Bench Memos

Pickering on O’Connor

An article-length letter to the editor appears in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (sub. req’d) by retired circuit judge Charles W. Pickering, Sr., respectfully correcting retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s late September whine about “The Threat to Judicial Independence” (about which I blogged here).  Judge Pickering has the goods, for the most part, marred only by his uncritical repetition of the ahistorical conventional wisdom that, in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the Supreme Court “clearly proclaim[ed] the doctrine of judicial supremacy.”  I’d be obliged to Judge Pickering if he could point out to me where in Marbury that allegedly clear proclamation appeared.

Matthew J. Franck is the Director of the William E. and Carol G. Simon Center on Religion and the Constitution at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey.

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