Chapter 2 highlights the Court’s early contributions to the democratization and liberalization of West German society and politics. The chapter’s key case is the 1961 Television judgment, in which the Court quashed Adenauer’s plans for a second—government-controlled—television network. It was the first time the Court had invalidated a major policy initiative of the sitting government, and it was celebrated by contemporaries as a victory of democratic pluralism. The chapter also chronicles the introduction of dissenting opinions—an innovation that allowed the Court to mirror internally the increasing plurivocality of the public sphere—as well as the Court’s major decisions regarding party finance and the so-called ‘emergency laws’.
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