Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Doubtful and Perilous ExperimentAdvisory Opinions, State Constitutions, and Judicial Supremacy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Mel A. Topf

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199756766

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199756766.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 December 2018

This Peculiar Obligation

This Peculiar Obligation

The Problem of State Supreme Courts as Advisors

1 This Peculiar Obligation
A Doubtful and Perilous Experiment

Mel A. Topf

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins by considering the relation of advising to the exercise of judicial power and to the legitimacy of that exercise. It argues that advising, far from being merely a bland service to those in power, carries inherent political tensions and is itself an exercise of power that asserts a kind of balance of power. Surprisingly little studied and without a significant place in political theory, the relation of advising to power is prominent in political narratives from earliest times, and treated as central by such writers as Machiavelli and Hobbes. The latter part of this chapter accounts for the earliest appearance of a constitutional provision establishing advisory opinions, in the Massachusetts constitution of 1780 drafted by John Adams, relating it to the controversy over plural office holding. The chapter then offers an account of the creation of each of the advisory opinion provisions.

Keywords:   advisory opinions—history, plural office holding, Massachusetts constitution, Machiavelli, Hobbes, John Adams

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .