At Texas State University at San Marcos, Kenneth D. Ward is Associate Professor and Cecilia R. Castillo is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. Castillo is the coeditor (with Kenneth L. Grasso) of Liberty Under Law: American Constitutionalism, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.
Whittington examines why presidents have often found judicial supremacy to be in their best interest, why they have rarely assumed responsibility for interpreting the Constitution, and why constitutional leadership has often been passed to the courts. The unprecedented assertiveness of the Rehnquist Court in striking down acts of Congress is only the most recent example of a development that began with the founding generation itself. Presidential bids for constitutional leadership have been rare, but reflect the temporary political advantage in doing so. Far more often, presidents have cooperated in increasing the Court's power and encouraging its activism. Challenging the conventional wisdom that judges have usurped democracy, Whittington shows that judicial supremacy is the product of democratic politics.