The Supreme Court's role in American politics is a product of its interventions in public policy making and the impact of those interventions on government and society. The Court's frequent and substantial interventions during the past half century are especially striking, and their extent and their beneficiaries cannot be explained fully by major theories of the Court's behavior. The Court's rulings often receive negative responses from other policy makers, but even more noteworthy is the degree to which judges and administrators carry out the Court's policies and legislators leave those policies standing and the Court unscathed. Scholars who emphasize the Court's limited ability to change society make a strong case, but it is not clear to what extent the Court's limitations are unique to the judiciary and to what extent they reflect the limited powers of government in general.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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