Courts Under Pressure: Judicial Independence and Rule of Law in the Trump Era
Below you will find an ongoing discussion among academics, advocates and judges, sparked by the ideas raised in the Brennan Center's symposium on attacks on judicial independence in the Trump era.
Tara Leigh Grove of William and Mary Law School argues that there are strong reasons to expect the executive branch will continue to comply with federal court orders, despite the fragility of the norm of judicial independence.
David Lyle, of the American Constitution Society, argues that the norm of executive branch compliance with judicial orders has increasingly shown signs of erosion at the state court level.
Keith Whittington, of Princeton University, argues that if political elites continue to see an independent judiciary as beneficial to their long-term interests, courts can likely maintain their independence in the face of attacks.
Michael Nelson, of the Pennsylvania State University, and James Gibson, of Washington University in St. Louis, explain the results of their national survey on how criticism of the U.S. Supreme Court impacts Americans' support for the institution.
David Fontana, of George Washington University, argues that Nelson and Gibson's analysis does not measure public perceptions of the Supreme Court in times when the public cares about the Court.
Judge Nancy Gertner of Harvard Law School analyzes the challenges of judging in the Trump era relative to judging in "ordinary times."
Stephen Vladeck, of University of Texas School of Law, argues that while a "passive judiciary" with respect to executive power has become standard, and judicial skepticism the exception, such norms are not necessarily preferable or inevitable.
Aziz Huq, of the University of Chicago Law School, provides a comparative international analysis of the role of the judiciary in the context of democratic erosion.
Shirin Sinnar, of Stanford Law School, argues that the efficacy of oversight institutions within the executive branch depends upon norms currently under attack.
Andrew McCanse Wright, of Savannah Law School, argues that a rule of law constitutional scheme cannot depend primarily on checks and balances, but rather, on political actors' self-regulation via constitutional good faith.