Barry Friedman


On his book The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution

Cover Interview of April 03, 2011

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“What is the role of the Supreme Court?”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“In the main contentious issues in society, be it the death penalty, civil rights, the power of the national government, gay marriage, or much else, the Justices eventually come into line with popular opinion.”

On the second:

“On the one hand, it is troubling that the fate of the Republic on critical issues would be decided by nine unelected and relatively unaccountable people.  On the other, the rule of law seems to compel judicial independence; the Constitution would mean nothing at all if passing majorities always had their way.”