Vanderbilt Law Review


Corinna B. Lain

First Page



The Supreme Court is not the institution that I once revered," writes Erwin Chemerinsky in The Case Against the Supreme Court-a provocative, important work that also happens to be a great read. Chemerinsky's claim is that the Supreme Court ought to be protecting vulnerable minorities from repressive majorities, but it has not done so. "The Court has frequently failed, throughout American history, at its most important tasks, at its most important moments," he argues.' This is Chemerinsky's case against the Supreme Court, and it is a sweeping indictment. Of the cases Chemerinsky cites to prove his point, three stand out as particularly strong examples of the Supreme Court's failure to protect: Plessy v. Ferguson,4 Buck v. Bell,5 and Korematsu v. United States. Plessy is the 1896 decision that upheld 'separate but equal'