I believe majoritarians, originalists, and perfectionists are right to identify respect for democracy, preservation of the rule of law, and the pursuit of a more perfect union as central to the American constitutional project and, therefore, they are all right to identify restraint, fidelity, and justice as essential judicial virtues.
It is precisely because majoritarians, originalists, and perfectionists capture part of the truth that I contend prudence, or phronesis, ought to be considered the most important virtue when judges are deciding hard cases.
But that wouldn't have the same appeal, because most Americans are not majoritarians--or more accurately, most Americans are not pure majoritarians.
The authors of the Constitution had developed grave doubts about the majoritarian rule they saw in abusive state legislatures and in the feckless one-house Congress established by the Articles of Confederation.
Sunstein identifies Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes as a majoritarian
but says there are no consistent majoritarians
on today's Supreme Court.
believe that the elected branches of the government (Congress and the White House) should interpret portions of the Constitutions that are ambiguous, and the courts should stand aside; Oliver Wendell Holmes was a majoritarian
, but there are none on the Court today.
The more conservative citizens turn into book-burning Moral Majoritarians
while the progressive "coloreds" announce that they are merely acknowledging the ordinary impulses of human nature: "You can't stop something that's inside you.
The culprit the majoritarians seem to have settled on is cultural politics.
Some majoritarians are cultural conservatives who are sympathetic to much of the right's pro-family, nose-to-the-grindstone program but don't want to be attacked for saying so.
It is deeply ironic that liberal feminists and sexual libertines have denounced radical feminists as lying in the same bed as fundamentalist Christians and the Moral Majoritarians
because of a similar focus against pornography--albeit for completely different reasons and relying on very different tactics.
What's really going on, though, Harrington says, is a series of great clashes over money and power between three groups: localists (farmers and small businessmen), majoritarians
(industrial workers), and functionalists (corporate managers).
Although this majoritarian
defense of the filibuster has surfaced