March 17th, 2016
Episode 206 of 250 episodes
The status of the Supreme Court in American government has ebbed and flowed since the Constitution was ratified. But starting in the 1950s, the Court has had a long and unchallenged reign of extraordinary power and authority as the final guardian of the Constitution. In the sweep of history, this is a great aberration, not the norm. This week on the podcast, Larry Kramer, former Dean of the Stanford Law School and now head of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation says we have largely and regrettably forgotten or disregarded that history. Kramer thinks the Supreme Court is too supreme, that it has too much power. Confirmation fights, such as Merrick Garland now faces, have become so vicious and partisan because the court has so much power and because it is no longer considered legitimate for the other branches to challenge the Supreme Court’s authority and rulings. That, says Kramer, is not what the framers intended and it undermines the system’s democracy – the voice of the people.