"where policy is made"

Doug Edlin edlind at dickinson.edu
Mon Jun 1 14:19:19 PDT 2009

Hi all,

I'm troubled by the current flap over Judge Sotomayor's comment that the 
"Court of Appeals is where policy is made."  The full text of the 
comment and exchange is here:  

Do we still need to have this conversation?  In connection with Judge 
Sotomayor's comment, here are a couple of other quotations from notable 

"Judges have been entrusted with making policy from the start."  Richard 

"No one, I imagine, will quarrel with the proposition that the Supreme 
Court, or indeed any court, must make and does make policy decisions..." 
Robert Dahl

It's over 50 years since Prof. Dahl's comment was published.  Why must 
we still have this conversation?  Are there members of these lists who 
doubt that courts make policy (or law, for that matter)?  Is there a 
reason that the public conversation about these issues has to remain 
where it is?  Please interpret this message as a plea for help, rather 
than a rant. 



Douglas E. Edlin
Associate Professor
Department of Political Science
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013

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