Skip to content

The Problem of the Court with Nikolas Bowie

Jan 30, 2024



Time of Event:

8pm ET / 5pm PT

The first session of our 6-part open course/reading group “What To Do About The Courts,” cohosted with the People’s Parity Project, will take place on January 30th at 8pm ET/ 5pm PT. This session will be lead by Professor Nikolas Bowie.

TOPIC: Over the past few years, the Supreme Court has struck down laws and policies intended to cancel student debt, address climate change, and ensure racial diversity in education on the basis that they violated the Constitution. Judicial supremacy is the idea that the courts have the final say on what the Constitution allows. It appears nowhere in the Constitution and has come as the result of a long-term campaign by the Supreme Court to center power in itself, at the expense of the elected branches. In this session, we will discuss how we came to have such a powerful judiciary–and how Congress can act to limit its power.

FACULTY: Nikolas Bowie is the Louis D. Brandeis Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where he teaches courses in federal constitutional law, state constitutional law, and local government law. His research focuses on critical legal histories of democracy in the United States.

In 2021, Professor Bowie’s testimony to the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States focused on the fact that, throughout history, “the Court has wielded an antidemocratic influence on American law, one that has undermined federal attempts to eliminate hierarchies of race, wealth, and status.” He has written extensively about how Congress can take power back from the Supreme Court, and, along with Daphna Renan, is authoring a book titled Supremacy: How Rule by the Court Replaced Government by the People, to be released in 2024.

READINGS: The readings for the first session are:

REGISTRATION: To attend this event and all of the events in the “What To Do About the Courts” Series, please register: