Turn back the clock sixty years, and glimpse into the future: What were the prospects for constitutionalism as they might have appeared in the late 1930's? What was the potential for judicial review?
Grim. The Weimar Constitution had crumbled, as had Austria's ingenious experiment with judicial review. Neither the French nor the English ever had much faith in the power of written constitutions to constrain democratic politics. Nor did a century of Latin American experience suggest anything hopeful. Since Bolivar, generations of liberals south of the border had sought to copy the North American model-only to see its promise of limited government dissolve into caudillismo and class war. And in the United States, the Supreme Court was reeling, and would not recover a sense of direction for more than a decade.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Ackerman, Bruce, "The Rise of World Constitutionalism" (1997). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 129.