The Corner

JUDICIAL POPULISM

If I could step in for Jonah: I don’t think his criticism of populism and support for properly formed elites doing the things elites should do implies any support for elites seizing power that goes beyond their legitimate authority. An elite that did that–that acted lawlessly because it objected to the laws–would lose its claim to respect. A judge who nullifes a law because the Constitution does not allow him to apply it, on the other hand, is not being an elitist in the sense Jonah condemns; he is deferring to the Constitution the people ratified.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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