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Constitutional ConscienceThe Moral Dimension of Judicial Decision$
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H. Jefferson Powell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226677255

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226677309.001.0001

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Playing the Game

Playing the Game

(p.38) 2 Playing the Game
Constitutional Conscience
University of Chicago Press

Making sure that (other) people “play by the rules” is a description of the role of the judiciary, or perhaps of the Supreme Court in particular, that treats the justices' actions as the imposition on other people of norms that are external both to the justices and to those who must obey the Court's decrees. The justices sit apart from the conflict of moral claims that inevitably accompanies and often inspires legal conflict: they are alienated and almost alien observers themselves both of the rules they enforce and the people on whom they enforce those rules. Many constitutional scholars suggest that there is a correct theory of judicial review that if followed will lead to proper, good-faith judicial decision making. Another approach rests the justice's obligation in the duty of good craftsmanship: a lawyerly constitutional opinion is a good constitutional opinion.

Keywords:   judiciary, Supreme Court, justices, judicial review, judicial decision-making, craftsmanship, constitutional opinion

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