Justice Elena Kagan: Judiciary Plays Important Role in New Democracies

Author: Brian Whitmore – Voice of America

The nine judges of the United States Supreme Court have no armies, no police, and no budgetary authority at their disposal. But nevertheless, for more than two centuries, the court has been the undisputed watchdog of the U.S. Constitution. That role has often forced judges to stand toe-to-toe with powerful American presidents — from Thomas Jefferson to Barack Obama — striking down laws and executive actions that exceed their constitutional authority.

How did the U.S. Supreme Court establish and preserve its independent role? And are there any lessons that can be derived from this experience for countries struggling to establish the rule of law and independent judiciaries?

In an exclusive interview at RFE/RL’s Prague headquarters, correspondent Brian Whitmore spoke with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan about these issues. Prior to taking her lifetime seat on the Supreme Court in 2010, Kagan served as solicitor-general in the Obama administration and as dean of Harvard Law School.

Read the full interview here.

Lea la entrevista en español aquí.

About Justicia en las Américas

Este es un espacio de la Fundación para el Debido Proceso (DPLF, por sus siglas en inglés) en el que también colaboran las personas y organizaciones comprometidas con la vigencia de los derechos humanos en el continente americano. Aquí encontrará información y análisis sobre los principales debates y sucesos relacionados con la promoción del Estado de Derecho, los derechos humanos, la independencia judicial y el fortalecimiento de la democracia en América Latina. Este blog refleja las opiniones personales de los autores en sus capacidades individuales. Las publicaciones no representan necesariamente a las posiciones institucionales de DPLF o los integrantes de su junta directiva. / This blog is managed by the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) and contains content written by people and organizations that are committed to the protection of human rights in Latin America. This space provides information and analysis on current debates and events regarding the rule of law, human rights, judicial independence, and the strengthening of democracy in the region. The blog reflects the personal views of the individual authors, in their individual capacities. Blog posts do not necessarily represent the institutional positions of DPLF or its board.

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