The Executive Branch and the Origins of Judicial Independence

by Kevin Arlyck

Most accounts of the federal judiciary’s rise to independence tell a story in which the courts consolidated their authority—especially the power of judicial review—by tacitly agreeing to withdraw from partisan politics. But as this article shows, the most insistent assertions of judicial inviolability came not from courts, but instead from the executive branch officials.

Strategic Ambiguity and Article VII: Why the Framers Decided Not to Decide

by Roderick M. Hills, Jr.

By reducing the power of the Federalist agenda-setters to force through specific constitutional language with a reversion threat, the presumption of ambiguity respects contemporary norms of fair dealing, thereby advancing the goal of popular sovereignty with which Federalists defended the Constitution’s legitimacy.