Holding the Accountability Problem Accountable: Response Mechanisms to Counter-Majoritarian Decisions

  • Dave Bridge Baylor University


If the Supreme Court rules against the wishes of the majority, how can that majority respond?  I argue that while federal judges will never stand for election, majorities can employ various response mechanisms to counter-majoritarian decisions.  I draw out observable expectations for inter-branch, local, and electoral responses.  I then test these expectations in cases from the “mature” New Deal—communism, school prayer, busing, and abortion—showing the range of effective results achieved by anti-Court majorities.  Given these results, I conclude that there is no “accountability problem”; there is just a narrow definition of accountability.

Author Biography

Dave Bridge, Baylor University

Assistant Professor

Baylor University


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