The Tea Party Movement and Popular Constitutionalism

Somin, Ilya | April 19, 2011

The rise of the Tea Party movement followed a period during which many academic students of constitutional law focused on “popular constitutionalism”: the involvement of public opinion and popular movements in influencing constitutional interpretation. Many of these scholars argue that popular constitutional movements have a beneficial impact on constitutional law, and some even contend that popular constitutionalism should supplant judicial review entirely. At the very least, the last generation of constitutional scholarship has established that public opinion influences and significantly constrains judicial interpretation of the Constitution.