Introduction: Is the Supreme Court Failing at Its Job, or Are We Failing at Ours?
It is a pleasure and a privilege to write an introduction to this Symposium celebrating Dean Erwin Chemerinsky's important new book, The Case Against the Supreme Court. Chemerinsky is one of the leading constitutional scholars of our time and a frequent advocate before the U.S. Supreme Court. If he thinks there is a case to be made against the Court, we should all take it very seriously indeed. Chemerinsky's thesis may be stated in a few sentences. The primary role of the Supreme Court, in his view, is to "protect the rights of minorities who cannot rely on the political process and to uphold the Constitution in the face of any repressive desires of political majorities." Canvassing the Court's performance over two centuries, he concludes, first, that it has failed dismally at those tasks. Nevertheless, he reaches two additional conclusions: he believes that we can and should expect the Court to do better, and he outlines reforms that might help it do so.