Daily Archives: July 3, 2010

David Paul Kuhn draws attention to the politicisation of the Supreme Court. I agree with him that the trend toward single-vote majorities is poisonous. He sees it as an expression of wider political polarisation in the US. I am less sure that this is the cause, or at any rate the only cause.

An important factor is increasing remoteness from the amended text. With time, society changes, and the gap between justices who believe in fidelity to the original document and those who believe in a “living constitution”–equally defensible positions, regardless of one’s politics–gets wider. Over time, there will be more good-faith dispute about what a relatively static written constitution still means. Even without greater polarisation, you would expect more disagreement, and more narrow majorities.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

Clive Crook’s blog: A guide

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