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The Supreme Court, entrusted by the Constitution with “the judicial power,” is said to wield “neither force, nor will, but merely judgment.” To that end, the Constitution gives judges significant independence from political reprisal. Yet the institution as a whole remains part of our political system. The justices are appointed by politicians. Even the number of justices on the Court, set merely by statute and always subject to the possibility of amendment, is preserved only by tradition and political restraint.
How, then, does the independent Court maintain its legitimacy? Can unpopular decisions from a body not democratically elected undermine its ability to maintain its proper role in American governance? Michael Greve, author of a recent essay on judicial “legitimacy” and the current Roberts Court, joins Adam and Tal to work through some of these most challenging issues.
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