Active Judicial Governance

James A. Gardner, University at Buffalo School of Law


Evidence marshaled in a new article by Jonathan Marshfield suggests strongly that unlike judges of U.S. federal courts, judges of American state supreme courts both recognize and embrace their role as active participants in the process of indirect popular self-rule. Consequently, they much more willingly serve as active and self-conscious vectors of governance. This is not to say that state judges lack appropriate judicial humility; it is to say merely that they possess a different and more nuanced understanding of the role of courts in American government than some of their federal counterparts.