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Learned Hand

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It is of course true that any kind of judicial legislation is objectionable on the score of the limited interests which a Court can represent, yet there are wrongs which in fact legislatures cannot be brought to take an interest in, at least not until the Courts have acted.
Letter to Louis D. Brandeis, dated (22 January 1919).

Learned Hand

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I would sooner receive injustice in the Queen's courts than justice in a foreign court. I hold that man or woman to be a scoundrel who goes abroad to a foreign court to have the judgments of the Queen's courts overturned, the actions of her Government countermanded or the legislation of Parliament struck down.

Enoch Powell

[T]he constitution controls any legislative act repugnant to it. . . . It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. . . . So if a law be in opposition to the constitution; if both the law and the constitution apply to a particular case, so that the court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the constitution; or conformably to the constitution disregarding the law; the court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is the very essence of judicial duty. . . . Those then who controvert the principle that the constitution is to be considered, in court, as a paramount law, are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the constitution, and see only the law. This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions . . . It would be giving the legislature a practical and real omnipotence . . . The judicial power of the United States is extended to all cases arising under the constitution.

John Marshall

I think [that] '[t]he judicial Power of the United States' conferred upon this Court 'and such inferior courts as Congress may establish', must be deemed to be the judicial power as understood by our common-law tradition. That is the power 'to say what the law is', Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 177 (1803), not the power to change it.

Antonin Scalia

For over a century it has been the settled doctrine of the Supreme Court that the principle of stare decisis has only limited application in constitutional cases. It might be thought that if any law is to be stabilized by a court decision it logically should be the most fundamental of all law -- that of the Constitution. But the years brought about a doctrine that such decisions must be tentative and subject to judicial cancellation if experience fails to verify them. The result is that constitutional precedents are accepted only at their current valuation and have a mortality rate almost as high as their authors.

Robert H. Jackson

In 1977 the black-out was lifted. It was done by R.S.C., Ord. 53. The curtains were drawn back. The light was let in. Our administrative law became well-organised and comprehensive. It enabled the High Court to review the decisions of all inferior courts and tribunals and to quash them when they went wrong. And what is more, it enabled the High Court to award damages and grant declarations. No longer is it necessary to bring an ordinary action to obtain damages or declarations. It can all be done by judicial review. This new remedy (by judicial review) has made the old remedy (by action at law) superfluous.

Alfred Denning
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