Richard Albert


High courts around the world have increasingly invalidated constitutional amendments in defense of their view of democracy, answering in the affirmative what was once a paradoxical question with no obvious answer: can a constitutional amendment be unconstitutional? In the United States, however, the Supreme Court has yet to articulate a theory or doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendment. Faced with a constitutional amendment that would challenge the liberal democratic values of American constitutionalism—for instance an amendment restricting political speech or establishing a national religion—the Court would be left without a strategy or vocabulary to protect the foundations of constitutional democracy. In this Article, I sketch eight strategies the Court could deploy in order to defend American constitutional democracy—and to make itself truly supreme by immunizing its judgments from reversal by constitutional amendment.

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