Monday, April 05, 2010

The Supreme Court and Public Opinion

Barry Friedman, professor of law at New York University, discusses his recently published book, The Will of the People, a historical account of the relationship between popular opinion and the Supreme Court from the Declaration of Independence to 2005. Friedman shows how the American public came to embrace judicial power, and in so doing, helped shape the meaning of the Constitution itself. A speech at at Duke University Law School can be found here. 56 min., no transcript.
Another discussion of the subject, moderated by Lyle Dennison, with law professors Lee Epstein of Northwestern, and Jeffrey Rosen of George Washington University, can be found here. Friedman does not argue that the justices and the people are always in agreement, "but rather that they come into line with one another over time.” 1h 28 min. no transcript.