Is the US supreme court bent on doing harm?

For more than two centuries the United States supreme court has been a guiding star for constitutional democracies. In 1803 it established the principle of judicial review in Marbury v Madison. Henceforth courts could strike down laws which they found to violate the constitution.

 New democracies wrote constitutional supremacy and judicial review into their constitutions. For Germany it was a way out of the rubble of World War II. The Canadian supreme court and South Africa’s constitutional court became contemporary role models. 

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The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Mail & Guardian.

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Johann van der Westhuizen
Johann van der Westhuizen, who assisted in drafting South Africa’s constitution, is a retired justice of the Constitutional Court, the founding director of the University of Pretoria’s Centre for Human Rights and a former inspecting judge of Correctional Services. The views expressed are his own

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