Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

TV Can Make You Dumber


So I am watching the PBS documentary “The Supreme Court,” and thousands of cubic feet of hot air have now been expended by the talking heads on the subject of Marbury v. Madison, and I have decided that I will actively counsel my students in constitutional law next fall NOT to watch this show if it is on the air again.  If the experts consulted on this show are to be believed, Marbury was an act of plain usurpation by John Marshall’s Supreme Court, inventing and asserting a power of judicial review altogether absent from the Constitution.  (If any of the experts dissented from this thesis, that got edited out.)  If they are right, then we have lived under an illegitimate judicial regime for 204 years.  But of course they are not right.  I told you I was prepared to cringe.

Tags: Franck


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review