumrall & Beau J. Baumann,
Clarifying Judicial Aggrandizement,
U. Pa. L. Rev. Online
Available at: https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/penn_law_review_online/vol172/iss1/3