Curbing the Courts: The Constitution and the Limits of Judicial Power

Gary L. McDowell, University of Richmond


This book is an effort to point toward an old but largely ignored way by which judicial power may be effectively curbed within the prudent guidelines provided by the Constitution itself. Article III of the Constitution provides that judicial power is subject not only to any exceptions Congress may see fit to make to appellate jurisdiction, but also to "such Regulations as the Congress shall make." While many critics of judicial activism have approached the problem from the perspective of carving out politically dramatic jurisdictional exceptions, few have looked to the power of Congress to regulate the procedures of the judicial process. However, the most effective way to curb the courts is through the various procedural arrangements that serve to guide and hem in the exercise of substantive judicial power.