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Scott Lemieux and David Watkins: Judicial Review and Contemporary Democratic Theory
Scott Lemieux and David Watkins: Judicial Review and Contemporary Democratic Theory
WhenThursday, Oct. 4, 2018, 3:30 – 5 p.m.
Campus roomOlson Room, Gowen 1-A
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsPolitical Science
Target Audiencefaculty, students, staff, public

Scott Lemieux and David Watkins discuss their new book, Judicial Review and Contemporary Democratic Theory: Power, Domination, and the Courts (Routledge, 2017). The discussion will be relevant to all those interested in democratic theory, public law, constitutionalism, and comparative law and politics.

Judicial Review and Contemporary Democratic Theory presents a new approach to the debate over judicial review. Most discussions have been led astray by the assumption of a “countermajoritarian difficulty,” a frame that obscures the actual functioning of contemporary democratic institutions. The value of judicial review, when it operates well, lies in its opposition to domination by state and nonstate actors. Judicial review should be evaluated in the context of multiple constitutional veto points that have the potential either to oppose or abet domination. Through a comparative study of several contemporary democracies, the authors develop and apply a list of criteria for evaluating the democratic legitimacy of judicial review.

Scott Lemieux is a Lecturer at the University of Washington, specializing in the Supreme Court and American constitutional law. He has published articles in several peer-reviewed academic journals, including Perspectives on Politics, a flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. He also contributes frequently to publications including The New Republic, NBC News, The Los Angeles Times, and Reuters, and writes for the blog “Lawyers, Guns and Money,” which he co-founded.

David Watkins is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Dayton, where he teaches courses in political theory, comparative politics, and the interdisciplinary social science program. His research focuses on contemporary political theory, with a focus on democratic theory, republicanism, and immigration. His work has recently appeared in the journals Political Theory, Polity, and Perspectives on Politics. His writing on contemporary politics also appears in the blog “Lawyers, Guns and Money.”

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