The U.S. Supreme Court and the Judicial Review of Congress

Two Hundred Years in the Exercise of the Court’s Most Potent Power

by Linda Camp Keith (Author)
©2008 Textbook X, 199 Pages


This book examines, from a behavioral perspective, the U.S. Supreme Court’s exercise of the power of judicial review over Congress across two hundred years of the Court’s history, testing the major competing theories in political science – the attitudinal model and the strategic approach – through systematic empirical analysis. Exploring the major trends in the Court’s use of this power over time, the book examines a broad range of questions concerning the countermajoritarian nature of this power, and provides an analysis of each of the individual justices’ behavior along several dimensions of the power, such as the use of judicial review to protect minority rights against majority intrusion. The book concludes that the Court has shown a high level of deference to Congress, with notable historic highs and lows, and generally that the exercise of the power has been less countermajoritarian than is usually assumed. Its analyses find the strongest level of support for the attitudinal approach to judicial decision making, but also concludes that strategic concerns cannot be dismissed, especially for the more recent Courts.


X, 199
ISBN (Softcover)
USA Political science Judicial behavior Public law Oberster Gerichtshof
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, Oxford, Wien, 2008. X, 199 pp.

Biographical notes

Linda Camp Keith (Author)

The Author: Linda Camp Keith is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. She earned her doctorate in political science at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. She has published articles on the U.S. Supreme Court in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Judicature, Social Science Quarterly, and Social Science History. Her other area of research is global human rights, on which she has published work in Political Research Quarterly, International Studies Quarterly, Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, Judicature, and several edited volumes. Her current research is comparative study of the constitutions of the world and of judicial independence globally.


Title: The U.S. Supreme Court and the Judicial Review of Congress