In May 2016, the Vanderbilt Law Review, with the generous support of the Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program and the Program in Law & Government, hosted a paper symposium entitled, “Erwin Chemerinsky’s Case Against the Supreme Court.” In his book, The Case Against the Supreme Court, Dean Chemerinsky challenges a fundamental justification for judicial review—the notion that the judiciary is better than the legislature at protecting rights—and instead argues that the Supreme Court has consistently failed to protect controversial rights across the board. Dean Chemerinsky's book criticizing the Court’s performance in protecting controversial rights thus served as a launching point for the symposium. The following seven articles by distinguished authors provide thoughtful, experienced reflections on the normative role of the Court in the twenty-first century.
This Roundtable considers Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which will be argued before the Supreme Court on November 2, 2015. In Spokeo, the Court will consider whether Congress may confer Article III standing upon plaintiffs who suffer no concrete injury by vesting them with a private right of action to enforce a statutory requirement. The case may have broad-reaching impacts upon standing doctrine because a decision for the petitioner would substantially restrict Congress's ability to provide for enforcement of statutory rights when they are not accompanied by an "injury in fact." At its heart, Spokeo is a separation-of-powers case focused on the tension between Congress’s legislative power to create rights and enforcement mechanisms and the Court’s power to define and enforce Article III’s standing requirements.