Home » Symposium


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.

Introduction: Is the Supreme Court Failing at Its Job, or Are We Failing at Ours?

PDF · Suzanna Sherry · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 909 (2016)

Thinking About the Supreme Court’s Successes and Failures

PDF · Erwin Chemerinsky · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 919 (2016)

Rethinking Judicial Minimalism: Abortion Politics, Party Polarization, and the Consequences of Returning the Constitution to Elected Government

PDF · Neal Devins · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 935 (2016)

A Tribute to Justice Scalia: Why Bad Cases Make Bad Methodology

PDF · Brian T. Fitzpatrick · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 991 (2016)

Letter To Supreme Court (Erwin Chemerinsky is Mad. Why You Should Care.)

PDF · Barry Friedman · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 995 (2016)

Three Supreme Court “Failures” and a Story of Supreme Court Success

PDF · Corinna Barrett Lain · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 1019 (2016)

The Broken-Hearted Lover: Erwin Chemerinsky’s Romantic Longings for a Mythical Court

PDF · Gerald N. Rosenberg · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 1075 (2016)

The Supreme Court in Context: Conceptual, Pragmatic, and Institutional

PDF · Edward L. Rubin · May-25-2016 · 69 Vand. L. Rev. 1115 (2016)