The Constrained Court

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Courts prove unsuccessful in achieving social change due to the constraints on the court’s power. Rosenburg’s assessment that courts are “an institution that is structurally challenged” demonstrates the Constrained Court view. In this view, the Court’s lack of judicial independence, inability to implement policies, and the limited nature of constitutional rights inhibit courts from producing real social reform. For activists to bring a claim to court, they must frame their goal as a right guaranteed by the constitution, leading to the courts hearing less cases (Rosenburg 11). The nature of the three branches also creates a system of checks and balances in which Congress or the executive branch can reverse a controversial decision, rendering the Court’s impact void. Courts are also aware of popular opinion, and are unlikely to “support significant…show more content…
Lastly, courts lack the resource to implement policies in line with their decisions. Thus, even when cases are won, “court decisions are often rendered useless” as litigants are left to the task of implementation (Rosenburg 21). Despite the Constrained Courts view that courts are insufficient in producing social change, “it does not deny the possibility” (Rosenburg 21). When the right factors are in place and certain conditions in favor of the case’s outcome, courts can be a powerful institution in promoting justice (Hall 2). The Court’s effectiveness relies on the institutional capacities as well as the ruling’s popularity. When lower-court judges comply with Supreme Court decisions, rulings can have a substantial effect on social policies, as in the case

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