Why Does the Supreme Court Uphold So Many Laws?

Date: 
Wed, 11/30/2016 - 12:00pm
Location: 
438 Robertson Hall
Audience: 
Graduate Students

LEGS, or "Law-Engaged Graduate Students," meets during the academic year to discuss a work in progress by one of our Graduate Associates. Academic papers, dissertation proposals, and dissertation chapters have been presented at these meetings, to an audience of fellow graduate students.

Abstract: "All of our theories about judicial review rely on the Court actually striking down statutes. Yet the most common thing the Court does in Constitutional cases is uphold the statute. This might make sense if lower courts were striking down statutes left and right leaving it to the Court to restore valid laws. But the most common outcome is that the lower court upholds the statute and the Court affirms. This seems to be a waste of resources and a missing piece in our understanding of judicial review."

Benjamin Johnson
Politics

Benjamin Johnson is a 5th year PhD student in the Politics department, where he works on judicial behavior, public law, and American politics. Ben earned his JD from Yale University.